by: Alice Getty

This should be a good year to vote for women.  We have waited since 1848 to make a difference.  It has been a hard haul to get to this point where more women are running for serious political office – not just for the local clerk.  But, a town clerk is the workhorse of the town – kudos to them.  However, we want to make some major decisions.  What decisions are important?

Do we want to keep giving tax breaks to corporations and investors?  This is a local and national mantra.  Why do people not see that this has drained dollars away from providing services to residents?  For the religious, how is that religious?  Is it moral or privilege?

Did the giveaways bring jobs to the low income households that the other mantra demands?  NO, even the “development managers” say there are too many unskilled unemployed.   We need elected officials who will direct dollars to TANF to train the unemployed; not cut training.  Not to use TANF $$ for some unrelated business or marketing scheme or special prosecutor fund.  How has the cut in bus service affected employment?  What added costs have been put on fixed income seniors?  When did the “managers” solicit ideas from TANF recipients on what they thought they needed themselves?

A few days ago a leading substance abuse researcher came to Binghamton and said that what interfered with treatment success for women was –“lack of child care, transportation, homelessness, work skills, and unemployment.”  Women know this, but how does it get translated to male dominated elected officials?  Will we continue to follow administrators who only act when funded or cut services when defunded?  Or will we salute the mothers of the white deceased addicts who clamored for attention and apologize to the black mothers who were turned away for years from treatment by ‘managed care’?

That raises another issue.  How should a woman govern? Should we continue the obstacles/rules of privilege of the floor (Rule 17, BC rules for the right of the pubic to speak) that inhibit the recipient or voter from giving input to the legislatures/councils?  Will we keep washing the street of the addicted memorials or will we stand with the people?

What about the common good—the building of community and solidarity. Why would you blame or shame the stranger bleeding on the side of the road (who does not wear a uniform)?  We are a collective of many hues and views.  Many systems are interacting against people.

Who will let that continue and who will work for the people?



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