Skip to main content

The sharp increase in political polarization in America over the past 50 years has been driven in part by how different generations think about politics. But the rise of younger generations to political power may actually erase the deep social divisions associated with polarization. More at The Conversation ➜

French President Emmanuel Macron, in a speech delivered at the Sorbonne University in Paris, urged Europe to find its own path and warned "That the European Union needs to take bold action to tackle U.S. and Chinese protectionism, and be vigilant of the geopolitical threats from authoritarian regimes or face the death of Europe as a real possibility..."  More at Euronews ➜ 

"For the Kansas City Chiefs brass, it must have seemed like the perfect time to ask local voters to cough up some money for stadium renovations.....The team was riding high from a big Super Bowl win in February 2024, its third NFL championship in the past five years."  More at The Conversation ➜

"Supporters are calling on the school to reinstate what would have been 87-year-old artist’s first retrospective in the US...a show, titled Centers of Energy .... according to a missive penned by a board member of the  artist’s foundation, Madison Gordon, the school abruptly canceled the show via email in late December due to “safety concerns....The circulating petition, and emails reviewed by Hyperallergic, suggest that the university’s decision is related to Halaby’s vocal pro-Palestine advocacy, including her social media activity". More at Hyperallergic ➜    

"Garment workers in the US are paid far below minimum wage. New legislation, if implemented successfully, would change that. For decades, the “Buy American” movement rested on the belief that such labels guaranteed a certain standard of quality and care. There lingered an assumption that US-made garments were produced in a more ethical manner than their foreign competitors, particularly those imported from lower-cost countries. The reality, however, is a bit more complicated"  More at The Nation ➜

"The recent transformation of the state’s election laws explicitly enabled citizens to file unlimited challenges to other voters’ registrations. Experts warn that election officials’ handling of some of those challenges may clash with federal law" More at ProPublica ➜

It was reported this week, that Rob Graham Education Center, a K-8 school in Miami-Dade County, has restricted access to the poem "The Hill We Climb" written by Amanda Gorman and recited by her at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021; becoming the sixth and youngest poet, at age twenty-two, to deliver a poetry reading at a presidential inauguration.

The school decided to remove access to the book for elementary grade students and to only allow access to the book to Middle School students, after one parent filed a formal complaint on the grounds that the poem was “not educational” and included indirect “hate messages", Read More at NPR and The Guardian. According to the American Library Association, nearly 2,600 titles were targeted for censorship in 2022, an increase of almost 40 percent from the previous year.

“The Hill We Climb,”

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade
We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it
Somehow we do it
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken
but simply unfinished

We the successors of a country and a time
Where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one
And yes we are far from polished
far from pristine
but that doesn’t mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect
We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man

And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious
Not because we will never again know defeat
but because we will never again sow division

Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
And no one shall make them afraid
If we’re to live up to our own time
Then victory won’t lie in the blade
But in all the bridges we’ve made
That is the promised glade
The hill we climb
If only we dare
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy
And this effort very nearly succeeded
But while democracy can be periodically delayed
it can never be permanently defeated
In this truth
in this faith we trust
For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us
This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves

So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was
but move to what shall be
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright

So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west,
we will rise from the windswept northeast
where our forefathers first realized revolution
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states,
we will rise from the sunbaked south
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

"...The Washington Legislature is asserting that legislators have a previously unknown personal privilege to withhold from public disclosure the documents they use in their work for the people. No such “legislative privilege” applies to legislative records. Read more

QUICK LINKS

Click the Image to learn more about us

Snohomish, Skagit and Island County

FLO JAPANESE RESTAURANT
425-453-4005 - 1150 106th Ave NE Bellevue, WA 98004

Powered by Volunteers | 360-794-7959

Read more from Pepe's Painting LLC

Giving Kids in Need the Chance to Read
  Non-profit organization - Seattle, WA

Hunger impacts all of us | 360-435-1631