GA Voice - - Front Page - By Si­mon Wil­liamson

cit­i­zens of a lo­cal­ity too stupid to be able to de­cide for them­selves. So, you just aren’t al­lowed to do it. What, asks Osei-Frim­pong, is stop­ping our lo­cal reps from just do­ing it and mak­ing the state gov­ern­ment take us to court so that work­ers can con­tinue to be paid wages be­low a liv­able level? Make the state get off its ass and come and force peo­ple to live on food stamps.

It is not like there isn’t a show on the other foot. Con­ser­va­tive Amer­i­cans through­out his­tory have gone so far out of their way, par­tic­u­larly in the South, to de­lay or harm the im­ple­men­ta­tion of fed­eral laws per­tain­ing to just about any­thing a crit­i­cal mass of peo­ple didn’t want, like civil rights. There are still coun­ties in this re­gion where LGBT cou­ples can­not marry some­one of the same gen­der be­cause an elected of­fi­cial re­quired to sign off on the bizarre pa­per­work says no, in spite of it be­ing a right de­clared by the high­est court in the land.

But, cast your mind back to 2004. To Osei-Frim­pong’s point, (this is also his ex­am­ple) Gavin New­som, then mayor of San Fran­cisco, walked straight into th­ese wa­ters with his staff out and told City Hall they would be con­duct­ing gay mar­riages. It did not last long – bu­reau­crats and big­ots alike sued to stop the prac­tice af­ter a month, Gov. Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger had mul­ti­ple whines about it and the mar­riages were over­turned. But, that did more to ad­vance the rights of us to marry who we like be­cause New­som stood up for it and made the peo­ple who were against it sue to main­tain their shitty points of view.

Osei-Frim­pong makes an ex­cel­lent ar­gu­ment here. Our lo­cal gov­ern­ments should rep­re­sent us. The fur­ther up the chain you go, the fur­ther politi­cians staffing those seats are from the nor­mal daily lives of the rest of us. Our lo­cal gov­ern­ment should ques­tion the mo­tives of our state gov­ern­ment in the ex­act man­ner the state does of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

Our lo­cal gov­ern­ments should rep­re­sent us. And if that means some le­gal fees for be­ing sued over giv­ing our peo­ple a liv­ing wage, then so be it. Make the state make its case for some of the ter­ri­ble shit it forces upon the rest of us.

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