Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Sit at the table

One reason it is so hard to encourage new active and well informed people to join (and change) the Democratic Party to make it more representative, more diverse, more progressive is stuff (to be polite) like this.

If we want better representation, we have to fight for it. We have to show up. We have to stay informed and active. We have to find good primary challengers. We have to support good candidates (** see below for an easy way you can support two good candidates running on June 12 in two Wisconsin special elections! **)

Over and over and over.

Yes, it can be tiring and frustrating. We have busy lives with work and other commitments and families and 10 million little things pulling our energies and attentions.

As we sort through the many things vying for that attention and energy, let's prioritize. Let's put making political change near the top of the list. Let's stay informed about and attend  important local actions. (And please, if you joined a party to change it and now think that because a few new people are on a board, mission accomplished and you no longer have to be interested or involved, rethink that conclusion. Nothing could be further from the truth).

Do you want another term of Scott Walker and Republican rule in Wisconsin? Do you want the DNR to totally shrivel up and blow away as frac mines and metallic mines and CAFOs and Foxconn and high capacity wells and CWD irreparably harm our environment and pollute our vital natural resources? Do you want our state's transportation money to continue to be spent on mega highways that serve crony contributors and school spending to favor well off children in private schools? Do you think we should make life even more difficult for our state's working poor?Think about it. What do you want for your and your kids' future? If you like the way things are going, then do nothing.

If you think things need to change, things will not change if you do nothing or even if you do just a little bit. We all need to do a lot - as much as we can. How much do you want things to change and what can you do to be most effective in making change happen? And it's going to be 100 times harder if we let it slide.

Without doubt, rallies, speeches, blog posts, and marches raise awareness and help inform and connect people. But what we really need are good candidates and good elected legislators who will do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. And that means getting a seat at the table where candidates and priorities are decided. That means, I strongly believe, joining and actively working within a political party.

Parties are the entities that offer the candidates we vote for and the legislation that gets us closer to or further from a just, equitable, positive, progressive future. If we have good candidates to vote for, we'll have good representatives who won't require phone campaigns, tweet storms, office sit ins, marches, rallies, and countless other tiring and frustrating organizing and group groveling sessions to convince someone to do the right thing (who then doesn't do the right thing anyway).

If you are not a party member, you are not really helping to change the policies and priorities. My opinion. You are letting others pick and dictate our choices and giving up power to those already in power.

A great quote attributed to many politicians including, recently, Senator Elizabeth Warren, goes If you don't have a seat at the table, you are probably on the menu.

How true.

** What you CAN do right now or over the next few days from the privacy of your own home or with some friends is PHONE BANK FOR TWO DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES who are running to win seats most recently held by Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature. The election is on Tuesday, June 12 and you can get more info here. Even spending one hour calling for one or both of these candidates can make a difference. Many people in these districts don't even know there is an election on Tuesday. 

And then find and do the next thing. And bring two friends. Attend the La Crosse County Dem Party picnic/fundraiser on June 18 at 5 pm at Copeland Park or volunteer at the election HQ at 115 Fifth Avenue South or donate to a candidate. Please.

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