Cinco de Mayo dancer
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Summertime…that is a word that evokes lots of memories and emotions for everyone. I remember the beginnings of my interest in politics was the summer of 1968. I was 11 years old. I remember my father having the Democratic convention on television all the time. That was a year of great turmoil in politics and Democrats were taking a beating.

President Johnson denied the nomination to be president, Herbert Humphry became the beleagured Democratic candidate after the assassination of Robert Kennedy in June. Dr. Martin Luther King also had been killed months before. The country was in turmoil and as an 11-year-old even I was aware of national events and the impact on the political climate. All of these events added to the nightly news reports from Walter Cronkite or Huntley and Brinkley of the raging Vietnam war, protests and sit-ins, the Oakland police department attacking Black Panther party members. In Cleveland, Ohio, violence caused the deaths of seven people. Olympic runners Tommie Smith and John Carlos were told to leave the Olympics and were banned from future Olympics after raising their fists during the medal ceremony, in a silent protest against racial discrimination in the US. A Poor Peoples’ campaign led 53.000 participants to congregate on the National mall. Cesar Chavez began and ended his fast for the UFW that galvanized their movement. The Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia. Israel attacked Lebanon in retaliation for an attack on an Israeli airliner. And of course, hundreds of protestors were clubbed and beaten by Chicago police during the Democratic National Convention held there. No wonder my interest in political matters started then. The world was imploding and the future seemed only chaos.

In many ways, our nightly news seems very similar to 1968, right down to the fact that the Democratic National Convention will again be held in Chicago. My sincere hope is that the country does not turn to a Republican as they did in 1968. Our country recovered but was forever scarred by 1968. Making that mistake again will change the country irreparably and democracy will not recover.

We have worse problems and some not as bad as 1968, but the awakening political activism is very exciting. People are raising their voices. Protest is a hallmark of our Democracy as well as a constitutional right. Like 1968, many of our red political friends think protest should be extinguished. Now in addition, the far right would see the free press banned and free expression allowed only if it aligns with Trump and GOP ideologies. Like 1968, we have much to protest, and much to stimulate activism. But hope springs eternal. We live in interesting times that will impact the future exponentially this year. Caring about political affairs is essential, getting active is imperative. We must change the world in a good way this year. After some of the events I have attended, I can see that people are itching to get involved and willing to step up to get out the vote, battle misinformation, register voters, attend rallies and protests, right letters to the press, campaign for candidates, donate, participate in events and parades and above all, VOTE!

We have many events this summer that need your help, your activism. See our Events Calendar for more information. If there’s an activity we missed, please submit a Content Submission Form. We are an organization of volunteers and cannot function without active volunteers. Please call our office or go to the website, and sign-up then show up.

“The price people pay for indifference to political affairs is to be ruled by imbeciles and those with evil intent”. Plato. We have seen that be the case so often in recent years. We have the most ineffective congress in over 80 years. Many members of Congress have either resigned or refused to run for re-election. We have elected imbeciles because not enough folks are stepping up to be public servants. Unless we support and elect serious candidates who want to make the world a better place instead of seeking notoriety and money, our legislature will be ineffective, and this goes for those on both sides of the aisle. Let’s step up to participate in caucus and assemblies so we can pick good candidates, and step up to encourage your friends and neighbors to vote for the interests of the people. Be a responsible voter, find out about your candidate, find out about the record and platform of your candidate, research also what the other side is proposing. Countries end up with the government they deserve. If you want a good government, a functioning government, you need to participate, take time to understand the issues, investigate the platforms and be responsible in voting. Only then will we be able to pick leaders that will be able to meet the challenges of our future, truly serve the people and bring the country together. Fortunately, here in Colorado we have picked excellent candidates for Colorado Democrats, Our challenge is to make sure that our Democrats, Unaffiliated and disenfranchised Republicans know that we have the best candidates, the best platform, and real workable solutions for our challenges. Given the opportunity, Democrats will lead the way for restoring and codifying rights, meeting the challenge of climate change, of immigration, and continuing economic recovery and supporting economic justice.

That 11-year-old Democrat still believes that our party, hands down, is the party that will serve the people, stand up for rights, free speech and press, reproductive freedom, environmental protections, an educated populace and will secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity. Get ready. The summer of 24 will be the year of activism and you don’t want to miss out.

Bev Wallace – Chair

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