Newsletter - March 2015

Location: Yacht Club Broiler. Speaker Martitha May from Kitsap Immigration Assistant Program. Bring non-perishable items for the Suquamish Food Bank. NO RSVP required.

by Jo Fox Burr

At the 50 year commemoration of Selma, President Obama expressed his belief that while we are not there yet, we are closer. He ended by saying “Our job’s easier because somebody already got us through that first mile. Somebody already got us over that bridge. When it feels [like] the road’s too hard, when the torch we’ve been passed feels too heavy, we will remember these travelers, and draw strength from their example…We honor those who walked so we could run. We must run so our children soar.”

Listening to him on this day, reminded me of many FDR speeches I heard on Ken Burns’ special, “The Roosevelts.” Those speeches comforted and moved the nation through turbulent times. However, he had one advantage over Obama – he was white.

It amazes me that after Obama’s stirring speech, 47 Republican senators would dare send a letter to Iran in an attempt to thwart any possible agreement Obama is attempting to undertake. I cannot believe that Obama being black did not make them feel enabled to take such a disrespectful and dangerous action. At the same time, I’m amazed that after being shown such continuing contempt during his presidency, Obama still feels we are closer to becoming a more perfect union. How could history not ultimately come to scorn these senators, while it comes to revere the man Obama was as President?

So I agree we are not there yet, but the fact that Obama overwhelmingly won two elections for President speaks to the fact that we are closer. While his being black certainly helped to get out the black vote that alone would not have been sufficient. So in this, I have to think that Martin Luther King’s dream that someday his children will not be judged by the ‘color of their skin’, but by the ‘content of their character’ moved toward fruition with Obama’s election.

When you see how fast the acceptance of gay marriage is spreading around the nation, you must believe that at least in that area we are getting much closer. When you see how quickly the nation has moved to accepting the need for immigration reform, despite the foolish political road blocks being thrown up, you have to think that we are getting closer there as well.

And then you have to consider what it means that the two most sought after potential presidential candidates on the Democratic side – Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren – are both women. Personally, I don’t think that their being women is the major factor propelling their high regard, which speaks again to King’s dream that people will someday be judged more on their character than on their color or race or sex. On the other hand, the fact that they are women perhaps speaks to the strength women are gaining. Being a woman is becoming less and less of a detriment. In a recent interview, Ruth Bader Ginsberg commented on the fact that in her early days on the bench she often found her comments were largely ignored by the other Justices. However, when a male Justice made the same point, it would become a focal point of discussion. I have experienced this in the past. Have you? However, now she says this no longer happens. In Hillary Clinton’s first run for president, there were times when I felt she ran away from the fact that she was a woman. This is a tactic many women previously employed in their attempt to break the glass ceiling. To my way of thinking, had they broken through, it would not have been a victory for women. However, given the times it was perhaps what had to be done to succeed. I think it is an indication of how far we have come that Clinton seems this time to be embracing the fact that she is a mother and grandmother i.e. a woman. People are not supporting her so much to further the cause of women, but rather because they respect her experience and accept that her being a woman adds a positive dimension to her ability to lead and bring divergent sides together. So yes we are definitely closer. The ultimate test of whether we are there yet will be to see (if she becomes President) if she will be shown the same disrespect Obama has received.

Yvonne was an honest person, who said what she thought. So being honest, when I first became KCDW President, as our secretary she intimidated me – always demanding that we stay on topic. In time I came to appreciate why this was important, but also came to find myself liking her when she, herself, being occasionally and humanly inconsistent, would stray off topic. She was a true Yellow Dog Democrat. She was secretly kind and caring and an amazing telephone banker. I will miss her.

Kitsap County Democratic Women
Date: Mar 25th (Wednesday)
Time: 11:30 a.m. lunch; 12:30 meeting.
Place: Yacht Club Broiler
Speaker: Martitha May, Kitsap
Immigration Assist. Prog.

Kitsap County Dem. Central Com.
Date: Mar 16th (Tuesday)
Time: 6:30 p.m. Desserts; 7:00 p.m. mtg.
Place: Eagles Nest

23rd Legislative District Democrats
Date: Mar 24th (Tuesday)
Time: 6:30 p.m. social; 7:00 p.m. mtg.
Place: Poulsbo Library

26th Legislative District Democrats
Date: Apr 2nd (Thursday)
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Place: Kitsap Rm, Givens Center
1026 Sidney Rd, Pt. Orch.

35th Legislative District Democrats
Date: March 15th (Sunday)
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Place: Olympic College Shelton
937 Alpine Way, Shelton
Speaker: Senator Maralyn Chase

Date: Apr 25th (Saturday)
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: Olympic Coll. Bremer Ctr
Speaker: Yoram Bauman, Economist
Buy Tickets - $60 per person
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Mail check: PO Box 27, Silverdale, 98383

“If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop. Keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.” – Harriet Tubman, escaped slave and major conductor on the Underground Railroad