Sometimes our problems are so big (wars, health care, recessions etc...) and the deciders so far removed from our lives that it seems that their is little if anything we can do.
This is one reason I am attracted to local issues. You might know the players involved, you can call your alderman and there is a good chance he will return your call, you can speak before the city council etc... In other words, you can have an impact.
On Monday August 10th, you can can do something. A wonderful family from Barrington Illinois want to relocate to Racine to open a convenient store on 6th street in downtown Racine. They will be unable to open the store without approval from the city to sell prepackaged beer. They will be before the licensing committee at city hall at 5 pm on Monday August 10th and they need support from everyday people in the Racine area.
There will be opposition. Certainly there is a correlation between excessive alcohol consumption and various social ills. In downtown Racine on any given weekend there are serious problems that require frequent police intervention. So there is a fair amount of pressure on public officials to curb the sale of alcohol in Racine.
On the other hand, any honest observer of downtown alcohol fueled problems will realize that the problems are coming from the bars, not the few establishments that sell prepackaged beer. In the last few years downtown has lost the Century Market and Brauns liquors, neither of which contributed to any problems downtown.
So the gist of the problem here is that future sellers of packaged alcohol, like the Chun family from Illinois, may now have to pay the price for the problems created by current irresponsible bar owners and patrons. This would be most unfair and I dare say unAmerican insofar as decent upstanding citizens will be barred from starting their own business here in Racine. And we do need new businesses in Racine.
I know, this is a small matter that barely affects you or me. But there is an important principle at stake, namely that law abiding citizens ought to be able to open a business and sell a legal product.
You may have no ability whatsoever to affect the health care debate or influence policy in Iraq, but you could help a decent hard working family relocate and invest in Racine. A few words of support for the Chun family on Monday August 10th, 5 pm at city hall will go a long way.