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Connie Page

Connie Page

What an opportunity for all of us … this beginning of a new year. The perfect time to forgive old injuries, tell family and friends we love them, make new commitments to be/do better in the new year and figure out how to go forward in 2022. It is also a suitable time to reflect on the old.

Reflecting was what I was doing on New Year’s Day. I took a walk with my dog, Cedar, along a rural road near my home. The sun was bright, the recent snow was melting. While the many acorn woodpeckers in our area made themselves heard, a pileated woodpecker joined in with loud tapping for accompaniment. Not one, but two adult bald eagles passed low overhead, a red-tailed hawk soared far above the nearby meadow, and a flock of starling burst up from the cow pasture I passed … forming a graceful murmuration. The ewes, along with their lambs in varying stages of newness, relaxed, chewing the new grass in their field. The lambs racing to their mothers for liquid comfort at the sight of Cedar. It really was a miracle of a morning. The perfect start to the new year.

The perfect start to a new year that will include plenty of suffering and sadness. Climate change threatens our world. The ongoing pandemic has made many people feel hopeless and beaten. Our country is divided. Our county is struggling with opposing ideas and ideals. For some this is a time for struggle. A wise friend said to me recently, “A good poker player does not watch the other players that know how to handle a good poker hand. They watch and learn from the players that know how to deal with a bad poker hand.” It struck me as a great analogy for life. How do we deal with this hand we have been dealt right now?

John Lewis once said, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.” Our generation will be looked back upon as either a dark period in the history of democracy or as a generation that continued to bring the best out in our country, through commitment, challenging work, generosity of spirit and love. We can watch a troubled minority try to tear down our country or stand up to those who choose intimidation, confrontation, and anger. We can choose to stand up for our democracy with understanding, assertiveness rather than aggression, by working together to protect voting rights, by supporting our overwhelmed health care system and the law enforcement individuals that work toward keeping all people safe equally. We can rally around our beleaguered educators who believe science and our true history matter and support the people in our government who strive toward racial equity, equality, justice, and mercy — those ideals that make this country great.

Use the early days of 2022 to look forward and visualize what the world could look like for our children, our future generations. Then we can model behaviors our children can look up to and emulate. We can be remembered as the generation that did our part. We found positive ways to deal with the bad hand we may have been dealt, and we lit the way for our future generations.

Connie Page is Chair of the Democratic Party of Douglas County. Before moving to Roseburg in 2014, she was co-owner of a lumber and milling business for 18 years, in Alaska. She ran this business with Rick, her husband of forty five years. Connie is an avid hiker, volunteer, dog lover, gardener and eternal optimist. She believes each day is an opportunity to make this amazing world a better place for all.

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(6) comments

Gimpy

Racial equity, equality, justice, and mercy DO make a country great. How do you be good for the country when an angry minority seem to be in control. I don't know about other democrats, but I am frightened every day when I imagine what will become of the marginalized people, the poor living in the shadows, the mentally ill, people of non-white color, people of non-Christian religions, people of "other" cultures? I think that your column should be printed in 1000-point type and posted on the door to every schoolboard meeting lest one day at the peak of our incivility toward each other we appear on CNN for the violence that we contributed and not our peace.

Huge bbfan

Be a citizen of the United States 🇺🇸 and possess a voter ID card and eliminate the mail in ballot 🗳 and voting issues would be resolved.

As far as climate change goes it's just a handy vehicle for a power and money grab. Much like the pandemic is.

Gimpy

For you, non-marginalized and entitled white person, all will be wonderful in your voter wonderland. You seem to know that both climate change and the pandemic are fake so that Democrats can get rich in some recondite, inexplicable way. Have you ever considered the Dunning-Kruger effect?

CitizenJoe

Gimpy, you are feeding a troll. (Yeah, I do that, too.)

mworden

Thank you, Connie. That was beautifully said.

CitizenJoe

Well said, Connie!

And well said, John Lewis. “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.”

Democracy demands that we ensure voting rights, and ensure that the votes actually matter: that election officials and state legislators cannot overturn the will of the voters.

Congress must act to protect Democracy. (Note that Representative Cliff Bentz is the the only member of the Oregon delegation to oppose voting rights in Congress, in the form of the John Lewis voting rights act. Bentz ought to be voted out of office on this basis, alone.)

"Mr. BENTZ. Madam Speaker, this bill would operate to freeze in place,

to substantially chill, changes to the election processes of some of

the 90,126 State and local government units found in this United

States.

Madam Speaker, I assure you, the election processes of many of these

State and local units are not perfect, but this bill would chill

necessary corrections and updating of such election processes. Why?

Because the bill creates a private enforcement cause of action, with

attorney fees to the prevailing party, and establishes a clear risk to

these 90,126 government units of incurring tens if not hundreds of

thousands of dollars of attorney fees if the government unit gets it

wrong and violates the subjective standards, such as the undefined term

``diminishes'' found in section 4A(c)(2) in the bill.

Madam Speaker, after what we have been through in the last election,

we should be working to encourage certainty and clarity in our election

processes. This bill does not do that. It does the opposite."

Bentz is wrong for Oregon and wrong for democracy.

JOHN R. LEWIS VOTING RIGHTS ADVANCEMENT ACT OF 2021; Congressional Record Vol. 167, No. 150

Issue and Section: August 24, 2021 - House (Vol. 167, No. 150)

Page: H4384 (PDF 667KB)

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