Monday, March 23, 2009

Redwaterlilly's partner: Putting flesh on the bones of the story

Two reasons for this post: One, a belated welcome and link to Redwaterlilly's Ramblings, one of Delaware's newest political blogs.

Reason number two: because we have to keep in mind that the State employees we're talking about these days are real people:

I am really mixed on this one for two reasons. One is that my partner is a correctional officer and those 8% are going to hurt us big time - since I currently only have a seasonal part time job and won’t be working at all after July. The chance of finding full time employment by then is slim in the current economic climate. We will depend on her income to feed our family of three. This isn’t just a serious budget cut but will cut into our necessary living expenses such as the mortgage. I understand other families are going through the same difficulties, but I am talking about me and my family here.

The Correctional Officers are already seriously understaffed - but the same is true for prisons in surrounding States - however, they pay their Cos more then Delaware does and Delaware runs the risk of losing a lot of COs that they trained to neighboring States - we simply can’t afford that. The Academy currently has 4 to 6 classes a year, but most cadets don’t stay with the department long enough to make up for the cost of the training....

This isn’t just about the budget cuts and the salary cuts - but I am seriously worried about my partner’s safety and the ability of DOC to hold on to the COs they have to ensure a safe working environment for all Correctional Officers.

Oh, but wait... According to State law and the opinion of some Delaware bloggers, Redwaterlilly, her partner and child don't constitute a family, because only heterosexual marriage creates a family (and therefore serves as the bedrock of civilization).

So, as Emily Littela would have said, Never mind.

A State employee, not hetero, and works in corrections? Three strikes right there.

The current state employee bashing that has been unleashed to give cover for the Markell budget is best summarized by Dana Garrett in a comment response over at Delaware Watch:

Some are defending Markell's budget proposals because they are committed to the view that he is a progressive. They advocated for that point of view.

I was persuaded that he was one, but this budget makes me think I was wrong. Some "progressives," however, don't want to entertain the notion they were wrong about Markell. So for them it's better to attack state employees than to admit they might have been wrong about him.

Others attack state employees because they wish they had the health care coverage they do. Because they don't, they believe that state employees should have the same abysmal coverage and financial arrangements to pay for it that they do. I find this not only to be an ignoble way of thinking but an extremely irrational one as well. Why should the standard for health care be set at a low roughly common denominator? How does that help everyone? If anything, it makes poor coverage and financial arrangements to pay for it into a precedent. That's just stupid advocacy.

But back to Redwaterlilly for a moment.

Her family is neither more nor less important than the families whose breadwinners are in the private sector and facing cut-backs and lay-offs--except to her.

I remember my Mom telling me years ago why she objected to the popularity of the Depression-era fantasy that was The Waltons. She said she didn't like it and wouldn't watch it because the reality was that the Depression tore families and communities apart rather than uniting them the way Earl Hamner's series presented it.

And we seem to be seeing some of that now.


Waldo Lydecker's Journal said...

In hard times straight people even progressives- are the first, in general- to advantage themselves a few more notches up the line.

Anonymous said...

The disabled community of about 100,000 are still awaiting their fate. Providers havent had a cost of living increase in 3 years. They have been cut to the bone and providers operating in red ink. Had a call from a family today with a severelly disabled autistic son of 21. He had been attending the Del. Autistic program, and Mom and Dad both work. They have been told they will have to take care of their son at home. The Mom has to quit her job, and she will have no respite care whatsoever.

If you think you have it bad, think of this poor family who will struggle to deal with this kid with no respite, no one to come in to give them a break.

The boy is self injurious, bangs his head against the wall and other problems. These are the people I feel sorry and sad about.

There are many families in this situation, plus the families who have kids in group homes worried to death their staff is going to be cut and therefore their adult children left in unsafe situations. Providers will be forced to stay in Delaware or leave. Risk their companies reputation when something happens? And something will happen it happened before in 1994 when Minner cut them to the bone. Abuse and neglect always raise their ugly head.


Anonymous said...

..all because our governor doesn't want to make politically tough decisions, instead passing the buck to the legislature.

That doesn't sound "progressive" in any definition of the word.

It sounds like a politician.

Nancy Willing said...

I was born 7th of 8 to parents who started their family at age 29 (after the obligations of college and dad's stint as an officer during WW II). They were 40 when they had me.

So, unlike most of my peers, I had depression-era parents whose every move was informed by growing up through it (both born in 1917)making them very conservative and cautious with their money and security. A good thing.

My dad's father, at one point, owned 'half of Ashtabula County, Ohio'....on paper....

My father had a Finnish nanny, his father drove a Pierce Arrow and owned an airplane in the early 20's. But he lost everything in 1928 in the land value collapse that precipitated the Wall Street crash of 1929. The family broke apart.

The only time I ever saw my father cry was in his recounting this story to us around the dinner table when I was in middle school. My oldest brother was at MIT at the time and my second oldest brother was MIA in Viet Nam.

My dad told the rest of us at home that he would send us all to college at the UD because he could afford to do that for us. And went into how his father had lost the title to even his parent's and his in-laws farms. His mom and the kids went to live with her parents and took in washing and mending to survive. His parents never divorced but they never reconciled either.

Unfortunately, it all was a point of much shame to my dad.