We have something to celebrate…at least the beginning of something

We have had some successes in the last week. Actually some very good successes. While there is more that needs to be done, including a solid voters’ right legislation to circumvent the effort in various Republican-run states to impose a new version of the Jim Crow era. However, we need to celebrate the good things that do get done as well as plan and fight in every legal avenue possible for those still outstanding.

The first item to celebrate is that the Senate was able to pass a bipartisan physical infrastructure bill by a vote of 69–30. This bill, supported by 19 Republicans perhaps including McConnell proves that even 19 Republicans in the Senate realize that it is important for the nation to have decent roads, bridges, public transit, railways, water systems, and broadband are necessary to be a 21st Century nation that is not hopefully left behind on the world stage. Those 19 Republicans are to be commended.

However, in the human resource infrastructure bill, the Republicans once again showed their unwillingness to help the average citizen. None of the Republicans voted for it. Fortunately, it can be and was passed by reconciliation so the Democrats can do it alone since, in fact, to get this important bill passed, they will have to do it alone.

So what will that second bill do? It is all about working for the average citizen. In the up to 3.5 trillion dollar investment are in such things as creating jobs (a version of what the great FDR did during the depression), increased social safety network, fighting climate change, more paid medical and family leave, making childcare more accessible, and making community colleges tuition-free. Personally, I wish they would make that tuition-free for any instate college like it was when I went to college, but I will celebrate small victories knowing that none of us can get everything we want.

What may be even more important, in my view, is that there will be some change to the horrible giveaway to the rich and corporations that the Republicans pushed through in 2017. In that bill, which they called a “tax reform”, they gave the richest people in America a huge tax break, and then tried to nickel and dime the average citizen by threatening the social safety net. This bill would rectify that injustice by insisting that the super-rich who benefit more than others from the infrastructure pay more….ie their fair share.

An additional item that may be in that package is a path to citizenship for the Dreamers. Remember, the Dreamers are those brought to the United States by their parents and essentially raised here. They have gone to school here, and begun jobs and careers, some in highly specialized areas. Under Obama, they were declared candidates for continued residence with an eye to citizenship once Congress got its acts together. If those young people were to be deported, as Trump threatened continually, it would be a loss to both us and them. We educated them, we invested in them, and deporting them would deprive us of their talents and contribution as well as sending them somewhere some of them have never been. It has long been my contention that a path to citizenship is the only humane and decent avenue. However, there is some question as only two of the four articles listed indicate that it was included and there might be a time issue as to when those are published. It might have been removed later but I hope and pray it was not!!!!

Now, we have to be patient as there is a long road ahead of us. This is just the state and the Democrats will have to hammer out exactly what will happen. There are a few of the main conservative Democrats who are concerned about finances, but hopefully, the Progressive wing will fight the good fight and get as much as possible included. We will have to stay in touch and be patient as they hammer things out. There will be compromise and likely we won’t get everything that we want, but let's work to get as much as we can and make the nation sensitive to the needs of the average citizens instead of the “powers that be” who want to keep the status quo. We are doomed to fall in the respect of the world and at home if we don’t affect change into the future.

KEEP THE FAITH!!!! Oh, and let's push the Democrats in both the House and the Senate to fight for the voter's rights bill while we are at it. We can’t allow the White Nationalists to re-instate Jim Crow as they are trying to do.

66 and retired, and living my dream free, knowing that only by working with a union am I fortunate enough to be able to be where I am.