City Council opts for Kids' Bill of Rts. v. the Constitution?!
3 weeks ago, the Portland City Council, at the behest of Mayor Potter, took a stance that the weekly "Communications" sessions allowing citizens 3 minutes to make a statement to City Council, should be restricted to once a month. Their reasoning is that too many individuals were making it a weekly thing, often speaking on matters that City Council had no jurisdiction over.
The DFA Impeachment group had spoken 5 times in a 3 month period, yet we were lumped together with people who had been presenting the same matter for months, if not longer. We had 5 different people present on different arguments for why City Council should adopt a Resolution of Impeachment. We had also followed up with each commissioner and the Mayor's office, which consisted of concise meetings where we explained the significance and need for local action on a national issue, and its feasibility using Jefferson's Manual.
This past week, the City of Portland learned of Mayor Potter's priorities as he urged City Council to go along with his "Save the Children" schtick. Rather than being satisfied with Potter's weekly embarrassment of voicing an anachronistic social custom concerning the health of children of a community being reflective of the health of the society, City Council rushed a "Children's Bill of Rights"(CBoR) to the floor and to a vote, all in one day?!?!
In response to the announcement about the Resolution and vote meetings, I submitted on Indy Media, parts of the pertinent articles that we had given City Council over 2 months ago about the dire consequences of Bush's financial mismanagement of the country. We did this to counter some resistance we faced from Commissioners Adams and Saltzman, during our follow-up meetings, that Impeachment of the Bush Administration was not a matter that concerns local government. Needless to say, our collective jaw dropped upon hearing that foolishness!!
Then, this afternoon, I saw a posting on the website of a local alternative rag, about City Council activities, and there was a comment from a local pol. at the County level, which stated that the CBoR that City Council had adopted provided an "entitlement to health care" for children. I have been informed that the use of the word "entitlement" was probably tongue-in-cheek. I have decided to hold off on submitting the document below, but I will leave it here, in case it is helpful for activists in other states, or cities.
Please give me your thoughts on dealing with City Hall!!
Though Potter's PR Stunt has been said to include an "entitlement to health care", it in fact, does no such thing. Here is the text of the "Children's Bill of Rights" (CBoR) section on Health Care...
III. Health: We, the Children and Youth of Portland and Multnomah County, have the right to physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.
a. Physical: We have the right to any medical care, nutrition, and fitness deemed necessary for our health. If children and youth or their families cannot afford medical care, appropriate care should be provided for them.
b. Mental: We have the right to emotional well-being, and the right to an adequate support system.
c. Spiritual: We have the right to follow our own spiritual path.
That Mayor Potter and City Council members made such a big deal of this Wednesday, 8-16, adopting a Resolution in the morning and putting it to a vote in the evening, flies in the face of the budgetary realities Portland faces in the Bush economy. Each year of the Bush Administration, Federal policies have reduced state revenues while imposing additional costs.
The citizen's group that for the past 3 months has been urging City Council to adopt a Resolution of Impeachment of Bush and Cheney, provided to Council members numerous articles documenting the adverse municipal and state consequences of Bush's budget priorities. I recently included 2 of those documents in a posting on www.portland.indymedia.org, in which I stated that each member has had that information for over 2 months, which makes the fast-tracked adoption of the "Children's Bill of Rights" very curious.
A sample section of the analyses we provided~~
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION BUDGET TAKES FROM THE POOR
Throughout the Bush Administration's budget proposal, there are numerous examples of
programs being cut or severely underfunded.
Many of these are critical to meeting the needs of America's children and lifting families out of poverty. The number of poor children in America has risen to 12.1 million, with three out of four poor children living in working families.
America's children are more likely to be poor than any other age group of Americans and more
likely to be poor than a child in Britain, Canada, Spain, or any other wealthy industrialized
nation. Black children are more than twice as likely as White children to be poor.
The proposals in the President's budget will continue to leave millions of children and their families behind. (see more at http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/08/344506.shtml?discuss )
Maybe with the new "CBoR", Mayor Potter and City Council will realize their duty to protect the children of Portland from the predatory effects of Bush's budget priorities. Maybe some year soon, Portland's Mayor won't have to start his message/cover letter on the annual Portland Budget with the phrase, "Due to Federal Budget cuts...". Maybe they will be able to fulfill the broad aspiration of the "Children's Bill of Rights."
Maybe, through a local initiative to start the ball rolling on removing from office the most disastrous president in the history of the country, City Council will take a first step toward restoring the heritage that all Americans expected to leave their children - one of peace, freedom, respect for civil liberties and opportunity.