Sunday, February 10, 2008

OPEN LETTER TO A FORMER SENATOR

There is an old saying, “where there is one, there is a majority of one

 

I remember the campaign to limit access to marriage. I also remember that some of the supporters used the argument that the winners wouldn’t try to block civil unions if the ballot measure passed. Now the winners argue that we can’t ever rethink or revisit an issue because the majority has spoken.

 

I suspect that if the original ballot measure had failed, it would have been recycled to the next election. And the next, and the next, and the next. As long as there was money coming in to pay the people holding the pens and petitions.

 

I wrote this letter to the Oregonian this morning. It might even get published. I wrote it in response to an op-ed piece from the former state senator helping to ramrod attempts to repeal access to some kind of same sex union here in Oregon. If I could use more than a hundred and fifty words and I wanted to get more personal it might have run something like this.

 

Dear Ms Shannon,

 

……..continued from original letter.

 

For the record I am a single, hetero woman who has lived in Oregon all her life. I haven’t noticed any “social upheaval” because a fellow Oregonian who is a man or a woman happens to love another man or woman and wants the whole world to rejoice with them.

 

Here’s what I have seen.

 

A brokenfoster care system that can’t keep track of its charges because quite frankly the system is busted and there’s no money to fix it.

 

An epidemic of drug use because there’s no money for prevention or intervention. Yippee, putting the Sudafed behind the pharmacy counter may have driven out the mom and pop meth labs, it didn’t put a dent in what’s coming over the border.

 

A state mental hospital so old, dirty, and decrepit even the feds want to close it down.

 

A state more willing to spend money for prisons than schools.

 

A school year shorter than many other states. (and a sister and brother in law who are totally exhausted at the end of the school year, teaching is no profession for wimps.)

 

Conservatives who have no problem with insurance companies who pay for Viagra prescriptions but don’t pay for birth control supplies.

 

Families who fall on hard times only to be told that “you never should have had kids if you couldn’t support them.”

 

Too few places in emergency shelters for shattered families needing to get out of abusive situations.

 

A recession that will probably put a dent in my 401K account, at least I have one.

 

An increasing deduction from my paycheck for health insurance. I don’t mind, at least my employer still offers health insurance.

 

Frankly, Ms Shannon, I could fill a book before I got to domestic partnerships causing social upheaval. Help fix these problems and maybe I’ll listen to your arguments. Of course, by then we’ll al be a lot older and a lot grayer and we’ll discover that this particular problem was a tempest in a teapot. A very small teapot.

 

And after working through two pages of entries on Ms Shannon on Google I haven’t been able to find out if she was defeated for re election or didn’t run again. Either way she’s one of a stable of ‘Pubs who were elected in the mid nineties. Most of them were kicked out in the last couple of election cycles because they didn’t get anything done. See the above list. These are all problems that could have been on the table when Ms Shannon was in the state senate. I could only find one bill attached to her name in my very limited search. A bill to legalize road side memorials for accident victims. Important, perhaps. A better memorial would be a better Oregon.

1 comment:

toonguykc said...

(standing ovation)

Well done, Jackie!

hugs,
Russ