View from the cheap seats

“You and I as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring idea.” Those words represent the Call to Action set forth by President Obama in his Inaugural Address. He did not stand before us and say that he would do this or he would do that. He invoked one of our basic tenets, “We the People.” He highlighted the accomplishments of “We the People” and how “We the People” have worked towards realizing the words of our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

President Obama went on to say, “It Is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. Four our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law –for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity – until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all of our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and are always safe from harm.”

Okay, looks like we got our marching orders. We can no longer believe that all we have to do to keep our democracy meeting today’s complexities is to show up from, time-to-time, to cast a vote. We all have a role. We all have strengths and talents that are needed to fulfill our generation’s tasks. There is plenty to do and our numbers are many. There is a chair waiting for you somewhere. All you have to do is find it. And that’s the View for the Cheap Seats for this month.

~ by Vicki Moore, AFSCME Local 34 Vice President