Human Rights Invent Americans

“America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it’s the other way around. Human rights invented America.” ~ Jimmy Carter

Judy Colligan’s life brings former President Carter’s statement up to the present moment.  Judy took initiative, acted with compassion from her commitments, and inspired her friends and neighbors to recognize:

Judy and Tahira“Human rights invent Americans.”

Yes, Americans. Like Judy. Her most recent communication to me expressed her concerns for our county’s children, teens and young adults, particularly girls and women. On Dec 19 at the Howard County Delegation hearing she came to oppose HoCo 9-13, a bill which in October 2013 would prohibit Howard County from adopting and enforcing sound level limits for Merriweather Post Pavilion, a venue of 15,000 that regularly exceeded civil sound levels in the neighborhood where Judy lived for over thirty years.

Judy watched online the remainder of the hearing she had missed a week after it. Her grave concern from watching the broadcast was proposed bill HO.CO. 08-13 (LR 768)  Howard County – Casino Events – Authorized, Submitted by W. Miller and Malone. This bill sets up ways to hold “Casino Events” in our local Howard County. Judy emailed me on Dec 31:

“After most of us had left due to the late hour,  Delegate Guzzone said they had one more bill to consider. Its sponsor had requested that it be last.  When Delegate Miller of District 9A presented it, there were no speakers for testimony.

I couldn’t believe it –if  I understood what he said–he was proposing there be some form of casino “like” gambling in Howard County, in order to raise money for veterans. He said he had met with “veterans”  and they appreciated  this.

He had requested to be at the end when he knew most folks would be gone; there were no testimonies; there was no definition of what Veteran orgs he had spoken to. This smells very much like a politician seeking to help casino owners so they will help him financially. We just saw O’Malley, Ulman, Baltimore Mayor campaigning for casinos in Md, and I don’t believe for a minute they do this just for growing money for education.”

“Casinos anywhere provide more opportunities for pimps and cartels to sell and exploit kids and women for sex to the men coming to gamble to fill out their entertainment outing. The victims are sold over the internet for “tourist sex dates”, and local hotels and houses are used. So you can see that this has to be fought against.  After seeing what this Miller was proposing ‘under the radar’, I already started to alert our AGAST most active volunteers that we need to get on this.”

HoCoAgast

“I hope you will support us if we need to rally community support. “

Last night Judy did not show up at Art’s house to drive to see the Singing Sensations Youth Choir perform their Gospel Extravaganza in Baltimore. He could not reach her by cell or phone. He called her friend and neighbor Normale who used Judy’s key when she did not come to the door. Going through the downstairs rooms calling her name with no response, Normale “found Judy laying on the floor beside her bed.  When I touched her, her body was already cold.  … Her candle was lit on her meditation altar.   Judy looked like she had a peaceful passing.”

We walked to the gathering for Judy at the Kittamaqndi Community in our neighborhood. Her memorial is planned for this week. Please hold Judy and her family in your meditations and prayers.

kc church

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Create Vibrancy NOT Vibration

Noise adversely affects general health in the same way as chronic stress by:

  • causing digestive problems,
  • inhibiting language development in children,
  • creating social handicaps,
  • reducing productivity,
  • impairing teaching and learning, and
  • increasing absenteeism, alcohol and drug use, and accidents.[5]

Noise impairs the ability to enjoy one’s property and leisure time and increases the frequency of antisocial behavior.[6]

Noise “adversely affects future generations by degrading residential, social, and learning environments with corresponding economic losses.” [7]

MPP’s proposed legislation HoCo 9-13 contradicts all five priorities of County Executive Ken Ulman’s commitment to “make good government even better”:[1]

  • Public Safety and Education: Noise causes carbohydrate craving, including sugars, white flour products, and alcohol. Piling sand on county parking lots does not cover up this fact. Even if Mr. Ulman had police enforce the current county noise standards, citizens are not adequately protected.
  • Finding Efficiencies Within Government: MPP’s proposed bill opposes Maryland’s HB-190 effective October 2012 which revises the framework for enforcing noise standards for more efficient and cost-effective responses to citizen noise complaints.[2]
  • Exercising Sound Fiscal Management: MPP’s proposed legislation prohibits the County from collecting fines up to $10,000 for noise violations. Fines last season would have recouped much of our police overtime budget deficit of $500K.
  • Protecting Our Environment: MPP’s Harmful Noise interrupts treatments and classes at Four Gates Wellness Center, psychotherapy, psychiatry, insurance offices, and the innovative political image-making firm in our building—only one of Columbia’s 57% professional workplaces.[3]
  • Creating a Healthier and More Vibrant Community:  Vibration is NOT vibrancy. Generating hearing loss, interrupting sleep, and preventing rest and renewal, noise raises men’s heart attack risk by 50%; women’s, by 300%.[4]