As the new year begins, I am grateful for the freedoms we have in America. For example, the free press – the Tacoma Weekly is a good example of a newspaper that prints meaningful local news and shares the opinions of many. What will the new year bring? What do we want? This is a perfect time to stand up for a more equitable and just country, where the safety net could provide more ladders out of poverty and where hunger in one of six Americans might no longer be a problem.
President Franklyn Roosevelt said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” It is time to pass this test. Whether protecting America’s safety net, creating a fair tax system, or raising the minimum wage, it is time to make a difference. Last year showed Congress listens when we speak: the important provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit that keep 16 million Americans from falling into or deeper into poverty were made permanent. We can expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to childless working adults, so they won’t be taxed into poverty. Secondly, America pledged to continue its part in funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, so over the next three years 8 million lives will be saved and 300 million new infections will be averted. Citizens can make sure Congress funds this pledge each of these next three years. So use your voice to ask your representatives and senators to protect the safety net, improve opportunity, and create a better world. Not sure how? RESULTS (results.org) has worked to train volunteers to make a difference for over 35 years, and there is a strong Tacoma group. Each of our voices matters, that is how a representative democracy works best: when citizens speak to elected representatives, it makes a difference.