Monday, May 29, 2006

Take Back South Dakota Rally

NEWS RELEASE--For Immediate Release, May 29, 2006

RAPID CITY--Democracy in Action is inviting South Dakotans to gather at Memorial Park in Rapid City on Saturday, June 3, to rally behind progressive state legislative candidates who promise to fight to take back the state.

The Take Back South Dakota! rally begins at 1 p.m. at the band shell and will feature local musicians, speeches by Kay Jorgenson of Spearfish and Pat Lebrun of Rapid City, and information tables where citizens can meet progressive candidates, register to vote, learn about special interests, pick up handouts and bumper stickers, and socialize with other people who share a progressive philosophy.

Men, women, and children are welcome but are asked to leave pets at home. People can bring lawn chairs and coolers with nonalcoholic beverages, and there will be baked goods and beverages for sale.

Democracy in Action, an omnipartisan political organization of women with approximately 320 members in the Black Hills, began organizing the event after the 2006 legislative session, in which the state's senators and representatives not only stopped the state from progressing but took it back a few decades.
Legislators--by refusing to inform rape victims about emergency contraception, refusing to raise the minimum wage closer to a living wage, refusing to include birth control under health insurance coverage, refusing to allow women and their doctors to consider a full range of reproductive choices, refusing to keep government out of individuals? spiritual beliefs?have said ?No? to the people of South Dakota over and over again.

"The situation is even more frightening when you look at their legislation that failed," said Mary LaHood, DIA member. Legislators tried to make criminals of teachers and school counselors for giving thorough answers to students wanting information about sex or contraception. They tried to get a right-wing agenda, disguised as intellectual diversity, on our college campuses. They tried to cut funding to South Dakota Public Broadcasting, a move that threatened to silence the only news medium that records legislative hearings and makes them available in their entirety to citizens online.

The 2006 legislature's attack on personal and intellectual freedom mirrored a nationwide conservative movement, indicating that too many of our legislators are controlled by out-of-state interests.

Democracy in Action is encouraging voters to say "No" to these legislators by voting against them in the next election and sending the message that South Dakota citizens, not out-of-state interests, determine what happens in our state.
Democracy in Action is a grassroots movement of women working to bring progressive change in South Dakota, and is committed to informing and energizing voters to create a climate where progressive candidates are elected. DIA supports the empowerment of women, economic opportunity, access to affordable health care, strong public schools, responsible environmental stewardship, native justice and racial reconciliation, protection of civil liberties, advancement of the arts, global cooperation, and civil public policy dialogue.


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