Health care is a basic human right, not a privilege. For some reason, we’ve allowed ourselves as Americans to be fooled into accepting that one must be blessed with “means” to actuate appropriate health care. As a nation we have failed to realize that our health care system is a barometer of our society’s value for human life.

-Me

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Business of Being Busy

I haven’t been blogging much. Which seems fairly odd for me as I have been religiously posting entries on this web site of mine since inception, August 26, 2006. It just doesn’t seem right.

So here is the deal. Some things I can’t blog about. Sometimes things are sensitive enough of a nature, and seeing as how this blog is not intended in any way to be anonymous (try googling Sarah Rittmann) sometimes the sensitive stuff (not in feelings but sensitive as can be offensive to some I know) just wouldn’t be beneficial to post here.

The other part of the deal? I have been excruciatingly busy. In a good way though.

Bob the Babe moved in not long ago. I must say that the time needed to invest in a partner is significant. Add to that the fact that both he and I are learning the whys, how-tos, and all those other things that go into being in a relationship where marriage will soon be our common tie AND sharing a common residence and budget. We have a lot of work to do and we are learning to do it lovingly.

I have been more and more involved with our local DFL. I do have my issues with party politics, as I don’t believe that my personal visions in regards to politics are partisan. But, apparently (and unfortunately), many of them are (and can be spun to seem to be.) I am a neighborhood leader in the DFL (precinct Associate Chair) and I have a large number of people in my precinct that need the benefit of one-on-one conversation about current issues. I live in a working-class neighborhood. The people that own homes in my precinct aren’t typically white collar folk. They are labor union folk who have worked hard for the small homes they have. This population needs a voice and needs to feel acknowledged. I really want to work to help them find it. My precinct also houses a large population of poor and disabled individuals. I can’t wait to share with this population, as I can’t imagine anyone who fits better into that shoe than I.

I volunteered (just last night) to have a house party for one of our local candidates for MN House. Joanne Dorsher needs Democrat support and I’d love to help get her name out there. I was hesitant, if only for a moment, as I live in a townhome complex that is created for people whose income is under 60% of the median income of the area. I wondered, in my mind, how it would be accepted to have a house party for a candidate in a home that is perfect for me (and beautiful in my mind) but can be seen as kind of a local ghetto (alley of the poor.) Soon after I had this thought, I wondered how often candidates have come to my corner of the neighborhood. I wondered if any door-knockers had ever braved our doors. I imagined this candidate coming into my neighborhood, visiting with my neighbors, and I imagined a certain amount of local apathy dissipating. When you are poor, it doesn’t seem that candidates come to you often. What a wonderful opportunity!

In keeping with this busy atmosphere, in a couple of weeks we are going to MAYO with the kids to the DANA child development and learning program. The kids will both be evaluated by a team of doctors and a comprehensive treatment plan will be created for them. I am hopeful to get some good input about both of the kids. We are committed to three days at this clinic, and it will be three days of intense doctor stuff. Which reminds me, I should really start talking to the kids about this “vacation.”

I’ve also been writing a lot of letters. And not just letters, but hand-written letters. While at Partners last week, I learned something about our Senators and Representatives that perhaps I had not known before. Typically, when you write a letter to a Representative or Senator their assistant opens the mail and organizes the mail. Here is the typical organization tactic: hand-written letters on top, typed letters w/ pictures underneath (from constituents), then all other letters. Personally, if I write a letter to my Representative or Senator, I want them to actually read it. So from now on, all letters from me will be hand-written. It takes a little longer, but if it increases how likely the letter is to be read, well…..I’m sure you understand the benefit.

Lastly, this past Monday I had an opportunity to meet with my MN House Representative Steve Gottwalt. Man, was he ever a nice guy! Representative Gottwalt is GOP, which means that often we find reasons to disagree on many issues. This time, though, we had many reasons to agree. There are currently two Democratic Health Reform bills in the MN House (HF 3390 & HF 3391) that I strongly oppose. Rep. Gottwalt also opposes these bills, but for very different reasons. For now, he is my ally. And perhaps, if I keep sending him information, he will soften on the single-payer idea (but I’m not counting on it.)

I’ve certainly been on my toes lately, but I am grateful for every opportunity that has been granted me.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

Yay Sarah! Your involvement in all sorts of issues impresses me!