I’m a big fan of strong, female leads – beautiful, smart women who can kick the bad-guys butts without breaking a sweat. Have you ever watched Jessica Alba in Dark Angel or Fantastic Four? She’s one of those strong leads. Now, I know she has grueling training and the magic of motion pictures to help enhance her performance, but you can still fight like her. Like she fights in real life.
Today, Jessica Alba is appearing on Capitol Hill with Senator Frank Lautenberg to promote his chemical safety bill, the Safe Chemicals Act. The bill “would ensure that the chemicals we are exposed to every day have been tested and proven safe for mothers, children, and all Americans,” says Lautenberg, chairman of the toxics and environmental health subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. It’s a common sense policy (read yesterday’s post to learn about how idiotic our chemical regulatory system is now.)
Celebrities have long helped raise awareness about important issues by using their status to get media attention. And, even though you don’t have paparazzi following you, you can still do exactly what she’s doing and take some time to speak up. In fact, democracy doesn’t really work unless we speak up. In between elections, our elected officials are voting on policies every day. Do you know how they decide how to vote? By listening to their constituents – that’s you and me.
Back when I first began participating in politics, I remember sitting with elected officials and having them tell me how important it was to them to hear from their constituents – office visits, letters, phone calls – they mean A LOT. They told me that they decided how to vote on different bills based on how many constituents they heard from saying yay or nay. If 20,000 people called and told them to vote no on a bill and 25,000 called and told them vote yes, they’d vote yes. Likewise, if 20 people told them to vote yes on a bill and 25 told them to vote no, they’d vote no.
At the end of the day, each one of us has a voice and our elected officials need to hear it. That’s how democracy works. We can vote every day.