THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Sheryl Z. White Headshot

Volunteer Invigorates Local Headquarters

Posted: Updated:

As a young child walking to school he would recite a rhyme that he learned from his grandmother - "Truman's in the White House eating bread and jelly. Dewey's in the pig pen rolling on his belly." When he ran for 6th grade class treasurer in 1952, he morphed the political jingle "I Like Ike" into "I Like Mike". Michael McQuary eventually left behind both his moniker 'Mike' and the city of his birth, Wallace Idaho, but not his political awareness and activism.

McQuary graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966 - the place to be in the 60's for political action. Most of his professional career was spent as a math teach and curriculum supervisor in Tulare County, California.

McQuary and his partner Peggy Budd - a notable community activist in her own right - met June 1997 in San Francisco at the Dali Llama's Peacemakers' Conference. After McQuary retired in 2000, Budd joined him in Dharamasal, India where he taught mathematics to middles school children for the Tibetan government in exile'. After their time in India, McQuary and Budd returned to her home in La Jolla.

In 2004, after only being a member of the La Jolla Democratic Club for a mere 15 minutes, McQuary persuaded their board of directors to open a local headquarters to demonstrate a presence. This year, when the club was reluctant to sign a lease for headquarters space, McQuary promised to underwrite the venture should he not be able to raise the funds to cover the rent and paid the first months rent. The headquarters located at 817 Silverado Street La Jolla, is open 10 to 6 seven days a week.

Budd stated, "Michael gets up at four or five in the morning and returns home past six. He has raised the money for the rent, recruited volunteers, planned events, organized canvassers and registered voters." Budd makes herself available to assist as needed: running errands and transporting people, doing whatever the moment demands.

McQuary may have set some 'Guiness' worthy records for any Democratic Headquarters in the nation. His oldest volunteer is Ellen Clark Revelle, who is 98 years wise. Revelle - widow of the famous Roger 'Global Warming is a Fact' Revelle - is the official greeter at the headquarters. She is accompanied by a person Revelle affectionately refers to as her 'senior sitter'. Ryan, age eleven is the youngest volunteer. Ryan participated in the class on registering voters, along with his mother. Ryan assisted in his dad's re-registration from Republican to Democrat. The following week, Ryan's "Show and Tell" at Bird Rock Elementary School was 'How to Register a Person to Vote.'

Through McQuary's voter registration efforts, Republicans only outnumber Democrats by a mere 100 persons in this affluent section of San Diego.

McQuary said that his biggest disappointment of this General Election campaign was that "it's turned on Rovian campaign techniques rather than dealing with issues. Reasonable people have different ideas on how to solve problems. Instead of debating ideas, we were dealing with slime."

When asked what he would be doing on November 4th, McQuary replied, "Finishing up our GOTV, which starts on Saturday. We have some human banners for freeway overpasses. We'll be constantly checking to see who has not voted, calling them and offering ride assistance."
McQuary and Budd plan a holiday in Hawaii on November 6th. McQuary adds, "Even at the end of this campaign cycle, our community network stays in place and we'll stay involved."