January 2020: A NEW YEAR
What a wild year in our nation! While writing this, the House of Representatives
has voted to formally impeach our elected president. Activists are
demonstrating to force governments and people to reduce carbon gas
emissions to mitigate a climate crisis. Twenty percent of children in our country
live in poverty. There is civil unrest in many countries including Brazil, Chile, Hong
Kong, Hungary, and France. The Brits have had a momentous election which will
result in their country leaving the EU.
Okay, this is depressing and challenging to understand cause and effects, let alone how to make effective change. As we are entering the New Year, I want HOPE!
According to research reported in Forbes, only three people in the United States hold more wealth than the bottom 50% (about 160 million people). In the last 50 years, the increase in the wealth of the top 1% is 100x the growth rate of the wealth of the bottom 50%. The bottom 20% actually have no wealth or are in debt. This state of affairs cries out for major changes.
Is there hope?? Those three most wealthy individuals in our country get just three votes at the ballot box. Their money may have disproportionate influence, but we can work to make our democracy stronger by:
Encouraging more citizens to register and vote
Continuing to give voters unbiased, informed information about candidates and issues
Helping people to discount inaccurate or misleading campaign ads and media items before them
Our long-used League slogan Make Democracy Work seems more important than ever. The more people vote for representatives they believe will work to improve our systems for the benefit of all should help get us on the right track forward.
I am so proud of all of our members who have been working hard on voter registration under the leadership of Sara Nicolson. Preparing for the March 3 primary election are those who will assist Sandy Mory and Martha Beattie on our Candidates’ Forums and Pros and Cons events. Judy Conner is building a team to produce VotersEdge.org for our local contests.
The work done by our strong Action committee chaired by Gloria Chun Hoo and the committees on climate change (Rita Norton) and housing (Roma Dawson) is helping us stay on top of issues so we can effectively lobby our local governments. And many other people in our League work to support all: Pat Reardon, Karen Nelson, Julia O'Keefe, Janet Hagquist, Lorraine Myers, Sandy Remmers, Marie Arnold, Virginia Holtz to name just a few.
Thanks to everyone helping to Make Democracy Work and Happy New Year!
Carol Watts, President