Another Chance for OUR Government (Toledo Free Press, 8/28/2011)

by Stacy Jurich

We’ve all heard the phrase “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” This is particularly applicable to politics. Many Americans, younger generations in particular, myself included, are so disgusted and disenchanted with our government that we have decided to distance ourselves from the process, moving away from any party and the system. Viewing people’s participation in politics in other countries, as they protest and resist oppression and domination by the elite few during this past year’s uprisings, I am disappointed in myself and fellow Americans for being so apathetic when it comes to making our voices heard and really making government work for the people, instead of the people working for the government.

I don’t want to be disappointed, though. I don’t want to be disgusted, hopeless and jaded. Most of the time, I think only a collapse of our economy and overthrow (or collapse) of our government will create real change. Yet the eternal optimist in me allow all waves of hope (thanks Obama for running this word into the ground) to guide me, even in politics, especially at the local level. That is why I am currently working as Campaign Manager for Sean Nestor and Anita Rios, Green Party Candidates for Toledo City Council. Anita is running in District 4 (approx. Old West End & Downtown) and Sean is running in District 6 (approx. Point Place and Alexis Rd. west to Jackman). Primaries are September 13 and the General Election is November 8.

Part of the reason for doing this is because of the candidates. Sean Nestor and I are the same age (I turn 26 on August 28th)…and because of this age he offers a perspective of our community that is similar to a large demographic of Toledoans that are graduating high school and college and need a job or a reason to stay in Toledo. His efficiency in economics for our city and city government is realistic and makes sense (fits in with my common-sense economics “theory”), and goes hand-in-hand with the implementation of energy saving procedures and sustainable energy generation.

Anita Rios has been a lifelong social justice activist and has spent the last 11 years involved with the Green Party in Ohio and the United States. As an activist myself, I admire her perseverance and her ability to balance fighting for the rights of others while raising her children and guiding many others. She is a completely against the war, advocates for gay marriage and the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, and isn’t afraid to say so.

Another reason I took this job is because of the Green Party. Envisioning a government led by the Green Party offered a new option that might actually yield different results. The Green Party is “committed to values-based politics…that guide [us] in countering and changing a system that extols exploitation, unsustainable consumption, and destructive competition.” Those 10 Key Values are: Grassroots Democracy, Social Justice and Equal Opportunity, Ecological Wisdom, Non-Violence, Decentralization, Community Based Economics, Feminism and Gender Equity, Respect for Diversity, Personal and Global Responsibility, Future Focus and Sustainability.

Particularly refreshing is the Green Party’s recognition if the interconnectedness of ‘eco’logy and ‘eco’nomics. “…balancing the interests of a regulated market economy and community-based economics with effective care for the ecosystems of the Earth. The Green Party’s platform includes rights for the disabled, youth, veterans, women, and for all individuals to freely and equally choose partners and religion (or non-religion). The Green Party supports single-payer universal health care, the right to organize unions, a restructuring of the criminal justice system, decentralizing many state functions to the county and city level; calls for the suspension of aid to Israel until it withdraws from Occupied Territories, a community-based economics whose aim is local prosperity and self-sufficiency supports, and believes “there is plenty of work to do that does not jeopardize our future, does not widen the gap between the riches and the poorest in our society and that can enrich our communities.”

Government has continued to disappoint the American public, from funding allocations and cutbacks, unjust and idiotic laws, corrupt spending, corrupt wars, corrupt politicians, it’s incestuous relationship with corporations, continuous disregard for “separation of church and state”, continuous destruction of the environment…I’m sure you could add to the list. It is insane. I’m trying something new. The Green Party makes sense and it gives justice to all. It is a party that is willing to serve the people; “We act in service to our children and the future generations of all our relations in the Earth community.”

Originally published by the Toledo Free Press.

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