How in the world have gotten to this place where scientific facts are up to debate and while the majority of American's support science, the gerrymandered congressional majorities do not? Fortunately for us here in Stockton, we have mathematician and renewable energy expert Jerry McNerney as our congressional representation. Yet, the flip side of that is that our friends in Tracy/Manteca have to endure the stench of climate change denier Jeff Denham. That's why voices like Kari Khoury are important. While Kari is a Stocktonian, she's been building relationships and sharing information with our friends in South San Joaquin and with her experience as part of Grassroots Action (the Obama nonpartisan offshoot) and the Bernie Sander's movement, well, something tell's me Denham has something to be worried about. Let's here from Kari why this weekend's science/earth focused events are important:
As a nurse, and mother of three it is easy to see how science greatly benefits our society. Nursing education relies on the scientific method to determine best practices for our patients as well as medicine, parenting studies, health and well being research, psychology studies and on and on. Science has allowed us to bring millions of people, better health, a better economy and therefore more satisfying lives.
With the current administration's pending and ongoing budget cuts (EPA, NIH, NFS etc.), the build up of years of propaganda to undermine Science, and the denial of climate science by many in our legislatures, the world has decided to March for Science on Earth Day 2017. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/trumps-science-health-budget/519768/There are over 400 marches in the US and 35 countries planning on a march for science this weekend. That tells you we are correct that our concern that scientific research and investment is under assault. marchforscience.com.Stockton is registered as one of the marches worldwide.I jumped on the Stockton March for Science, through another activist Ava Simpson. She is a lead organizer for the Earth Day Festival (Sponsored by Peace and Justice ) and is lead on this partner event, Stockton March for Science. It was her idea to have Stockton organize a march! She is amazing and has brought together activists from Our Revolution, Boots and Boas on the March to participate.At the Stockton March on Saturday, at 10 am once we have been marching for a while, we plan on spreading out around the park to do a WAVE chain reaction! We have signs to color for kids, milestone messages around the park and hopefully a large crowd!I feel like I have always had the heart of an activist but it was the 2008 election that brought me out in the open. Too many people complain about the bad that "happens" to them and do nothing to make change. I discovered in these early days that "when a group of dedicated citizens work together, there is nothing they cant accomplish". (My favorite, Margaret Meade quote.)I have also learned over the years that what is presented on the surface, is not necessarily the reality. As a citizen, I need to research the who, how and why of any given issue (also the nurse in me!) To be an effective organizer, you must learn skills of organizing (OFA, https://www.ofa.us/about-ofa/ ) and practice sharing your values with others to motivate them to join in. For many, taking the next step of activism is often scary and unnerving. But once you realize that elected officials are human like you, and you get some training, support from other activists, volunteers, you'll be motivated to help make change in your community. ~Kari Khoury