Like millions of other Americans, I have been struggling for several weeks now, trying to figure out what political and human rights issues I really want to focus on, determining just what I can do to make a difference.
I’ve cruised through Meet Up, looking for a group that I wanted to join. I was looking for a group that was established and actively engaged in doing things that would have an effect, that might help gain some ground on this slippery and dangerous slope of the Republican run on our civil and legal rights. I found plenty of groups but none that seemed, from the outside, to be poised for success in this arena.
In the course of these weeks, I did join a start-up Indivisible chapter in a nearby town, an interesting experience but too young in its life to know what it is going to do and how it’s going to do it.
So, instead of looking for groups to join, I decided to study the issues, of which there are many, and find those that I really wanted to go after. I found them.
If you live in Pennsylvania, you live in one of the states where voting districts were drawn for political purposes, not to ensure that your vote counts in an election outcome.
It’s called gerrymandering. When districts are gerrymandered, politicians are picking their voters, not the other way around. Many districts are no longer competitive. A growing number of candidates run unopposed. Voters like me feel their votes don’t count and, frankly, we are NOT be represented by the likes of Toomey, Meehan and Smucker.
Fair Districts, PA is working with state senators and representatives to take redistricting out of the hands of politicians and put it into the hands of an independent commission just the way the state legislature did in California in 2012.
So why join this fight? Because bipartisan legislation establishing an independent commission to draw up Pennsylvania’s congressional and state legislative district maps has been introduced in Harrisburg. But it needs our support.
Every township in the state is getting citizens to sign petitions asking local governing bodies for resolutions of support for Senate Bill 22. These resolutions will go to our state representatives as will a demand for passage.
Pennsylvania’s window of opportunity to affect redistricting is closing fast – the bill must be voted on and passed by state legislators this year and next year then be on the referendum in 2018 for voters – you and I — to pass. So redistricting is one issue I want to work on.
Re-elect US Senator Bob Casey
We have two Senators in Pennsylvania who are supposed to represent our views, our politics and our stand on issues in Washington, D.C. ONLY Bob Casey is doing that. The Republican party wants Pennsylvania because it’s a swing state. It also wants PA because Bob Casey is not following the Trump agenda and is not simply mouthing platitudes delivered by other DC politicians.
When it comes to Cabinet nominations, the Russian interference in US government, La Donald’s attacks on programs like Affordable Care and Medicaid and executive orders affecting immigrants, Bob Casey has stood tall. Senator Casey’s statements reflect some thought and insight — they are not party platitudes. They are honest assessments of the people and policies the Republican majority would like to install in government and implement across the country.
U.S. Senator Bob Casey must be re-elected in 2018.
Pat Toomey is the poster child for what a bad politician looks and acts like. He refuses to hold face-to face meetings with his constituents but has plenty of time to meet with donors and political advisers.
In my search for issues to tackle, I went to a Tuesdays with Toomey rally in Philadelphia and was surrounded by about 400 people holding signs, clapping and shouting in response to a line up of good speakers and terrifying issues like demolishing the EPA, destroying ACA and unleashing ICE on people least able to defend themselves.
Toomey did not meet with this group; that’s no surprise – the Senator from Pennsylvania has not been seen by his constituents for days. He held a town meeting on the phone – pre-screened questions and scripted responses, most of which were actually insulting. I know because I attended Toomey’s virtual town meeting and blogged about what a joke this exercise really was.
His so-called statements on everything from the confirmations of Jeff Sessions and Betsey DeVos to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court are either rehashed versions of the official Republican statement or verbatim quotes from La Donald. If Toomey had a brain, he parked it at the front door of the Senate Chamber 6 weeks ago and hasn’t bothered to check to see if it’s still there.
Toomey has to go.
My Action Plan
As disappointed as I was with the DNC,I am becoming active in the local Democratic party. It has the established infrastructure and contacts to hit the ground running and help effect change.
I am going to start working to ensure redistricting is taken out of the hands of Harrisburg politicians, gerrymandering comes to an end, Senator Bob Casey gets re-elected and, Pat Toomey is ousted from the Senate…in priority order! If we don’t get our government back at a state level and rip out the Republican cartel, we will continue to lose elections and lose ground. PA is a swing state folks. This is important!
Mr. Trump, you are not going to divide us up by gender, by race, by who we love. Your bigotry is bringing us together in a progressive movement. We are not going to retreat on women’s rights, immigration rights, workers’ rights, health care rights, racial justice or climate change.
And guess what La Donald? If we work together, we shall overcome!