By Diana D. Danis
Post a recent picture you’ve taken so we can get away from all the politics. That seems easy enough. A tree, the ocean, a baby, maybe a cat or dog. Those aren’t going to raise anyone’s blood pressure. I am not generally that person.
My go-to is the coal mine under the earth that will never stop burning and caused the town to be moved. The bark beetle 20 years ago that will result in millions of acres of forests burning if there are just the right conditions – now. The military equipment being sold to little towns dotting the landscape that have made the nation less safe. City populations that have declined while doubling their police force but reducing community services while cops pull their guns before trying to de-escalate situations.
All of these issues are bound to the folks running communities. From your City Council or Village Board, to your County Commissioners to your State legislators and members of Congress – there are people in jobs that are making decisions attached to your tax money.
You need to find out who all these folks are and which positions are elected and which ones are appointed. Did you know fully half of all those elected run unopposed? HALF!!!
If there is an issue that is driving you absolutely crazy, that is impacting your family and community and someone is getting appointed or elected to be in charge of that problem or concern – become the expert and organize your people and get elected or appointed.
Meantime, get to know who your Congress member and Senators are and call them and tell them to Co-Sponsor the “I Am Vanessa Guillen Act of 2020” and to vote for it.
This bill has some really important provisions that would make the military safer for our service members.
They would be able to report sexual harassment away from their chain of command. There would be special training for investigators. The military would fully investigate its own system for finding missing and murdered troops and it would do a deep dive into its SHARP program where troops go for help if they’ve been assaulted. All of that is good.
There are 435 Representatives and 100 Senators. You only need to call yours. Just three. Ask your family, friends and neighbors to do the same about all the issues of importance to your world.
Try not to be nervous. The person answering is likely someone in their 20s learning the ropes of the political world. Educate them about what’s important to you and they will share that with your representative and that will make a difference in how votes happen.