This piece was originally published in our Legacy for Liberty newsletter in Winter 2019.
After retiring in 2015, I finally had time to do what I really enjoy – read autobiographies. I came across Norman Lear’s book and will never forget how enamored I was with his writing and his story of founding PFAW. I thought, “This guy is saying what I’ve been dying to hear.” And that’s what started it all.
Our country has gone off the rails these past few years and I knew I had to do more to fight for progressive change. I’m nervous about speaking in front of large groups, but going door-to-door is my thing. I did it for years in my job as a postal carrier and it gave me the confidence—and the stamina—to knock on doors to get out the vote. During our last election in Laguna Beach, I was proud to help flip a red district to blue!
I believe each of us has a role to play in getting our country back on track. For me, standing up and getting involved in our democracy is an exercise of the brain, the legs, and the voice. And I know that People For is working alongside me and all the other progressives pushing for change in our communities.
When I remarried, my husband and I talked about planning our finances. It was really important to both of us that we plan to take care of our families. I also knew I wanted to leave a gift for PFAW, to help them continue their fight for generations to come. It was a much simpler process than I expected, super easy. I know a lot of people put off creating a plan or a will, but it feels really incredible when you get it done.
I tell everyone I meet about People For the American Way because they are getting things done. When I decided it was not okay to be quiet or simply stand by, they gave me the information I needed to act. It feels good knowing I’m leaving something for this organization that keeps me and many other citizens hopeful in these times.
It’s not okay to be quiet anymore; we have to go out there and do something. We have to stay positive—and stay progressive!
– Nancy Wessel, Laguna Beach, CA