washington dc

Make It Count

Make It Count.

Dear John Boehner,

As Speaker of the House, I’m hoping that this message reaches you in good health, a peaceful state of mind, and that you choose to share it with those who reside in the chamber with you.

I’m not going to introduce myself beyond what is the readily available information. Simply, my name is Kat Webber, I am a master of library science student, and I am not registered to vote.

That being said, I would like to explain why I have made this important choice. It used to be because I didn’t care much about voting or government or politics but over the years as I have followed the politics, I realized that it is much more than that. My reason remains that I believe there is no one worth voting for in our government. There is no real change happening. People posture and make pretty speeches and say there will be change but the truth of the matter is is that there is a sickness that has crept in the hallowed halls of our federal city.

When was the last time you sat down and had lunch with someone who voted for you? Talked to one of them for more than five minutes at a time? When was the last time you spent a significant portion of your day in your home state doing nothing but living life? When was the last time you went hungry? When was the last time you lived paycheck to paycheck? When was the last time you had to make a choice between feeding your kids or paying the electric bill? When was the last time you were waiting on a pension payment that never arrived? When was the last time you had a medication you couldn’t afford? When was the last time you were without a job? When was the last time you had to make a payment on a student loan? When was the last time you remembered to represent the state of Ohio and its citizens?

I ask these questions not to place blame or to complain about your wealth. But because these are issues that your voters, your fellow citizens face consistently. You were elected to your office. And as such, you have a responsibility to uphold the agreement you made with your constituents. That you would support the issues that matter to them. Not the ones that line your pockets or do a favor for someone else.

It is my belief that our great country is on the verge of falling into disrepair. We are broken. We are in debt. We are filled with unhappy Americans. And it’s not just about the money. And it’s not just about the laws. It’s about the general lack of leadership.

People are so concerned with their own party, or even a small sect of their party, that they completely overlook the voters screaming at them about the choices they are making. Dividing the country into two parties isn’t working anymore. With the rising of diversity, shouldn’t there be a rise in parties to choose from? Shouldn’t the lesser parties have a chance to be heard? Shouldn’t people be able to vote for the person they want elected not just the party ideals? Take the money and the campaigning out of the picture. Let everyone make a short and sweet speech and let the nation cast their ballots.

There is a book that I’m reading for a class of mine. It’s called The Trusted Leader and I think you should read it. It discusses how to be a leader, a proper one, and the difference between being that and being a manager. I think it could go a long way into helping you and many of your coworkers to understand why you are no longer leaders. It also touches upon inter-agency communication and how to improve that because that’s definitely impacting the way this country is being ineffectually run. So many things can slip through the cracks because there isn’t a system in place to catch them.

The United States is being treated like a poorly run business. And it’s “too big to fail”. It is supposed to be managed by the few people who are making choices for the greater good but lately it doesn’t feel that way. It feels like every time I look to the news, I am bombarded with another way that we have overstepped our boundaries or our reach. We have issues within our own borders and yet we are more concerned with overseas affairs. Isn’t it time we brought the fight back here?

Are you aware, Mr. Boehner, that we have mission groups from other countries that come here to help our poor and unfortunate? That we have people suffering in this country who don’t have a voice to stand up for them? What about the fact that Social Security was intended to be a temporary system? Or that the rising cost of college education (and loans) continues to increase because now jobs are demanding advanced degrees beyond undergraduate studies?

So don’t take it personally that I didn’t vote for you. And not voting may not give me the right to complain about any particular person but these are flaws in the general system that need to be fixed. We need to focus on making people in this country happier, healthier, and safer before we worry about what the rest of the world is doing.

Now I’m asking you to stand up for me. For everyone who agrees with even one thing in this letter. Hand out copies of this on the street if you have to. Slip it under your fellow Representatives doors. And if you like, I can even send you a copy of The Trusted Leader so you can get a jump start on making some improvements. Be a leader. Lead the way to change. Lead the way to a better way of life. Lead the way for your fellow leaders to stop being so selfish and party-minded and do what they were elected to do: make choices that will positively impact those who voted for them.

Sincerely,

Kat Webber

Concerned Citizen of the United States of America

My Impossible Task

alphabooksIt’s Wednesday. Goodreads informs me that I have read 73 books so far this year and am thus 8 books ahead of schedule. Go me!! However, I still have a stack of them sitting on my desk beckoning to be read. And my goal was to read 75 before my grad classes start but I have since challenged myself to read 80 by then. The idea being that I will then only have 20 books to read in the remaining 16 weeks of the year, over a handful of which I’m sure will be read over my lusciously long and festive Christmas vacation.

So here’s My Impossible Task. I have to finish 7 books (well really 6 since I am almost 80% done with one of them) and only 6 days in which to read them. Not to mention that I have plans to be in D.C. all day on Saturday to explore the National Book Festival AND see the D-Day movie at the Air & Space museum. It boils down to 6-ish books in 5-ish days.

Do you think I can do it? Can I read basically a book every day? I guess we’ll find out!

Lawsuit/Impeachment/Government/Obama

Okay, what is happening in DC?

It seems like nothing gets done at the federal level of government anymore. First the debacle of the budgeting issues and now more problems with the Affordable Care Act.

How is suing the President going to solve anything? True, if the ACA stipulates that employers who don’t provide health benefits should be paying fines, then that should absolutely being enforced. And apparently the Obama administration is having issue enforcing the coverage so they have delayed mandating employers to pay fines.

Now, the House lead by Boehner, has voted to file a lawsuit against Obama for failing to live up to the oath of office. A suit which, based on historical premise, will most likely be thrown out before it can even reach a judge. What is this madness!?

Not to mention that Congress has an upcoming vacation on the horizon. And what exactly are they taking a vacation from? And why are they even being allowed to take a vacation?

This is the real problem with the feds these days. They seem to have forgotten who they are really supposed to be fighting for and what the American people actually want. We want to not be wasting our tax dollars, keep more of our money, and create new jobs in this country. We need to fix what’s broken before we worry about what’s not even being done.

Money, Money Everywhere and Not Enough to Spend

Money. Power. Politics.

Three words that control our country. In a capitalist economy run by some of the wealthiest elite in the world, what kind of balance of power does that create?

Living in close proximity to D.C., I have learned several facts:

  • No one in DC is actually from DC
  • Cops are everywhere
  • And so are politicians
  • People here suffer from taxation without representation
  • Even our capitol is not exempt from poverty

Money makes the world go ’round, that idea has been around for a very long time and it’s just as true now as it was when it was first stated. Only now, this country is seeing an ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor. Costs are going up, but wages are not. Private sector wages have increased by approximately 10% in the last five years, but federal minimum wage hasn’t increased once. And now all the “representatives of the people” are sitting in their high and mighty chairs and preaching about how those living on minimum wages don’t need more money.

Former Governor Ted Strickland of Ohio recently participated in the Live the Wage challenge, taking just $77 to live on for one week. And as he so eloquently states, he failed. He ran out of money on Thursday. In his self-written article in Politico magazine, Strickland discusses what he was eating and how he managed his transportation during this brief experiment. And he goes on to say one of the most resounding statements I have heard from a politician in a long time.

“Washington is in a bubble that keeps our representatives away from the experiences of those they actually represent. We need to understand the challenges faced by Americans who are being left behind in our economy.”

Strickland definitely hit the nail on the head. Those who are supposed to be representing our states with their people in mind are often missing the point of what it means to truly represent someone. They are not acting with our best interests at heart and most have probably never gone hungry a day in their lives or had to walk because they couldn’t afford to ride the metro or get a cab.

So let’s try an experiment, shall we? Anyone who reads this, and the embedded articles about who is really earning minimum wage, I want you to open up your email or grab a pen and paper and write your thoughts on this issue to your state representative or congressman and ask them to participate in the Live the Wage challenge. I don’t care if you are a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, or didn’t even vote, write it down and send it out. We deserve to be heard, to have a voice, to affect change in our futures.

We can’t afford to live in a “trickle-down economy” anymore. It isn’t working. Our workers are also our consumers. And the sooner that all the businesses who like making money figure that out, the better off everyone will be.

Happy Independence Day!

As our country enters its 238th year of existence, I am struck by how much we have changed and evolved in that time. I am also reminded of the price of our independence and rights that has been paid in blood, tears, and lives over that time.

Walking around our nation’s capitol made it obvious how small the world has become and how many people are actually in it. Which then brings to mind some of the more irritating aspects of our society. In particular, how people treat the true heroes of this country.

Firefighters, police officers, military personnel, and other “small” heroes don’t get half the recognition that they should. Instead, we idolize musicians, professional athletes, and movie stars. So I am here today, on the anniversary of our nation’s birth, to try and change that by saying to them: “Thank you. You are appreciated.”

I would go on a rant about this but I think I will save that for another day. Until then, appreciate our heroes who dedicate their lives for our citizenship and safety. And try to give them the respect they deserve, especially on high people traffic days like today. A simple smile can go a long way to improve someone’s day.

Stay safe out there.