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SD Watch’s Unsung Progressive South Dakota Heroes for 2008–Looby, Mattingly, Mudd and Warner

Posted by tdepp on January 4, 2009

There are four women who I think are the unsung heroes of 2008 in South Dakota.  Most you haven’t heard of.  But they have all made important contributions to the progressive movement in our state.  In fact, I’d say they are indespensible to the “bluing” of our state.

Award of Merit:

Kate Looby–formerly of Planned Parenthood.
At great personal sacrifice, Kate helped to lead the defeat of two restrictive abortion laws in 2006 and 2008.  And what did she get for her hard work and sacrifice?  Laid off from Planned Parenthood when economic times got tough.  She is tough, beautiful, smart, and effective.

Honorable Mentions:

Amanda Mattingly–S.D. Democratic Party
Amanda is the young woman who largely devised and then executed the strategy in Brookings County that helped Pam Merchant defeat incumbent Republican state senator Orv Smidt in the District 7 race.  This was a huge, unexpected victory for progressives.  Expect to see and hear more from this young woman in the future.

Karen Mudd–Equality South Dakota and EqSD PAC
My faux sister, Karen is a tireless organizer and motivator.  She is the brains and motor behind the growing influence of EqSD and the fight for the rights of LGBT citizens in South Dakota.

Sharon Ludwick Warner–Philanthropist and Activist
If a progressive organization or candidate needs help, Sharon is there.  She has helped many organizations and candidates with her money, time, and common sense.  She is invaluable to the progressive movement in the state.

I also think it is interesting that SD Watch’s first round of Unsung Heroes are women.  I could list many more leaders and people who make a difference and the majority would be women.  Our state is blessed with so many progressive women leaders. Others who come to mind who deserve mention for their work in 2008 are Mary Ann Giebink, Clara Hart, Casey Murschel, Angie Buhl, Mandy Hagseth, Shannon Stevens, Martha Vanderlinde, Lois Hatton, Peggy Gordon Miller, Jane Murphy, Helen Gilbert, and Jan Nicolay, among many tough, smart, progressive South Dakota women.

Guys, it’s time to step up.  The women are showing us the way to make a bluer South Dakota.

Who else do you think deserves praise and notice as an Unsung Progressive S.D. Hero for 2008?


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