A different kind of race

Published On:
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
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While presidential candidates are racing to the White House, one Phoenix man is racing to spread awareness about sustainability before voters can cast their votes.

Andy Brooks is covering 208 miles between Flagstaff and Phoenix walking and running to bring attention to the lack of sustainable solutions and renewable energy in Arizona. Brooks says the core of his “Punk Rock Run” is to demonstrate that he can do more for sustainability in Arizona than the state’s senator and presidential candidate John McCain has done.

“The idea [is] that we could do more with some wacked out run in a matter of two weeks than what the leadership of Arizona has managed to do in last two decades,” Brooks says.

President of the College Republicans of ASU Benjamin Stewart says he doesn’t agree with Brooks’ criticism of McCain’s approach to sustainability.

“To criticize him on not being concerned about the environment wouldn’t be right because he has been outspoken about environmental issues more than most republicans,” Stewart says. “He’s worked with republicans and democrats to come up with solutions.”

Brooks says his plan is a little excessive and over-the-top, but it is also going to be fun.

“It’s a way to combine doing something that I enjoy with calling attention to something that I care about,” Brooks says.

Brooks began his “patriotic jogging odyssey” on Tuesday, Oct. 21 to give himself two weeks to complete the journey and make it back to Phoenix in time for Election Day.

Brooks is an Obama supporter and says the presidential candidate inspired him to do something like this.

“People clearly are going to make up their own minds and I’m not out to persuade anyone one way or another. But, you know, I think Obama is just a dynamic candidate who inspired me to do something like this,” Brooks says.

Brooks began raising money for sustainable solutions on Oct. 1 by setting up a Fundable.com account with a goal of raising $10,000 by Oct. 27.

As of Oct. 23, with less than a week left to raise funds $1,310 dollars had been donated.

Brooks says if his goal isn’t reached, he is interested in contacting donors and trying to come up with an alternative way to put their money to use for sustainable solutions if they are still interested.
Stewart says that even though he doesn’t agree with Brooks, he thinks it’s good for citizens to get involved.

“That’s the worst part, is that people who are upset about things complain about it and they aren’t doing anything,” Stewart says. “So when people get out and raise awareness for something they feel passionate about, even if it’s not something I agree with, it is a good thing.”

Reach the reporter at nicole.ethier@asu.edu.