Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Democracy in action
I'm hesitant to bring up politics these days (you know how fun that's been to talk about recently), but as a Wisconsinite I feel I'd be remiss not to share a bit about the protests going on in my fair city & state. If you haven't heard anything, a quick recap: 1) the WI governor proposed a bill ('Budget Repair Bill') that while helping fix the budget also needlessly stripped the state workers of the right to collective bargaining, 2) state workers got PISSED and congregated in the thousands in and around the capitol building to protest, 3) all Democratic representatives fled the state to block the vote--this is the point where it started getting national attention. We're currently in limbo--nobody is budging.
I'm not going to get into the debate here, but I will say it's been really amazing to see people come together over a something they really believe in regardless of what side they are on--as well as being polite and civil to those that disagree with them. This article exemplifies why I'm proud to live in Wisconsin. An excerpt:
"Wisconsonites are united, even in times like this, by many things, including a love of University of Wisconsin, Madison, athletics and the program's strutting mascot Bucky the Badger; a devotion to the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers NFL football team; and, of course, a love of beer, brought to the state by its German settlers and honed by brewers whose names are part of American history: Pabst, Schlitz, Miller and Blatz."
Here's a slideshow of the action compiled by Madison photographer Terry Talbot (who took wonderful photos at our wedding):
Last Sunday, 60,000 - 100,000 (depending on whose estimates you believe) gathered on the capitol square to make their voices heard. It made me feel hopeful to see people marching side-by-side sporting "Kill the Bill!" and "I support Walker" signs, sometimes spiritedly debating but not heckling each other--a rare sight in our nation's polarized political environment. My personal favorite sign was, "I disagree with Gov. Walker, but I'm pretty sure he's not Hitler". Keep it classy, Madison, I'm doing my part: