Building Beloved Community out of the Political Mess, Part 1: Disenfranchisement and Technical Fixes

I wake up this morning to find that the nightmare of election results was no dream.  Conservatives won everywhere, even Massachusetts.  All the while Americans continue to say to the polls and the ballot box they disagree with the conservatives.  Voters around the country support an increase to the minimum wage, want to abandon the drug war, favor prison and sentencing reform, support reproductive health care (and other equal) rights for women, have no problem with gay marriage, favor legalization of marijuana, have a strong environmental awareness, and want consumer protections… all things Republicans, especially Tea Party Republicans, do not support ….So what gives?

A few things.   Most importantly, American voters don’t vote.  But wait, this not just about apathy, even though there’s plenty of this, especially among the young. See Hank Green on this here. The corporate interests (and old, rich, white, conservative men who control them) do not want women, people of color, and poor people to vote. As noted above, if the entire electorate turned out to vote, those Republicans would lose.  Don’t think they don’t know this.  Voter turnout is suppressed both directly and indirectly.

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Defending a HERO

The Houston City Council passed an Equal Rights Ordinance by a 2-1 margin on  May 28, 2014.  This vote came after months of work, reports from lawyers crafting the law, and public hearings both at the committee level and before the full city council.  Public comments at these hearing were overwhelmingly in favor of the law.

Throughout this process the chief opponents of the law have been religious conservatives. Their opposition is rooted in their homophobia and transphobia because the law makes it illegal in Houston to discriminate against people for these reasons.  These opponents now seek to continue their opposition to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance by seeking to have the law repealed by ballot initiative.   These people will be holding a rally Saturday, November 1 to gain public support for their position of intolerance and discrimination.

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The President of the Unitarian Universalist Association

The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Presidential Search Committee begins accepting applications for the next UUA president tomorrow, November 1, 2014.  Social media has been littered with posts from ministers and others asking, in effect, “Who do you want to be the next president of the UUA?” Well, I’ll tell you.  Here’s what I am looking for in the next UUA president: 1. A person under the age of 50  2. A person with a deep sense of spirituality  3. A person who has a deep sense of mission and who will help Unitarian Universalists articulate our mission is in a way that speaks to our culture.


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