Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Member Spotlight | Ann Fontaine

Tell us a little about yourself and the ways you’re active with Indivisible North Coast Oregon (INCO) 
I am a retired Episcopal priest, but before that I taught fourth grade in a public school. I then did what many women with another wage earner in the household do, I volunteered. Once I was ordained, about 20 years ago, I served in churches all over western Wyoming--from the Indian Reservation to Jackson Hole.

We lived in Wyoming for over 35 years. While there, a friend and I started a local food bank after the iron mine closed, leaving some 600 people out of work. Our town’s population went from over 10,000 to around 5,000 people! We also held rallies on various social issues like abortion, gay rights and racism.

What prompted you to get involved?
Until the 2016 presidential election, I think I was pretty complacent that this country was headed in a good direction. I really couldn’t believe the US was that hard hearted. In January, some friends and I went to the Women's March in Astoria where we heard about INCO. It seemed like a good mix of national and local action, so I joined. I currently handle assorted communications for Indivisible’s North Coast Oregon chapter.

What’s a highlight of your involvement so far?
A highlight of my INCO involvement to-date was getting an "Inclusive Cities" resolution passed by the Cannon Beach City Council. A friend and I did some research for itwhich we showed to the local police chief. He liked what we’d done and presented it to the City Council. It was a slam dunk after that. Since then we have been working with the Cannon Beach police and families who ask for help to build good relations between local law enforcement and local Hispanics. 

What’s your vision for a better future?
A promising future would include good public education for all, healthcare, wage equity, women in charge of their own health choices, and working to dismantle racism, sexism and heterosexism. (I don't want much)

What’s one book, quote, or action that you recommend to everyone who’ll listen?
A book I recommend is “Jesus and the Disinherited,” by Howard Thurman. Martin Luther King, Jr..carried this book with him at all times. 
A quote I particularly like is by Rilke, the poet. “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” In short, live the questions.  

For additional thoughts, visit my blog on the web at: Also, my book, “Streams of Mercy: a Meditative Commentary on the Bible” is also online at