Local woman fights for her own values
SUMMIT COUNTY – When President Bush released his budget proposal Monday, Eve Ventrella was exasperated, but not surprised.The 30-year-old Summit County resident fumed over proposed cuts to education, environmental, social and other domestic programs and bemoaned the president’s request for increases in national security funding.”It just saddens and amazes me that people think Bush has this country’s best interest at heart,” Ventrella said.
And though she’s quick to criticize the White House, the young artist and mother isn’t all talk. Bush’s take on Social Security, gay rights, terrorism, the environment and a host of other issues has spurred her to political action.”The election crushed me, it really did,” Ventrella said from her Ophir Mountain living room, just outside Frisco. “I was watching the exit polls, and I was so excited, and then all the sudden it was over and Kerry conceded. I kind of went into a depression. But then I said, ‘I can’t stay down like this. I have to do something.'”Last month, Ventrella called up a friend in Denver, and the pair rented a car and drove 27 hours to Washington, D.C., for Inauguration Day. On Jan. 20, Ventrella placed herself among a sea of thousands of fellow anti-Bush protesters at Dupont Circle and marched with them for two miles to Pennsylvania Avenue.”People have asked me, ‘What do you think you’re going to change?’ But that’s exactly what people who vote for Bush want you to think. I feel accomplished in speaking my voice. I – and the tens of thousands of other people there – made a point. We must have outnumbered supporters 10-to-one on the parade route.”
Ventrella witnessed a group of protesters on the receiving end of a stream of pepper spray, and she got an up-close look at police in riot gear.She complained about fur-coat-clad Bush supporters being whisked through security while the president’s critics stood in long lines waiting to be frisked before entering the parade route.Nevertheless, the experience changed Ventrella for the better, she said. Chanting, “This is what democracy looks like,” among throngs of Americans who share her political fervor lit a fire inside her that’s unlikely to die out any time soon.”It was just incredible. The energy of being around so many thousands of people who feel as passionately as I do about what’s going on in America – I’m going to be an activist forever.”
President Bush may not have heard Ventrella’s voice loud and clear on Inauguration Day if his State of the Union address was any indication. She jumped off her couch, yelling at the TV throughout the speech, countering the president’s views on Social Security, national security and gay marriage.But her determination to keep the pressure on is unwavering. She’s planning to start a chapter of a national peace organization in Summit County, and she’s recruiting High Country residents to join her in Denver for a peace march next month.
“I know we live in a little bubble up here, even though most of us are fairly liberal. But we can’t let it go. We have to get more involved. They want you to give up, and that’s why you can’t give up.”To contact Ventrella, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 203 or email@example.com.
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