Democracy in the valley | AspenTimes.com

Democracy in the valley

Democracy lives in the living rooms of homes in Carbondale.

A small group of older citizens (from Aspen to Glenwood Springs), who are fed up with the policies of the Bush administration, began meeting last fall. Power results when a few people get together and decide they can make a difference.

The Wake Up Now Group was formed following conversations with a few friends who felt that by “encouraging participation in the democratic process, specifically by promoting an alternative to the Bush administration” change would happen.

The group’s first project was encouraging local government to honor those soldiers regularly dying in Iraq and Afghanistan by lowering the flag to half-staff one day a week. The town of Carbondale recently adopted such a resolution following letters and requests from the group. The flag in front of its town hall is lowered to half-staff every Monday at 8 a.m. and remains lowered throughout that day.

Their second project is an Essay/Political Cartoon/Video Contest for young adults on the topic “Why Vote?” Anyone 18 (by Nov. 2, 2004) to 25 who lives in the Roaring Fork Valley (from Aspen to Rifle) is eligible to enter by writing an essay of not more than 800 words, drawing a political cartoon or making a video (up to 5 minutes on VHS).

Entries need to be submitted by April 1. The first prize is $1,000, second is $500 and third is $250. Contest entry forms and rules can be found on the group’s Web site, http://www.wakeupnow81623.org, or write to Wake Up Now, P.O. Box 1955, Carbondale, CO 81623.

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In the future, the group plans to focus on registering people to vote and make them feel that voting is important, the Patriot Act, etc. Who runs our government, whether local or national, affects our everyday life.

Cathleen Krahe

Carbondale

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