August 25, 2006

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

We need to support the U.N.

This country needs to see not only one side of this conflict and stop the name calling. Instead we must get to the real cause of the violence, and see the suffering of the Palestinians, prevent the abuse and humiliation they are subjected to under the Israel occupation on a daily basis.

Our senators and representatives need to support the U.N. peacekeeping effort in Lebanon and call for a halt to all weapons shipments to the region, including weapons shipped from the United States to Israel.

The United States cannot sit out this conflict. The people of the U.S., Israel, and all peoples searching for security in the Middle East will be best served if Congress and the president choose the role of honest peace broker through strong, sustained, and peaceful diplomatic initiatives.

Eunice Tirado

Women’s equity is still an issue

August 26th is the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, when women achieved the hard-fought right to vote. Since 1971, America has observed this date as Women’s Equality Day. While women gained suffrage all those years ago, equity is still an issue today.

Women’s Equality Day is a time for all of us to remember that women weren’t “given” the vote; they fought fiercely for that right. And women’s votes are a vital tool they can use to shape the policy issues that affect them everyday.

Pay equity remains an issue. In 2004, a typical college-educated woman working full time earned just $31,223 a year, compared to $40,798 for a college-educated man - a stark difference of $9,575.

We must not reverse 34 years of progress, when we still have not yet achieved gender equity and a level playing field. Despite the visible successes of Title IX, women and girls still aren’t receiving equal treatment - at many colleges athletic budgets and facilities are inferior when compared to men’s athletic programs.

Women have a lot at stake each time they go to the ballot box, from educational equity, preserving Social Security, and a fair and balanced judiciary to civil rights, reproductive rights, and equal pay. It’s critical we make our voices heard at the polls.

I join with the American Association of University Women to use this opportunity to not only celebrate this critical moment in history, but to call on women to use and value this hard-won right.

Lisa De Jesus
La Mesa

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