The other day, I had a conversation with a friend who until recently had spent several decades working at the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In our conversation, (as you might expect in most any chat with me) the subject drifted toward what's going on in the young Trump Administration. I was especially curious about his take on things because of his long career in the federal bureaucracy. I'm glad I asked him. He spoke of his concern for what's starting to happen to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as their budgets are cut and their programs are halted.
But before I get into the specifics of his comments, I want to mention something that popped into my mind as we were talking. - My friend's former employer, The CDC, is the type of giant federal agencies that Republicans usually bad-mouth. It has 15,000 employees, 170 job descriptions and a budget of around $7 billion. The EPA, another such giant agency, has slightly more than 15,000 employees and an $8 billion budget.
Interestingly, while the EPA gets lots of derogatory comments from many of our GOP leaders and legislators, you don't hear them demanding budget cuts or the cessation of long-term studies inside the CDC. I mean, seriously, what politician is going to support gutting a government agency whose mission is to protect American families from a deadly influenza pandemic, or a fast-food salmonella outbreak, or frightening insect borne threats such as Zika or Dengue fever.
Support for our CDC is a bit like support for our defense budget. Can our nation ever risk not spending enough to defend our families from mortal dangers, whatever the source? In fact, you would think there could never be an exception to this truth. (Another parallel is that in both the fight against disease and our enemies, lots of money is privately made.)
But then I thought, isn't the EPA, an agency now under attack, just as involved in protecting the well being of American families? Perhaps, even in a more all-encompassing and far-reaching way than the efforts of the CDC or even the Defense Department? An honest conclusion is that the work of the CDC and EPA is unbreakably connected.
The CDC has a mission to control disease. While the EPA is concerned with the germs and viruses in polluted water, the carbon and chemical carcinogens in polluted air, the skin cancers that can come with a depleted ozone layer. It's hard to see where one agency's mission stops and the other's begins. Here's the irony, unlike the money mentioned above that can be made fighting disease, the biggest money churning around in the world of environmental issues comes from the other end of the spectrum - the disease making end. Funny how such things can affect a politicians priorities.
Anyway... those were the thoughts stimulated by our conversation. Now let's get to the specific concerns about the EPA that my friend mentioned.
The Republican congress and the Trump Administration are diligently working to weaken the mission of the EPA, slashing budgets, silencing climate change believers (virtually everyone in the EPA) and reducing the size of their workforce. And beyond the reduction of workers in various EPA departments, the abandonment of long-time environmental goals and the uncertainty of the EPA's future mission has led a number of EPA professionals to consider opting for immediate retirement. My friend believes the result of all this won't just mean that some activities will be halted, at least until Democrats can take back Congress. The biggest damage will be the long-term loss of institutional memory - memory that took years to build and will take years to replace.
I don't doubt that eventually that memory will be rebuilt, unless the entire EPA is completely closed down. But in the meantime, a lot more damage to our (and the world's) environment will likely occur because there won't be as many people on the job who know as much as they should. That's the thing about government agencies, whether they're in Washington or Wilmette, institutional memory is what keeps things running. Yes, sometimes it can slow things down but there is truly no substitute for it.
Recently, I read somewhere that President Trump envisioned setting the departments under his administration "back to zero" in order to introduce smart business tactics. That sounds disturbingly like Pol Pot's declaration of the "year zero." I know there's really no comparison but they both sound crazily grandiose. I guess Trump's appointments of an Education Secretary who has little faith in public schools, a Health Secretary who worked for years to repeal the Affordable Care Act and an Environmental Secretary who spent years denying climate change exists are examples of how Donald Trump perceives re-setting things.
And now we have the President's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, someone with no government experience at all, being handed a list of responsibilities that would have made Henry Kissinger shaky. While
Trump's hapless Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, continues to reveal how little he knows about... well, anything.
I guess my point is that Donald Trump was elected President by voters who thought they'd see a fresh new approach to governing. But so far what they've gotten is a Trump Administration with a simplistic approach to reorganization that too often places little value on experience while putting critically important responsibilities in the hands of mediocre sycophants and loyal amateurs.
NTDO member since 1973
A few weeks ago, Sharon Suzda, our friend, passionate Democrat and diligent NTDO Office Manager passed away.
A number of people have asked for information concerning a memorial event.
Sharon's memorial celebration will be held on
Sunday, April 23 from 2 PM - 3:30 PM at the Lakeview Center, Gillson Park in Wilmette.
Have you visited Senator Biss' website "The Road Back" --
click on the link to his video -- then, throughout the summer follow his plan's development on the website.
Daniel explains a lot about how Illinois got where it is today and how we can begin the journey on the road back toward achieving our state's tremendous economic potential.
Other upcoming events and news items:
This Saturday, April 15 in Millenium Park - A March Protesting Donald Trump.
When: Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 10:00am
Where: Millenium Park, 201 E. Randolph, Chicago
What: A march protesting Donald Trump
This Saturday, April 15 in Highland Park - Join in a Phone Bank to Help Turn a Georgia Congressional Seat Blue.
Saturday, April 15, from 12:30 - 3:30pm
Highland Park Democratic Headquarters - Moraine Township Democrats, 474 Central Ave., Highland Park, IL. Suite 200, 2nd floor above Mizuki Grill. Plenty of free parking in the lot a half-block to the east of the office.
Tenth Dems hosts a phone bank to help elect
Democrat Jon Ossoff
to Georgia's 6th Congressional District, the seat vacated by Republican Tom Price's appointment as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Please bring a cell phone and laptop/tablet.
For additional information or to RSVP, call 847-266-8683 or by email.
Wednesday, April 19 in Chicago -- ICPR Presents
the Mikva Award to Hon. Adlai and Nancy Stevenson
ICPR Presents Mikva Award to Hon. Adlai and Nancy Stevenson
: Wednesday, April 19, from Noon - 1:30pm
: Petterino's, 150 N. Dearborn St., Chicago
: Judge Mary Mikva will join The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) to present the Stevensons with The Mikva Legacy Award For Truth and Justice for their extensive work in Illinois through advocacy, public service, and the Stevenson Center on Democracy.
You can RSVP online or call ICPR at 312-436-1274 for questions.
Wednesday, April 19 in Chicago - A Reception for Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs.
Wednesday, April 19, from 5:30 - 7:30pm
Old Crow Smokehouse, 149 W. Kinzie, Chicago
Friends of Frerichs hold a reception in support of Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs.
Saturday, April 22 in Chicago - March for Science Chicago
Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 9:00am
Place in downtown Chicago to be determined
An Earth Day march to take a stand for science. The mission is: to show support for the scientific community, to safeguard the scientific process and research funding, to publicly celebrate science, and to encourage curiosity and exploration, the heart of the scientific approach.
Saturday, April 22 at the Botanic Garden, Glencoe - Brad Schneider Hosts an Earth Day Climate Change Panel.
Saturday, April 22, 1:00 - 2:00pm. Doors open at 12:30pm
Chicago Botanic Garden, Alsdorf Auditorium, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Celebrate Earth Day at a panel discussion on global climate change hosted by Congressman Brad Schneider. Panelists include: Donald Wuebbles, University of Illinois; Tom Skilling, WGN-TV; Elisabeth Moyer, Energy Policy Institute, University of Chicago; Gregory Mueller, Chicago Botanic Garden.
Free admission but registration is required.
For additional information or to RSVP, register online or call 847-383-4870.
Tuesday, April 25 in Springfield - Illinois Women March on Springfield.
Tuesday, April 25, 12:00 noon - 3:00pm
Rally at Lincoln Statue, State Capital, Springfield
A day of advocacy, lobbying and a large rally by more than 50 organizations across the state that support a progressive agenda. The focus will be on advocating for specific legislation under consideration in the Spring 2017 Illinois legislative session.
Saturday April 29 in Washington D.C. - T
he Peoples Climate March on April 29 in Washington D.C.
When: Saturday, April 29, 9:00 AM -3:00 PM
Where: Washington D.C.
On Saturday, April 29 in our nation's capital and across the country, marchers will stand together to demand that Donald Trump act in a meaningful way to address the climate crisis and stop attacking the hard-won protections for all our communities, especially people of color, indigenous people, women, and more. Together, we can show the world that we demand climate action. To sign up for the Washington march click here. -- (More details for events across the country to follow.)
Friday, May 5 at noon in Chicago - Jan Schakowsky's Ultimate Women's Power Lunch in Chicago.
Friday, May 5, at 12:00 noon
Chicago Hilton, 720 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky hosts the 2017 Ultimate Women's Power Lunch. Keynote speaker: Gina McCarthy, head of the EPA under President Obama. Special guest: Tamika Mallory, Co-Chair of the Women's March on Washington.
Friday, May 5 at 5:30 in Chicago - Nasty Women Art Exhibition to Support Planned Parenthood.
Friday, May 5, from 5:30 - 10:30pm
Moonlight Studios, 1446 W. Kinzie St., Chicago
A one-night exhibition and fundraiser to hear and support the voices of artists identifying as Nasty Women. This is a free event open to all ages that will sell artist submissions and include food and drink, music, speakers, and more.
All profits from the sale of artwork will benefit Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
Saturday, May 6 in Ravinia -
A Safe Place Hosts Wine, Women & Shoes
Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 5:30pm
Ravinia Festival, Highland Park
An opportunity to sip fine wines in support of A Safe Place, providing lifesaving services for survivors and children of domestic violence as they transform their lives.
For additional information or to RSVP,
who represent New Trier Township in
Washington, Springfield and Cook County
You'll be hearing a lot from these exceptional public servants. --
And they want to be hearing a lot from you.
The fact is, they need to hear from you and want to hear from you in order to represent you most effectively. So, the first thing you can do is get to know who these people are. The links below to their campaign websites are a good place to start.
, 9th U.S. Congressional District Representative
and Chief Deputy House Democratic Whip. The new Ninth District boundaries include all of New Trier except for Glencoe.
, 10th U.S. Congressional District Representative which includes a number of precincts in Glencoe.
Julie Morrison, State Senator for Illinois' 29th State Senate District
State Senator for Illinois' 9th State Senate Distric
t.The Ninth District includes all of New Trier Township.
. The district includes New Trier's northernmost precincts.
IL 18th District State Representative
. The 18th District includes much of New Trier up to Hazel Avenue and Dundee Road.
, IL 17th District State Representative.
The 17th District includes the East Glenview and West Wilmette areas of New Trier Township.
IL 58th District State Representative.
The 58th District includes the northernmost precincts in Glencoe.
Larry Suffredin, Cook County 13th District Commissioner. The 13th District includes all of New Trier, Evanston and Niles Townships.
Dear Fellow Democrats,
If you are not already an NTDO member, and enjoy our Newsletter, we hope you consider joining us as a dues-paying member. NTDO is a not-for-profit political action organization. We depend on our membership dues to support our Democratic causes and candidates.
There are two options for dues payments: by check or credit card.
By Check: Make check payable to NTDO and mail to our office:
800 Oak St., Suite 112
Winnetka, IL 60093
By Credit Card: visit our website by clicking here
Click on the "Get Involved" tab
Find the link for "contribute with ActBlue"
or go directly there by clicking here.
|Still not a member of the New Trier Dems? Your participation in grassroots political action will make a difference. -- Come join us.
When you're a member of the New Trier Democratic Organization, you have an active role in affecting the political process; participating in grassroots campaigns, staying in touch with elected officials, playing a role in deciding which candidates are endorsed. You'll also gain free admission to select forums and events throughout the year.
Come be a part of New Trier's grassroots political community.
The New Trier Democratic Organization is made up of hundreds of grassroots volunteers dedicated to advancing progressive ideals through the political process. We welcome your participation.
Dean T. Maragos, Committeeman New Trier Township
We are located at 800 Oak Street in Winnetka, IL. Ph: 847-446-8030
*This Internet communication paid for by the New Trier Democratic Organization and not authorized by any federal or state candidate or campaign committee. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is available for purchase from the State Board of Elections in Springfield, Illinois.