All Politics Is Local

If you don't believe me, look at how the South Dakota legislature forced their extremely limited view of freedom onto a woman's body.
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It is always more fun, more topical, and easier to debate why you don't like Bush, why Santorum is the worst Senator in the country, why Rush Limbaugh is not in prison, and why Cheney should have learned gun control in the military. But, despite our water cooler discussions, we're stuck with many of these politicians, judges, and their far-right offspring for the next couple of years. At the least, the Republicans will most likely maintain control of some components of our government for a while.

So, you are upset with the current Republican-controlled Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. You are upset that they fail to raise the minimum wage, push Intelligent Design, neglect our injured troops, keep health care costs unreasonably high, and promote corporate welfare by subsidizing Wal-Mart's employee health care program.

There is a solution. Tip O'Neill said it best: "All politics is local." Change happens in your State House (or Assembly) and State Senate. It happens with your Governor. Eighteen states have raised their minimum wage. Every member on a school board in a Pennsylvania township who voted to allow the teaching of Intelligent Design lost their re-election bid in 2005. Many states have enacted laws to provide for the troops that were left behind by Bush's weak veteran policies. Vermont provides health care for every person under the age of 18. Maryland (by overriding Gov. Ehrlich's veto) has courageously taken their tax money back from Wal-Mart. There are many state legislatures fighting for working families and our troops, maintaining the separation of church and state, and fighting corporate welfare.

It all happens locally. As I continue my run for state Senate in Pennsylvania, I discover that our country is rich with hard-working candidates fighting for our values at the community level. Often, they are overshadowed by Fox News, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, and big bloggers who cannot risk losing their national audience by focusing on "small races". However, the candidates in these local races will impact your life more immediately and more deeply and they need your help. Progressive candidates from all over the country need you to put their lawn signs up, hand out their literature, and throw them a donation (even if it is only the price of the appetizer you order the next time you are out).

If you don't believe me, look at how the South Dakota legislature forced their extremely limited view of freedom onto a woman's body. When they take away your rights in your state, it will be too late. Politics, as I have learned, is a contact sport. Put the gloves on, join the grassroots fight, and sign on to a local candidate. It is a much different view inside the grassroots arena.

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