Population Letter Given to Senator Al Franken

January 14, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Karen Shragg for the following letter she sent to newly confirmed Senator Al Franken. It’s a great example of population activism. Attached is a photo of Karen holding a photo of her handing the letter (on the back of a photo) to Senator Franken.

Dear Al, Frannie, Thomasin and Joe,

Congratulations to all of you on surviving the grueling months of challenges to your election as our senator. I am so excited. It has truly been a pleasure being a district and state delegate for you as well as a canvasser. I wish I could have done more.

Go and join Amy and be the senator of the people. You know what we want. What the people want hasn’t changed much over the years. We want everything you said you would fight for in your campaign. We want a chance for a better future. We want the rules to start favoring the average person and not the big corporations. We want education and health care that doesn’t rob us of our
savings and put us under a mountain of debt. We don’t want any more of us to be sent off to wars which cannot be won and will only drain our budgets and the best resource we have, our young people.

We want out leaders to be better educated on the issues than we are so that they may lead us in a direction to a better world. We don’t need them to test the political waters before making a decision and then do only what is currently popular. Time has taught us that equal rights for all is the right thing to do, health care for all including mental health coverage is the right thing to do. In the end, as our late great friend and senator said, “We all do better when we all do better,” that even includes those from the other side of the aisle.

As you begin your learning curve of how to negotiate the political hurdles and challenges of Washington, please keep in mind that keeping us headed in a direction of social and ecological justice is not ultimately possible without addressing one issue which no one is touching, the issue of our own numbers.

The Mayan culture died off because they overpopulated their resource base. Globally we are doing that to the tune of 9,000 people per hour net gain each and every day. The US with its high rate of consumption is much too blame for robbing the Earth of so many of its raw materials. People need to know that underlying that over-consumption is the fact that we are the fastest growing industrialized country in the world. 3,000,000 more Americans each year will need food, health care, housing, jobs, clean water, and let’s not forget wild areas to enjoy.

This factor alone will undermine any legislation which you may get a chance to author or sign. Humanely working on this issue is not only possible but necessary. While you will have many pressing challenges facing you in the senate, please keep this in mind as you do what I’m sure will be a great job as our senator.

If you ever need anything related to population, environmental issues, environmental education, or sustainability please contact me, I would love to be of some assistance.

Congratulations. I look forward more sanity and humor coming out of Washington in the days ahead.

Karen Shragg (ecoyenta@aol.com)
Author of upcoming book, Lucy’s Hero Remembering Paul Wellstone
And the director of Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield

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