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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

Anthony Romero: My parents were always supportive. My parents always believed that I could be whatever I wanted to be. I remember when I first told my father I wanted to go to Princeton or Yale, and I chose Princeton, he asked me how much would the tuition cost and I would say, "Twenty-eight thousand dollars, Papi." And he said, "That's more than I make in a year!" He didn't know about financial aid. He didn't know that I would get loans, he didn't know that there were scholarships. But my parents were always very supportive. When I said I wanted to do something, they said, "Okay, try." And they never stopped me, in fact, they always encouraged me. So when I told them I wanted to be a lawyer, I wanted to go to an Ivy League school, and I wanted to serve the public interest, they were always very supportive. When I finished law school, and my father asked me what would my first salary be as a fulltime attorney, and I told him it would be about $32,000 dollars a year, he smiled at me and he said, "Now I make more money than that." And I said, "Yeah, but I'm learning how to change the world, Dad." And he always would be a bit chagrined. My sister is a social worker, and I always worked in the public service sector, and my father always would say, "What did I do wrong? Why did none of these kids go out and make a lot of money?" And we'd always say back to him, "Dad, you did it right. You taught us our values. You taught us to make a difference in the world." So they were always very supportive and loving.
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Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

Anthony Romero: I think the most productive way of solving problems is to hear all sides, that you have to hear different points of view. That if you only listen to the viewpoints that you agree with, you get half the picture. That's why the ACLU is so significant. It's an organization that believes in the freedom of speech, and that democracy can be a great many things, but it can never be a quiet business. And the reason why that is, is because we want everyone to be able to access all different viewpoints, all different analysis, and then you sort out how you think about something, what you think. That's very personal to the person. I think in the end, whenever you tackle a problem, whether it's at the political level or at the personal level, the societal level, you have to hear the different viewpoints. You have to consider what different people will say. Sometimes you learn more from your critics than you do your allies, and that is an essential part of what we do every day. We try to take apart a very complex issue, to try and understand why our opponents think the way they do, and why we think the way we do, and how best to bring about an understanding of these issues. I think we have to ask the tough questions, you have to kick the tires. You can't take anything for a sacred cow. You have to be willing to consider the alternatives, and then you make up your mind.
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Anthony Romero

Executive Director, ACLU

I think it's also important to have your ear to the ground in terms of how people think and feel about a particular issue. Lawyers can be very esoteric, can be very abstract, some of these issues. You have to hear how people think about it, how they experience it in their everyday lives. Then you have to be able to communicate that to people, because you can win in courts, and you can win in Congress, but if you lose in the court of public opinion, you lose the battle. That is why it is so essential for us to talk about the work we do, why we do the work we do, what we are hoping to accomplish, and being able to tell the story. Good lawyering is great storytelling. There's a good guy -- that's us. There's a bad guy, the opponent. There is some type of orbiting force, a court, good versus evil. There is a denouement, there is a resolution. Either the good guys win or the bad guys win, and then we get to fight another day. So if you can tell the narrative in such a way that you tell people why this is important, and help them think through, "Well, why would this matter to me? If I am not that person, why would I care?" But the fact is that the American public, we are a very fair people. We are a good-hearted people, we are an altruistic people. We are an idealistic nation. We believe it can always be better. That's the promise of this country. That's the great history that we have come through. So you can appeal to the best of people's intentions, the best of their heartstrings, and you give them a role to play. You give them a reason to care, you give them a role to play. You give them a reason to think that the world can be better and different. Then you make change and then you make momentum.
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James Rosenquist

Pop Art Master

James Rosenquist: When I started painting, and there wasn't much of a market, and there wasn't a big audience, there was a space of time -- maybe a year -- where I worked and they weren't for sale. I didn't have an accountant. I wasn't involved in any business. I mean, having a gallery is putting your work up for sale. Boom! So I didn't have that. And I think that's a strength that a person has. So if someone says, "I don't like that." I say, "Oh, you don't like that? You should see what else you wouldn't like." Because you have something over them. It's that secret life there, somewhere, of these works. And if you want to show them, you can show them something. Instead of baring your soul and showing them everything.
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Pete Rozelle

Pro Football Hall of Fame

You're in a strange position, because you work for these people, and yet, it's up to you to enforce the constitution and by-laws that they set up. So there's discipline involved, and you have to take issue with them on some things they might want to do, and say, "Well, you can't do that." But they were pretty good. Most of them understood. I know that George Halas was, of course, almost the founder of the National Football League, a great Chicago Bear coach and owner. And I remember, I had to call him in, and he flew in from Chicago. Called me from the airport, and asked if we could meet out there. I said, "No, I want to see you in my office. And he came in and we talked over whatever the problem was at the time. But he didn't get mad. He was very supportive of me. He had respect for authority and knew they had to have a strong commissioner. Not someone who would do just what was, at the time, the thing to do, but one that would stick to their guns and do what they felt was right.
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Pete Rozelle

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Pete Rozelle: There were reports that some players had been betting on games. It was never established they ever bet against their own team. But in the final analysis, I developed enough information through investigation that -- the big one was Paul Hornung, who was a great star with the Green Bay Packers, and Vince Lombardi was his coach. I remember when I called Vinnie and asked him to come in to see me. So he flew into New York. He was a remarkable man. Paul was the star of his championship team, and I laid out the information that we had about Paul, what Paul had been doing. And again, never betting against the Packers, but betting on football. Vince looked at it, he said, "Well, you have no choice, do you?" I said, "I don't think so, Vinnie. Let's go get a drink." He really handled it like a man. Because coaches have an inordinate interest in their football players, and he wanted that talent on the field, and they will argue almost on any case, saying, "Well, you should let him play." But Vince was outstanding in that way. He, the man in authority -- from respect for his authority with the players, with everyone in the Green Bay organization -- but he also gave authority to the commissioner.
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Pete Rozelle

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Pete Rozelle: That was a direct challenge to the NFL constitution, which said you have to have a three-quarters approving vote if you're going to move your franchise. And we had Davis challenge that in his move from Oakland to Los Angeles. And it was sitting there in the constitution, and I couldn't just say, "Oh, I'm not going to press this." I brought it to the attention of the owners, and I said, "I think we have to defend this constitution." So we had two trials over a couple of years. They were long ones. And the trial was in Los Angeles, where he ultimately won with the jury. So he was permitted to move from Oakland to Los Angeles. And that decision in itself triggered a couple of other moves. From Baltimore to Indianapolis, that bothered people in the Baltimore area of course. But stability is a great thing in sports, and the fans feel a definite loss when they lose a franchise, it's not good for a sport.
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