Speaking out: A few critical questions to consider as midterms approach
As we move toward the upcoming midterm elections for state and national offices, voters are asking many different questions. But there are a few issues that will affect us all -- not to mention our kids and grandkids -- for years to come.
This is critical to consider in legislative branch, which makes our laws, in the executive branch, which approves and implements them, and in the judicial branch, which interprets them.
Are candidates going to protect our right to have control over our own lives in communities that are safe and healthy with respect and equal opportunities for all for the future in our vibrant democracy, or will they turn back the clock and impede our freedoms?
Are we going to have control over private decisions that affect our lives? Are we going to be able to make decisions about our own bodies and our health and who we call our family? Will we have control over reproductive health or will candidates attempt to take that right away from us? Will we have the right to love, and spend our lives with, anyone we choose?
Will we be free to breathe clean air and drink clean water and see progress on our climate challenge, or will the candidates roll back laws on the books that help ensure environmental health?
Will we be free to vote without restriction in elections, with fair results that will be upheld, or will candidates question results and make it harder to vote in the first place?
Will we be free to live in safe communities where weapons of war are not easily accessible, and there are reasonable restrictions in place to prevent anyone who might hurt themselves or others from getting guns -- or will the candidates allow unfettered access, creating communities where we may feel less safe?
Will we be free to secure health care we need at reasonable costs, or will candidates not just stand in the way but undo access to reasonably priced health care?
Will we be free to get the best possible education for our kids and grandkids, with opportunity to learn to the fullest, or will candidates stand in the way of trying to make said education more expansive and affordable for all?
Will we be able to secure affordable child care to allow us to find and keep good jobs to provide for our families or will candidates block access?
Will we be taxed fairly, with all paying their fair share, or will candidates favor those at the top placing an undue burden on those who are less able to handle the burden?
Will our democracy continue to thrive, or will candidates question fundamental aspects of our democracy that could destroy it as we move forward?
Will we have an inclusive community/state/nation that respects the rights and provides opportunities for all, or will the candidates elect to exclude a segment of the population?
Will we provide safety net programs for our elderly and others in need, or will candidates resist expanding -- or event maintaining -- such programs?
Let's be mindful of these critical questions as we move toward the midterms; encourage friends and neighbors to do likewise. Ask these questions about everyone, up and down the ballot, and lend support to local, state and national candidates who will keep us on a positive path forward. Our future depends on it.
• Elliott Hartstein of Northbrook is an attorney and a former Buffalo Grove village president. If you are interested in possibly discussing this topic further over Zoom with Elliott and others, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.