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Majority Apathy

By Ceemac126 @PGCBlogging

I woke this morning to news of North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un woof tickets regarding settling accounts with the U.S. after the U.S. military had a B-2 bomber size show of military force in South Korea.  I kept thinking, just what does this little nutted up freak want?  The UN sanctions aren’t going anywhere.  Even China, North Korea’s main trade partner, has sided with the U.S. when it comes to sanctions that prevent North Korea’s nuclear technology development.  My question persisted as I looked at the local news, which really should be renamed “the bad news.”  What do the people of the District/Maryland/Virginia want, specifically Prince George’s County?  

Our battle cry is a call for a better education system, a better economy, development, but what we have is essentially factions fighting over control.  Without consulting the school board (NOT a fan of the school board) or the Prince George’s County Council, our beloved leader County Executive Rushern Baker concocted a piece of legislation that would essentially strip the board of education of power over the budget, transportation, and remove their superintendent oversight.  Here it is.  Everyone’s talking about the bill (MD Senate bill 1071) so here’s what all the fuss is about.

FOR the purpose of revising the composition of the Prince George’s County Board of Education; providing for the appointment of certain members of the county board by the County Executive of Prince George’s County and the Prince George’s County Council; providing for a certain ex officio voting member of the  county board; providing for the qualifications, terms of office, and the filling of a vacancy of certain members of the county board; repealing certain provisions for the filling of a vacancy of certain members of the county board; providing for the appointment of certain nonvoting representatives to the county board;  authorizing the provision of health insurance and other fringe benefits for appointed members of the county board; requiring the affirmative vote of a certain number of members of the county board for the passage of a certain motion; authorizing the Prince George’s County Superintendent of Schools to  determine certain geographical attendance areas and consolidate schools under 16 certain circumstances; requiring the county board to consult with the county  superintendent before entering into a certain agreement; exempting Prince George’s County from certain provisions of law relating to county superintendents; requiring the County Executive to appoint the county superintendent in a certain manner; requiring the county superintendent to serve in the cabinet of the County Executive and at the pleasure of the County  Executive; providing for the qualifications, term of office, reappointment, and  removal of the county superintendent; providing for the compensation, office,  staff, equipment, transportation, reimbursement of certain expenses, and  administration of the office of the county superintendent; establishing the  responsibilities, powers, and duties of the county superintendent; providing for

Dead Flowers
How can we all get along with this?  I ask because it’s inevitable, I think, that this legislation will pass.  What the County Executive is capitalizing on is the apathy of the majority, much like Kim Jong-Un (North Korea’s apathy is fueled more so by fear then largess).  When I lived in DC, everyone on the block was some kind of activist, even if it was a gardening activist.  They could form a group to keep your nasty dogs and bad kids from trampling their veggies because they saw it as being for the good of the community.  That kind of activism was infectious.  Even if you couldn’t be a full part of the veggie police, you could monitor and report.  Prince George’s County is not that way, not that I’m finding.  Tonia Wellons of Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund, is a good example of a county resident working to remove partitions and bring people together in this bedroom community we call PGCo. 

Bedroom Community: A suburban community/town with little to no major employment center(s) to call its own. People only seem to sleep there when they’re not working 80 Hrs./wk closer in to the city where the jobs are. The only commercial space is retail & services for the residents (banks, groceries, malls, etc.) Residents often choose bedroom communities because of affordablility relative to living closer to the city, lower perceived crime, and schools with students that look just like their kids.

I have a family friend who had to shadow his son at a Bowie high school because his son was caught on an unsanctioned trip off campus.  During the shadowing, our friend witnessed curse word laden conversations and an impotent teacher with no control of the room.  He was so disturbed that he opted for his son to take the 3 day suspension rather than continue shadowing his son in a classroom where most of the students were doing and saying whatever they wanted.  These students reflect our apathy.  As long as you can go to Grace’s and church and find parking, we’re ok.  Every time we unleash our apathy on the public, we forfeit our right to choice.  Our children are failing in the bedroom community and will continue to do so unless we wake up, get off our largess, and hold ourselves accountable.

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