Dollars and Votes : Can Mr. Smith get to Washington?

moneyvotes

As the primary draws near, I have fielded many questions regarding my campaign (or lack thereof it seems). People want to know where I am, “why don’t you have any yard signs?” is a common question. “I don’t see your Facebook posts, so I can’t share them.” “Why don’t you have a radio commercial?” My answer is always the same, I am not a wealthy white man. Jim Evans and Billy Long are, although I must point out, that is where their similarities end. Mr. Evans has personally loaned his campaign $45,000, I am entirely unable to do that. Mr. Evans is retired and financially comfortable enough to seed his own campaign. I would  like to commend him on what I believe is a public service, challenging Billy Long. It is not my intention to attack Jim in his fundraising style, but I feel that I must point out that the monies he has access to are mostly his own, and do not reflect the “will of the people”. Jim has however, blown me out of the water in general public fundraising as well, and I commend him on this. Democratic party fundraising does not come easy in the 7th District. Unfortunately American politics is a game of dollars and cents, not common sense and connection with the people. Frankly, my lack of personal financial resources has been (as I knew it would be) an enormous obstacle. I’ve personally answered the question “Can Mr. Smith go to Washington?” with an emphatic “no”, at this point in history Mr. Smith is too busy making it through the month. He hasn’t the time nor energy to run for public office. It is common for a candidate to seed their account with what are called “candidate contributions”, Rep. Long started his primary campaign in 2010 with a $100,000 self funded donation. Jim Evans started his with a personal loan of $45,000, I opened my campaign account with a one hundred dollar bill, and have contributed just under $1,000 of my own resources…which one of these numbers looks like a winner? Does might make right, in the 7th District it sure looks like it does.

I actually AM a working class person. I have student loan debt, and sometimes I eat ramen noodles for a few days in a row, I plant a garden for food security, and if it fails…well, that’s where the ramen noodles come in, I can’t afford to go to the doctor because my insurance premium is too high. I am a real human being, with real problems. I am the 7th District, and I always will be. Jim is a fine candidate, but he does not know food insecurity, he does not know student loan debt, he does not know what it’s like to have month left over at the end of the money. If this conversation is about knowing the struggles of the people of the 7th district, then why is the conversation centered around two wealthy men as they fight for the seat?

Call me naive, call me whatever you want for that matter, but if you’re wondering where I am, I’m fighting for our rights, the rights of the people, the college grad paying off student loan debt by working minimum wage, the working person who has no gas to get to work tomorrow, the struggling single mother, the child going to bed hungry. It’s time phrases like “the working-poor”, “food insecurity”, and “the shrinking middle class” were not in the vocabulary in the wealthiest nation in the world. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore. If you’d like to join me, I’d love to have your vote on August 5th. I’m ready to rise to the occasion, and I believe we all are.

Thank you,

R. Genevieve Williams

 

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Voter Registration Deadline

Exercise your right to vote! The August 5th primary is less than 8 weeks away. Check your voter registration status and encourage others to do the same.

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Why I Support Cannabis Reform

Let me be clear, Cannabis is not going to save the world, but it can provide us with new industries and products, something we have every reason to explore. Industrial Hemp for example has almost no psychoactive effect if smoked and is useful as a source of everything from building materials to bio-fuels. Medical Cannabis has been used to treat nausea in chemotherapy patients for years with positive results along with many other uses that are currently being explored. Colorado and Washington have led the way into regulated and taxed recreational Cannabis use and the (albeit short-term) benefits to these states have become clear. I join with many Americans who think there is nothing wrong with adults responsibly using recreational Cannabis. I believe it’s time to open up these new sources of revenue for states to use as they see fit.

Ten years ago, this debate was still on the political fringe, but  attitudes are shifting. More Americans support ending prohibition than ever before. Good Legislation like HR 499 has been proposed in the House (without much attention) and I think it’s time they take a second look. Congressman Long is on record as voting against House Amendment 748 which Prohibits Federal Agencies from Preventing States from Authorizing the Use of Medical Marijuana, making it clear his position not only against Medical Marijuana but his vote suggests he believes states do not in fact have the right to decide their position on Cannabis for themselves. With 58% of Americans showing support in a recent Gallup poll, it’s clear that it’s time to talk about ending Marijuana Prohibition.

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The Greatest Generation

93 Year Old Paratrooper Jim Martin

Yesterday a 93-year-old veteran parachuted onto the same beach he helped storm 70 years ago during the Allied Invasion of Normandy.

93 Year Old Paratrooper Jim Martin

93 Year Old Paratrooper Jim Martin

 

Things like this remind us of the great task that was undertaken by these brave men and women and of our duty to our veterans. The courage expressed on our nation’s behalf must be honored, we must be courageous and stand up with all veterans demanding treatment befitting their sacrifice.

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Water Quality is Not a Political Issue

water

Last month Alimet, a chemical used in animal feed by Tyson Foods in Aurora was spilled and the “clean up” was sent from Tyson’s wastewater pre-treatment plant to the Monett Municipal wastewater treatment plant. The introduction of the chemical caused a “100% kill” of the bacteria needed to process the waste in the plant. Alimet, along with ammonia and untreated wastewater was then erroneously released while still  contaminated into Clear Creek causing a 100% fish kill along 4.5 miles of the creek. This is our water, and the water for our children to drink and use for sport and recreation.

I’m not going to stand by and let Tyson Foods continue their legacy of destruction here in the 7th District. Their contribution to our economy is outweighed by their callous disregard for our area’s natural resources. Join with myself and others in demanding action from all sides, Tyson Foods needs to step up, and take responsibility for this, and in doing so take whatever measures necessary to overhaul their environmental policy which is clearly negligent. We all have a duty to ensure that the seemingly boundless natural resources available to us are available to Americans far in the future. In the words of today’s opinion article in the Joplin Globe ” The Missouri DNR needs to make sure the message is sent loud and clear: We won’t subsidize the cost of doing business for Tyson or any other company in Missouri with our environment.”

Clear Creek is not the only waterway in the area which is in crisis. According to a water quality report released by the Missouri Department of Conservation in 2003 the water quality of Shoal Creek, also in the 7th District was “reported as excellent” in 1958 through 1979 recently 43 miles of Shoal Creek was reported as impaired . As someone who has floated shoal creek  many times and enjoyed our area’s waterways all my life I am appalled and I am confident others feel the same way. -GW

 

 

 

 

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Reflect, Remember, and Respond – A Call for Firearm Saftey

Yesterday a 3 year old Newton County girl was killed by an unsecured firearm. My heart goes out to everyone involved. As our community joins in mourning this loss, we have a duty to focus on preventing events like this in the future. Tragic accidents involving children and firearms are far too frequent. Every year nearly 10,000 children are killed or injured by firearms in the US, and just over 20% are accidents. Both of these numbers should be zero. Together we can end this today, every firearm in America should be properly secured to prevent tragic accidents like this one. Accidents and gun violence are both serious problems that need to be addressed in this country. Americans have a right to keep and bear arms but they have a duty to secure them and use them responsibly. I urge you to take a firearm safety pledge:

“I choose to own a firearm and therefore accept responsibility for using and storing it safely. I commit to securing my firearm when not in use, being aware of who can access it at all times and educating others to do the same.”

You can join others in taking the Project Child Safe Pledge here.

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In Answer to Congressman Long’s Press Release

Energy is an important issue, coupled with environment, I believe it is the furthest reaching issue of our time. The implications of inaction now WILL affect the generations to come. Congressman Long recently posted a short news release stating that he was against President Obama’s EPA Environmental Regulatory Proposal.

After seeing the release I posted the following response on his public facebook page;

 “Congressman Long, Your press release states your position (against the EPA and President Obama) but I don’t see any alternatives that you have proposed. Could you please explain how you would decrease carbon emissions without adding cost to American’s utility bills? I would like to point out that the President’s plan would reduce emissions 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. Carbon emissions are not only causing global climate change, they contribute to poor air quality. Surely you must have some ideas to address this serious issue. As a young person, I worry about the condition the earth will be left in after the political dust has settled.”

I realize that Congressman Long is unlikely to address my questions, as he seldom (if ever) responds to communications via social media, or requests for information from his opposition. This is understandable as I’m sure the amount of information coming at him must be overwhelming. I do however wish to urge Congressman Long to address climate change publicly in the near future. He has, up until now, in my opinion, been a part of the problem. I think it’s time to call on Congressman Long to address the facts and tell the people of the 7th District, why he has chosen to vote along party lines time and time again on environmental issues, including water quality, even when it is against the wishes and welfare of the very people he was elected to represent. Unfortunately, most of us here are not large corporations funding his $1,000 lunches, so it has not been addressed. I know from previous video Congressman Long is a Free Market Economist, but he has failed to realize or that he has given up on our planet, which will be home to our children and grandchildren long after we are gone, for short-term benefit.

Renewable sources of energy are all around us, every day the sun provides us with more than one kilowatt of energy per square meter, we have the technology to harness that energy to create domestic, clean, and sustainable electricity.  Wind Energy and Bio-fuels are also domestic resources of fuel, it’s time to keep our energy dollars clean, and contributing to today’s technology driven economy. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but it’s the right thing to do. We cannot continue taking ancient carbon and reintroducing it into today’s atmosphere.

I would like to go on to repeat what I have covered in previous posts, the effects of climate change are not only real, they are happening right now. As someone who is statistically more likely to live through many of these changes, I am standing up and asking you to join me in telling our nations elected officials that we are through letting them harm the planet in our name.

I don’t know about you, but I am fed up with Billy Long.

-GW

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The Time to Address Climate Change is Now

Climate change is a real issue that is affecting us now, and will continue to affect us. It’s time to do everything we can both personally and politically to mitigate the effects of climate change.
In my lifetime we are looking at a world-wide temperature increase of 2 to 4°F, and if actions are not taken to address carbon emissions that increase will likely be 5°F to 10°F. Temperature changes like these WILL have a substantial effect on the look and feel of our world. Biodiversity will be greatly impacted, oceans levels will rise, the world’s oceans will become more acidic, storms will be of greater intensity, weather patterns will change drastically in some areas.
We have a moral obligation to care for the environment not just because it affects us, but because it affects the earth and everything on it. The good news is we can take action now, by replacing antiquated, dirty fuels for clean, domestic, renewable energy. Join with me in fighting for our right to clean air, water, and energy!

National Climate Change Assessment

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Peace Begins with You

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City Logo

 

I write this today with a heavy heart, once again, violence and hate have touched our nation . I can not begin to find words to express my sorrow and frustration at Sunday’s events. Three lives were lost, along with yet another piece of our innocence. I urge you to join with me in rejecting hatred from all sides and focusing on ways to prevent violence from within, on an individual level.

I would also like to extend my condolences and heartfelt sympathy to all those affected by this senseless tragedy.

-GW

 

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Celebrate the 26th Amendment

Forty-three years ago this week, the 26th Amendment was passed by Congress lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 years of age. Prior to the passage of the amendment 18 year olds were fighting and dying for their country in Vietnam but were not eligible to vote. Unfortunately, since that moment, this age group has struggled with voter turnout. Let’s honor the effort to get the vote for 18-21 year olds.

Do you know a young American who isn’t currently registered to vote? Encourage them to register and exercise their right to vote!

Missouri Secretary of State Voter Registration Information.

-G.W.

 

 

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