Editorial: Democracy dependent on us all

Apr. 25, 2014 @ 11:56 PM

Early voting has begun across the state. We can’t stress enough the importance of what is taking place between now and May 6.

Our part is not to name candidates to endorse; rather, we encourage participation at all levels of our democracy. We firmly believe that competition for these important leadership positions will yield to us better candidates, a more informed public and an end result that is positive for our community. We also believe participation in the voting process is crucial to the most people being represented.

While the four-year cycle for the president’s election may leave all others as “off years” or “mid-terms,” they are all crucial. And in fact, in many communities just like a number of ours in the Tri-County, it is those elections in “off years” and “mid-terms” that have governing bodies elected which will affect us most directly.

Whether we vote early or wait until Tuesday, May 6, let the message be clear: we must participate.

• From time to time, we offer a well-deserved salute to various entities when “their day” comes around. We never promise to get them all; the list is quite lengthy.

April’s closure — yes, can you believe it? — will bring to a close National Stress Awareness Month and National Autism Awareness Month. We’ve also seen National Volunteer Week, National Library Week, Earth Day and Administrative Professionals Day. Today ends National Medical Lab Week and Sunday closes National Playground Safety Week.

Kindness and appreciation doesn’t need a designated day, week or month. Nor should we let our awareness of significant causes be similarly limited. Share words of adulation regularly, and keep the causes that touch our lives in the forefront daily.

• An enduring figure in the fight against racial justice left us this past week when former prizefighter Rubin Carter died.

Carter, nicknamed Hurricane because of his ferocity and power, was imprisoned for 19 years in connection to a 1966 triple murder. He was convicted in 1967, then retried and convicted again in 1976. In 1985, appeals finally won him the fight of his life.

Admiration for Carter extends beyond his resilience against racial injustice. He rose above bitterness and anger, empowered by a positive attitude.

Carter was 76.