Pushing For The Change I Can Believe In

I’ve not gotten political around her since the election, but outside of this blog? I’ve actually gotten more political than ever in my life. I’ve been emailing my senators and my congressmen since the 111th Congress opened because for the first time in my LIFE, I’m inspired to be part of the Change we can Believe in. I’m educating myself and I’m voicing my opinions. Not just to my husband over dinner, but to my Congressman. To my Senators. To the people who – whether I voted for them or not – are there to speak for me in my state. And this makes me feel fantastic.

Earlier this week I contacted my Senators and Congressman about SCHIP Legislation. While I’m fairly certain that one is going to pass and possibly be the first law President Obama will sign into existence, I wanted to have my voice heard.

Another issue that tugs at my heartstrings is one that I may be too late to stop because I didn’t hear about it before it was passed. It’s the future of the Handmade Toys. While the mission of the act is a good one designed to protect our children from toxic chemicals in their toys, they neglected to protect the small toymakers few of us fear.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of children’s goods that have earned and kept the public’s trust: Toys, clothes, and accessories made in the US, Canada, and Europe. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade children’s products will no longer be legal in the US.

There could be similar issues in the food industry putting local farmers and produce at farmer’s markets at risk, but the FDA has a model that protects small producers. The CPSIA needs something similar. Read possible adjustments here.

Even though the law has passed, there are still 26 days before compliance will be demanded. If this concerns you, go here to get a copy of a sample letter you can send to your representatives. I did. We should at least try to stop this if we can, before it affects the small toymakers we all love and wish we could afford to buy from instead of Wal-Mart!

Finally…Today is the last day to vote at change.org for the issues that are important to YOU. I’ve voted on a few and hope to use the rest of my votes (you get 10 total) today before they stop accepting votes. There are some issue pages (Like the CPSIA issue page which is here) which allow you to submit your blog as an “endorser” of that particular issue. Which I did, of course. My profile is here although it’s pretty bare right now.

The top 10 rated ideas from the final round will be presented to the Obama administration on January 16th at an event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, co-hosted by the Case Foundation. At the event we will also announce the launch of a national advocacy campaign behind each idea in collaboration with our nonprofit partners to turn each idea into actual policy.

I’m also trying to think of some way to participate in the day of service in my community. Have you decided on anything yet? I’d love to hear what you’re doing that day in your community.

So, just a few things I’ve done to start 2009 off right in terms of my Civic Duties to my country and my community. I think I’ll probably think of some way to list on my sidebar things in the future I’m trying to voice my opinion about…until then…I apologize for any posts that seem like they’re just me patting myself on the back. But seriously? I’ve been so inactive in my adult life in regards to political action? I’m embarrassed about it. So this change in me? Is something I deserve a pat on the back for.

If I do say so myself.

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12 Responses

  1. Maria says:

    You absolutely deserve a pat on the back. Go Zoot!

    I’m looking into monthly service. I’m leaning towards either NYCares or one of the food programs.

  2. Sierra says:

    Hooray! I’m patting you on the back from afar. I’m going to participate in the day of service by joining a neighborhood clean-up that’s been organized and dropping some food off at a local food bank which is really hurting right now. Can’t wait to hear what you decide to do!

  3. SupaCoo says:

    Hooray for talkin’ the talk AND walkin’ the walk! You’re so inspiring!

  4. stacey says:

    good for you!! I have tried a few times….I get discouraged. Maybe I need to try again.

  5. Mel says:

    i am so glad you are getting politically involved, woohooo!!!! Does not matter where you are on the political spectrum but the fact that you are letting your voice be heard is such an awesome thing!!

  6. Heather says:

    Earlier this week, I contacted my representatives about SCHIP and after reading your blog I’m going to contact them about CPSIA too. Way to inspire others!

  7. WonderSpot says:

    I’m sort of the same way; I’ve never been this political in my life. I’m signing petitions, going to protest, writing letters to senators. It’s kinda kick ass, I think.

    I just signed up for the Day of Action myself. I’m going to be clearing a nature trail along a local lagoon.

    I’m very hopeful for 2009, and I hope that I can keep up this civic activism I have going.

  8. Tam says:

    Thanks for that link, Zoot!

  9. I didn’t know anything about a Day of Service in my community…I will have to check that out. I don’t know enough people here; maybe that would be a way to meet more and help out all at the same time. Maybe I can even get the kids involved.

  10. Ashlea says:

    Because the election doesnt mean much for the people in Australia, we didnt get involved.

    But I was happy when Obama got the job. Now…. I dont know.

    I am not impressed that he wanted to send the Guantanamo Bay detainees to Australia. ESPECIALLY when they wernt good enough to live in America.

    He shouldnt push his countries issues onto others.

    But apart from that… All for the change he will bring.

  11. Good for you! I’m obviously way behind on blogging, but the SCHIP program is something everyone should be for. It is good bipartisan legislation- I did a big project on this in grad school. Healthcare for children is something that we should all get behind. Not sure what’s happened in the past few days, though, but my fingers are crossed.

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