Idealism -- Integrity -- Independence
May 9, 2018
Last week I saw a movie that kicked off a train of thought I didn't expect. The movie was "The Rider." It's a "small" film, done on a relatively small budget but it is creating some buzz in the film festival world. In the coming months you may hear more about it and maybe even see it.
The movie isn't especially unusual in a general sense. It involves difficulties faced by a young man who must make a life-altering personal decision. It takes place in the wide-open spaces of America's West. And it portrays warm friendships as well as family tensions and ties. - I'm sure we've all seen plenty of films with those ingredients.
But this film's young director, Chloe' Zhao, who also wrote the screenplay, draws performances from the cast of amateurs, all local people, that are so completely natural I felt like somehow I was peering in on real lives. And they were lives in a part of America completely unfamiliar to me.
The young men in the film are immersed in the culture of rodeo riding, and the protagonist is not only a rider, he is a "horse whisperer."
However, beyond those "exotic" characteristics, the friendship between the young men, their small talk, their roughhouse games make them pretty much the same as young guys anywhere else in America. I liked them.
elatively early in the film, a
fter getting acquainted with characters from a culture completely new to me,
the camera cut to a wide shot of the vast land and endless sky of the Dakotas.
It was at this point that I thought to myself, "
My God, our United States is a huge country! And the diversity of its people is breathtaking. How could any political party or candidate ever think they could get their arms around this mass of humanity?"
(Right here I want to clarify that I didn't keep thinking such political thoughts throughout the rest of the movie. Thankfully, I haven't become that completely obsessed with such stuff.)
n the days since seeing "The Rider," I have thought more about that question that popped into my head.
How does a nation as large and diverse as ours achieve a level of cohesion that will see us through the perils of the 21st century? The divisive rhetoric of the Trump Administration and the far right Republicans controlling Congress certainly aren't helping.
Now, I realize that every nation on earth must deal with diversity. No doubt even tiny Lichtenstein and Andorra have economic and societal strata. And at the other end of the spectrum there's India with over 800 separate languages and religious conflicts dating back centuries.
Russia has over 6.6 million square miles of territory, encompassing a number of European and Asian cultures.
Under Communism, they used Marxist-Leninist doctrine and dictatorial power to create a single-minded national focus. And now under Putin's autocratic rule, nationalistic propaganda is keeping most Russians on the same page -- at least, for now.
The Chinese government's answer for uniting its 1.4 billion people (incredible!) has been to open up the economy to some level of free enterprise under the ever-watchful eye of the Communist Party apparatus. The people are, in general, much better off than they were two generations ago, but they still live under a political party dictatorship.
So here in the U.S.A., in these divisive times, what will it take to see our own huge, multi-cultured country become more closely united in a common purpose? I'm sure there are some people who, looking at the growth of our economic rival China, would conclude that some "mild" form of dictatorship might be considered -- perhaps a corporate-friendly cousin of fascism. There are outrageously influential Americans, billionaires, who believe that nothing should get in the way of their accumulation of more wealth, no matter how that wealth is acquired.
But those few thousand people of super wealth are outnumbered by tens of millions of Americans who share the belief in their unalienable rights to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That remains a promise that should inspire all American people, no matter what their wealth or circumstance.
As we approach the 2014 mid-term elections and the desperately critical presidential election in 2020, the Democratic Party and its candidates must put forward a unifying message that speaks positively toward a better future for everyday Americans.
The bronco-buster in South Dakota, the NASCAR driver in Florida....the wine grower in California...the school teacher in Maine... may each have quite different personalities, backgrounds, situations and personal priorities. But they still all feel a connection to the nation they call home. The concept of
ne nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, still resonates with them. They are ready to hear the Democratic Party and its candidates present well thought out positions that go beyond the hollow jingoism of "Make America great again."
The idealist in me clings to the belief that intelligent leadership can inspire a free people, if given the opportunity, to develop their individual talents to the benefit of our nation as a whole. This should be the Democrats' unifying message.
Wilmette Justice Team's
in Support of
Minimum Wage and Sick Leave Ordinances
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 6:30pm
Wilmette Village Hall, 1200 Wilmette Avenue, WIlmette
From the WIlmette Justice Team:
"Those of us who care about income inequality have a rare chance to make a difference in our local community. On Tuesday, May 15, at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, Wilmette's trustees will discuss
whether to reconsider their decision last summer not to follow Cook County's minimum wage and paid sick leave ordinances. A big turnout at this meeting is vital to let trustees know that we want Wilmette workers to earn a living wage and be able to take care of themselves and family members when sick.
Before the meeting, residents will hold a rally at 6:30 p.m. in front of Wilmette Village Hall to encourage trustees to follow the Cook County ordinances.
In a survey commissioned by the village in April, 66.4 percent of respondents said they want Wilmette to adopt Cook County's higher minimum wage ordinances. The telephone survey of 303 randomly selected adults also showed that 67 percent of residents supported the county's paid sick leave ordinances.
The survey results are part of a 436-page final report prepared by The Working Group on Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave, a group of seven residents and business owners appointed by the Village Board in December to study the issue.
The current state minimum wage has been stuck at $8.25 an hour since 2010. The Cook County Board voted in 2016 to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 an hour starting last July. The minimum wage then goes up $1 each year until it reaches $13 in 2020 after which it is indexed for inflation. Workers under age 18, seasonal employees, independent contractors, government employees and people in training program are exempt from the law.
The Cook County sick leave ordinance allows workers to earn one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked to a maximum of 40 hours per year. Businesses that already offer the equivalent number of hours in paid time off don't need to offer the sick leave.
Wilmette trustees voted 6-1 last June not to follow the Cook County minimum wage ordinance and 5-2 not to follow the sick leave ordinance. At the time, trustees said they wanted to study the issue further before deciding, which is why they appointed the Working Group.
If trustees now vote for the ordinances, Wilmette would be joining its neighbors Evanston, Skokie, Winnetka, Kenilworth and Glencoe, which are already complying with the Cook County laws. Last month, residents in Western Springs persuaded their village board, which had previously voted to opt out of the laws, to approve the higher minimum wage and sick leave.
The Working Group found that 1,347 workers in Wilmette, about one-fifth of all employees in the village, make less than $1,250 a month at their primary job. Of those low-wage workers in Wilmette, between 70 and 80 percent are working to support families, and 250 live in the village, according to the report.
The report also shows that Chicago, which passed similar minimum wage and paid sick leave laws in 2014, enjoyed higher job growth last year than nearby suburbs that opted out of the Cook County ordinances."
Drinks With Dems at Wilmette Wine Cellar
Thursday, May 31, 2018 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Wilmette Wine Cellar, 1100 Central Avenue, Wilmette
Let's get together and talk politics! New Trier Democrats invite you to join us for drinks, mingling and conversation with fellow progressives. Here's a great opportunity to network with like-minded people in our area and form connections with other Dems and activists.
Drinks will be available for purchase. This event is not a fundraiser - It's just an opportunity to have fun and meet other area Dems.
We will be collecting non-perishable canned and packaged food, useful paper goods, and toiletry items to donate to the New Trier Township Food Pantry. Anything you can donate is greatly appreciated!
Other events of interest:
Tomorrow Night, May 10 in Chicago - Planned Parenthood of Illinois' Generations Celebration
When: Thursday, May 10, 2018, VIP Reception 5:30pm, Main Event & Dinner 6:30 pm to 9:00pm
Where: Theater on the Lake, 2401 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
What: Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) is hosting its eighth annual Generations Celebration.
Each spring, supporters come together for PPIL's signature event to celebrate their successes and raise funds to ensure care for their 65,000 patients. Your support shows PPIL patients, staff, and advocates that you stand in solidarity with Planned Parenthood. For more information or to register for this event,
visit their website
Friday, May 11 in Wilmette - Wilmette Justice Team's Opt-In Poster Party for Families & Friends
When: Friday, May 11, 2018 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Where: Wilmette Rec Center, 3000 Glenview Road, WIlmette
What: Join Wilmette Justice Team for a family-friendly poster-making party to show Wilmette's village board that we support honoring our county's minimum wage and earned sick time ordinances.
Wilmette Justice Team will hold up the posters at a rally just before the big May 15th board meeting. Drop in any time between 4:00pm and 7:00pm have some pizza, and make a sign! We can do this-Justice takes a village! For more information or to RSVP,
visit their Facebook event page
Monday, May 14 in Chicago -
#NotYourMamasERA: Exploring the Future of Constitutional Gender Equality
When: Monday, May 14, 2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Thresholds, 171 W. Monroe St., 14th Floor, #1420, Chicago
Recently, there has been a renewed focus on galvanizing support for the Equal Rights Amendment, a Constitutional amendment that would enshrine gender equality at the federal level.
Chicago Foundation for Women screens the documentary Legalize Equality, and hosts a panel of speakers discussing efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in Illinois.
Panelists include representatives from the ACLU, Illinois ERA Coalition, Ratify ERA Illinois, Healing to Action and Women's March on Chicago.Free admission. For additional information or to RSVP,
visit their website
Tuesday, May 22 in Evanston -
Deputy Voter Registration Training
When: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Where: Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave. Room 4900, Evanston
What: Tenth Dems and Tenth Dems University are sponsoring volunteers to participate in a training seminar in Cook County for residents who want to become Deputy Voter Registrars.
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 to 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. Sign-ups will be taken up to 5 hours before the class starts. In most cases, late sign-ups will not be added to the class. For additional information or to RSVP,
, email email@example.com, or call 847-266-VOTE (8683).
Saturday, June 9 in Vernon Hills -
"2018 & Beyond" An Evening With Brad Schneider
When: Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Where: Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Dr., Vernon Hills
What: Vernon Township Democrats will host an evening with Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10).
Brad will speak about the upcoming 2018 election season, and beyond. He will address issues that affect residents of the district, and have a chance to speak with community leaders, constituents, and local candidates directly in this lovely, intimate setting. The event will be catered by Pear Tree catering. Cash Bar. You can
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, June 25 in Evanston -
Reception Honoring Rep. Laura Fine with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
When: Monday, June 25, 2018 from 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Where: La Principal, 700 Main Street, Evanston
What: A reception honoring Rep. Laura Fine for State Senate. The event features Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. To RSVP, email email@example.com or call 312-630-7700.
Save The Date!
New Trier Democrats' Events
Friday & Saturday, June 29-30, 2018
Visit New Trier Democrats at the Glencoe Sidewalk Sale
Friday & Saturday, July 13-14, 2018
Visit New Trier Democrats at the Winnetka Sidewalk Sale
Monday, July 16, 2018
New Trier Democrats' Annual Meet & Greet at Avli in Winnetka
Friday & Saturday, July 20-21, 2018
Visit New Trier Democrats at Wilmette Summerfest & Sidewalk Sale
Saturday, September 8, 2018
New Trier Democrats' Annual Meeting and Picnic at Mallinckrodt Center
Sunday, October 14, 2018
New Trier Democrats' Annual Dinner at Maggiano's in Skokie
Thursday, December 13, 2018
New Trier Democrats' Holiday Party at Wilmette Wine Cellar
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,
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Find the link for "contribute with ActBlue"
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|Still not a member of the New Trier Democrats? 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, Suite 112, 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.