I've written this to add to Sandy's group so that the numbness people feel as theÂ line of criminal politicians seem to form a paradeÂ across what passes for the nightly news in homes across the country can be countered with the notion that they're really not all that way.Â I met an amazing woman in the 70s.Â Now, hundreds of miles away from that place, I find her representing me in Congress.
This is a Congresswoman and a remarkable one at that.Â Originally a teacher and a head start volunteer for the poor, she started politics at the state level back in 1976 when I started to become dramatically active in politics.Â It was an interesting time then.Â The first thing this lady did was go about getting all government pension funds out of any investments in a South Africa that was simmering in the world of apartheid.Â Originally, the word was pronounced apart-hate which seemed appropriate but its pronunciation had evolved and the world was demanding change in South Africa . . . where Nelson Mandela was languishing in prison.Â This work caught my eye.Â Her work was also . . .Â successful.
She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by overwhelming numbers because she very much represented the poor and the minorities that resided in her district.Â While she had departed from Sacramento and no longer represented me I still found myself seeing this lady in passing on the news.Â In reality . . . we more or less parted in 1990 when she took her seat in Washington D.C.
As a first-term Congresswoman, she gained fame by walking into the Oval Office and telling then-President George "If you thought I sucked, wait till you see the boy!" Bush that "time was up." Waters co-chaired the successful 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton.
By 1996 I had moved to southern California.Â A San Diego newspaper found evidence that the CIA was complicit in dealing crack to poor minorities and she had launched an investigation so she was in the news.Â I recognized her from before and I recalled she was taking a little heat for the aggressive push from the "never question the Government" crowd.Â I trusted she was doing the right thing though.
After the U.S. Census, California was given more Congressional seatsÂ so, while the Congressional District number changed, she represented the same people, but also some of the smaller, coast towns too . . . like mine.Â
I watched as the 2000 election tore this country from it's foundation due to the divisiveness of the GOP attack machine and the corruption of five members of the U.S. Supreme Court . . . and was glad to see Maxine Waters proudly defiant and angry in Michael Moore's award winning documentary Fahrenheit_9/11.Â I was proud to see her there.Â I was also proud that, unlike so many, she stood up to and opposed the 2002 Iraq War Resolution . . . while a sitting member of Congress.Â I felt like MY voice had been heard.Â MY letters had been read.Â I felt like someone was representing a voice to the truth which, regardless of what many people claim, was not a uniform desire for war. I felt her courage to stand up and say "No."Â War kills innocent people . . . but even amongst members of the military, a disproportionate number of poor people end up paying the price in blood.Â Some of these people are in economic situations that make this seem like a "roll the dice" chance to escape poverty and racism by getting a college education (pending survival) and a job that can offer some hope.Â My Congresswoman has never once wavered as a nagging critic of this war.Â Sadly, she was unable to prevent it, but she tried to . . . and there's honor in that.Â To this day she nags about what the money being poured into Iraq could be used for.Â Universal healthcare, for example . . . disaster relief, education . . .
In 2005, Maxine Waters and 73 Congressmen and women formed an Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus which she chairs to this day.Â 'Nuff said.
But she's a tigress.Â She also made a concerted effort to respond to lies from the filthy Bush administration with truth.Â Knowing they (Democrats) could not override a Bush veto . . .Â the goal shifted to informing the country so that better decisions could be made and pressure could be brought to bear on the White House.Â Maxine Waters is also the co-sponsor of the Congressional resolution to impeach Dick Cheney for his lies and distortions to draw this nation into war.
Just this May she told the President of Shell oil that allowing them to drill where they wanted would require his guarantee that prices would go down.Â (Of course, he made NO such guarantee since it wouldn't be productive until about 2030 and still might not help).Â Still, Congress and that idiotic McCain seem to be considering allowing this.Â Just in case they do allow it . . . she made it clear that absent a drop in price she would be for (and seek) the nationalization of American oil companies.
I'm sure she'd never remember our few encounters 30 years ago.Â She has no reason to recall them.Â But I remember her . . . in the halls of the Capitol in Sacramento . . . and on the news, where she speaks courageously for the truth and her constituents. Incidentally, she's been overwhelmingly elected every time she ran . . . 70% or more.Â You go girl!