This morning on WBEZ, I heard a brief report on yesterday's Illinois Women's March in Springfield. The reporter said the crowd presented their strong feelings about a variety of issues that he characterized as issues identified with the Democratic Party. Those he mentioned included a woman's right to control her own body, care for the elderly, and concerns for the needs of poor children. (My words.)
I don't know if anyone was there representing "science," or the urgent threat of climate change, but the three concerns I heard described as Democratic Party issues sounded good to me. In fact, I was amused to hear the implication that caring about vulnerable old people or kids was a partisan position not readily connected to Republicans.
But then I thought about this some more. Certainly not every man or woman who identifies him- or herself as a Republican is against helping ailing or impoverished seniors or hungry babies. That perception that many of us have is the result of the GOP countering the identity politics of the left with their own version of that tactic. So, if Democrats are for spending tax dollars on programs for poor seniors, Republican policies can't support it.
Over the past decades, the success of identity politics by both liberals and conservatives has created a national environment where conversation and a sharing of ideas between individual members of opposing parties have become increasingly rare. Even conversations about important issues with our neighbors or relatives are often avoided for fear of emotions getting out of hand.
So why is a liberal like me, offering these conciliatory comments toward Republicans in today's world? We have a Republican governor whose personal agenda is destroying the state, Republican congressional leaders who couldn't care less about millions of Americans losing their healthcare, and a "Republican" President who has become a very scary joke.
Well, I'm not talking about learning anything new from those guys. I just keep thinking that there are Americans out there calling themselves Republicans who do have worthwhile ideas that can help lead toward positive outcomes. In a December issue of the Nation Magazine, Journalist Carla Murphy said we must strive for, "The low but reachable standard of common interest. - I'm certain we do have many common interests.
Right here in Illinois, there are loads of issues that cry out for constructive bi-partisan discussion and cooperation - and not just in human services. We need to take care of deteriorating roads and bridges, an antiquated rail system, outdated (or often non-existent) transit systems. And we need to pay attention to the continued viability of our state's "free standing" secondary cities. - I'm sure you could apply this list of needs to most parts of our country.
Of course, starting such conversations is easier said than done. Polarization has always been a very effective political tool for aspiring and established politicians. Painting the "other side" as the enemy or at the least as misguided is strong stuff. But over the long run, such divisive tactics don't lead to a stronger society. The more divided we are, the weaker we become - not just in the eyes of the world but also in the energy we have for solving important problems.
In a country as vast as ours, many unique scenarios call for approaches sensitive to the varied perspectives of a diverse population. This morning, it felt nice to hear that we Democrats are more quickly identified with the party that cares about our most vulnerable Americans. But we should not let self-satisfaction close our minds to what we might learn from Republicans who share democracy with us. Diversity is not the same as division.
We may never find common ground on certain issues with many who call themselves Republicans. But, to not attempt to learn about their concerns and hear their ideas is wasting an opportunity to get a more complete understanding of the problems we share. We must try not to let that happen.
Seriously. It couldn't hurt.
NTDO member since 1973
P.S. Here's a quote about open mindedness that I found today. It's from the author Vera Nazarian:
"If you have never changed your mind about some fundamental tenet of your belief, if you have never questioned the basics, and if you have no wish to do so, then you are likely ignorant.
Before it is too late, go out there and find someone who, in your opinion, believes, assumes, or considers certain things very strongly and very differently from you, and just have a basic honest conversation.
It will do both of you good."
Last Sunday afternoon in Gillson Park, a large number of Sharon Suzda's friends and relatives gathered to pay tribute to Sharon and to celebrate her life. The many lovely reminiscences and heartfelt comments added to the memory we will all keep of Sharon. She will be missed but never forgotten.
A message from Congresswoman Schakowsky's field organizer about a very important phone banking action at the NTD office.
"Hi everybody. -- I will be helping Congresswoman Schakowsky, running phone banks out of New Trier office starting on Monday, april 24. We will be calling to defend reproductive rights.
If you are interested in helping out at my office please let me know! Illinois is at risk.
President Trump and his anti-choice cabal -- including recently-appointed anti-choice Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch -- are working night and day to overturn Roe v. Wade and take reproductive freedom away from American women. If they are successful, things will be especially bad in Illinois.
Illinois has a "trigger" law that will immediately criminalize abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned. It is known as the Illinois Abortion Trigger Law. Pro-choice advocates around the state are coming together to support legislation called HB40, which would repeal the awful Illinois Abortion Trigger Law. HB40 will ensure that reproductive freedom is secure in Illinois-no matter what Donald Trump and his anti-choice allies do in Washington.
In order to get those votes and pass this bill, we need pro-choice volunteers from across Illinois to band together and fight back by contacting pro-choice voters in target districts and urging them to contact their representative in Springfield.
We need your help contacting thousands of pro-choice voters across the state through phone banking and door-to-door canvassing. We will give you all of the information and materials you need to be a champion for choice in Illinois.
Will you join us?"
To volunteer for phone banking, click here.
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:
Saturday April 29 in Washington D.C. -
he Peoples Climate March
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,
Friday, May 12 in Chicago -- Deputy Voter Registrar Training.
Friday, May 12, at 12:00 noon
Office of DeBofsky Sherman & Casciari P.C., 11th Floor Conference Room, 200 W. Madison St., Chicago
A training for Deputy Voter Registrars will be held. Participants must be at least 18 years of age and registered to vote in Cook County. The event is open only to Cook County residents who are interested in helping register new voters. Deputy Registrars must be trained in the county in which they live, but once trained, can register voters anywhere in Illinois.
Training takes less than an hour.
This training is being held through the County Clerk's Office and is free of charge.
For additional information or to RSVP online click here or call 847-266-VOTE (8683).
Monday, May 22 in Chicago -- The Asian American Festival
Monday, May 22.
The Festival continues through Friday, May 26th.
Richard J. Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago
What: The Asian American Coalition of Chicago sponsors its 16th Annual Asian American Festival, this year hosted by the Pakistani American Community. The festival, with the theme "One World, Our World," offers entertainment, arts and crafts booths and colorful harmony.
Friday, June 9 in Chicago -- When:
The People's Summit with Senator Bernie Sanders.
People's Summit 2.0. A gathering of several thousand progressive activists with the theme, "Beyond Resistance: A People's Movement for a Just World." Keynote speaker: Senator Bernie Sanders. The event continues through Sunday, June 11.
For additional information or to register online, visit the People's Summit website.
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.