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    Monday
    Aug092010

    Just a Thought

    "Whenever it is possible, a boy should choose some occupation which he should do even if he did not need the money." ~William Lyon Phelps

    Sometimes I forget how lucky I am and I shouldn’t but I do. Like this morning when I was walking across Capitol Hill in DC and I noticed how genuinely happy and impressed by our nation’s capital they all were. This month I have four trips to Washington the thought of which throws me into a grand tizzy with dramatic facial expressions and hyperbole. While I’m having a melodramatic moment there are hordes of people who come to Washington thrilled to be inside the beltway in this ‘seat of power’. I walk past folks whipping out their cameras to capture this memory and realize that I need to tap into my wealth of luck more often and learn to appreciate things. A novel concept, I know.

    All of that said when I was in Houston for Mom 2.0 I did two small roundtable discussions on how parents/people in general can involve themselves in the political process. If there is one thing that would make my heart burst it would be for people to love politics as much as I love politics. Because, you guys? I love it so very much. Anyway it was the past conversation at Mom 2.0 coupled with walking through the House office buildings that led me to another thought:

    Let’s say that there is an issue out there that affects the masses. And I’m going to use workplace flexibility as the issue because a) it affects everyone and b) because the blogosphere has been abuzz on this issue. I’m going to present this issue because while I am trying to be more positive and appreciative, I am also trying to look at things from different angles. For example the White House doesn’t necessarily write policy. They drive it of course and help to influence what goes on legislatively but it’s congress that writes the laws. The White House can hold 156 forums but if Congress isn’t fully engaged then you get nothing.

    So with workplace flexibility and since it’s a labor issue I think of those who have the most invested in what happens in the workplace; the labor movement. Now is the time when someone will tell me how God awful unions are and they’re corrupt and blah blah blah but I can unequivocally say that they’re a force to be reckoned with. Not only that but they are the gold standard for workplace flexibility; they are what the Department of Labor and the White House want for other businesses to achieve when it comes to this issue.

    In my head – a little utopia – I could only think; If you have a workplace problem why not go to AFL-CIO (the umbrella labor federation)? Or join forces and go to a member of congress? Preferably a member of congress on the Ed and Labor Committee on the House or the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee member in the Senate? Because that is what I would do: I would join forces – which sounds so hokey but it works – with others in the same boat and I would lobby the shit out of members of congress. I would find members who are amenable to my cause and those who might be against and I would fax them and write letters and let them know that workplace flexibility is a huge problem in what is the most advanced nations in the world. I would tell them that workers fear for their jobs when their kid gets the sniffles. I would tell them that work/family balance* is laughable. I would say that people should be able to have better control over their lives and that setting a national standard is the best place to start.

    Anyway, this is just a thought. A long, rambling thought. But yeah, that’s what I would do.
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