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How the League of Women Voters came to be
Women gained the right to vote in many states by the late 19th Century, but not the national vote. When an 1878 bill to grant women’s suffrage was introduced and rejected in the U.S. Congress, suffrage organizations focused on passage of a Constitutional amendment. In 1919 President Wilson called a special session of Congress for the 19th Amendment, which prohibits states and the federal government from denying the right to vote on the basis of sex. Though the Amendment failed to fully enfranchise many minority women, 26 million women did gain the right to vote in the 1920 presidential election.
Many leaders in the suffrage movement took the women’s right to vote a step further to support and educate women in their new responsibilities as voters and encouraging them to use their new power in shaping public policy. In 1920 the League of Women Voters was born – a grassroots, non-partisan organization that encourages political participation and educates about and lobbies for government and social reform.
League of Women Voters at all levels continue to work on behalf of voting rights. The current focus is to fight voter suppression, to advocate for campaign finance reform and to oppose political and racial gerrymandering in forming legislative districts.
In 2020, League of Women Voters will celebrate its 100 years of working to “Make Democracy Work.”
Marsha Waggoner, President, League of Women Voters of Stanislaus County
Trump will ruin everything
How long will we have to listen to insane diatribes from the Cheeto King? How long will we be forced to bear embarrassment from this psychotic despot? How long must we listen to his lies? How long will we sit silently by while The Donald continues to assault women? How long will we allow him to put immigrant children in concentration camps? How long will it take the Republicans in Congress to realize they are complicit in this governmental malfeasance?
The future of our country is at stake. Our government will cease to exist if this doesn’t end soon. Our country will devolve into racism, immigrant animosity and religious hatred. The only ones who will profit will be 1 percenters and cockroaches. Are we approaching Armageddon?
Our last and only hope are Democrats in Congress. They need to show some intestinal fortitude. If that doesn’t happen soon we will all have to take to the streets to rise up and take control ourselves.
Dennis Thomas, Modesto
Thoughts on Saudi sales
Republican senators opposing Trump’s emergency provision to the Arms Export Control Act need to show their constituency they have some (guts) in standing up to our wannabe dictator. So looking toward the ’20 elections these vulnerable senators oppose the president on an issue they know fully well doesn’t have enough support to get through the Senate, and certainly not with the two-thirds majority needed to oppose a Trump veto should more senators jump on the bandwagon.
This is not to say Democrats haven’t and wouldn’t again do the same if the positions were reversed. Our system is badly in need of an overhaul.
Peter Firth, Modesto
It’s just basic biology
Re “Let’s redefine abortion debate” (Letters, June 26): A human fetus has 46 chromosomes, 23 from the male parent and 23 from the female parent. These chromosomes are the genetic determiners. To state that a fetus is not part of a woman’s body, as a previous letter writer claimed, goes against basic biology. I am surprised that The Bee would publish something that is so factually wrong.
Buda Kajer-Crain, Modesto
Oregon crisis looks like sedition
The Second Amendment is brief. I want to focus on the first section: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state.” When this was written in 1789, we did not have a standing military as we do today.
In Oregon this week, the Oath Keepers, a self-proclaimed militia, have threatened violence against the governor and even threatened civil war if state Senate Republicans who fled the state in protest are forced to return to vote on a climate change bill. The Oath Keepers claim they are willing to die for their legislators.
Politicians fleeing a state in protest of a bill is not new. In 2003 and 2011, Democrats fled states in protest of redistricting and union busting bills.
I am sure the Oath Keepers believe themselves patriots in the mold of our founding fathers. In reality, they are not. They are not a well-regulated militia described in the Constitution. They are a gang of armed thugs who have threatened a legally elected head of state. In another word, sedition.
If the fleeing Republican senators do not disavow the Oath Keepers, they too are complicit in this crime.
Gary Kinard, Modesto
Don’t equate AOC with dictators
Re “Grizzlies’ video accurate: Socialists oppose freedom” (Page 6B, June 6): I was appalled by Elizabeth Heng’s column.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY was displayed with Fidel Castro and Kim Jong Un. Fidel Castro was The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba. Kim Jong Un is a totalitarian dictator. Ocasio-Cortez is an elected member of the U.S. Congress. To put her in the same category with authoritarians is not logical. She also said “socialists are the enemies of freedom,” and cites Venezuela, Cuba and the (former) Soviet Union as socialist countries. These countries are ruled by dictators. There are no freedoms in these countries.
Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland have social democratic governments. They all have freedom of speech in their constitutions. According to the happiness index in 2018, Finland is the happiest country in the world, followed by Norway then Denmark. Quality of life is better in countries that practice democratic socialism.
Beverly Morris, Hughson
Harder backs health care for all
While on Congressman Josh Harder’s Facebook page, I saw that he has introduced the No Health Care, No Raise Act. This would prevent Congress from voting themselves a pay raise until all Americans have comprehensive, affordable health care. This is why we need Josh Harder working for us in Congress. Such a difference from our last representative, who promised us he’d vote for our health care and then turned right around and voted to take it away.
Andrea Nicastro, Turlock
Socialist health care is disastrous
Rep. Josh Harder’s lack of common sense about health care should frighten every Central Valley resident.
Harder supports the Medicare for All plan, which would demolish the American health care system, one of the world’s best. It would end private health insurance for 175 million to 250 million people, 65 percent of whom are satisfied with their insurance, according to a 2016 Gallup poll. According to a study by the Mercatus Center, the Medicare for All plan would cost $32 trillion over the next decade, or $3.2 trillion per year, almost doubling the federal budget and hiking middle-class taxes. So, Harder wants to take away the health insurance of 175 million to 250 million people and give them third-rate socialist, government-run health care akin to the service they get from the post office or DMV. And, he wants to raise their taxes by thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
Socialist systems often have delays and give lower standards of care. Only 81 percent of breast cancer patients in the United Kingdom live at least five years after diagnosis, compared to 89 percent in the United States (see Forbes, April 1). Harder has to go.
Stephen Wampler, Tracy