From the Editor
Save the Date

By Abigail Lewis
Published November 1st 2006 in Whole Life Times

What is democracy? I’m not being facetious. I’m honestly pondering this system we so earnestly attempt to install in other nations. Is it still what our forefathers had in mind?

Our national representatives recently told the world that torture is okay in our democracy. Congress voted that anyone suspected of colluding with terrorists by our president—that same president who insisted Iraq had WMDs and whose staff ignored warnings about 9/11—can be jailed with no accusation of a crime, no right to know of what he is accused, to face his accuser or to have any representation other than a military lawyer. Our representatives just agreed that anyone suspected of said collusion may have his home searched, phone tapped and computer bugged without a search warrant, and may have evidence from such illegal searches used against him.

Americans need to wake up. Our representatives are selling us up the river and there are two very important ways of letting them know we will not be sold. We can correspond directly with them—letters, phone calls, emails; and we can vote Nov. 7. I’m beseeching you to do both. Take the time to research which candidates best represent your interests, both nationally and in Sacramento.

Let’s send Dianne Feinstein back to Washington, along with any legislators eager to change the course.

Jerry Brown and Phil Angelides have served our state well, and I’m happy to return both to Sacramento. And although I love the idea of Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) as supported by the Green Party candidate for Secretary of State, Democrat Debra Bowen is strong and has a great chance of winning. (If only we already had IRV, we could vote for one with the other as a second choice—if there were no clear majority, each would get the other’s votes.)

Look into the propositions that affect everything from the safety of our daughters to the air we breathe. I know you want to affect our future in a positive way, so here’s a rundown of a few key propositions up for grabs.

  • Vote YES on 84, the water and resource bond. I’m not convinced this bucket of money will result in drinkable tap water, but it should help protect our natural water resources.
  • Vote NO on Prop 85, parental notification for minors, if you want our young women to be able to make decisions about their bodies and not have to risk backroom butchery. (And if we had sufficient sex education funding for schools and clinics, this would be less of an issue!)
  • Vote YES on 86, tobacco tax, if you think the tobacco industry (and smokers) should help fund hospitals, health programs and research. That should light up your day!
  • Vote YES on 87, the Clean Energy Initiative, if you think oil companies should be taxed for R & D of non-petroleum based alternative fuels. If they weren’t so greedy and short-sighted, they’d have done it themselves and we wouldn’t need to be voting on it.
  • Vote YES on Prop 89, the Clean Money Initiative, if you’d like to reduce the enormous influence of special interests in Sacramento and help level the playing field for candidates. It might even slow down Mr. No-more-special-interests Schwarzenegger.
  • Vote NO on Prop 90, eminent domain. This one is confusing. The government shouldn’t be able to give our land to Wal-Mart or developers, but if this passes, it will be almost impossible to protect our natural resources.

If you’re worried about your vote being eaten by a Diebold machine, here’s good news. An Oct. 3 memo from the office of Bruce McPherson, Secretary of State, states, “…all county election officials shall have an adequate supply of paper ballots… available at voting locations for use in the event of a temporary loss of the ability to use electronic equipment, or if a voter chooses not to vote on electronic equipment…The ballots of verified eligible voters who wish to vote on paper and are provided a provisional ballot to do so should not be treated as a provisional ballot case but, rather, as a regular ballot.” So go ahead and request a paper ballot!

If you’d like to print out the memo, go to BradBlog.com/Docs/CASos_SusanLapsley_PaperBallotsMemo_100306.pdf. And I hope you’ll take us along as you weigh your decisions Nov. 7.

From my heart, Abigail Lewis