(The Political Notebook)

We are always honored to hear from Dick Gale, head of the Democrats of Hemet-San Jacinto

From the Democrats of Hemet – San Jacinto

A child is the most precious of all gifts. Nelson Mandela said “Children are our greatest treasure.” As the holidays approach our focus turns to children, and thoughts of Santa, elves, reindeer, and stockings. We decorate trees and cookies, we wrap gifts. Holiday specials and ads about toy-drives flood our TV screens. Of course there is also the Grinch and Scrooge. What are your memories of the holidays? Are they positive? Are they of a special gift or family gathering? I had a grandfather that was married on Christmas day in 1901. Christmas was an emotional time for him. I have a daughter who was born at 6:00 am Christmas morning which is my favorite memory of course.

Unfortunately not all children are able to enjoy the holidays. Poverty, hunger, discrimination, abuse and the like are all too prevalent in America. 18% of children live in poverty in America. Poverty affects nutrition and nutrition affects the ability to learn and thrive, to enjoy life. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has tried to address child hunger by providing access to food for low income families. It has been proven that children both behave and learn better when they have an adequate breakfast. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) helps keep the children healthy and well-fed through the rest of the school day and further increases their learning ability.

There are other issues which negatively affect children. Climate Change is one of them. A great article in the November 25, 2019 Time Magazine under “The Brief Health” states that children’s bodies are not equipped to deal with hot weather as efficiently as adults. Children’s immune systems are not fully developed so the increased bacterial growth resulting from higher temperatures negatively affects them. Global warming is reducing the duration of growing seasons for maize, rice and spring wheat, three crops very important to our food supply. In addition, warmer ocean water is causing a reduction in fish stocks. In short, children are disproportionately negatively affected by climate change.

As we go through this holiday season give special consideration to our children and as we go through the political year ahead continue to give consideration for children by supporting candidates who want to address climate change and to provide adequate funding for social programs that help children. By doing so you will be supporting America’s children. Don’t be like Scrooge, be like Santa.

Dick Gale
President of the Democrats of Hemet – San Jacinto

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