One of the common themes on this blog, especially in my posts, but as a thread through others, is the fact that our Congressional representatives have failed the district, voting time and again based on their personal pocketbook without regard for the effect it might have on the citizens. A perfect example is the way that every representative in the San Joaquin Valley voted to override the protective labeling provisions enacted into law by the people of California with Proposition 65.
One of the consequences of such "vote the contribution" legislative history is the fact that the citizens of this district have learned to take these issues into their own hands. A perfect example is the newly announced web site of a non-profit organization named Citizens for Community Health and Sustainability (CCHS).
CCHS is starting to connect the dots between political action and the quality of life in the 11th Congressional District. Consider the following paraphrased from their site:
- Lack of economic development in the Stockton/Lodi MSA means too many people have to commute to work West of the Altamont.
- Lack of an effecient transportation system means that workers spend unnecessarily long times away from both work and family as well as creating significant auto exhaust driven air pollution.
- Air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley contributes to an extremely high asthma rate in childresn.
- One-third of children with asthma in the San Joaquin Valley miss 1 or 2 days of school every month, leading to more than 800,000 absences a year and a loss of at least $26 million/year for Valley schools
And what has our Congressman been doing besides grandstanding just before elections? Nada.