Guest column: Stay engaged and participate | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Guest column: Stay engaged and participate

Vicki Gonzales
Guest Column

It is a wonderful thing to be part of and observe massive citizen activism after a long period of public disengagement with our political processes. We can all be part of a movement to hold leaders accountable and fight to regain, eh, I can't think of the perfect word right now, although I know it exists. Is the word "priority?" Yes, we need to regain priority.

Considering our government is supposed to be by, of and for the people, our elected bodies have to meet the needs of the majority of their constituents or face defeat in their next election. It is very important your congressional members hear your voice.

Call, email and send letters to them regularly and tell them your concerns about issues that are important to you. Thank them for their service, and encourage them to choose country over party, environmental health and people over corporate greed (which has been in control of the political processes for quite some time; more so after Citizens United was validated by the Supreme Court).

Speaking of which, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is pro-corporate all the way, as demonstrated by an extensive history of courtroom decisions, and is not a friend to human/women's rights or for people in general.

There are so many issues which can be impacted, positively or negatively, by our government. It is all about intent. Need we remind them again and again that as politicians, administrators, employees and judges they work for us? They are on our payroll, funded by our tax dollars. They are public servants, not royalty, and they deserve no better than the rest of us.

And I'll just mention the fact that our elected legislative body prevented President Obama from fulfilling his constitutional duty by refusing to hold nomination hearings on his nominee. Dirty politics like that has to end, but not with confirmation of Gorsuch. The Supreme Court needs a moderate personality at this point in time.

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There are so many issues that can be impacted, positively or negatively, by our government. It is all about intent. Need we remind them again and again that as politicians, administrators, employees and judges, they work for us?

They are on our payroll, funded by our tax dollars. They are public servants, not royalty, and they deserve no better than the rest of us.

Here is an idea: All public servants should get whatever health care program they design for Americans, no more, no less.

The issue of health care reform could be a good thing if it is designed to serve the people better. The Affordable Care Act was intended to be a base from which to begin to satisfy this essential service for all Americans.

This legislation was a difficult compromise, but it did make some headway to provide health care coverage to millions of us who had been out-priced or under-served by the market. It pulled in the reins on the health care insurance industry, but it did not do enough or in quite the best ways. It can be improved.

The recently failed healthcare reform bill (Affordable Healthcare Act) was not in the public's best interests and the people prevailed, but the issue of making it better should not be abandoned. To our elected bodies: Fix it, do not destroy it or set it up to implode by way of the budget.

To our elected bodies: We are paying attention. We will use our time, our voice and our vote to truly work together in the political and social sectors of society to improve the lives of the people in the United States, to uphold constitutional values and to create a more balanced life experience for all citizens.

These are not easy accomplishments, but they warrant all of our efforts. Finding common ground is essential and our children's futures depend on it.

Sadly, that seems to be in opposition to many of those who are in control. There are a plethora of issues caused by greed-run-amuck which need to be fixed through the three federal branches of our government.

Pay attention and critically examine what you read and hear. Decipher who is saying what and evaluate their motives. Follow the money trails as they reveal who has what to gain. Then analyze what is in the best interest of the entirety of the people, not just the few.

Become aware of the complexities on the issues and the proposed actions of politicians and then become an advocate for solutions beneficial to We, The People.

Be civil to one another as we negotiate our way through the challenges we face as a nation.

Contact information for your representatives and senators are easily found on the internet.

Take the time to be informed. Use your voice to influence government. Cast your future votes wisely.

Peace.

Vicki Gonzales is a long-time resident of South Lake Tahoe.

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