World News – US – Nix Columbus Day and let’s make the poll a paid holiday instead

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We can’t spend the day here (growl-growl) but it’s crucial that we all get out there to make our voices heard – and increase the low voter turnout in Philly once and for all

City vacations are determined as part of negotiations between the mayor and the four municipal unions The next opportunity to change our vacation schedule is when contracts are renegotiated at the end of this fiscal year next June A union or a member of Kenney’s administration should propose the change and all parties should then agree

Contact the mayor’s office and suggest removing the Columbus Day myth in favor of celebrating the democratic process

Oct 12, 2020

For many outside the post-industrial small town of Sandusky, Ohio, her reputation is – like ours – a mixed bag Nestled along Lake Erie, she was recently named Best Small Town Coast of America by USA Today and is in the midst of a downtown construction boom But over the past decades, the diverse city of 25,000 has lost manufacturing jobs and suffered a uneven urban sprawl, and for residents of the surrounding suburban and rural areas, the city’s history often begins and ends with struggling schools and crime

So a few years ago, when members of the Sandusky community began planning for the city’s bicentennial celebration in 2018, they looked for ways to pick up the narrative of what they see as a strength: the diversity of their population, 30% of whom are people of color

“We have always allowed him to paint us in a negative light,” says Wobser “But a lot of people, especially the younger generation, appreciate diversity They want to live in integrated neighborhoods, send their children to integrated schools « 

Almost immediately, this kicked off Sandusky in the midst of a nationwide discussion about what we’re celebrating here in the city going on as usual as Columbus Day in what Sandusky officials thought was a « victory. » fast ”, they proposed, as part of municipal union negotiations at the end of 2015, that the city abandon Columbus Day as a public holiday The union hesitated to lose a day of paid leave

Election day is already a public holiday in many parts of the world, including South Africa, Germany, the Philippines, India (the world’s largest democracy) and our own Puerto Rico, which does not has no say in the election of the president, but still sees 74% participation

So three years (and a controversial presidential election) later, in the next round of negotiations, they came up with a better plan: swap one paid day off – Columbus Day – for another – on Election Day That means that, for the first time since Columbus Day became a thing, workers in the town of Sandusky are at work today – but will have all day to line up at the polls on November 5 to vote in their election local

Election day is already a public holiday in many parts of the world, including South Africa, Germany, the Philippines, India (the world’s largest democracy) and our own Puerto Rico, which does not has no say in the election of the president, but still sees 74% participation

Half of the world’s democracies hold elections on Sunday, and 27 of 36 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries hold them on a weekend.Meanwhile, we rank 26th for voter turnout, according to Pew

Moreover, according to a 2018 Pew Research poll, 71% of Democrats and 59% of Republicans nationwide are in favor of making Election Day a paid day off. But like everything else in politics America, it fell into a political quagmire: After House Democrats put the idea in their first proposed bill under their new majority earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Called it a ‘takeover’ by Democrats and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted him a response for the ages: ‘voting is not a’ takeover. It’s democracy, and it’s literally the interest of our representative government « 

Really, you just have to wonder why we vote for these people But the truth is: this is the purpose of our representative government, and voting is the only way to make sure these people are the people we want C that’s why it should be easier – not just with a paid day off, which some have rightly noted won’t solve everything, but also with a number of ways we’ve already noted here: open primaries, voting. classified choice, even year local elections and lowering of the voting age

As Wobser acknowledges, rejecting Columbus Day in favor of Election Day is mostly symbolic in Sandusky: there are only 250 city employees, of whom around 70 police, firefighters and others will still have to work. But news of their exchange hit the same week as the McConnell / Gillibrand dusting, making national headlines, and sparked a conversation both locally and statewide about how other employers could do better. welcome workers on polling day – including some who plan to give them a paid day, or paid time, to vote

“Against the backdrop of everything that is going on with voting rights, access to the vote, the 2016 election, we knew we had to do something,” says Wobser “We are proud to have sparked a conversation about what local entities can do to increase turnout Hopefully our 250 people leaving will spur broader change elsewhere « 

Canceling Columbus Day is a symbolic gesture in its own right On the one hand, it would be recognizing that Christopher Columbus is not the national hero we want him to be On the other hand, Columbus Day in Philadelphia has become Italian-American Day, celebrating an ancient and vital culture in our city,

In Philadelphia, where there are 25,000 city workers – the size, yes, of all of Sandusky – a day off can mean thousands more votes, or maybe thousands more to vote volunteers on low-strength voting sites, to help people go to the polls to publicize the reasons for their absence, as there are elections And a city hall decision could prompt other large companies to act accordingly , especially for workers paid by the hour and shifts who make it more difficult to access polling stations when they are open

There is some interest in this local: State Representative Chris Rabb announced over the weekend that he plans to introduce a bill in Harrisburg that would do the exchange But if the federal Republican response is an indication, our Republican-dominated state legislature is unlikely

Of course, the cancellation of Columbus Day is a symbolic gesture in its own right, which is rife with a controversy à la Philly On the one hand, it would be to recognize, like many jurisdictions across the country, that Christophe Columbus is not the national hero we want him to be. He did not « discover » the land on which thousands of indigenous people already lived; he showed up uninvited with a crew that raped, looted and brought death and disease to the country and its people

On the other hand, Columbus Day in Philadelphia isn’t really about Columbus It has come to mean Italian-American Day, celebrating an ancient and vital culture in our city, and threatening to undo it feels like a slam against the Italians at a time when everyone feels under attack It is clear, however, that our culture is changing Last year the school district stopped donating children for Columbus Day, in favor of Muslim holy day Eid-al-Fitr (Students also left for Election Day because school buildings are used for voting) And the annual Columbus Day Parade isn’t even actually Columbus Day – the celebration, as well as the annual Indigenous Peoples Day, could go on anyway.

In Sandusky, Wobser says town commissioners voted unanimously to make the vacation swap – and then heard from local Italian Americans that they weren’t happy in the months that followed, Sandusky began to develop a relationship with Mordica, Italy, where many Italian Sandusky families originated; they are on their way to becoming sister cities, and Sandusky is planning an Italian-American festival to celebrate this connection “We realized after making the decision that we didn’t know enough about Italian immigration,” says Wobser “C ‘was a story of their American dream « 

This America is a dream And how better to celebrate, as Italians or indigenous peoples, immigrants or any of us, than by voting?

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Columbus Day, Election Day, Holiday

News from the world – United States – Nix Columbus Day and let’s make the poll a paid holiday instead


SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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