Rather then overwhelm readers with another ten issues to consider when it comes to creating a more just society, as I did last week, here are five more questions to think about.
Libraries: Should citizens support and fund their local libraries? While this question might not rise to the top of the list, it comes to mind as library support is on the local ballot this year. As a heavy user of our local library, I am a strong supporter of libraries as it is a way maintain an educated society. I enjoy listening to books and I use an application called Libby. Are ITA readers familiar with this application? I am able to reserve as many as 21 audio books and after downloading, can keep them on my electronic device for 21 days. Most books, but not all, are available on audio format. When traveling, we always have a number of books available to listen to. We also carry additional external speakers to enhance listening.
Vote By Mail: Should all states adopt Vote By Mail as is the case with four or five states, including Oregon? I’ll add my two cents on this one. 1. Vote By Mail is a huge time saver. Instead of waiting hours in line to vote, this morning I filled out my ballot in 15 minutes (excluding time to study the issues), and dropped it at the Post Office which took another 15 minutes. 2. It saves energy. Normally I walk the ballot to a drop box. 3. There is a paper trail. 4. I’m notified when the ballot is mailed to me and I receive another e-mail when the ballot is received by the election office. 5. There is no harassing at the polling place. 6. There are no voting machines to be hacked or break. 7. One does not feel rushed as we sit at the breakfast table and take our time with the voters pamphlet, newspapers, advertisements, and all other voter information we find useful in coming to decisions. 8. There is no fraud and Oregon first began testing this method for voting back in 1981. 9. It is much less expensive. 10. There is no scrambling to find volunteers to “man” the polling sites. 11. Voter suppression is reduced as polling sites are not closed or switched.
Gun Regulations: Are there ways to reduce gun violence? This one is on my mind as I am working with State of Safety, a bi-partisan group to reduce gun violence, particularly death by suicide. The thrust of this statewide effort is to keep guns locked up and out of the hands of those who may harm themselves and/or others. Had this law been in effect, there is a high probability a three-year old might have been saved in Oregon this last week.
Term Limits: Should there be term limits for members of congress and appointed judges?
The Buffett Rule: Warren Buffett quipped about passing a law that says anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. Would we have a more just society if there were such a law? One might add one exception. The law does not apply during periods when Congress has declared war.
Above are five more questions to ponder and comment on as one thinks about creating a more just society.