Sunday, February 26, 2017
Owning our Democracy
There is a lot going on in the country and in the individual states that worry people.
Evidence of that is seen at the "town halls" and rallies held by congressional legislators around the country this week.
I attended two such town halls this week in my congressional district. In the first, Congressman Joe Courtney answered questions about the attacks on healthcare. (repeal of the ACA, Medicaid, Medicare) The second town hall was open to all topics and many of the expressed concerns were about protecting healthcare and public education. There were numerous other town halls and rallies across Connecticut this week.
People wanted to know what they could do to push back, seeing how our Congressional Delegation is progressive on these issues and already "gets it."
Joe said a couple of times, we have to "own our democracy" on all levels, including town, state, and nationally.
In Connecticut, there are an unprecedented number of anti-worker, anti-middle class bills being proposed. It's almost like those proposing them feel emboldened, like this is their moment to push this right wing agenda. And it's happening in other states too. These movements have the financial backing of the Koch brothers and their allies. The commonality in every one of their proposals is that they result in a shift of money from the middle class to the people at the top.
It is easy to think that the rich have all the money and power and "what can I do alone?"
This is true. One person alone can do little.
And yet, one person alone can do everything.
When one person alone decides to get involved, to "own their democracy" they encourage others to join them and together we can to anything.
This past week was a week of town halls and rallies and on Tuesday, 4,000 workers filled the legislative office building in Hartford and said to lawmakers, "I WILL own my democracy," in a pushback on multiple anti-workers bills.
We must continue.
Yesterday, nearly 200 AFT Connecticut members met at the capitol in our yearly legislative conference to discuss concerns with lawmakers and to learn from each other how to push back.
In the next 6 weeks, AFT Connecticut will hold legislative breakfasts in a different town each Saturday morning. Information is available at http://aftct.org/
They are an opportunity to come out and speak to your area state senator and representative, an opportunity to own your democracy.