Inspiring Story of an Amazing Man, Democratic Volunteer and Citizen
Born in Vancouver in 1955, Mike Smelser has never let Cerebral Palsy control his life. His parents did all they could for him. They exercised his muscles to help them develop, a practice that was unheard of at the time. After Mike completed his education in Vancouver they sent him to Grandview school in Kent, WA to learn special skills. He graduated from there in 1973.
Mike became interested in politics when he was 21, living in a group home on Grand Avenue in Vancouver. He wanted to show appreciation to Democrats for the help he had received. He has always voted, and always votes for Democrats.
Mike has his own specially equipped apartment built by Inland Empire. He receives assistance from Citizens Access Residential Resources (CARR). He uses CTran, a CARR. van, and his electric wheel chair to get around. He especially enjoys bowling, and Park and Recreation field trips. You can’t keep this man down!
Smelser keeps current on national politics by watching CNN and MSNBC. Big Ed Schultz is a favorite. Mike believes that Republicans have damaged a lot of people, and he wants to see John Boehner defeated. On Mike’s list of favorite Democrats are Chuck Shumer, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin and especially Washington Senator Patty Murray.
It’s Mike’s greatest wish to meet Patty. He’s hoping that Patty will be the main speaker at the Clark County Democrats Dinner/Auction in June. And he’s hoping that Hillary Clinton will run for president. He’ll do all he can to help the Murray and Clinton campaigns.
Wanting to do what he can to help local Democrats, Mike is coming into the CCDCC Office one Friday a month to help with campaign packets. Debora Thompson, a program manager for C.A.R.R., accompanies him. He’ll also help his candidates in the 17th Legislative District by wearing Monica Stonier’s campaign T-shirt, passing out business cards for Monica, wearing Stonier and McCluskey buttons and posting a “Monica Stonier” sign on his wheelchair. He may even do some sign waving! Mike also has attended advocacy days in Olympia where he’s met Rep. Jim Moeller.
Smelzer hopes to inspire other Democrats to volunteer. He thinks that everyone needs to get to work to elect Democrats. The Clark County Democrats are grateful to Mike, and to Deborah for introducing Mike to the CCDCC office!
If you would like to volunteer your time and skills to help our candidates and spread our message of equality, diversity and inclusion, please click here and our volunteer coordinator will contact you.
Submitted by Clark County Democrats Vice-Chair Liz Campbell