Ways We Can Help Politicians Cooperate and Improve Lives

  • IMG_5338The world is making startling progress to improve people’s lives. It doesn’t feel like progress when we’re finally free of the fall campaign rhetoric only to undergo immobilizing squabbling between Democrats and Republicans.

    What gives me hope are my experiences in progress getting politicians to cooperate by participating with ONE, an organization campaigning and advocating to end global extreme poverty and preventable diseases by 2030. ONE works from the ground up by providing basic services that increase economic development and save lives. More healthier people with money to spend get educated, develop global economies and cut population growth rates.

    The surprise is ONE advocated for squabbling politicians to cooperate in the Electrify Africa Act that passed the House with bipartisan support last summer. The Senate’s version is the Energize Africa Act (S. 2508) with bipartisan sponsorship by Senators Bob Mendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN). If passed by the Senate and signed by President Obama, the Act would provide access to modern electricity that would save lives, boost education, alleviate poverty and accelerate growth. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the development income would save the U.S. budget $135 million every year from 2015-2019.

    Local Rotarians and friends funded an extremely small scale project that provided access to solar powered electricity in nine homes in Africa. In February 2014 on a safari they visited the homes with the solar panels near the Nkoilale School in western Kenya. Safari leader Hillary Kosen of Kosen Safaris in East Wenatchee and the inventor of the solar panels, Dr. Claver Hategekiman from Wenatchee Valley College, visited the homes and villagers six months later.

    The results were better than envisioned. Women were increasing their income by making more jewelry to sell to travelers. They had more time during the day to tend their villages and care for their livestock and children.

    One man improvised solar power connections to recharge cell phones and raise his income to $3-5 per day, well above the level of extreme poverty. People plugged lights over their stock pens to cut the economic loss of 1-2 goats per month.

    Parents plan to install solar panels over a new lunch room at the school to provide a study hall at night for resident students. It would be a stage for evening performances where Maasai men and women could see their children blossom with drama skills.

    Imagine the impact of providing reliable electric power to millions of African homes, hospitals and businesses by passing the Electrify Africa Act through the Senate that will save the U.S. federal government $135 million per year from 2015-2019.

    We can act locally and recommend our politicians cooperate to do the same. Write our Senators to support the Energize Africa Act (S. 2508). Then look for small ways to cooperate so our leadership will return to doing the same for us.

About Russellsclearskies

Writing to poke fun at a retired klutz like me who's curiously exploring the absurdities and complexities of the good life. .
This entry was posted in Community Building, Doing Justice and Having Compassion, travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Ways We Can Help Politicians Cooperate and Improve Lives

  1. Karen Russell says:

    I think this is one of your better written articles. Love ya, Me

  2. Deborah Moore says:

    Great positive story Jim – thank you!


  3. Grace says:

    This is an amazing article Jim.

  4. Kathy Humphrey says:

    Nice column, Jim.

  5. Michelle Shermer says:

    THANK YOU JIM!! You tell the story perfectly.

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