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This is What Democracy Looks Like!

[caption id="attachment_1962" align="alignright" width="200"] Blog by Sr. Barbara Kane, OP[/caption] “This is what democracy looks like!”  There were many chants on the way from West Bank Park to the Statehouse in Columbus.  Thousands participated in the Columbus March for our Lives event on Saturday… young and old… families and singles… seniors and students… Christian, Muslim, Jew, None.  It was a great day to celebrate the meaning of America – a country that values free speech and participation in government. It was also inspiring to see young people taking an interest in such an important issue.  Their enthusiasm and energy instills hope in me that perhaps change will happen.  One question is will it happen with the current legislators or new ones?  Another sign read “Students Today… Voters in November… We are change .”  The sentiment is very clear; if congressmen and senators do not act, they will be voted out of office.  To make this happen, the Parkland students will work to ensure that 4 out of young people vote in November’s midterm elections.  Voter-registration groups were very visible at the march registering young people.  It’s an uphill battle since only 39% of voters between 18 and 20 voted in 2016 and only 14% voted in the 2014 midterms but could make a huge impact in the next few elections.  We should also be ready to vote in November. Many teachers participated in the march.  “Arm Teachers with Resources Not Guns” was a common theme.  So many schools don’t have enough resources to help students with academic and mental health issues so how do legislators justify the expense to train and equip teachers to protect students?    Perhaps the saddest banner for me was “Thought and prayers  ACTION”.  I could feel the frustration expressed, understand that it was directed to the people in congress, and even agree that we need to take action, but we believe strongly in the power of prayer.  Many of our sisters and associates joined our march through prayer on Saturday. The march is over but the movement has begun.  Call, write, vote.  Now is the time for action.

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