Restore respect for democracy
As I hear the especially harsh Republican presidential campaign rhetoric, many of its supporters’ voices, and see the opinion polls indicating the fears and doubts of many people, it seems we have forgotten that as Americans we have more commonalities than differences.
We were all at one-time immigrants, whose families had a hard time finding their way through the culture and economy. We’ve all been students or known those trying to juggle family, money and education. We’ve been job-seekers, been injured or ill and needed help, been caretakers of others, and been cared for.
And we’ve all experienced, perhaps unexpectedly, the kindness of strangers.
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Regardless of our status, we’ve been supported by services paid for by the taxes of others who were mostly less advantaged than ourselves, assuring us of the safety of our housing, streets, food, water, air; access to education and health care.
Today’s seeming political license to focus angrily on the differences of the “Other” without restraint in the name of free expression and political speech is giving our American democracy an ugly face and in some places has been made a laughing stock.
I hope others will join me in thinking seriously about the kind of political leadership we need to restore respect for our democracy, a place where we can both speak out, but also compromise to make our country and state fairer in economic and education opportunity, in political and legal rights, and to assure housing, health, food, and environmental security for all.
Join me in voting for a leadership that can both bring us together and lead us forward: Hillary Clinton, Deborah Ross, Roy Cooper and Josh Stein.
Why we suport the housing bond
We are writing to share our collective support for the affordable housing bond on your ballots in Orange County. We are the Members and Advocates at the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF), a nonprofit supporting homeless and near-homeless individuals in Orange and Durham Counties to gain employment, housing, and savings.
Who are we at CEF that now call on you to vote FOR the housing bond? We are …
▪ A 65-year old man living on the streets, with two surgeries scheduled in November. He cannot be discharged from surgery without a safe place to sleep, so his surgeries could be delayed.
▪ A young woman sleeping in her car after the monthly rent for her Carrboro 1-bedroom apartment literally doubled this year. She parks nightly on a dark, quiet road.
▪ A woman and her young daughter sleeping in the shelter and crashing on couches for months while she awaits repairs on the one home she could find to accept her Housing Choice Voucher.
...A man who has been homeless for 14 years, who has started a camp in the woods where he now shelters and feeds eight other individuals who also cannot find anywhere to live.
...A woman commuting two hours by bus to teach at an elementary school, only to come back to our town and sleep outdoors adjacent to the emergency room with her ailing mother.
...A mother who works as an assistant in a shelter but who herself cannot afford housing in this area, and this week has to move into a shelter with her daughter.
All of us at CEF are counting on you. With your vote, you can impact the lives of hundreds of families. Please vote for housing in Orange County. Read more at www.housingorange.org.
Members and Advocates of the Community Empowerment Fund
Submitted by Maggie West, program coordinator
Community Empowerment Fund
In a special edition (Fall 2016) remembering its founding chairman, the late Elie Wiesel, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Magazine writes, “Nazism was facilitated by the breakdown of democracy, the collapse of social and economic cohesion, the decline of human solidarity, and an erosion of faith in the political leadership and in the ability of democratic governments to function.”
As members of U.S. society, are we sufficiently paying attention to these degradations, as they have been surfacing in our current presidential campaign – and is each of us doing what we can – to avoid an “-ism” of our own making?
Michael H. Hoppe