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Sunday, September 29, 2013

While We Worry about our District, Congress Twiddles its Thumbs

I'm sure most children have no idea what is happening in Congress but I expect that they will feel the ramifications - short and long-term - in their lives.  And who gets hit the hardest if the government shuts down?  You better believe it's those who need the most help.

Update:  From The Answer Sheet at the Washington Post, here's what happens to public education if the government shuts down.  From the DOE:

A protracted delay in Department obligations and payments beyond one week would severely curtail the cash flow to school districts, colleges and universities, and vocational rehabilitation agencies that depend on the Department’s funds to support their services.  For example, many school districts receive more than 20 percent of their funds from Department-funded programs.

Here's a helpful chart (show it to the kids) from the NY Times on how this could all play out in the next 48 hours.

An interesting op-ed at CNN by local writer/thinker, Eric Lui, on the rise of cities because of more decisive mayoral leadership (whether good or bad) and the failure of Congress to do - their - jobs.

One reason is that we've all become inured to the utter dysfunction of Washington. But another is that Washington matters less every day. Even though the shenanigans of congressional Republicans make for a perfect negative civics lesson -- Don't do this in real life, kids -- in cities all across the country civic innovation is flowering, and everyday citizens are becoming newly empowered.

While our federal government has tied itself in partisan knots, cities are showing the way forward.

The localism of our time -- and you see it in how people eat, work, move, buy, sell, grow, share, create -- is a networked localism.

The challenge of this era is to enable every citizen to think more like a mayor -- pragmatically, oriented toward solutions, willing to experiment, eager and be shameless about borrowing great ideas from other people in other places.

Thinking like this is one reason I'm an activist.  We live in a city where citizens matter (not always and not always on the big things) but you can be heard.

And all this over wanting healthcare for all Americans (again, whether you like Obamacare or not, it is the law, it is a first effort and everyone should have health coverage).

Since it's the last episode of Breaking Bad, a one-minute Canadian version.   It's very funny.

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