Saturday, June 23, 2018

YOU! HAVE THE POWER | Dr. Ellen Brown

June 5, 2018 by  
Filed under Extra

DR. ELLEN BROWN

What’s at stake — and who will sit at the table?

 

BY DR. ELLEN BROWN

It’s showtime! On June 12, Nevadans will head to the polls to determine who sits at the table for the next two years. Power lies with the voters, as we cast ballots for the candidates we choose to represent the interests of our children, our teachers, our workers, and our communities. Who will you empower? How will you make this decision? What do you want from candidates vying for your vote?

Faced by these questions, many registered voters in Clark County have expressed frustration — and even questioned the value of voting itself — over a lack of trust in elected officials; they simply believe that things change once a candidate gets into office. In an interview, State Senator Patricia Spearman, a three-term incumbent who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, answered some hard questions about the concerns and expectations of voters. She sees public service as a responsibility, because “people care more about how much you care.”

What is at stake for the people? Senator Spearman believes she speaks for the majority in answering this question. “This is a pivotal time in our community and everyone needs to show up and vote.” Why? The stakes are high and it is important to know the issues at stake. Pay equity is one of the biggest — with 139,000 Nevada households headed by women trying to stay ahead and keep their families together. Funding for schools and community services is also threatened.

Who will you place at the table? The voters must know why candidates are running. Ask the question: “What do you have to help me fix my problems?” What have candidates already done to demonstrate they are on your side? When it comes to constituent services Spearman believes that non-responsiveness is unacceptable, and accountability is non-negotiable.

What can you do? Vote, then demand accountability from your representatives. When asked about community involvement, Senator Spearman offers a shopping list of opportunities. “It is important to be involved. Show up. This is a marathon, not a sprint — it takes time to make a difference.” She encourages people to keep pushing after elections. Some ways to get involved include volunteering for phone banks, attending meetings and forums, and asking questions.

Early voting: May 26-June 8 | Numerous locations throughout the valley Primary Election Day: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | 172 vote centers

Ellen Brown is an affiliate faculty member in the School of Contemporary Liberal Studies at Regis University and a retired associate dean and professor at Davenport University.

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