The Backbone Campaign
MARCH 19, 2004
4:05 PM
CONTACT: The Backbone Campaign 
Bill Moyer (206) 463-4784
Howard Dean Awarded Backbone Award During Seattle Visit

WASHINGTON - March 19 - The Backbone Campaign presented a Backbone Award to Governor Howard Dean during his Seattle visit announcing his new organization, Democracy for America. The Award was given to Governor Dean for his extensive grassroots work during the campaign for the Democratic Nomination, as well as his progressive stance on issues such as civil unions, health care, the war on Iraq, independent media, and campaign finance laws.

The Backbone Award was created to honor elected officials and community leaders who show extraordinary courage for speaking out on progressive issues and who help shape the dialogue needed to reform America. Said Jason Sawatzki, Delegate Outreach Coordinator and presenter of the award, "Howard Dean, you, in many ways epitomize the kind of leadership that we at the Backbone Campaign like to recognize. From your stand on the Vermont civil union legislation to your speech challenging the Bush administration at the DNC meeting a year ago in Iowa, you have shown the courage to step forward and alone, make a stand on issues based on principles and not polls. At times when the public mouthpieces for the Democrats seemed to be lapdogs, mush-mouths, and capitulators, you have stood up and strengthened our message, and re-framed the public discourse. You took a stand on health care, on the war on Iraq, on media, and on top of that you have done an incredible job of reinventing campaign finance to make special interests irrelevant."

The Backbone Award, a gold ceramic sculpture of a backbone created by artist Hans Nelson, is one of three main components of the Backbone Campaign. The Campaign is also writing a Progressive Platform to present at the Washington State Democratic Convention and the National Democratic Convention in Boston in July. Also at the conventions will be an 80-foot Backbone Puppet, with each vertebra representing one of the platform issues. The puppet will be created by artists and volunteers on Vashon Island and is being designed by artist Bill Jarcho.