Haley Woods, a Seattle school teacher, writes to the Seattle times about the disgust she has towards the legislative once again planning on cutting teachers salaries. She attended the Day of Action rally in Olympia. Haley says that she is “so proud to live in a country that provides free education for every child, but I fear this education is becoming inadequate under the current budget”. She also said “I went to Olympia to represent the future of our nation, because when we put money into education, we support our whole society. I vote for every tax and levy that supports education because I care about my students, and I’m willing to pay more to support them even as our Legislature aims to once again cut teacher salaries.”
I must agree with Ms. Woods. Our once great educational system is now failing us. Who knows what will happen with future cuts in education. If legislative is making cuts to children’s education they are making cuts to the future. We must all come together and find a way to better what is obviously failing. Parenti has really opened my eyes to see who is to blame for this slippery slope of chaos, corporate America. Democracy for the few indeed.
As scheduled, the first day of the special legislative session started on Monday, November 28th.It was Governor Christine Gregoire who called for this 30-day session that is meant for her, the House, and the Senate to address the $1.4 billion state deficit. Gregoire has a plan that she has proposed to put on the ballot. According to Rachel La Corte, in her article from the Seattle Times, Special legislative session to begin in Olympia, Gregoire “Wants the Legislature to send a temporary, half-cent sales tax increase to the statewide ballot…with the levy pinned to “buying back” cuts that could be made to areas like education and public safety.”Corte did not include what the plans of the House and Senate was, saying that they “will produce their own plan in the coming weeks.”
However, they were not the only ones who planned on having their voices heard at the special session. Corte went on to write about how state officials were contemplating the arrival of “more than 3,000 people from various groups, including Occupy Olympia, to rally at the Capitol building Monday to protest proposed cuts to state program.” The state officials were not mistaken. There were thousands of protesters present on the first day of the special session. However, as Corte writes in a different article, Protests mark first day of special session, the huge crowd of protestors “is dwindling.” She states how it “had thinned to about 100 people.” At first, “State troopers let people leave voluntarily,” but as time went on, those who refused were “physically” forced to leave. As Corte writes, according to Patrol spokesman Dan Coon, the troopers even brought out their tasers, which they used “on three people when demonstrators earlier advanced on the officers in the Capitol.” All of that along with four people who “were arrested earlier” that day, brought about the drop in the crowd’s numbers.
Although it seemed to be a very discouraging time for many of the people, others who were there or merely observed what was going on saw it as something great. Also from the Seattle Times, but by Kaylene Moon in her article, Protests mark first day of special legislative session, she writes that “there was so much more to report than arrests and removal by troopers.” She stated that many of the elderly, although possibly too old to get out there and join the crowd, “saw, heard and appreciated democracy in action.” They saw the crowd as “committed” people who were making sure their voices were heard. Amongst the crowd, were “people who deeply care[d] about the disabled…quality education…fairness in taxes and…the plight of our elderly.” She expressed her thankfulness that the “system still allows this kind of speaking out” and made it clear that “this is what democracy looks like.”
Moon wrote how the “99 percenters, students, teachers, etc.” were pounding on the doors of the Capital, demanding “to be let in because they needed to be heard.” Nevertheless, what exactly were they planning on saying? They were protesting the budget cuts that will affect important social programs. The fact is that if they want to keep services such as education and public safety, the money to pay for those things has to come from somewhere. In his book, “Democracy for the Few,” Michael Parenti wrote that a common question that people ask is “Where are we going to get the money to pay for all this?” He went on to say how that very “question is never asked in regard to the gargantuan defense budget or enormous corporate subsidies.” The real problem underlying this whole mess is the priorities of the government and what they deem to be important enough to spend money on.
Posted: 02 Dec 2011 07:58 PM Originally Posted: 02 Dec 2011 07:50 PM