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Washington Voices

A Long, Uphill Fight Against Ignorance

Thu., June 1, 1995, midnight

I’ve worked on so many campaigns I scarcely remember when it all started.

I’ve forgotten the issues and most of the candidates but I’ve never forgotten the friends. I remember the opponents, also. Some, sadly, became enemies, but some became friends as we supported other common causes.

I can honestly say that I have never worked with a group of people whose core was as dedicated as those of us who supported Valley incorporation.

We fought together for almost three years trying to help the residents understand that the only way to salvage the character of the Valley and to have some control over its future was through incorporation.

We failed.

It is difficult to fight willful ignorance, especially with truth. Lies are believable.

When those who voted against us are socially mature enough to realize what they have done, I hope it won’t be too late, but I’m afraid it already is.

There are many dedicated workers that need recognition other than our obvious leaders. I could fill a long letter just listing their names. They stuffed and addressed envelopes, looked up phone numbers, telephoned, handed out and put up signs and walked, walked, and walked trying to inform neighbors who didn’t wish to be informed.

For some, this was their first experience in trying to win an election, for others it was their second or third try. For still others, this was their second decade of attempting to get the issue on the ballots.

I’d like to single out one individual who gave more, did more and wanted to do still more than any of the rest of us. If Joe McKinnon, Howard Herman and Sue Delucchi were the brains of this endeavor, Al Dietzman was the heart, muscle and spirit. He personally gathered over 800 signatures for the petition that put incorporation on the ballot. It is questionable whether there would have been a vote had it not been for Al.

A 75-year-old retiree from the telephone company, Al worked for two days installing the phones in our headquarters and they worked perfectly. After they were installed, he used them. He called people from his personal lists to help in various ways to get our message across. He sometimes put in 10-hour days and was almost always there while the office was open. If I should ever run for an office, I would certainly want Al Dietzman on my side.

There were many who were almost as dedicated as Al and we all became good friends. Nothing cements a friendship like a common cause that one knows is right.

I am certain that we will never again work together so congenially because of different political philosophies.

But, “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief, shining moment, that was known as Camelot.” It could have been Spokane Valley.

MEMO: Ed Meadows is a longtime resident of the Spokane Valley who has been active in efforts to form a city here.

Ed Meadows is a longtime resident of the Spokane Valley who has been active in efforts to form a city here.

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