Thursday, October 25, 2018

I’m voting. Should you?



I got my ballot in the mail and I’m sure you got yours, too. I’m going to vote but the candidates won’t know why I voted so I think it’s important that I say what I mean with my vote.

I’m voting for people who will move our city, county, state and country forward—not backwards to some nationalistic, jingoish fantasy. I want the people I vote for to stand and speak out for immigrants and Dreamers and walk the talk of justice and liberty for all.

I want them to stand with Black Lives Matter, to act on equal pay for equal work, to protect the rights of all genders, to say clearly to the bullies and abusers that No Means No, and to call out liars and obfuscators.

I want those I vote for to take legislative, regulatory and enforcement actions—not talk—to do what’s necessary to slow down climate change and ocean acidification and to help us prepare for a changed world.

I want them to take action – not talk—to make safe housing, healthy food and medical care a right--not a privilege-- for all people. I want them to make sure our streets, schools and businesses are free of weapons and violence, that every kid gets an equal chance for education, and that the poor and mentally ill are clothed, fed, housed and cared for.

Two years ago, I voted to make these things happen. What I got instead was people in power who fattened the pockets of the rich with a tax cut and dismantled affordable health care, greased the skids for fossil fuels and turned a blind eye to climate change, and declared xenophobic war on immigrant families and Dreamers.

This year, I’ll vote again--and, if you and I stand together on what we want this country to do and to be, please vote, too. Otherwise, don’t vote. 

--Mike Sato

8 comments:

  1. Thanks for good reminders. We voted at my house today after much discussion. We vote by mail - right at the dining room table. We thought how fortunate - we hear of so many ways that politicians across the country have made it harder and harder for some people to vote so as to try to influence results.

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    1. WA and OR are 100% vote by mail; other states should follow our lead. Well done!

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  2. Actually, we have not gotten our ballots yet here on Orcas Island!

    Something smells rotten in the state of Washington.

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    1. Contact SJC Elections (360) 378-3357; elections@sanjuanco.com. You can also download a replacement ballot by logging in to www.myvote.wa.gov

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  3. I wrote in "Tahlequah" for County Council because the Lopez incumbent has not stood up for increasing protections for our San Juan County shorelines in the Shoreline Management Program update. Protection of our shorelines and our near-shore waters is critical in maintaining the habitats that young salmon need to find shelter and abundant food before they migrate to the Pacific Ocean. Instead, Jamie Stephens opted to do the minimum required by the Western WA Growth Management Board. The minimum requirements were created before we fully understood the extinction crisis faced by the Southern Resident Killer Whales. In two public hearings, one on San Juan Island and the other on Lopez, 100% of the public urged boldly increasing the habitat protections in our island archipelago. Only Councilor Bill Watson responded by proposing increased protections. Both Councilor Stephens and Councilor Hughes explicitly stated that they wished to do the minimum that would satisfy the Growth Board. Without bold action by all stakeholders, extinction of the SRKWs is a certainty. Councilor Stephens, along with SeaDoc's Joe Gaydos, has represented San Juan County on Governor Inslee's Orca Task Force. Councilor Stephens should know that our island shorelines are critical habitat for juvenile Chinook salmon.

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    1. Jamie's running for reelection unopposed and as long as that's the case there's no forum for discussing the positions he takes. Spirited honest campaigns serve an informed electorate.

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  4. Well said, Mike, and the message couldn't be more urgently needed. North of the border, we've all (well, at least the vast majority of us) got our fingers crossed for the outcome you are wanting. And we've received our ballots too - for or against a change in our voting system here in BC. I'll be casting my vote for proportional representation (PR) instead of first past the post. If anyone needs a reason to justify why we need PR, here are two of them: Doug Ford and Donald Trump.
    Good luck to all of us!

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  5. Thank you. Hands across the border on that one.

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