Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

asking for changes

We heard for almost two years that Barack Obama would bring us change. Sure, sure, anything can be said during a campaign! When it comes to politicians and their promises, I’ll believe it when I see it.

In addition to my lack of belief in campaign promises, I’m quite cynical!

And yet…even though we’ve still got a few months before President-elect Obama becomes President, I see glimmers of good things to come. If nothing else, he’s approaching the entire idea of the presidency with innovation.

He’s asking us, we the people, what we think. He’s asking the people of the country he’s to lead what we think is most important.

Plus, I just saw this great quote, which to my mind is one of the most encouraging things I’ve heard out of the mouth of any politician:

The debates unnerved both candidates. When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, “I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’ So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that’s green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’ What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I f—ing changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.”

As RAN said, “No kidding”.

But more than that, he gets it! At the very least, he can see that action is needed, and that action should be more than sticking your fingers in your ear and saying “I can’t hear you!” anytime someone wants to talk about the climate.

So. I have a glimmer of the hope that people keep talking about. is doing this thing where they’re collecting ideas and having their members vote on them, and they’ll present the top 10 as their suggestions. There are a few animal rights related ideas, but there are few votes.

If you’re of a mind to suggest an idea or vote on one, go check it out.

I’m sort of bemused that one of the top rated ideas at the moment is something that P-E Obama has already said he’s going to do (close Guantanamo Bay), and is one of the things that I’ve heard the most chatter about in mainstream newsites. That would be disappointing if something he’s already doing was presented as an idea!

It will be interesting to see how he deals with what are likely to be a gigantic number of suggestions. I like the idea of presenting ideas that have many supporting voices behind them, but of course it can be frustrating if your idea is not one of the ones presented by a group like So, to this I’d say, vote on, or on any other site or with any other group that is doing this sort of thing with ideas that you like, but don’t let yourself be limited to any of that. We can’t know, at this point, what our suggestions might mean to a man about to be sworn in as President, but I do know that what is not voiced can not be heard.

Some of my ideas at the moment:

  • repeal the AETA and AEPA
  • require prisons and schools to provide vegan meals
  • spend 10% of the transportation budget on bike and ped and transit options
  • make the 3ft rule (for motorized vehicles passing bicycles) and “slow then go” on red for bicycles the national standard
  • ban all further use of the words “terrorism”, “terrorist” or any deviation from government speak and government documents until those words are clearly defined to mean something other “anyone who doesn’t agree with me, or anyone who tries to prevent me from exploiting others for my own gain.”
  • require that all employers provide work-from-home options
  • require all employers provide secure indoor bike parking and showers

That’s what comes to mind for now. And yeah, I figured why not ask for the moon, right?

I did like the idea that Stephanie presented to increase funding for non-animal research methods.

What would you ask for?


10 responses to “asking for changes

  1. nothoney November 12, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Me? the repeal of every attempt by Bush/Cheney to deregulate the Endangered Species Act. There’s more but that’s a good start.

    Now I’ll be headin’ over to vote on those AR suggestions …

    Treats on Saturday!


  2. Stephanie E. November 12, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Deb, I love your “repeal the AETA” idea! You should definitely add it. On the vegan food in schools issue, Alex Hershaft of FARM actually just posted the following idea last night: “Require USDA to mandate vegan school lunch options, in addition to the standard fare, in those schools where at least 5% of parents request them.” It’s featured now, and it could certainly use some votes! We also have an idea coming up from Elliot Katz of IDA on the Guardian campaign.

    The top-rated idea in each of the listed categories will be presented now, but it’s important to vote for all the animal-related ideas we support, for symbolic reasons if nothing else. We need to show that these issues matter. Thanks for putting the word out. 🙂

  3. Deb November 12, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    @ Sheryl, that’s a good one too!

    @ Stephanie, I’ll work on the supporting text and add the AETA idea soon. Thanks for letting me know about the ones that were added. I need to look to see if there is a feed for that, so I can keep updated automatically!

  4. Stephanie E. November 13, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Hmm. Not sure. I know we have feeds for the blogs, but I don’t know about the Ideas page.

  5. Pingback: La Alma de Fuego… » Blog Archive » still not quite on the Obama train….

  6. kelly g. November 13, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    At, you can also submit suggestions directly to the Obama administration.

  7. Deb November 13, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    kelly, thanks for linking that in! That’s what I’d been thinking about when I said that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to just what other groups are submitting, but I didn’t follow through and find a link for it. So that was perfect. Thanks!

  8. Mary Martin November 14, 2008 at 6:05 am

    It does appear that he’s attending to the issue of the beating the Constitution and our civil liberties have taken: , at least in some areas.

  9. Pingback: rule of law, positive changes to come? « Invisible Voices

  10. Pingback: » Blog Archive » easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 2008-11-13

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