NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Forward, Not Backward

Katrina is in top row, third one in from the left side.

Whoever took this picture on campus, forgive me for stealing it from Facebook without crediting you!

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at UW Eau Claire this week, and my daughter Katrina was chosen to be up on the stage behind him during the event, representing Advocates for Choice as the organization's president.  She is very passionate about women's rights issues, and is thrilled that she got to shake the hand of the man who was so instrumental in passing the federal Violence Against Women Act that established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

Vice President Joe Biden said domestic violence has dropped by 60 percent since it was signed into law 18 years ago. But he also said congressional gridlock has left a strengthened reauthorization of the act in legislative limbo. Biden said in a statement issued on the law's anniversary that three women still die each day from domestic violence, one in five women have been raped and one in six have been stalked. "While women and girls face these devastating realities every day, reauthorization of a strengthened VAWA languishes in Congress. VAWA is just as important today as it was when it first became law, and I urge Congress to keep the promise we made to our daughters and our granddaughters on that day—that we would work together to keep them safe," were his words on this issue.

While all eyes and ears are tuned in to the presidential candidates and their busy supporters, the drama continues in Wisconsin.  Scott Walker keeps trying to take away the rights of Wisconsin citizens, but they keep fighting back.

His outrageous voter ID law was thankfully deemed unconstitutional, his repealing of the Equal Pay Enforcement Act will hopefully be reinstated in the future, and the infamous attack on union workers is being fought hard and is seeing some results. 

From the AP:

A Wisconsin judge has struck down nearly all of the state law championed by Gov. Scott Walker that effectively ended collective bargaining rights for most public workers.

Walker's administration immediately vowed to appeal the Friday ruling, while unions, which have vigorously fought the law, declared victory. But what the ruling meant for existing public contracts was murky: Unions claimed the ruling meant they could negotiate again, but Walker could seek to keep the law in effect while the legal drama plays out.

Walker's law, passed in March 2011, only allowed for collective bargaining on wage increases no greater than the rate of inflation. All other issues, including workplace safety, vacation, health benefits, could no longer be bargained for. The ruling means that local government and schools now must once again bargain over those issues, said Lester Pines, an attorney for Madison Teachers Inc. that brought the case.
"We're back to where we were before the law was enacted," he said. Pines predicted the case would ultimately be resolved by the state Supreme Court.

Unions do more than secure raises for workers, they enforce workplace safety and fight for access to health care benefits. Voting is the right of every citizen and no law should be enacted that makes it a hardship for college students and senior citizens to participate.  Women have the right to equal pay, and they should be able to seek justice at the more affordable state level instead of at the federal level. Women have the right to live without fear of violence and need our help finding safe havens and getting the support they need legally, physically and emotionally.

I hope the people of Wisconsin, and of the United States, continue to fight hard for their rights, because the agenda for some politicians seems to be taking away the rights our predecessors have fought so hard to establish.  Let's move forward, not backward! To quote Edna Mode from The Incredibles "... Go, confront the problem! Fight! Win!"


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