Social Justice Town Hall a success

I attended the Town Hall Discussion on March 18 at the Springfield Township High School.  Present were six elected officials:  US Congressman Brendan Boyle, Pennsylvania Senators Art Haywood and Vencent Hughes, Pennsylvania House members Madeleine Dean, Mary Jo Daley, and Steve McCarter.

Val Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners moderated a discussion focused on how community members and grassroots organizations can make a difference, how engagement in our local, state and federal government can be effective in creating the democracy we want.

The auditorium was packed, almost to capacity, with an energized audience.  Many believe we are at a crossroad in our democracy, and are watching this historic dynamic play out before our eyes – the results of which will define our country for decades.

As one of  the organizers of this town hall discussion, I left with gratitude to our elected officials, our community and to STHS.  The high school’s auditorium is a well maintained, beautiful space for such an event.  With about 650 in the audience, there are few venues that could have provided ample room for such a discussion.

The Social Justice Group has also invited our Republican elected officials for a similar event, with the hope that they will also respond to questions from our community and local organizations on the GOP plans for our future.

Ellen Stevenson
Social Justice Group,
Springfield Townshipand Chestnut Hill


Len Lear’s opinion column

While Mr. Lear’s focus was on Mayor’ Kenney’s misguided “sugary drink tax,” I believe it has much broader relevance, in light of the current debate concerning the way in which taxpayer money should be allocated to the federal level go forward.

The current U.S. budget is $4.6 trillion. The cuts recently posted by the Trump Administration amount to .02 percent of that total.  Discretionary spending amounts to roughly 50 percent of the budget. Some of it is “unauthorized” spending, meaning it has never been approved by Congress.

While I fully understand that cuts in domestic spending may be concerning to some, including the proposed cuts to the Center for Public Broadcasting, the NEA, and the National Gallery, we must face the realities of continuing the current funding levels to these and other likewise worthy recipients.

Our national debt is now at or near $19 trillion if no rational and reasonable measures are taken, this number will continue to grow. The time to reassess our spending priorities is long overdue. Using Mr. Lear’s example, it is about 60 years overdue.

Spending more money on programs with no proven results is like my definition of insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again while hoping for a different result.

The answer is not to spend more money, but to spend it more wisely.

Sharon M. Reiss
Mt. Airy