Last days of summer, time at the beach, a final cookout or chance to wear white pants? The calming relief of the first cool days after a long, hot Georgia summer?
Of course, all of these are true, and eating a hot dog or marching in a parade are nice enough ways to celebrate our solidarity with the long-haul truck driver or the food-service worker whose efforts help us get through our days throughout the year.
Labor Day calls on us to remember the sacrifices of those who have worked hard to get us where we are and the continued struggles of workers to make a living and contribute to building a better society.
On a personal note, Labor Day reminds me of my grandmother, hoeing in the “victory” garden she kept years after the war was over, of my dad working the night shift at the plant, and especially of the entrepreneurial spirit of my twelve-year-old, immigrant great-grandfather who snuck into this country without anyone’s permission so he could find a place to work and build a family. Thinking of their struggles and the love that gave them the courage to work long hours helps me face my own task with a lighter heart.
Labor Day reminds me, most of all, that if most jobs are neither glamorous nor high-paying, there is nonetheless a certain nobility to work that comes from contributing to the collective good. Work expresses our connectedness with the rest of humanity and society as a whole and is, like love, a force that binds us together as human beings.
So I ask you to celebrate this Labor Day with thoughts of workers in your hearts and, if you get the chance: Hug a Teamster!
Happy Labor Day!
Dear friends and supporters,
The deadline for registration (called qualification in political parlance) for the Special Election to fill the seat of Georgia’s Sixth District in the US Congress is this Monday. The process in Georgia requires the payment of a $5200 qualification fee, which is, of course, only the beginning of the money ball game. Though I find it deeply disturbing that this is how are system works – no signatures from supporters required, just cash! – I am hoping to make a difference by adding our voice to the coming debates regarding the future of our district and state. Please make a contribution at our web site Keatley for Change.
Those of you who know me, know I am not a politician. I am a veteran – I served seven years in the US Navy (greatest time of my life), sailing the seas and serving my country. I then followed my dream of studying languages, managing, thanks to first my NROTC scholarship and later, by studying and applying myself, on full fellowship during my doctoral studies. One of my greatest accomplishments, however, has certainly been the amazing relationship I have had with my students, who are now going to help me win this seat!
As you know, our state and national Democratic party allowed for Tom Price to run effectively unopposed in 2016. No one (that I have met) knows why or how this happened, but it did. Rodney Stooksbury still has “no image available” on Wikipedia, despite receiving 38% of the vote for the Congressional seat of Georgia’s sixth district. The district was 49% for Hillary Clinton and there was no competition, no debate for the choice of our representative in Washington.
I believe we need to make ourselves heard, run for office, make real changes.
I also believe that, as democratic members of the Democratic Party, we need to address issues that are of concern to America’s working families.
Complete control of all branches of government by any party is a risky proposition. There have long been plans, in the extremist edges of conservative think tanks, of new and inventive ways to privatize or weaken the columns of our social safety net. Tom Price, in particular, has been a proponent of reducing Social Security benefits, using block grants and/or voucherization of Medicaid and Medicare. With one party control these proposals could become reality!
It takes many centuries to grow a tree and a few minutes to chop it down. Once these programs are dismantled, they will be gone!
We can, as Americans, disagree on many things. But I do believe that there are some things that hold us together, such as our sense of common decency, fairness and justice. The need to recognize hard work and discourage destructive behavior, the need to work together. I believe strongly that most people want reasonable and positive change for our nation, legislated in a way that is not hateful or cruel.
Please support my attempt to make a difference.