Filibusters hindering serious work in Senate
As I am sure you are aware, Sen. Mark Udall and 24 of his colleagues have proposed a strong package to change the Senate rules. I, as do many of my neighbors and colleagues, feel that at a time when our country is reeling from myriad serious problems, we cannot afford to waste a minute of our precious resources. The filibuster as it is currently practiced is a tragic and harmful diversion to serious work.
The new rules as proposed by Udall and his co-sponsors would end filibusters on motions to begin debate and would force senators waging a filibuster to actually stay on the floor and engage in debate. It would protect the right of the minority to be heard but also allow the Senate to conduct its business without endless, harmful delays.
I urge you to support the filibuster package.
Schools must draw on community resources
When I saw Jeffco Superintendent Cindy Stevenson on the news recently bemoaning the lack of funding for Jeffco schools, my skin crawled, not because she’s wrong on this issue, but because she steadfastly refuses to do the most she can with the resources she has. When I tried to organize a community volunteer tutoring and mentoring program for South Jeffco, Stevenson first stonewalled me with pleasantly intoned indications that she would continue to oppose such efforts, and then, when I made it clear that form would not trump substance, aggressively dismissed me.
In our current condition of being resource-starved, we need more than ever to tap into the free and abundant resources in the community, enabling kids to access the wealth of wisdom and experience available from retirees and professionals and others who would like nothing more than to assist our children to succeed in establishing satisfying and productive lives for themselves.
The biggest problems with American education don’t exist in our schools but rather in the confluence of a weak sense of community, an intellectually disengaged culture, and, in the case of Jeffco Schools, a hide-bound and unimaginative school district superintendent. All of these are remediable obstacles.
There are three things the people of Jefferson County need to do to secure and improve the quality of education that the children in our community receive: 1) recognize that we are all responsible for the education of our children, and that we should all step up to participate in that process; 2) agree to adequately fund the enterprise; and 3) insist on having school district administrators who are more concerned with the welfare of our children and our communities than with their own consolidation of power.