LEWISTON – The Many and One Coalition will be charting its post Jan. 11 course without Mark Schlotterbeck at the helm.

Schlotterbeck stepped down from his unofficial leadership of the group on March 23, saying his talents are best suited for working directly with people, not helping to manage a large organization.

“I think there are other people better suited to that kind of long-term involvement,” Schlotterbeck said. “We started and our primary goal was to create a rally, and I’m really thankful we were able to do what we did. And now, I have a lot of confidence in the people that are taking over from there.”

The Many and One Coalition began in November, in the wake of white-supremacist activity in Lewiston. Members of the National Alliance had begun pamphleteering and its rivals, the World Church of the Creator, announced plans to meet in Lewiston on Jan. 11.

“We wanted to say that there is another side to the issue, and show that our community is more tolerant than that,” Schlotterbeck said.

A group of 200 volunteers, which started meeting to draft a response to the Church of the Creator meeting, decided to hold a rally of its own to counter the white supremacists. That rally, also on Jan. 11, drew an estimated 4,000 people in support of cultural diversity. Some 40 people attended the World Church rally.

“It was a long, laborious process to build consensus about what we were going to do,” Schlotterbeck said. “I think it was an amazing process and the results were amazing.”

Matthew Schlobohm, a member of the coalition, said the group will continue beyond the Many and One rally. A subcommittee of the coalition is drafting leadership proposals now to bring before the entire membership in May.

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