Do you wonder why no one gets anything accomplished at the Capital? The Congress is filled with too many little boys and a few gals who are more focused on continuing their way of life than the lives of their constitutes. Oh, really, wasting everyone's time over and over again to write documents that support bills in the House of Representatives over and over again just to "gotcha" the President. All bills take hours; someone's staffer's time to write a bill, constituents who need to study and participate with their time for a bill that is totally filled with partisanship, attempting to pass into a law that does not assist the people of the United States, except for the top 1 percent of our economic strata.
My freshman congressman was home this weekend, Dr. Raul Ruiz, M.D. He is in our nation's capital representing us. How? Because Raul was able to create a community that is broad-based, covering all parts of the demographics of his district. He is a good leader, for many years a role model for so many Latino youths, now in Congress because of hard work and leadership, plus support from friends and family who came together and created this new community that expanded our tent in a very positive way, then brought him to Congress where he is already a new leader.
Community is always at the center of peace building and peace making. We need to believe that our power is with our neighbors and friends to lend their strength, support and understanding when it's the correct moment, without a moment's notice. I felt really proud that we were able to send a representative who understands from experiences in his life what individuals go through to survive. Raul told a story about his first vote in Congress to re-instate the Violence Against Women Act. He told this small group yesterday afternoon that he remembered that when he was interning in Boston, a woman came into the ER bruised and battered from her spouse. And it was not the first time, she told him. But that she feared for her life. After hearing the story, he helped her find another life. Raul saw firsthand how women are abused by those closest to them. He was so proud it was his first vote and was a supporter. That is why we all must find our community, look around at who can help each other, when you know and trust your neighbor you have an ally when hard times come.
The center core of our country is broken, people who we believe have our best interest at heart are most likely worrying about themselves and how the vultures at home will pick at their bones if they don't lean the party way. That was not my understanding of governing in our country; once an election is won in our democracy, then the people's power ruled. We have now created these little fiefdoms where each has their king; this was accomplished silently while we all watched the war. That is another by-product of war and violence it's very distracting. Re-districts popped up all over the country where very conservative state governments changed legally the boundaries, so that Congressional districts were safe if you followed the party line; otherwise you could be primaried (a word that is not yet into my spell checker but is now a verb).
It has taken a decade for the media to speak publicly about a "Culture of Violence" that after a decade of wars and destruction, which only brings economic hardship on everyone. Thirteen, almost 14 years ago my dear friend and PCA board member, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury with his charm and passion who at the time was ambassador to the United Nations from Bangladesh and [resident of the Security Council, encouraged that group to vote for the Proclamation for the Formatting of a Culture of Peace throughout the world.
This year is the 14 anniversary of that Proclamation to create a culture of peace; I am hoping that the recent acceleration of violence is a wake up call to those who want violence to disappear be proactive; form your own community around Peacemaking and Peace-building. There are leaders emerging slowly to help civil society take action stay tuned! I will keep you informed!!