Monday, November 20, 2006

Woodland Consolidated School District 50 - Running for Board of Education

I will be taking on a new challenge before long: running for the school board of the elementary and middle schools my kids are and will be in. There is the old saying that 'all politics is local,' and the village hall and local school district have the single biggest impact on a community. I've devoted my adult life to helping kids in the classroom, and now it is time to try and help at the community level. I like to think I have a broad range of experiences that will make me useful on a school board; and I know what goes on in schools and, most importantly, in classrooms. Otherwise, what is the point in running.

Education is the one thing that cannot be taken from an individual, and having a good education is something that opens doors and gives a person options and opportunities in life, and nothing is more important to me than to give my own children a good school experience in which they can grow. The first step is to get the signatures, and then do some addtional paperwork to get on the April, 2007, ballot. Campaigning will soon follow. I'm excited that the present Board has begun 3-5 year strategic planning, of which I have been involved on a community committee, and if I am fortunate enough to get elected I can play a direct role in making sure priorties are set in such a way as to develop a strong school experience that will help our kids reach a point where they can truly compete in a global community, rather than just a local or national community.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Perhaps Environment will be a New Focus After the Election

I am more hopeful, after this last election where a Democratic tidal wave overtook the nation, that environmental and global climate change will get more attention, and most importantly, some actual action. The past six years of complete Republican control of the government has set back environmental agendas and action, even as mountains of evidence and environmental change have been rapidly taking place world wide. Yet another report is out as of last Thursday, where the famous glaciers on some of Africa's mountains are melting and receding at unprecedented rates. For instance, the glaciers on Mt. Kilimanjaro have been reduced by a staggering 80% over the past century and those on the Rwenzori mountains (between Congo and Uganda) have been reduced by 60%, as temperatures rise in Africa. Runoff from these glaciers provide the region with some of the rare fresh water that the people get, and if these glaciers disappear entirely, as will happen within only a couple more decades, the only source of water during the dry season will also vanish. We will see mass migrations of people if and when this occurs, which is not what one wants in an already troubled region of the world. Water supplies will be threatened in similar ways around the world if climate change continues to progress at the accelerating rates we have been seeing over the past few decades.

It is imperative that something, anything, gets done soon in the U.S. so we begin to contribute to working on the environment. It is in both our interests as well as the world interests that the current leader in the production of greenhouse gases take a leading role in doing something to clean up this mess, and the new Democratic leadership in Congress can have an impact as they will get to set the agenda come January.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Get out and Vote!

It is clear that this is an important midterm election. There is a divide in the country about what the best path is during the last two years of the current administration, and it is time to use one of our most sacred rights we have, the power of the vote, the power of numbers, to let those in leadership positions know your view. Get out and vote, and we'll then see what happens. If you don't at least vote, then I certainly don't want to hear complaints about the way things are or how they should be....get involved if you care, and voting is a great way to do so!