Grassroots actionmovements work

Grassroots actionmovements work

When the Daily Tidings applauded the Ashland City Council's decision not to support a constitutional amendment to reverse "Citizens United" (March 1), it asserted such action would be useless. It analogized it to Ashland's 1982 declaration of the city as a Nuclear Free Zone, then claimed the declaration had "exactly zero effect." That statement revealed both historical ignorance and misunderstanding of grassroots-driven change.

The editorial is right that there are still nuclear weapons in the world. But in 1982, tension between the two nuclear superpowers was extremely high, thanks to President Reagan's announced willingness to "fight and win" a nuclear war.

The nuclear disarmament movement turned around that long-time "Cold Warrior," and in 1985 in Geneva, he and Gorbachev began negotiations that led to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. In that decisive moment the nuclear arms race ended. No current nuclear tension threatens the extinction of humankind.

Major grassroots movements succeed by fostering many kinds of action in multiple locations. Each one raises consciousness about the issue and enlists new activists. Ultimately, policy changes must be made at the top of the political structure, but as pressure from below builds, those people become open to change.

Adoption of nuclear free zones was a useful strategy of education, empowerment, and statement of popular will. And out of the Ashland NFZ campaign was born Peace House, which continued to spur anti-nuclear activities in the valley, and to this day is a powerful force for building a world free of government-sponsored violence.

Herbert Rothschild Jr., chairman,Peace House Board of Directors

Phoenix

The Arc observes disabilities month

We, The Arc in Jackson County, are proud to join advocates across the country to recognize March as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. This month commemorates the progress in improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and highlights the challenges that remain in achieving full inclusion.

The Arc's advocacy efforts were crucial to President Ronald Reagan's signing of a proclamation in 1987 affirming that, "Americans are becoming increasingly aware that such disabilities need not keep individuals from realizing their full potential in school, at work or at home, as members of their families and of their communities."

This month we will join more than 700 chapters of The Arc nationwide and advocate with and on behalf of individuals with I/DD. Their right to live, learn and work as they choose must not be ignored. These individuals are our neighbors, colleagues, friends and family members. We must ensure that they have a fair opportunity to achieve their dreams.

While there has been much progress over the years, there is still much to be done. We hope the community will join our efforts. Together let's change hearts and minds. To learn more, please go to www.thearcjackson.org.

Trish Welch

Medford

'Romeo and Juliet' actors needed mics

Regarding the Feb. 28 "Romeo and Juliet" performance: I loved the concept and setting, but the only actors I could hear and understand were Romeo and the priest. The other actors need mics.

That evening I attended "White Snake" in the same auditorium and heard every word. The nurse's acting was great, but what did she say?

I'm well-acquainted with the play, having taught it and read it countless times.

Frances Matthews

Salem

Kids' turkey hunt is a bad idea

A big turkey hunt is planned for kids ages 17 and under. Do you want your child involved in such cowardly events, shooting poor innocent turkeys in a canned sort of hunt contained on a farm? Think again. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning turkey hunts on April 7-9 and/or April 15-May 31. They are actually doing a raffle to have a child win a full day of killing turkeys.

I am a grandmother of two grown grandchildren attending college. I believe such hunts to be very cowardly activities, and those participating should feel ashamed. I believe that the young people I know would also agree that such canned hunts on a farm, with contained areas no less, would be considered to be totally cowardly, unnecessary, very cruel and giving wrong messages to the young.

It is my belief that there are those who wish an adrenaline rush when they kill. They find that exciting, and are even addicted to the rushes and the killings, with no concern at all for the poor, innocent creatures they maim, torture and kill. Enough said.

Nina Council

Ashland