Apparently people want my signature.
Not in the ‘Please sign my book/boobs/this napkin sort of way. (Give it time….) but more in the “Here is a petition about a worthy cause!” kind of way.
Petitions against Styrofoam
Petitions against a Menorah that is set up in the downtown area during December
Petitions to add “widower” and “”civil partner” to Facebook profiles*
Petitions about loss of funding for AIDS treatment centers
Petitions about CA parks being closed due to budget concerns
The list just goes on and on. (*this is the only one that started out on Facebook, the others came whizzing through cyber space and landed in my email’s inbox.)
Now, I believe in the power of the people. I believe that one voice can make a bit of noise and can inspire other voices to join in and that with enough voices change can happen. I believe in equality and taking care of our planet.
But you know what? I also believe that having a well spoken opinion is not the same as having a well formed opinion.
Put another way, I believe in researching things before I agree or disagree. I also believe I have the right to change my mind if I get more/better information.
So I signed the Styrofoam petition… and then I talked to the Workplace Solutions people in my office as well as several people who work with me. Now, I am happy to report, we don’t use Styrofoam in the on-site café… it isn’t even offered anymore. Also the team is making a concentrated effort to use real cutlery and dishes so that we cut back on even the compost-able containers.
I did not sign the Menorah petition because I personally didn’t agree with the phrasing. (Also I think a request to have the obviously religious symbol moved off of government property –in this case a post office- was enough… I have no problem with the display being up during December, after all that is when the holiday the Menorah represents takes place.)
I did add myself to the groups seeking more options in the Facebook world because.. why not. I have a feeling Facebook will eventually offer these options, they make sense.
That leave the last two.
On first impression it is easy to say “Don’t cut funding for AIDS centers! Don’t cut funding for Parks!!! We need these things!” But I got to thinking. The CA budget is a mess right now, everyone knows it. If they are cutting funding to these types of programs… doesn’t that beg the question of what AREN’T they cutting the funding for… or what aren’t they cutting the funding for as much?
Because somethings just have to go. The money has to come from somewhere. Am I the best person to figure out where it should come from? Nope, not at all. That is why we elect other people (smarter more educated on the issues sort of people) to figure all that out.
Granted they don’t always do what I want. But I honestly (and maybe naively) believe that they are making the tough decisions based on what they think will do the most good for the most people.
But okay… I can’t just sit back and let them make all the decisions without any education, that is being a lazy citizen so I decided to pick one of the issues and actually look into it a bit more. I picked the parks petition because I know nthing about parks and honestly haven’t ever given them much thought. (Plus, like it or no AIDS has a connection to the LGBT community and I am already donating and volunteering a=plenty over there so a change of pace might be good.)
Parks it is!
So…. stay tuned for information regarding this petition, my adventure is talking to my assembly representatives, a local meeting about the issue, and how exactly they get their statistics.