Together we can solve state mess

So, now the people of California have rejected Sacramento's "solution" to our economic mess. And now, it seems, the next move is to close our state parks and, more importantly, put the budget deficit onto the backs of those who are least able to defend themselves, our children and our disadvantaged.

What does this say about our society? Our "culture?" If there was ever a time for our "leaders" to step forward, that time is now.

Self-serving efforts should be saved for the "good times." Our challenges require us to come together as a community and put peripheral ideologies aside. Get outside the box. Our challenges are identifiable. Relatively simple. The solutions are complicated but are they beyond the imagination of this community? Together, we can achieve. Divided, we are in the wind.

This is a representative democracy! It is our responsibility and in our best interest to explain, to our elected representatives, our hopes and feelings about whatever. In turn, our representatives should serve as our agents. We hire them and should trust them at least as much as our doctors and lawyers and veterinarians to earn their pay and act in our best interests.

I encourage all voters to make their feelings known to their representatives at every level. And, I would encourage all of our representatives to make themselves available by e-mail, phone or in person. This sort of communication will have immediate results.

Rather than being paranoid of suggestions and opinions, our leaders should embrace our diverse heritage and seriously consider contributions when they make decisions that will affect us all.

Kurt Gripenstraw

Smith River