Another election is approaching with another national campaign season and election soon to follow. The population seems to be unaware of the decline of democracy and the corruption within our system at all levels of government.
The people we elect are responsible to us. They are responsible to follow the agenda established by referendum votes and the general will of the people. Those elected officials are our representatives, not our leaders whether on county boards and commissions, or state and national congresses. That is, we are NOT to follow their dictates, but they are to listen to our, the peoples’ concerns and needs and apply those needs, wants, and wishes to their legislation.
It seems over the last few years our elected officials deem themselves our leaders and not our employees. We pay well with our taxes as citizens providing a salary that makes it easy for a man or woman to prosper( yes, a living wage), health insurance, opportunity for advancement following a good review and response to us, their employer. Why then don’t our representatives follow our wishes? In the last Missouri Congress, which concerned three referendum votes, that is issues voted on and wanted by the general population. Our general will or consensus of the population in the 16th Senatorial district and the 120th House of Representatives district did not follow the will of the people in their votes of the floor of Missouri Congress. Why not? These votes concern Right to Work, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, and Clean Missouri.
Right to Work that is misnamed. We all have the right to work, and no one was attempting to take that away. The bill dubbed Right to Work was an attempt to negate the impact of unions and to avoid the prevailing wage requirement of state and local agencies. Our representatives tried with several measures to negate our wishes to maintain the labor relationship we have with reworded legislation to eliminate prevailing wages and unions. Our vote against so called Right to Work was clear; we, the people of Missouri, do not want it. Our representatives should NOT try to rewrite or circumvent it.
The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program: Missouri is the ONLY state that does not have a data base monitoring prescription for both lifesaving and deadly opioids’ prescriptions. The names would not be available to the all, but a data base would be established that pill mill doctors are monitored and maybe a save more lives. Missourians wanted the PDMP, 2017 there were 952 opioid deaths in Missouri 16.5 per 100,000 higher than the national average of 14.6. No action has been taken. We, the people of Missouri, voted to initiate this data base.
Clean Missouri that strives to end corruption within state and local government officials and further allow citizens access to information such as: public political records, political contributions including lobbyist payments, and gerrymandering actions. Gerrymandering is a redrawing of political district that gives unfair advantage to one party or interest group over another in voting blocks. NO Action has been taken. As clean Missouri bill suggest politicians and elected officials need to be held accountable to performing to the will of the people.
As we become more aware of what the job of representatives and senators, and presidents are we are better able to understand the necessity and the importance of our voice and vote and our responsibility to ourselves and our kids to make good informed decisions. Our representatives should have an opinion on our issues before they come up for vote, and each one should be able to state that opinion. Our democracy established by the constitution is also made of the traditions we believe freedom, justice, and the American way, which ever American way you choose.
The votes and vote counts are public records that can be accessed. Sometimes it takes several attempts to find the exact one you need or are concerned about.
Deborah K. Dicus
As an addendum: Climate Change is real. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle There is no planet B.
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