Election results: Our hope for the future
As a group, we founders of urbanMamas were impassioned Barack Obama supporters. His win got to us on a number of levels: it's a thrilling realization of (what we hope is) a new era in which someone's race or gender or familial fortune is far less important than his or her intelligence, character, and values. It's a victory for grassroots politics over corporate politics (I, the MBA, am actually thrilled that the stock market plummeted the day after his victory). It's a victory for children, I truly believe that; as the camera panned across the kids up on stage with Obama and Biden, I cried even more, certain that the future of those little girls in the White House would be a better one for my little boys. It gives us hope that major policies will change for the better: chief on my list are eliminating subsidies that promote monocultures (buh-bye corn and soy subsidies), senseless transport (it shouldn't be so easy to supplant local produce, apparel, or other locally-sourced products with those from across the country, or the world), and wrongheaded decisions by financial institutions.
We're happy that Barack Obama won, and also
- Jeff Merkley (though I could do without his expensive, negative campaign); he campaigned on overhauling No Child Left Behind, fully funding public schools and Head Start programs, and creating universal access to health care.
- Kate Brown for Secretary of State
- The Children's Investment Levy renewal
- The Zoo bond; even though I have mixed feelings about the whole concept of zoos, I'd rather ours be up-to-date and taking best care of the captive animals as possible
We have hope that Obama and the other elected officials can make some enormous changes in America. We need to entirely re-think our priorities as a nation; instead of focusing on jobs above all, we need to focus on people. People who are mothers, fathers, children, aunts, uncles and grandparents. People who are farmers and freelance workers. People who do not have group health care; people who choose to live a more sustainable life. We need policies that support us. We need healthy food, first. This starts by eliminating corn and soy subsidies and making sure it's not any easier to grow food that's been genetically modified or treated with petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers than it is organic, heirloom, sustainably-grown food. It continues by funding food as part of education; increasing the time spent at lunch and encouraging gardens at schools and the fresh prepartion of food in school cafeterias. We need better transportation policy; we need to make hard choices and recognize that the best option is the one that doesn't use oil. We need enormous infrastructure changes and a renewal of neighborhood schools so children are walking and biking to school and families can make the choice to go without a car, biking and taking public transportation instead. We need government encouragement for telecommuting so that families with parents who choose to work can do so with the minimal impact on their children. We need tax-funded health care so the choice whether or not both parents need to work can be far easier. We need far more generous paid family leave policies so that children's lives can begin with several months of low-stress bonding, easier breastfeeding, and happier mothers.
That's what I hope Barack Obama, his cabinet, and the other elected officials will do for us. What do you hope for?