Monday, June 29, 2015

Wounded, but NOT Defeated!

We are wounded, but we are not defeated.

On Friday, when our group received a tip that a deal had been struck by House Leadership to again stall SB3, as you would imagine, many of us just wept. Having been thrust into the disheartening world of politics, we knew all too well that this scenario was entirely believable, although we have yet to get this information confirmed.

Representative Nick Miccarelli, or as many of us lovingly call him, “NickMicc,” filed a discharge resolution to have SB3 removed from the House Health Committee, where it has been held hostage for 6 weeks. This resolution needed 25 of Miccarelli's fellow colleagues' signatures, in order to be considered. Well, that part was easy. We were told a steady stream of our House members made their way to the floor to sign on. After 40 signatures, those still waiting were turned away.

But, just as it was foretold Friday morning, Miccarelli was unable to motion for the discharge, as Matthew Baker called for a House Health Committee meeting, and session was recessed immediately. I was told later that day, by someone sitting within earshot, that as Miccarelli stood to call for the motion, the House Parlimentarian indicated to Speaker Turzai that he should not call on him. Speaker Turzai motioned to Baker. It was sabotage. is that simple.

Everything I could have ever imagined is wrong with politics has suddenly become my truth. My heart breaks over and over with the realization that what is actually happening is far worse than my imaginations. Indeed, the system is rigged. I’m seriously considering purchasing a pitchfork to ready myself for the impending revolution.

The House Health Committee unanimously voted to refer SB3, the Compassionate Use Act, to the Rules Committee, chaired by Dave Reed. Will Representative Reed uphold his end of the alleged back room deal and stall SB3 until Fall? Or will he uphold the will of the people he was elected to represent, having assured many of us that we could count on his unwavering support.

I speculate that never before has any issue caught the attention of Liberals and Conservatives, alike, in the Keystone State. Our legislators know their feet are being held to the flames, arguably for the first time in their careers. It must be frightening to suddenly realize you may be scrutinized by your constituents. I can hear the panic in your voice. “Oh crap, when did they start paying attention?” You see gang, when you try to keep life saving medicine from sick people, it makes them mad. (Insert condescending tone and eye roll here.)

We are all well aware that your seats are seemingly safe, having had the lines of your district drawn in order to keep you right there. No one ever runs against you? Oh goodie... So let's get this straight, you thought you could spend the rest of your life making up arbitrary rules? Well, we hate to burst your Gerrymandered bubble, but our fingers are on the pulse, folks. Compassion WILL trump political ideology. Maybe not today, but once the broken system is dismantled and exposed for what it truly is, we will prevail. The Will of the Almighty will prevail. We know this much to be truth. The good guys always win in the end, or at least that’s what I’m going to be telling myself.

So today, as we launch our new website, as we again face our oppressors, as we tread forward, our spirits are renewed. We find strength in each other, inspiration in the eyes of our loved ones, and in the heroes in our General Assembly who we’ve come to know and love. We are all downtrodden. We’ve grown weary from the political gamesmanship we’ve encountered. But we will never grow weary of fighting this injustice. There is an unstoppable groundswell of grassroots support for this issue. You may have thought we would give up, but this force is gaining momentum, and we’re just getting started.

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