Archive for the ‘For Sustainable Living’ Category

New Year 2014

2 January 2014 in Community,For Sustainable Living | Comments (0)

2013 could have been better and could have been worse.  A new start is possible in 2014 along with the completion of prior year activities.  For 2014 please help me to:

-address traffic issues

-advance flooding and sewer improvements

-support our schools

-enhance walking and exercise

-recruit and retain businesses

-improve our overall quality of life

-learn a new dance


Walking

in For Sustainable Living | Comments (1)

Walking is a highly recommended exercise for older adults and others.  The Cheltenham School District also encourages walking to school.  However, walking can be very dangerous in Cheltenham.  We have had several pedestrian fatalities in the past four years.

A group of residents have already looked at certain walking and biking paths.  Almost all of the proposed biking paths are on streets and roads that are not controlled by the Township, but we can make a change for walkers.  The Montgomery County Planning Commission (MCPC) has agreed to assist the Township to study how to do it.

Please let me know of any intersections or sidewalks or pathways that would enhance a safe walk to school.  Keep in mind that sidewalk installations and improvements are typically paid for by the adjacent property owner, not the Township.


Local Progress Conference

31 October 2013 in For Political Participation,For Sustainable Living | Comments (0)

I attended a conference of locally elected officials in Washington, DC on 26 and 27 October, at my own expense.  Below are some examples of initiatives that were discussed at the conference that local government can take:

Expand Voting

-advertise and promote Election Day
-require landlords to provide voter registration forms to tenants at the time of leasing; and
-allow 16 year olds to vote in local elections

Promote Sustainability

-adopt building codes that encourage and require energy conservation

Support Families 

-require contractors with local government to pay a wage of at least $12 per hour;
-involve police department in activities that reduce juvenile delinquency; and
-coordinate township recreation programs with public school programs to enhance after school activities for children

New Majority

26 August 2013 in For Sustainable Living | Comments (0)

The 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington is a cause for reflection on changes in the United States.  In 1963 100 years of racial exclusion that legally and systematically denied African Americans jobs, homes, education, health care, and the right to vote was dying.  Not one African American representative was in Congress.  By keeping African Americans out of economic and political competition many whites obtained jobs, homes, money, status and privilege.

Today however, racial discrimination is illegal though not eliminated and African Americans are represented in jobs up to the President of the United States.  African American attendance in college is near an all-time high as are the number of African Americans that are incarcerated.  However, the changes to come in the next 50 years may be even more dramatic as Hispanics, Asian Americans and blacks along with other historically minority groups become the new majority by 2043.

The transition to the new majority will be marked with some significant shifts before 2043.  Already, the demographics for the emerging new majority are evident in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections where a white voting block failed to elect John McCain and Mitt Romney.  In 2019, only six years from now, white youth will be the minority of all youth ages 18 years and below, according to the US Census Bureau.  These changes mean in part that for America to be productive and prosper that historical minorities will be required to work, innovate, create, take risk, and lead and manage in new endeavors.

Here is a short list of what we should do now to prepare for the new majority.  First, we must work toward inclusion and break down the barriers that have divided us.  Core American values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law must be reinforced now so that the strengths of the American tradition live on and the transition to the new majority is inclusive and nonviolent.  Second, we must expand post-secondary graduation to several million people in the new majority by fixing our public schools. The inferior schools that educate many African Americans and Hispanics are inadequate for preparation of the new majority to serve the nation.  An effective workforce in 2030 will require highly trained nonwhites to fill the millions of positions in our economy.  Third, historical minorities will be required to make more jobs.  Although minority businesses are growing in numbers, strategies to increase the scale of operations are necessary so that they are up to the task of producing goods, services and jobs for the entire nation.

Fourth, reducing crime and incarceration is critical.  America cannot afford the cost associated with imprisoning huge numbers of African Americans and Hispanics as these populations reach half of the nation.  More importantly, we cannot afford to allow the capacity of millions of men and women to be lost in the prison system as we need to maximize the productivity of each citizen.  Fifth, the political participation of minority groups should be encouraged so that the new majority are stakeholders in society and not on the fringes where trouble can emerge.

The future of America is at stake.  We have a chance to reduce the racial and ethnic divides now so that the transition to the new majority expands opportunity, prosperity and freedom.


President Obama Speaks on Stand Your Ground and Race

20 July 2013 in For Sustainable Living | Comments (0)