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homelessness | human & civil rights | social services selection 2004

LAMARCHE LAUNCHES "LEFT OUT TOUR"

Green Party VP candidate Patricia LaMarche launched the "Left Out Tour" where she plans to stay in homeless and women's shelters to highlight the plight of those left out of our society.
For immediate release: September 20, 2004

Contact: Blair Bobier, Media Director at 541.929.5755 or 414.364.1596
Nancy Allen, Media Contact at 207.326.4576

LAMARCHE LAUNCHES "LEFT OUT TOUR"

Green Veep to Sleep in a Dozen Homeless Shelters and on the Streets



Green Party vice presidential candidate Pat LaMarche launches her unprecedented "Left Out Tour," Tuesday, September 21, in her home state of Maine. She will hold a press conference in Augusta, at 1 p.m. in front of the Civic Center, where the Governor's Council on Affordable Housing will be meeting. LaMarche will spend the night at the Bread of Life Ministry homeless shelter, the first of her two weeks sleeping in homeless shelters and on the streets to draw attention to those living on the edge of society-the homeless, victims of domestic abuse, people without health insurance and the working poor. Throughout the Tour, LaMarche will also collect donations of essential items for homeless shelters.

In Augusta, 160 pairs of children's shoes, representing the homeless children who will use the Bread of Life shelter during the month, will serve as a backdrop for the press conference and a day long vigil.

"Wouldn't it be great if we could change our priorities as a nation from creating tax shelters to building affordable housing?," asked LaMarche.

While LaMarche and local Green Party members are outside the Augusta Civic Center raising awareness about homelessness, the Governor's Council on Affordable Housing will be addressing the issues inside. LaMarche says that government, citizens and activists need to focus more on homelessness.

"The tip of the iceberg has been touched when it comes to homeless issues; we all could be doing more," said LaMarche.

Several Maine high schools have helped LaMarche raise donations of essential items for the Bread of Life shelter. Throughout the Tour, LaMarche will raise donations of blankets, toiletries and children's books for the shelters in which she'll be staying.

The Left Out Tour ends in Cleveland, Ohio, October 4, on the evening prior to the vice presidential debate. In between now and then, LaMarche will crisscross the country sleeping in homeless and domestic violence shelters and in a tent across from the Rhode Island Statehouse. LaMarche will also hold an all-night vigil in front of the current vice president's mansion in Washington, D.C.

"The reason for the 'Left Out Tour' is to focus on people who are left out in our society and more importantly, to demonstrate things we can do to help them," said LaMarche.

The "Left Out Tour" is a first in the history of U.S. political campaigns. Never before has a vice presidential candidate used "the bully pulpit" to raise awareness about America's least privileged citizens. And no vice presidential candidate has ever been bold enough to walk in their shoes.

The itinerary for the Left Out Tour is:

September 21, Augusta, ME

September 22, Boston, MA

September 23, Providence, RI

September 24, New York City

September 25, Washington, DC

September 26, Knoxville, TN

September 27, Fayetteville, AR

September 28, Denver, CO

September 29, Napa Valley, CA

September 30, Los Angeles, CA

October 1, Portland, OR

October 2, Chicago, IL

October 3, Detroit, MI

October 4, Cleveland, OH

During the tour LaMarche will ask people to donate the following items to the shelters she visits or to shelters in their communities: tooth paste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, razors, deodorant, shampoo, baby powder,
band-aids, first aid cream, used and new books--especially children's books, feminine hygiene products, towels and blankets.

The "Left Out Tour" is typical of the way that LaMarche approaches activism, life and politics. The single mother of two secured ballot access for the Maine Green Party when she ran for Governor in 1998. A nonprofit foundation director and one of the most popular radio broadcasters in Maine, LaMarche has found kidneys for dying children, raised money for poverty-stricken youth, and helped to garner support for relief crews after September 11, 2001.

For more information about the Cobb-LaMarche campaign, see  http://www.votecobb.org. Information about the Green Party of the United States can be found at  http://www.gp.org.

homepage: homepage: http://www.votecobb.org