Democrats Seek Input

Readers Write

April 26, 1992

From: Thomas H. Dixon III

Secretary, District 32

Democratic Central Committee

In anticipation of the July Democratic Presidential Nominating Convention in New York City, Democrats across the state of Maryland are preparing to develop the thoughts, ideas and concepts that will become the platform of the Democratic Party for the November 1992 elections. In Anne Arundel County, we will be electing a president and vice president, U.S. senator and four members of Congress to represent us in the House of Representatives.

It is unfortunate that the Maryland General Assembly decided to cut Anne Arundel County into four different parts and split us among the four different congressional districts. The Central Committee of both the Democratic and Republican parties have joined forces in taking this case to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case will not be decided until after the November elections.

On Monday, May 11, the Maryland Democratic Party will hold Platform Committee Hearings at 7 p.m. in the Louis L. Goldstein Treasury Building in Annapolis. The meeting in the Assembly Room on the first floor will be open to the public. We invite you to tell the committee what you think are the important issues and topics that should be discussed at the July convention.

Based upon what you, the people, say, the issues will be addressed so that the national ideas will develop from the seeds planted at the local level in Anne Arundel County. The Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee asks you to take the time to be heard. Your voice will beheard.

For further information, please contact Tom Dixon (District 32-Democratic Central Committee) at 987-5299.

VOLUNTEER FOR CHANGE

From: Harriet Heldenfels Yake

President, Junior League of Annapolis.

Our hopes and plans for our children contradict reality. Children are our future, but their future is often grim.

For all too many, before they even enter school, their lives are determined. Every 32 seconds, an infant is born into poverty. The United States' infant mortality rate is higher than that of 18 other industrialized nations. One-quarter of American teen-agers between the ages of 10 and 17are seriously at risk of school failure, substance abuse or teen pregnancy and parenthood. And these problems are increasing -- not goingaway. Children should grow faster than their problems, but too oftendon't.

Children need our help and attention. Children can't vote or earn their own paychecks and it is difficult for them to be heard by the people who can help them, especially when they are in trouble.

The week of April 26-May 2 is National Volunteer Week, observed to honor those who are making a difference and to encourage others to do the same. The possibilities are endless. You've never had a chanceto be so powerful.

Children need advocates -- people who will work directly with children, and people who will speak on their behalf. Schools need adults to help tutor and mentor children who may need more attention. Hospitalized children or those in foster care, babies with AIDS, and others need someone on their side.

Volunteer groups such as the Junior League, a women's organization committed to community action through the leadership of trained volunteers, are bringingtheir collective powers to bear upon many issues facing children today.

In our community, the Junior League of Annapolis has worked toimprove the quality of life for children through its members' involvement in the Tommy Tummy Drug Education Project, the Foster Care Review Board, Parenting and Drugs Program, Basics for Young Mothers, Maryland Hall Discovery Workshops, Anne Arundel County AIDS Coalition, Anne Arundel County Teen Pregnancy Coalition, Scholarship for Scholars,Kids on the Block Inc. and Recycling: Youth and Education Project. As we move into our second decade as an organization, we will continueto address the needs of families and children in Anne Arundel County.

Whether working in groups like the Junior League or as concernedindividuals, volunteers are powerful. There are as many opportunities to make a difference in another person's life as there are needs tobe filled.

Without looking too hard, it is possible to find someone who has changed the quality of life for one child or a group of children. Volunteers improve neighborhoods, communities, states and nations.

National Volunteer Week provides an excellent opportunity both to commend those who volunteer now and to motivate others to volunteer in the future.

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