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February 22, 2019

2/6/2019 1:21:00 PM
Our democratic community
From the editor

Last week’s editorial considered the struggle at this moment of our elected Congress and President to represent “We the People” and pass a budget – the primary task in keeping our Ship of State moving forward. While the Republican leadership cannot distinguish campaign promises from serving the nation in our republican structure of government, Weekly News staff reviewers sought to make it a “capital R” republican in the editorial’s title, “Our republican government.”
But “small r” is correct.
So is “small d” democrat here at home, with democratic, and community wide organizing, as Mayor Ramon Hayes makes a priority of gaining additional funds for the La Conner library from the state legislature. Hayes represents the Town’s residents, but his organizing is representative of democratic participation. He asks for our involvement by writing letters and making calls to legislators for additional funding so library construction can start.
Our shared engagement defines democratic action. It takes a village to raise a library.
With everything, it is in our local communities that we live where our actions are most impactful.
The reality of local democratic participation abound. Last Thursday the radio station KNKX broadcast from our most democratic community institution, the library in Mount Vernon. That evening, also in Mount Vernon, a dozen citizens gathered to hear a “Better Angels ‘state of the union’” address, striving to be in the vanguard of shared red-blue depolarization efforts. The whole village is definitely needed for that.
Last issue, in “Capital Column: A View from the Statehouse” our State Representative, Dave Paul, shared a bit of his legislative efforts in Olympia. Paul will trade that space on a bi-weekly basis with Rep. Debra Lekanoff, also newly elected. Their monthly columns during the legislative session are meant to keep you, their constituents and bosses, informed.
Some tell me that we have a republican form of government, that we are not a democracy. “Yes, and” is my response. In our communities we act democratically for the common good. We cast ballots in democratic elections, choosing by a majority rules structure those who will represent our districts in the task of governing the community.
Once democratically elected, the whole of us hope our representative are “touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” Those are our Republican, and best ever president, Abraham Lincoln’s closing words of his first inaugural address. On his first day in office he faced the reality of southern states having already left the Union.
Those states’ action was the epitome of not believing in majority rules, of refusing to negotiate toward united government, of not allowing full participation. Surely, we will not descend into that rigid ideology again.



Related Links:
• Ken Stern





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Published every Wednesday in La Conner Washington
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