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Letters to the editor: Work works; Recognizing dignity and respect

Work works

To the editor:

Patty Schachtner's win over her Republican opponent, Adam Jarchow, for the District 10 state

senate seat was welcomed by many as a repudiation of Trump-era Republicans. Her victory was also an important example that money isn't everything. Mr. Jarchow, a sitting Republican state representative, and conservative groups outspent Ms. Schachtner and Democratic groups by over 2 to 1 (Wisconsin State Journal, Jan. 6, 2018), but her organization and positive message and voter turnout carried the day.

In these times of anonymous campaign financing it is good to see that hard work in a campaign by supporters to get out the vote can overcome big money. It is also encouraging that a positive message can beat a negative one.

With dark money financing hate and divisiveness in our country, Patty Schachtner's lesson for those who want to change this is that work and message cam overcome money—money isn't everything!

If you want to repel the threats to our democracy posed by Donald Trump and those in the House and Senate afraid to oppose him, get to work. Work works! For suggestions on what you can do, check out or contact one of its local groups,

Richard Wylie


Recognizing dignity and respect


At the same time as I'm writing this, my son, a medical doctor at the Health Partners' Center for International Health in St. Paul; his wife, a professor and chair for the Peace and Justice Studies department at the University of St. Thomas; my wife, a retired elementary school teacher; my sister-in-law, a gynecologist and obstetrician in Duluth; 14 undergraduate students from the University of St. Thomas on a January Term course; and three of my precious granddaughters, all are in Gulu, Uganda, East Africa, for the month of January.

My son and his wife each year teach courses in both Uganda and at the University of Minnesota titled, "Beyond the Biologic Basis of Disease: The Social and Economic Causation of Illness." The course is taught to Ugandan and other international medical students, as well as to undergraduates from St. Thomas who are exploring medical career options. The course advocates for implementing global health education and practices in pursuit of justice and equity throughout the world. All of these people today are making an impact on one African community in the beautiful and welcoming country of Uganda, called "The Pearl of Africa."

Some people define such African nations as "shithouse countries." Others are earnestly striving to make a difference in the lives and health of human beings throughout the world by simply recognizing the dignity and respect deserved by all those living on our planet Earth.

I know which of the two types of people I most admire.

Tom Westerhaus