Regardless of your political affiliation it is important to recognize and honor those who have served our country for as many years as Pete Stark did. I first met Congressman Stark in the doorway of my second floor apartment on a Saturday morning some 36 plus years ago. I was all of 19 or 20 years old and couldn't give a flip about politics. I answered the door a bit bleary-eyed, and there he was - with his hand stuck out to shake mine, telling me his name was Pete Stark and he was running for Congress. I didn't have a clue who he was, let alone care about Congress, but there was something about his energy and his passion for the issues he was discussing that kept me from slamming the door in his face (something I was prone to do to door-to-door types at that age). The man certainly had a gift for engaging young people. Who would have thought a 5-minute encounter in the doorway of a college kid would have piqued my interest in democracy, the greatest gift our country offers?
NPR has produced a nice retrospective look at the career of California Rep. Pete Stark, who lost reelection this November after serving 20 terms. I encourage you to take a moment to read the recent NPR story and listen to the podcast about Congressman Stark here.
Good on ya Pete. Now get busy and keep raisin' hell. There are still plenty of chops that need bustin'...