I do what I can and hope more participate

November 18, 2013 

I was pleased to see the letter from Diane Carr [published Nov. 12 in the Lake Wylie Pilot’s Letters to the Editor] in response to my letter about urging politicians to make changes.

She said it was my fault Congress was not helping the American people, because I have not gotten involved. Several times I have stated people of America need to send the message to Congress and the president that this must stop. We can do this by voting, sending letters and making calls.

If we continue to vote the same people in, we are going to get the same results. We need people willing to work together to solve these issues, not hold American’s hostage until they agree with their point of view.

I get angry when I hear someone say they are not going to vote because they do no like the candidates. I have suggested our freedom as Americans came at a price, and if we truly want to honor our military families and their sacrifices, then we must stand up and vote the politicians out who are not doing their jobs.

She questioned me about my participation in the political process. Here is what I have done all my life.

When I was younger, my brother ran for city council. I was part of his campaign, and I was bitten by the political bug. After he was elected, I became involved in city council meetings, helping my brother with fact finding, passing out literature and making calls. I then helped our mayor win re-election. I walked the streets in the snow and cold to pass out literature. I worked polling booths. I helped with the registration of voters and made phone canvass calls.

My mother was an executive and involved in United Way programs. I assisted her in fundraisers and volunteer programs. I was chair of the United Way programs during my employment with many companies.

I started giving to Clover Area Assistance Center a couple of years ago and decided instead of sending Christmas gifts to the relatives, I would donate that money to local food banks in their names. I urged them to do the same instead of sending me things I did not need. Except for the cookies – my husband would never forgive me if he did not get his cookies.

I am involved in my homeowner’s association. I let them know when I disagree with what they are doing.

I have always written to politicians local and federal regarding issues. In fact, one of Mick Mulvaney’s staff contacted me recently to discuss an email I had sent. We had a long conversation and even though I did not agree with all she said, I sent an email to Mulvaney thanking him for the response.

I have done all the things she stated in her letter. However, she questions me because she said she has never seen me at any Republican event. Well, Ms. Carr, that is because up until a few years ago, I was a registered Democrat. In 2000, I voted for President Bush, and shortly after I realized I was not going to define my beliefs by a party. I am an Independent. Our party system is broken. We need to stop following the ideology of some because they are of one party, but vote our conscience and our beliefs. We come together during tragedies; let us come together all the time.

Unfortunately our physical participation in political events has been limited because of health issues. I do miss it, but my husband and I do what we can. I still write letters, contribute to causes and make calls.

I would love to sit with someone and debate the issue confronting us. Compromise is when parties of different beliefs come together to solve problems. That is what I want to convey to our politicians, not my way or the highway attitude in American now.

I was upset to read the article in the Lake Wylie Pilot about the meeting with Mulvaney. He was there to answer questions, not be called names. It is so disrespectful to stoop to name calling, and nothing will get done until we stop treating people like they are the enemy. If you disagree with what he was saying, then tell him your point of view. Calling someone a name only makes me think you are not a reputable person.

I see too much apathy in my community. We have over 250 homes in our community, but only about 30 show up for yearly meetings, and only myself and one or two others come to the board meetings. That needs to change. I hope anyone seeing these letters starts by going to their local HOA meetings and participating in their communities. I believe if they do, then we as a people can solve the problems we face and give our children the future they deserve.

Thank you for doing what you have done Ms. Carr. Keep up the good work. I will continue to do what I can. Hopefully, more people will see these letters, and follow our example and get involved.

Laura L. Lillie is a Lake Wylie resident.

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