After the recent primary election, I had to stop and take stock. I've been posting, but all of my posts have been...well, for lack of a better word, 'nice'. I've all but done a puppies and kittens post and although my dogs are camera hogs, they'll just have to wait.
There are so many things that I feel need to be addressed I hardly know where to begin. My mother always quotes me the adage "Charity begins at home and spreads abroad" so I'll start with local issues first.
In my own neighborhood, I'm worried about this upcoming summer. The Greater Cincinnati area is having a major violence problem where it seems young people having nothing better to do than sell dope, have turf wars and shoot each other. So far my own little barely suburban neighborhood has been spared a shooting on home territory however two boys from our neighborhood were involved in a shooting that took place in another area.
Our community is very small (ten block radius is being generous) and I'm very worried that when school is out, these kids are going to get restless and start mimicking their peers further inside the city.
There are two huge, empty stores nearby that were abandoned by a Thriftway Grocer (Winn Dixie depending on where you're from) and another abandoned by a Big Lots. They stand cheek by jowl and are doing no one any good. I'd like to put a youth center there. Complete with computers, a gym and classes on everything from yoga to child care but I really don't know where to begin on such a project and just wanting it isn't going to make it happen.
My participation in the recent primary election opened my eyes to a lot of dirty politics (is there any other kind?) played in this area. People who grin at us a lot come election time but spend their time lining their pockets and the pockets of their friends with yours and my tax money the rest of the year.
Starting with those in local government who align themselves with former enemies, to those in County government who are just plain incompetent, to those in State and Federal government who betray us by going against their voters at home, by supporting the Bush Administrations bad decisions and continue to support the status quo instead making the changes the promise every election year - I don't have much faith in the political process, our government or the people we've elected to do what is in the best interest of, respectively, our local citizenry or the American People in general. Given lockstep cowardice on the Republican side and avoidance and "let's see how it goes" stupidity on the Democratic side, the future of our country looks bleak.
Lastly, but certain not least is the war? Which war you may well ask? The War on Drugs, The War on Poverty, The War on Terrorism, The War in Iraq, The War in Afghanistan or the looming War in Iran? That's a lot of war for a country that was once set on "winning the peace".
I know I'm not the only one with these concerns. I know I'm still in the talking and learning stage but I'm ready to be in the doing stage. I'm ready to get up, get out and do something.
First things first: I'm stepping things up here. No more posting once a week on weekends. I've been blogging for over six months now and I guess I'm not going to quit. So, the trial stage is over. It's every day from now on.
On Monday, I'm going to find out how I can actually get involved in this youth center project. I can't end all the wars and I certainly can't play dirty politics (yet), but maybe I can affect some change right here on my own home turf.