I first met Dennis in 2004 when he came to visit me backstage after a concert. What struck me about our first meeting was that I did most of the talking. He engaged me about my hopes for America and invited input about where specifically I would like to see change and improvement. Someone who I expected was coming as a politician, to schmooze, instead presented himself as a public servant, gathering data and doing the endless work of actually listening to people.

Months later, after we’d become friends, I questioned Dennis about his change of heart over a woman’s right to choose. Knowing he had been raised Catholic and had accepted the anti-choice doctrine of the church as a young man, I asked him what changed his mind. He told me simply that he listened to women. He explained that by opening himself up to women and the voice of their experience, he came to understand the right to choose motherhood as a fundamental civil right that women in the modern world must possess in order to be truly free. With this framing in a civil rights context, he actually helped me to evolve my own understanding of the issue!

I have known Dennis for years now and I’ve confirmed that he is the rarest of all politicians: one whose success is not predicated on his skills as a salesman, but rather on his skills as a listener and a thinker. His presence on Capitol Hill is invaluable for that reason alone but he also cannot be overstated as a man of action. His track record speaks for itself.

Dennis has proven himself time and time again to be a tireless crusader for the people of Ohio without ever turning a blind eye to national and global priorities. He proves that one can be very effective at job creation, for instance, and improving the quality of life of constituents, without pawning off costs and problems on future generations or people elsewhere.

Dennis is in possession of a sophisticated awareness that he applies to doing-the-right-thing on a myriad of levels in a way that we can only wish more members of Congress were capable of. We have seen him stand alone on the side of peace and stick his neck out when it mattered most. We have seen him successfully battle against the theft of the commons by the 1% even when it meant his own political suicide. He himself has introduced a Constitutional Amendment calling for getting the influence of special interest money out of elections. He stands as a living example of a democratic ideal that many only give lip service to and many others have all but lost faith in.

Many have tried to destroy him along the way, but time continues to bear-out his choices as a veritable roadmap of pragmatism and righteousness in Washington. That is why I give him my wholehearted endorsement in next week’s race for Ohio’s new 9th congressional district. His competition, Marcy Kaptur, cannot touch his level of integrity, as her misleading distortions of his voting record in recent television ads only serve to exemplify. There is a world of difference in quality and policy between these two, and the choice is clear: We need Dennis!

Please do all you can to keep Dennis Kucinich in Congress!

Vote for him on March 6 if you live in his district; sign up at his website www.kucinich.us to get engaged and contribute; and get your social networks actively fired up sharing your support of Dennis with your friends.

Thank you,

Ani DiFranco

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