Dear LWVBAE Members,
We welcome 2021, buoyed by hopeful signs that our country has learned from events of the past 5 years how endangered our democracy has become but also what we need to do to defend it. When voters were led to easily confuse fact and fiction, when officials and others discouraged voting or tampered with voting laws and procedures to affect election results, when public figures continually engaged in outrageous speech and behavior to preclude the atmosphere necessary for rational and productive communication and compromise, the threat to democracy went to a previously unimaginable level.
So we have seen how such egregious assaults on our democracy require efforts of citizens as never before. We cannot afford to relax our vigilance in nurturing the values and practices essential to maintaining a robust democracy – by encouraging voters to register to vote, to obtain reliable information on a range of key civic issues at state and local levels, or to advocate for positions on key civic issues in the best interests of our community as arrived at by League hallmarks of study and consensus – all in an atmosphere of civility, fairness, as well as kindness.
As challenging as these aims are, however, they have become even more so with the emergence of two other simultaneous perils. Almost unbelievably – on top of serious threats to the stability of democracy in our country – the world is experiencing the catastrophe of a devastating pandemic caused by a terrifying new corona virus, in addition to the possibly related, accelerating crisis of an ever-warming planet. The message of hope for the coming year, therefore, must be tempered with restraint, as well as civility, fairness and kindness. We must accept limitations in the short term so that we can survive and thrive in the long term.
Mindful of these caveats, let’s look forward to better days ahead in the New Year!
With warm regards,
Ruby MacDonald, LWVBAE President
All League News