The reason that I mention this is that I remember the two great story arcs that involved a Patterson engaging in activism and noticed certain commonalities. The first such is the fact that just as Sue told Elly about a sort of imaginary problem (the athletes want to destroy the Old Town Hall so that they can visit genocide on the arts community), Wesley D Bates (debates....d'ya GET IT?) had Mike thinking that the proposed fare hike was going to happen all at once because he didn't know what he was talking about either. Having been frightened into action, both people went and made a public fool of themselves. While Mike had to be taken aside and have it explained to him what was really at stake, Elly seems quite unwilling to consider the possibility that she might have simply been a noisy distraction to Radcliffe's behind the scene campaign to preserve the old pile.
The reason that I mention this is that it's quite possible that Elly's boasting about being a force for peace, truth, brotherhood and justice as a younger person is probably her making a great big meal of of either sticking leaflets under windshield wipers once or twice because someone smiles and asked politely or she blundered her way into a sit-in protesting something she isn't really clear about. It's akin to how her indifference towards her children and being a minstrel show parody of her mother qualify her as Homemaker Of The Year.