In this holiday season, families and friends come together to share food, gifts, memories, and laughter. Many also think of those less fortunate, and donate food, clothing, and toys to the local agencies that help needy people in our community. That help is urgently required, and it makes us feel good to provide it.
But do we think why our help is required? Why so many people are struggling with poverty? At least partly it is because the concerns of ordinary citizens are not being attended to.
In other words, our democracy is in trouble and needs your help as much as do some of our neighbors. If you don't think so, consider the attempts in various states to protect incumbents or advantage majority parties in redistricting, to disenfranchise voters who can't find their birth or marriage certificates, and to permit any amount of spending by corporations and unions in support of candidates who then become indebted to their funders rather than their constituents.
The League of Women Voters supports and promotes ethical and transparent government, impartial redistricting and election practices, and public information and education. We are your local voice for democracy - in these matters and many more. But we are only as powerful as our membership. Our voice is only as strong as you make it.
People are always telling us "Oh, you do such a great job." If that's the case, why don't you join us?
You don't have to be a woman: men are more than welcome, despite our historic name. You don't have to be able to contribute time or effort, though that would be helpful. But we do need your membership dues so that we can continue to rent venues for candidate forums, support educational efforts in the schools, and help the public make educated choices by providing impartial information. And so that we can say we have so many voting members. Give a holiday present to democracy.
You can call me at 672-4275 or e-mail me at email@example.com and our membership committee will immediately send you information and a membership form.
Feel even better in this season of gifts by contributing to a more just society.
Marcia A. Merrins is a member of the League of Women Voters Chautauqua County.