Monte Rio Musings - Chuck Ramsey - January 2017
Never before have I witnessed a total take-over of our government by the Religious Right. Never have I felt so ashamed and depressed about our country’s direction and future. Trump’s cabinet choices are unbelievable. As a gay man, who was proud of the recent advances our nation has made domestically and internationally, I now foresee where businesses will be able to openly discriminate against me and others based solely on their deeply held religious beliefs. As the former president of Sonoma County Pride, I was trying to expand pride to become more than just a three block parade in downtown Guerneville. At this point, there is little hope that gay rights will improve, or even stay the same, domestically, much less globally.
Of course the carnage goes beyond me and gay rights. It includes the environment, reproductive rights, immigrants, women, Latins, nones and atheists, healthcare, racial and income inequality, etc.
Trying to see a bright side, we are energized and united locally like never before. We will fight tooth and nail to prevent our country from being turned into a Christian Sharia state. We will protect our progressive values.
While we may not expect much progress on the national level, each of us can make a difference on the local level. We can work to continue to improve our River communities. In this respect, the new year does signify hope, optimism, and continued progress. We are seeing more local control and are raising our expectations for what we want in our communities. We are raising pride in living in the River. We have dedicated people serving our community on many different organizations, in many different capacities. Yes, together we are stronger.
One success story last year was the formation and addition of Guerneville Community Alliance to the Russian River Alliance. Russian River Alliance is a successor to Redevelopment. It is comprised of local organizations that work together providing a unified voice, for our residents and businesses. We represent our local interests and work with Sonoma County Government to make things happen. I am pleased that Jen Wertz will now be writing a local column in the Gazette dedicated to the Alliance. It will provide more information on what issues we are addressing and will provide a better means of increasing dialogue, developing solutions, and seeing that results are in-deed being obtained. I encourage you to read her column, as well as Rio Nido Magic and Guerneville Groove columns.
Again, I encourage everyone to join Nextdoor.com if you haven’t already. It is another success story and is your best way of being informed, sharing information, and obtaining solutions to neighborhood or River-wide issues. Remember, if you don’t have physical mail delivery at your home address you will need to be invited through Nextdoor by an existing neighbor member or contact me directly as Nextdoor verifies your residence address before accepting you. Want immediate information on crime or safety issues? What to know who your neighbors recommend to have your appliance or computer repaired or your house repainted or landscaped? Need a local reliable plumber or electrician? Want to know what local events or garage sales are taking place? Nextdoor works.
So, on the local level, we are seeing progress, and will continue to see progress in the New Year. We are River folks, and we are up for the challenge.
Vacation Wonderland. We just keep getting better.