Why did I leave the confines of my comfort zone to join This Land Rising? My participation in our democracy, for the past 30+ years, began and ended with voting in every election. Immediately after the recent presidential election I briefly thought about moving to a rust-belt state, so that my vote would “count” more. After hearing some friends and This Land Rising founding members talking at a neighborhood meet-up, I was both startled and relieved to hear of all the work to be done right here, in my long-time home of Washington State. A healthy democracy requires more than just voting: it requires more time, more standing up, more speaking up and more showing up.
This Land Rising provides me with the civics refresher, information, and resources I need to raise my voice and flex my democratic muscles. I’ve joined the team, and am now committed to a sustainable amount of civic engagement for the long haul. I will not burn out, and I will not stop. I am signing up for the marathon. I am committed to doing what I can at the local and state levels, with like-minded friends and allies, and to promote policy and safeguards that work for all of our citizens.
I worked as a scientist. I have always loved the combination of tricks and common sense used in molecular biology, the beauty in watching an organism develop, and the comfort of data and people whose minds worked like mine. I was sure that I was improving the world while specializing in my field, absolving me of any responsibilities in the broader world. My specialization gave me satisfaction, and I assumed that all the other specializations were filled with the appropriate people.
These days, I am a stay-at-home mom, of kids with very different abilities and needs. Ranging from highly capable to profoundly delayed and dependent, my children span the extremes of what people require from their families, their cities, their states and their world. I’ve seen first-hand the challenges in health care, child care, schools, transportation, parks and pools, libraries, restaurants, home health workers, restrooms, privacy laws, dentists, recreational sports, entertainment, and technology, insurance, housing, taxation, minimum wage. Every one of these is impacted by our state and local governments.
So why me? Why did I join This Land Rising? Because I have a viewpoint that needs to be heard, and I need help figuring out what actions will be an effective use of my time. Why now? Because I am facing the fact that our government is not as representative and robust as I had hoped and assumed. Why you? Because our government is only as strong as the sum of its citizens who stand up and make their voices heard, and your voice is important, too!
Please join or start a Rising Team, and we will all rise together.