Advise and Dissent: All in the family


Rachel Dykoski turned to her family to ask what advice they would give to president-elect Barack Obama. Here’s what they had to say.

Chad Dykoski is a technical writer: He needs to change election laws so that third parties are not involved in elections, period. Open source technology, paper ballots can ensure voters rights and he needs to work on how we can effectively protect our voting rights. Effectively protect habeas corpus, constitutional rights and prosecute those who have ignored them – eliminate phone taping, repeal FISA amendments that allow people to spy on citizens without direction or oversight and prosecute those who spy on us illegally. Close down Guantanamo Bay. What he needs is extraordinary renditions for people who participated in all things like them (atrocities) – such as Black Water, the entire organization. Private armies shouldn’t be legal. Because it is outside the rule of congress, the law and congress is the only body able to declare war.

Caesar forged an empire from a republic using an army that was loyal only to him and not the senate or others. Hitler had his own private army – the brown shirts, which were instrumental in his taking over a government, illegally. Black Water is a dangerous precedent and President-elect Obama must work to correct it.

Louisea Bell is a retired teacher, and Rachel’s mom

Take care of yourself. Be careful. Be forceful, since you’ve done such a good job of putting forth people who really know the business and served on both sides of the aisle and they know the workings in Washington and also, since they know peep from various states, they know what’s going on too. Continue to garner cabinet and assist personnel of the same caliber. Since your ma and grandma taught you to listen, you’re still listening to people. (laugh)

You are a Chicago/Hyde Park/Kenwood resident. You know all the different ethnic groups that work/live and go to school there and have taught at the U of C…I think you’re well suited to deal with people from around the world. You have taught/lived/helped them in your community work. Build on it. On the foundation and knowledge that you have.

Look out for the SENIORS! Take care of us. And it’s going to have to start with the main problem. The medical: insurance companies, and so on. You stated the truth in several of your campaign appearances, that inability to negotiate lower costs, the same way that the VA has done it for medicine and services, is wrong. And you stated that everybody should be entitled to the same coverage that the people in congress receive. I agree. Let the citizens of the USA know how well the congress how well they are treated. Let us know how much they pay for the good coverage that they get. Or do they pay anything. We pay a lot. And we (probably) don’t get a tenth of what they in congress get.

See if there is anyway to assist people who have lost part and in some cases all of their pensions that they worked their life for because of the management of the companies that they worked for and helped to grow. Where the CEO s walked off with platinum parachutes. And they’re lost to them. Not only their medical lost, but some or all of their actual pensions are gone.

Is there a way that Washington can help unions rather than to fight unions, as the Bush administration did? Let’s see, how do I want to say this? The 40 hour week and all the benefits that unions brought about, that all workers have benefited from should be recognized. Citizens need to be educated. Sure, I’m a teacher’s union member and the benefits and salaries are still not where they should be, but they are a long way from where they were. Teacher unions have and are still fighting for not just themselves but for the students AND the parents. And unions and all industries fight not just for themselves but for everyone. We need support and laws to protect unionizing and members of unions. Businesses cannot fire people that want to try to unionize. They don’t always win, you know, they loose sometimes too. But threatens communities if not protected.

I’m very proud that I am of a citizen of the City of Chicago, and that I have helped people in Hyde Park, when I used to shop for shut-ins at the Hyde Park COOP. It was wonderful to volunteer. I volunteered at the cultural center for the senior group there, which was fun. And when I did, I worked at the U of C medical center, as a supervisor in bio-chemistry and teacher, IN MY YOUTH, then after I left the lab and taught school in Cabrini Green and retired from teaching elementary special ed, I couldn’t be more proud to be a Chicagoan. I was able to see some of my special ed students test out into regular programs and succeed. I was proud of all of my students. I loved them all. So go make us proud!

Devon and Carmen, Rachel’s elementary-school-age daughters, also shared their comments:

Devon: I want a holiday for kids. Can we have one? Just for the kids. Parent, and all adults can’t have it, they’d have to work. But Obama could come with his kids. It would be great. Maybe we could go back to DC and share the holiday with him. Oh, I know – a sleepover at the hotel we stayed at last year (in DC)!

Carmen: I think I should vote. I care about it. I want to vote like adults. I care about people. We need to have passion for people. So, I want to help people. We need to, you know, make sure that people have food, and a home and are safe. It’s important.