Spend your “extra” day fighting a losing battle

The way I see it, folks, tomorrow is a freebie.

It’s a totally bonus day that we only get once every four years.

You won’t have a February 29th next year, and you got by without one last year. Since we don’t plan on it, then, it’s essentially a total bonus, right?

So here’s my thought:

Let’s “waste” this extra day fighting some battles we’ll almost certainly lose. You know the ones–they need to be fought, to right a wrong or just stir up some trouble for those who need to be troubled. But we avoid them, because it seems more prudent to focus our energies on more attainable victories.

But not tomorrow.

Those 24 hours are a calendar’s gift, so we might as well throw them away on some of these hopeless causes.

My list, to get the day started:

  • Public assistance eligibility for immigrant families–can you think of a less popular cause? But economic hardship sentences some citizen children of immigrant parents to a lifetime of reduced life chances, and financial desperation traps some immigrant women in violent homes. Our public assistance systems are designed to reduce hardship and provide a safety net, and these families–part of our communities–deserve that, too.
  • Tax fairness–okay, so I fight this one on some of the other days, too, but I figure I can spare a few extra hours today. We need a revenue system equal to the challenges that face us, as a state and a country, and maybe this Leap Day can put us over the top.
  • Electing truly progressive candidates to my state legislature–most of the year I’ll do some campaigning for some allies whose relatively moderate views make them important stopgaps in our current political environment, but I have dreams of seeing some folks with big plans and huge hearts elected, and maybe some fundraising calls on this extra afternoon can help.
  • Peace on earth–yeah, I know. But, then, I ask myself: what have I done lately to try to stop war and promote peace? The answer, sadly, is not much, even though I very much want my kids to grow up in a safer world. I’ll spend some time today checking out the activities of peace groups local and international, and find a way to contribute some of my time (or, most likely, my money) as an investment in the future I want for them, and for us all.

The way I see it, we spend too much energy talking ourselves out of some of the fights we really should embrace.

Pragmatism is overrated, and the greatest movements for social justice certainly never conducted a feasibility analysis first.

We have to be strategic, but we also have to be bold. And stubborn. And, sometimes, a bit foolhardy.

So, what’s on your list of losing battles for our bonus day?

Happy February 29th.

2 responses to “Spend your “extra” day fighting a losing battle

  1. Melinda, let me declare here in front of whoever reads this stuff. “I love you.” And I encourage my students and faculty collegues to love you as well.
    I would note that tomorrow, the 29th, is coincidentally the Kansas NASW Student Legislative Day in Topeka: and a PERFECT opportunity to operationalize your “extra day” strategy. Below is a list of bills that are on tommorrows schedule that I’ve asked students to pay attention too.

    HB 2353, “AN ACT concerning the personal and family protection act;” THAT WOULD ALLOW THE CONCEALED CARRY OF FIREARMS IN COLLEGE CLASSROOMS. Committee on Federal and State Affairs

    HB 2422, “AN ACT concerning the personal and family protection act;
    amending…” A SIMILAR “CONCEALED CARRY MEASURE”
    (Federal and State Affairs)

    HB 2442, AN ACT concerning individuals with disabilities; relating to
    employment and competitive bids for state contracts; Committee on Social Services Budget (Appropriations)

    HB 2347, AN ACT concerning income taxation; relating to the earned income tax credit; (THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE!!!!)

    Sub HB 2242, AN ACT concerning use of vital statistics; relating to death and unborn child death certificates; (HMMMMM, WHAT THIS ABOUT? REALLY?) Committee on Federal and State Affairs

    HB 2421, AN ACT enacting the Kansas firearms freedom act.
    (MORE GUNS?) (Federal and State Affairs)

    Hearing on: HB 2694–State capitol building; all faiths chapel
    Final action on: HB 2598–Creating the no taxpayer funding for abortion act; amending statutes concerning late-term abortion restrictions

    Corrections and Juvenile Justice 1:30 p.m. Room 144-S
    Kansas Department of Corrections Report on the Prison Review Board
    Videos on the following: Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiatives (JDIA) Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project released two products designed to educate policy makers and the public about evidence-based strategies to lower recidivism rates and produce a better public safety return on taxpayers’ investment in corrections

    Senate @ 2:30 HB 2437, AN ACT concerning elections; relating to voting; changing effective date of United States citizenship requirements; Committee on Elections

    Sub HB 2477, AN ACT concerning compulsory school attendance laws;
    relating to educational alternatives; Committee on Education

    HB 2533, AN ACT concerning children and minors; relating to mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse; (Judiciary)

    HB 2737, AN ACT concerning juvenile offenders; relating to consecutive
    sentencing; Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice (Judiciary)

    • Thank you so much, and for the legislative overview–I love that the lobby day is on the 29th! I am alarmed about the guns on campus, and there’s a real risk that the EITC will be made not refundable. I hope there will be a strong contingent! Thanks again for all you do!

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