In this post-Memorial Day issue of The Beachcomber, we hope you’ll read a commentary from local activist Kevin Jones, and answer his call to take a stand to protect the freedom to vote for all Americans.
Jones powerfully argues that majority rule is sacrosanct in our country and urges readers to call U.S. Senators Cantwell and Murray to express support for Senate Bill S.1, the For the People Act.
This legislation would be a bulwark against the tsunami of voter suppression laws now being considered by state legislatures around the country, and it must be passed into law.
Jones also has another intriguing idea, one we love: he asks readers to write letters to the editor of The Beachcomber, turning our opinion pages into a forum for islanders to explain why the freedom to vote and access to the polls is important to them.
We’d be delighted to publish these kinds of letters.
Yes, we know: writing a letter to the editor, in this day and age, is hardly a task that provides instant gratification. Letters to the editor are also a bit of an art form, with a limit of only 300 words.
But will you try? We would love to hear from you on the topic of the freedom to vote, or any other topic you feel passionate about.
We want to hear your story ideas too — though don’t be surprised if we also ask for your help in covering some of the articles you might have in mind.
In case you haven’t noticed (though we bet you have), our newspaper has morphed into more of a community digest than in pre-pandemic years when more reporters noisily filled the newsroom.
Now, it’s hard for only two reporters to keep on top of all our local news and attend to all the other myriad details in putting out a newspaper every week.
But in assessing what we’d like to keep from this era, it’s easy — we want this paper to continue to reflect our community and be full of its voices, as it has been during 2020 and 2021.
This week, for instance, community member and frequent contributor Lauri Hennessey has written a profile of retiring theater and English teacher Stephen Floyd. No one, really, could have written it with more love. Susan McCabe, writing for Vashon Island School District, covers plans for the graduation of the amazing, resilient class of 2021. She’s been there, all year long, listening to their stories.
Juli Goetz Morser, writing for Vashon Center for the Arts, has also contributed an article about an expanded partnership between VHS and VCA that will result in a powerful art exhibit opening this weekend. And Christine Beck, one of the brilliant founding mothers of our vibrant visual arts community, penned an article about another important art show showing the breadth and depth of members of Vashon Island Visual Artists. Christine knows our arts community inside and out. She’s lived it, and breathed it, for decades.
Of course, as has happened for more than a year now, we also have the latest public health news — much of it good — from VashonBePrepared’s Emergency Operations Center.
We love that our newspaper has become this kind of community digest. We are here to publish insightful commentaries by island experts about state, regional and national issues. We are here to receive thoughtful letters and other contributions from islanders. And we are certainly here to publish facts about public health compiled by the tireless teams of VashonBePrepared, who have saved our community time and time again with their actions during the pandemic.
Won’t you add your voice to our newspaper? Try writing that letter, just to get started. But first, call your senators, and tell them to protect voting rights.