A local issue is on the ballot that will affect the course of my life much more than who the next president will be. That is because five years ago this November, I held my infant son as he suffered his first seizure, and I relied on Norton’s EMS to transfer my then 8-month-old to the hospital. I’ve had to rely on our EMS personnel countless times since, and I credit them with saving my son each time.
Twice this city has voted down a levy that would protect not only my son but all of our citizens who are in need of help during an emergency. The fire department now has to shut down from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. because of a shortage of operating money, and further cuts will mean fewer services, which will mean that my family will have no choice but to sell our home and move to a community that better understands that with every privilege comes a responsibility.
When the levy failed for the second time last March, we began to live in fear, not knowing if this would be the one time when medical intervention would arrive too late to save his life. Words cannot describe a mother’s fear as I hold my son praying that help will arrive on time.
I’ve lived in Norton for 12 years now. My husband and I bought our house in this city in hopes of raising our family here and watching our children graduate from high school. We have grown to love our neighbors and a community of people who have come together to support my family when we needed help. I strongly encourage everyone to vote Tuesday to restore our safety. I feel my family’s lives are worth an extra $6.50 a month.
I understand that no one wants their taxes raised, but I also know what it’s like not to have the services you need at your fingertips.
Break the gridlock with Issue 2
I must admit to being at a complete loss for why Issue 2, the amendment to take redistricting out of the hands of the politicians, isn’t enjoying overwhelming bipartisan voter support. With voter displeasure of the U.S. Congress at record-breaking highs (about 90 percent think Congress is doing a bad job), why aren’t these same voters supporting an amendment that would go a long way toward fixing congressional gridlock?
Allowing the party in power to control the way in which districts are drawn is so very wrong. Politicians from either party have such a massive conflict of interest in designing districts, that any system that gives politicians such power is, by default, broken.
The League of Women Voters and others designed a method to remove politicians from the redistricting process, and although the amendment isn’t perfect, it is infinitely better than the current, exceptionally unfair method.
Allowing politicians to gerrymander their own voting districts has created noncompetitive districts in which the extremes of both parties can be elected in primaries. These primary winners are never contested in the general election because of how the districts are designed.
These partisan politicians then go to Washington and create the gridlock we’ve seen over the past several years. To begin to break this down, we need more competitive districts from which we can elect moderate politicians more willing to work together with one another to get something done.
If more people understood the connection between Issue 2 and the larger issue of the “do nothing” Congress, Issue 2 would pass with overwhelming support.
Sure, it may have some potential problems, but they pale in comparison to the overwhelming unfairness of the current system.
If we could get rid of the politicians’ gerrymandering of their own districts, we would be so much better off than we are now.
With opportunity comes achievement
Recently, I did a little research on achievements by women in the United States when the playing field is level.
Although women comprise 50.8 percent of the U.S. population, they make up 16 percent of the members of Congress.
That is not an accurate reflection of our great nation, and it may be one of the reasons that this Congress is so often stalemated and has a committee of six men deciding women’s health measures.
In 1972, legislation was enacted requiring equal funding for women’s athletics. That was an Olympic year, and the United States won 94 medals, 72 by men and 22 by women.
Fast-forward to 2012, with the playing field now equal. Our women collected 58 medals, and our men collected 45.
The basketball coach with the most wins at the collegiate level is a woman, Pat Summitt of Tennessee.
It is apparent that when the playing field is level, women are over-achievers. This election provides an opportunity for women to be more evenly represented in Congress.
Support the Medina schools
I support the Medina City Schools’ 3.9-mill levy. School districts across Ohio have been losing revenue from the state. For the Medina schools, the cuts amount to a cumulative $10.4 million, projected through the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
I have two students in the district, a freshman and a fourth-grader. They have received a great education.
Their teachers have instilled a love of reading, a strong work ethic and an ability to accomplish goals.
The staff and administration support programs to help others, including collecting toys and food for animal shelters, raising money and being part of a team for Race for Grace, helping less fortunate families in our school and cleaning up the grounds.
Students in Medina need to be educated. They need teachers in the classroom who are giving them the skills needed to be successful in the world. These students will be our future leaders, doctors, lawyers, teachers and business professionals.
A child’s education starts at home but is reinforced at school. I would like to see our daughters’ education and that of future Medina students continue to be positive and strong. On Tuesday, please vote for the Medina schools and the city’s children.