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Cold Weather, Hot Issues: Oregonians Stump in New Hampshire

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January 7, 2008

Portland, OR – What did you do on your Christmas vacation? Some members of the healthcare workers' union Service Employees' International Union (SEIU) in Oregon used what would normally be their vacation time to travel cross-country and talk with New Hampshire voters.

Dave Schleiger is a Portland Schools custodian who says he really hasn't minded stumping in the sub-freezing temperatures and snow, because he's convinced he's making a difference.

"I absolutely wouldn't have traded it for a minute, and I'm meeting a lot of very good people who are very progressive, like-minded people who want to see the country go through a change."

Schleiger and other Oregon volunteers have been in New Hampshire for two weeks. Their union wants the next president to create a universal health insurance plan, and some of the candidates now back the idea.

Schlieger says an uninsured friend with cancer spurred him into action.

"I've seen really what the lack of health care can really do for people. My friend Lori died because of it, and it has made me realize how important it is that everybody in this country should have health care."

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR