EXCEPT WHERE INDICATED, THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ON THIS PAGE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE MILWAUKEE COURIER

Legislatively Speaking – Unity for all

By Senator, Lena C. Taylor

State Senator Lena C. Taylor

The day after Christmas, we will celebrate the first day of joyous Kwanzaa! There are 7 days of Kwanzaa and a principle to go along with each day. On the twenty-sixth, the first principle will be ‘Umoja’, the Swahili term for Unity.

Not just on that day but every day, we need to strive to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

This theme ties into what I’d like to talk to you about today. I’d like to discuss with you, this past November’s election and how it affects our community, how we need to unite in future elections to achieve the results we want.

As you all know: my party; the Democratic Party, suffered significant success on November 6th with the reelection of President Barack Obama! Our opponents led a campaign full of fear and deception. They tried to tear us down, and tear us away from the principles we believe in. They attempted to divide us, where we needed to come together, but they never succeeded.

Democrats have been united on those things that Democrats need to deliver on. We are united for building public transit for our cities, providing quality education for our children, and rebuilding the middle class. They told us that a health care bill, that will help millions of people achieve coverage, was too expensive, but we know that ObamaCare WILL work.

Here in Wisconsin, our opponents told us that vital programs like Badgercare, should be drastically reduced. Our Governor has now taken to talking about the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’. He refers to people earning as little as $9 an hour as the ‘haves’ of the world. Unfortunately, radical redistricting helped Republicans win in Wisconsin, despite getting fewer votes.

The Republican positions are dangerous to our community and need to be reversed. So how can we do this? How can we unite together and bring back that spirit of change? Let me remind you that a month from now, our president, Barack Obama, will be re-inaugurated! The 2012 election showed us what we can do as a community when we unite. Though our opponents may stand in the way, we cannot be deterred from providing social services to those in need, from caring for our elderly, or from educating our youth in schools that work.

I first ran for office because I love my community. I believe we can do anything if we work together. So I call on all of you to join me in Unity. Not just for Kwanzaa, but all year long. We achieved historic voter turnout in 2012, and I believe that we can recapture that excitement in the coming year. Let us start today, from the ground up, till we have the same passion and hope for the future.

However, this can only happen if we all participate. So become informed, learn about the issues, and exercise your public spirit! And do so not just in national issues, but local issues too.

The work of your state representatives, state senators, and governor can have a dramatic impact on your day to day life. Mahatma Gandhi once said “We should be the change we want to see in the world”. We, as a community have to be represented in our government and to do that we have to be organized, motivated and united. I think of a church congregation, raising their voices in song.

It is more powerful than any lone voice. Uniting together, we become, out of many, one.