Thursday, May 26, 2022

Enough is Enough - Fix How We Elect Leaders

Yesterday I started writing my Memorial Day post and included this front page from the October 1992 Chicago SunTimes.  Before I finished posting I saw the tragic news of another mass murder, this time in a Texas elementary school.

What's the connection? Our elected leaders have done almost nothing to reduce gun violence in America over the past 30 years, even though there are on-going tragedies reminding us that something is very, very wrong.

It's not the huge number of guns, or easy access, though that is one problem.  

It's really how we elect people for Congress and state legislatures.  Until we elect people who are not paid for by wealthy donors or corporate lobbies, like the NRA, we'll never have enough people who provide the type of governance needed to make difficult decisions that help solve the complex problems facing America. 

I've been building a web library since the mid 1990s but only in the past six years have I been aggregating links to websites and articles that focus on fixing our broken Democracy.  

Click here to go to that page. Below are a few websites I'd like to highlight:

Final-Five Voting - Get rid of the party primary - click here
Here's how it's described on the website: "In a Final-Five Voting primary, all candidates running for Congress will appear on a single ballot, and all voters can participate in the primary regardless of whether they are registered with a party." The Final-Five Voting site includes a description of how this differs from Ranked Choice Voting.

Yes, our political system is badly broken. But it doesn't have to be this way.   In this article, Katherine Gehl makes a case for Final-Five Voting

11 Ways to Fix our Broken Democracy - click here
This Sept. 2020 article starts saying,  "The United States has a president who received nearly 3 million fewer votes than his Democratic opponent. Currently, over half the country lives in just nine states, which means that less than half of the population controls 82 percent of the Senate. It also means that Republicans hold a majority in the Senate despite the fact that Democratic senators represent more than half of the American people."

Reclaim the American Dream - click here
From the website's issues page: "Knowledge is power. Change doesn’t happen on its own. It takes ideas. It takes know-how. It takes the confidence you gain from tapping into a network of experience and learning from models of success forged by others. This is what our civic action tool box gives you."

What I value about this website is that it not only clearly shows issues, but it also shows progress being made in different states to pass needed legislation.  Thus, if you're interested in any of the issues they focus on, such as "tools for expanding voter rights" you can find models of legislation that you can bring to your own local representatives. 

These are just a few of the 80+ websites that I point to from this section of the library.  You need to take time to visit these sites, learn about the issues and recommendations, then work to elect people who will make the needed change. 

I've been pushing this boulder uphill for three decades. Not much has changed. Too few are making time for deeper learning that support solving complex problems.

Yet, if we want to stop mass murder in schools, churches, grocery stores, or on the streets of Chicago and other cities, or protect women's rights, minorities, LGBTQ rights, unions, and healthcare, we must have elected leaders willing to stand up to the gun lobby and to wealthy special interests donors.

I'm just a small voice, not heard by many. Here's a Twitter post showing NBA basketball star/coach Steve Kerr, demanding action. He needs to finish his rant by saying "go here for more information".  

Too few people are voting, especially in primaries.  This needs to change. There are people smarter than I am who are posting ideas. Visit their sties. Give them your support.  

I dream of a day when we don't wake up to headlines talking about some of these issues. 

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