The most often read news story in the SF Chronicle this morning, according to its website, is a report on how a family of four are struggling to live in the city on $53,000 a year. Despite each parent having a job, this young family finds it difficult to raise their two daughters and avoid credit card debt. Most people who live in the city will not be surprised at the difficulties they face, despite having found an apartment for a reasonable $750 a month. When we listen to Congressional leaders argue about whether children from “middle class families” ought to be eligible for state-supported health insurance, we should ask whether they are talking about children in expensive coastal cities or in rural Nebraska. Life in the Bay Area is different from life in other regions and many of our problems have to be addressed locally. What can we do about supporting affordable housing, childcare, and healthcare? The first step is to elect leaders who understand the problems and then to keep tabs on them to make sure they do something. As the League recognized many years ago, “Democracy is not a spectator sport” and unless we vote in every election and make our voices heard, we shouldn’t expect to solve many problems.
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