FOCUS Founded in 1905 Robert S. Abbott (Founder) 1905-1940
John H. Sengstacke (Publisher) 1940-1983 Frederick D. Sengstacke (Publisher) 1983 - 2000
College aspirations are good for everyone
Rick Santorum sent the wrong message by suggesting it was elitist for President Obama to wish every young American could go to col- lege.
In between taking potshots at each other, the Republican presiden- tial candidates have made a sport of trying to demean their eventual November opponent. Newt Gingrich even called Obama the “food- stamp president.” But Santorum struck a nerve among folks of all political persuasions when he called Obama a “snob” for saying he “wants every American to go to college.”
That irresponsible retort goes against the grain of what generations of parents have told their children. Higher education has long been touted as the pathway to a better future, and that doesn’t mean spend- ing four years at one of the Ivies. Even one- and two-year programs post-high school can significantly increase a person’s income. Santorum made his remark while pandering to blue-collar voters in the Michigan primary, trying to captalize on his own working-class background and apparently hoping his audience would ignore that he holds both a master’s in business and a law degree. His eldest daugh- ter, Elizabeth, attends the University of Dallas. Does he think she’s a snob?
What Obama and other political leaders across the country are pushing is a well-rounded education agenda that includes increasing the number of college graduates to compete in a more highly skilled global workforce.
Mayor Nutter has issued a similar call, seeking to double the city’s number of college graduates in 10 years. Only 18 percent of city res- idents have college degrees, ranking it 92d in the nation, behind Boston, Chicago, and Washington. About 73,000 Philadelphians left college before earning a diploma.
The Obama plan places special emphasis on vocational training and apprenticeships. He wants to invest $8 billion in the nation’s community colleges to prepare up to two million workers in the health-care, transportation, and high-tech manufacturing fields. The plan provides a blueprint to put more Americans in better-pay- ing jobs and reduce unemployment. A highly educated workforce earns more money, pays its taxes, and consumes more goods. That’s good for the entire nation. Philadelphia Inquirer
Col. (Ret.) Eugene F. Scott (Publisher) 2000-2003 David M. Milliner (Publisher) 2003 - 2004
President: Michael A. House Exec. Dir. of Fin & Bus Op: Carol E. Bell Director of Advertising: Frances Jackson
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Women again need to lead the way as elections near Dear editor,
Controversial War: check. Divided nation: check. Street protests: check.
Defender Platform Since 1905
1. Prejudice and racism in all of its forms must be eliminated and destroyed.
2. Racial profiling and police brutality must be removed from police practices.
3. Reparations, or remediation, must be the final chapter in the ardu- ous ordeal of slavery and legal segregation.
4. Opportunities for inclusion and advancement in all unions must be unrestricted.
5. Full access to government contracts for all.
6. Representation in all police and fire departments must reflect the community they serve.
7. Increase access and availability for quality, affordable housing for all.
8. Establish a living and fair wage as a fundamental right for all Americans. (Revised January 1966, May 2001)
8 CHICAGO DEFENDER / MARCH 7-13, 2012
Alleged police brutality: check. Unease in stock market: check. Nation unpopular abroad: check. Charges of socialism in new health care plan just coming online: check. Controversy over women’s sexual and health care freedoms: check In my personal history, it was 1968, the first time I could vote in national elections. In 1964, I was a “Goldwater Girl” but too young to vote; you had to be 21 back then. (Vietnam changed that, being able to vote if you could die for your country at 18.) In the nation’s history, it was more Hawks vs. Doves than GOP vs. Dems. And we young people, the infa- mous “60s generation,” couldn’t wait to get out of our marches and rallies- the Students for a Democratic Society on the Left, the Young Americans for Freedom on the Right-and get to the polls. We were Boomers and we were
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going to change everything. And you know what? For a while, we did, with environmental laws, civil rights legis- lation, constitutional amendments, two presidents leaving office early. We were heard.
On our watch, women began receiving more opportunity in educa- tion and careers then ever before, despite opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment that, alas, continues. Back then I would not have believed a woman could or should be president. Now we have seen two female VP candidates and one woman who near- ly made it to the White House. We have seen Women’s History Month join Black History Month to celebrate our contributions to America and the world. We have been voting and lobbying ever since. Our experience shows that once you get involved in politics, you tend to stay involved. It is time to make history again, by voting in record numbers. That is why we are encouraging our kids and grandkids, and most especially the Millennials,
to follow us to the polls in 2012. It is your issues that states and Congress and the White House are looking at now, your access to health care and social security, your taxes and debts, your sick leave, family planning rights, pay equity for men and women, your rights at stake before the Courts.
As an unrelenting, unrepenting feminist, I especially urge young women to pay heed, to register and vote. Encourage your friends and family to likewise. Listen, act and volunteer when you hear from or see someone from the IT’S MY VOTE: I WILL BE HEARD campaign coordi- nated by the AAUWAction Fund. Regardless of where you stand on any of the important issues that affect women, it must be women who decide our own fates, and the way to do that begins at the polls on Election Day.
Marti J. Sladek, Public Policy Chair
of AAUW’s Downers Grove Area Branch
Please include your address and complete name. Mail Letters to: Chicago Defender 4445 S.Ki
ng Dr., Chicago, Illinois 60653. Fax: (312) 225-9231 e-mail: email@example.com
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