Reflections on the Enough is Enough! Rally
By Dayne Sherman
On Tuesday, April 30, I went to the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge for the Enough is Enough! rally. Though I had been planning to go for weeks, several days before the event I was asked to speak on the Capitol steps.
The nine hours of annual leave I requested from my job were some of the most productive vacation hours I have had in my life. Not just because I had the privilege to be a featured speaker, delivering a spirited speech titled “The Chickens are Coming Home to Roost for Governor Jindal,” but because I was able to act on my rights as a citizen.
What was so inspiring about the event were the people. I met cab drivers, professors, teachers, social workers, students, medical doctors, activists, young people, and old people. White, black, brown, and yellow.
The rally, which was swarming with news media and about 400 activists, was a peaceful gathering in every way. I felt tremendous camaraderie and a sense of good will. Attendees were very supportive of one another and speaking with one voice that Bobby Jindal’s attack on education and health care must stop. Indeed, enough is enough!
And unlike the last legislative session, a time when teachers were treated like farm animals and corralled like beasts, I saw no hostility or lack of respect by security workers or staff.
Also encouraging to me were the many Tangipahoa Parish residents at the Capitol. You couldn’t swing a rubber chicken by the foot and not hit someone from Tangipahoa. Ponchatoula High School teacher Kevin Crovetto was there, as were a number of other teachers.
What’s great about Crovetto is that no one knows more about state K-12 education policies than he does. Hearing him talk is to dispense with all of the bureaucratic compost so loved in Baton Rouge by Jindal and his diminishing band of misguided followers.
One of the interesting aspects of spending time at the State Capitol is witnessing all of the lobbyists. They wear these yellowish-brown IDs that say “Lobbyist.”
I can’t fault them for doing their jobs for their clients. But I sure do wish our local representatives (Edwards, White, Broadwater, and Pugh) would sponsor a bill to give citizens a similar tag of prestige when they visit. It should read, “Citizen.” The colors? Red, white, and blue.
Let me repeat what citizens around Hammond and Ponchatoula are saying. Any local legislator who fails to fight tooth and nail for my alma mater Southeastern Louisiana University to be fully funded is no representative of the people of this parish.
Until such a time when we get those little “Citizen” badges, perhaps we should act as though we already have the right to walk the halls of the Capitol.
Thanks to the sacrifices of countless Americans past and present, it is our right to do just that.
Dayne Sherman lives in Ponchatoula and is the author of Welcome to the Fallen Paradise: A Novel. His website is daynesherman.com.
==========================Dayne Sherman, Writer, Speaker, Scholar
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