Letters to the Editor, Nov. 12-15, 2016
November 11, 2016
Disappointing Trump election is call to action for next generation
Yep, it’s a terrible blow. I’m nauseous thinking about the cabinet picks. I dread the fall of the sword now poised over family planning. May Fortuna find money for NASA, for surely federal funding for the sciences will go. Energy policy forecasts look grim and coal-laden. Our foreign policy just became a question mark. Justice reform will fade. Public lands will become increasingly private. The economic non-strategy for debt management will surely call for cuts in all the wrong places.
There it is. On a page. The sectors and movements under threat become ours to protect. Complacency is now an unaffordable luxury. So, how to proceed?
It’s time we take a hard look at rural America and start to listen to what it's asking for…with a sense of urgency. If we gain an understanding of the disenfranchised rural American perspective, then we can challenge it and help it to evolve. Beyond this focus, this administration may present a singular set of opportunities.
Trump’s presidency is largely terrifying because of the unknowns: We know he’s neither Republican nor Democrat, neither strict isolationist nor interventionist. He has no policy of public decorum or predictable political stance, and I think it is precisely because of these decidedly un-presidential qualities that a Trump Administration will force both parties to reform. The parties, both of whom lost the election, would do well to give younger, centrist candidates a launching pad. Young people, hear me, rise, and run…for office. We will never inherit this Earth if we do not put something of ourselves, our values, our energy, our gifts on the line.
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Mark me: a three-branch red government under Trump’s leadership will bring forth new movements and new leaders that would have lain dormant otherwise. This administration will create the best possible set of circumstances from which to launch a new era of rebellious, coordinated, civilian-level collective action. Let us not become lost in this dark hour. Let it be the backdrop for our light.
I believe in America, in the rallying notion that governance should be of the people, by the people, and for the people. Bipartisanship stems from misunderstanding someone else’s point of view, nationality from finding common ground on common ground. So, let's build those bridges and stand four years from now together on common ground.
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Join March of Dimes effort to reduce premature births
Premature birth is the No. 1 killer of babies in the United States. Babies who survive an early birth often face serious lifelong health problems, including vision loss, cerebral palsy, intellectual delays, and breathing problems.
Every baby deserves a fighting chance for a healthy start in life. Both of my two daughters were born prematurely, survived and are thriving adults. I am passionate about this and that is why I volunteer and serve on the board of the Utah Chapter of the March of Dimes, which is supporting proven strategies to prevent premature birth nationwide and in Utah. The March of Dimes also funds innovative research to find the unknown causes of premature birth.
Unfortunately, we learned on Nov. 1 from the 2016 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card that, for the first time in eight years, the nation’s rate of preterm birth has worsened.
Utah received a C on the Report Card because we’re falling short of the March of Dimes goal to reduce the preterm birth rate to 8.1 by 2020. If the preterm birth rate had not increased, approximately 2,000 babies would have had a healthier birth.
Prematurity is an issue that affects all of us. In addition to the human toll, preterm birth accounts for more than $26 billion annually in avoidable medical and societal costs.
I know we can do better for moms and babies across this country and in Utah.
Please join me in participating in Prematurity Awareness Month in November, a time when March of Dimes focuses attention on efforts to fight premature birth. Help us raise awareness at a press conference at Intermountain Medical Center’s Women’s Center, Salt Lake City, at 11 am on Thursday, Nov. 17. You can even help raise awareness without saying a word by changing your profile picture on Facebook and Twitter to add purple for World Prematurity Day on Nov. 17.
Learn more about what you can do at marchofdimes.org. There you will also find an interactive map of the U.S. and more facts about prematurity in Utah.
Park City and Oakley