Spread the Word – At the Ballot Box Vote “F – for Fitness”

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Buried beneath election rhetoric about stem-cell research, gender in marriage and taxes are issues that could seriously affect your newfound hobby – triathlons.

By Ovetta Sampson,

State by State Ballot Issues:

From www.ballot.org

Alabama
Ballot Measure No. 3: Animal Rights - would ban bear baiting, a popular hunting practice in some parts of the state.
Proponent: Citizens United Against Bear Baiting (www.cubb.org )

Arizona
Proposition 100: Would allow the state to trade away public lands. The measure has several provisions, including one that the trade must be made in the best interest of the trust, it must conserve open space or military airports, two independent appraisals must be completed, and public notice and hearing are required. The measure however, does not prohibit three-way land swaps, where land is traded to the federal government, and it turn to developers.

Colorado
Amendment No. 37: Would require public utilities to derive a modest 10% of their electricity from alternative resources, such as wind power, solar power and biomass by 2015.

New Mexico
Bond Issue No.4: Would approve a general obligation bond to fund renovations for public facilities.

Rhode Island
Bond Issue No. 6: Would appropriate a bond of $70,000,000 for open space, recreation, bay, and watershed protection.

Utah
Citizen’s State Initiative One: Would authorize a bond of $150 million to preserve or enhance lakes, rivers, and streams, wildlife habitat, farms and ranches, trails, historical sites, parks, open space, and water and air quality. It would also facilitate growth management; and build park, wildlife, or trail facilities, and it would build local community facilities and improve natural history and cultural museums.

In the waning hours before Election Day here in the United States it’s easy to get weary.
     Weary of television attack ads.
     Weary of campaign signs and banners.
     Weary of news stories and commentary shows.
     Weary. Weary. Weary.

But through the din of arguments, debates, amendments and ballot initiatives the athlete in you needs to pay attention. Buried beneath rhetoric about stem-cell research, gender in marriage and taxes are issues that could seriously affect your newfound hobby – triathlons.

Oxymoronic Partners

Sports and Politics??? Seems like strange bedfellows, but this combination shouldn’t be so incongruent. This year a group of athletes from Mary Lou Retton to Steve Largent wrote a public letter to support Bush. NBA player Etan Thomas spoke out against the war in Iraq and President Bush.

Your athletic activism doesn’t have to be so high profile or partisan either. There are ways you can use this year’s election to make a positive vote for fitness without compromising your political affiliations. There are steps you can take to ensure your commitment to fitness isn’t jeopardized by dense legislation or draconian policies. Here are some ways:

Pay Attention To: PLOS – Public parks, land and open space

 
Whether you’re a tree-hugger, an SUV fan or both, you’ve got to admit, exercising in the great outdoors beats pounding the “dreadmill,” any day. I just love bopping out of my house in the morning to take a job, run or stroll around the neighborhood public park.

But what if the guys never came to mow the lawn? What if they didn’t come to empty the handy-dandy pooper receptacles, clean up the cigarette butts my friendly neighborhood hospital workers leave when they take their smoke breaks near the tennis courts? All this routine maintenance takes money and usually that money is garnered through local ballot initiatives. So be on the look out for these on your ballots.


Learn Federal Acronyms That Matter

 
Do you know GOA is? Or how about TEA? You should. They all affect funding for fitness. GO is the Get Outdoors act which would establish more than $3 billion in a trust to fund urban and rural recreation areas as well as preservation efforts and hunting and fishing opportunities. TEA is the Transportation and Equity Act. First passed in Congress back in 1966 this law basically stops transportation projects from gobbling up and taking over coveted parks, recreation, historic sites, wildlife and waterfowl areas. The money comes from a percentage of your gas taxes. The act expired in 2003 and Congress has yet to make it a long-term act again. This year they gave it an eight-month extension. But to ensure our recreational spaces are protected we need it to be permanent again. Keep on the look out for it next year.

Acts like these are important to athletes because:

  • The preserve open space for us to do recreational activities.
  • They provide spaces for outdoor races ie. reservoirs, bays, state parks.
  • They make the outdoors accessible to both rural and urban residents.
  • And they make the prospect of running on the “dreadmill,” fleeting if not faint!

Quiz Candidates On Their Commitment To Fitness

Being healthy is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It’s a life issue. Make sure the candidates (especially local) you vote for have fitness on the brain or radar screen. I’m not promoting a B.T.com ticket here but just be aware of how your candidate falls on the issues that you care about when it comes triathlons and multisporting events.

Join The Team


So how do you become a Fitness Politico? Here are some organizations dedicated to fitness, environment, recreation, wildlife, land and open space issues. Check out their advocacy sections.

Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires! I mean, get out and vote! Yeah, that’s it!
 

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date: October 31, 2004

infosteward

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avatarinfosteward

New biz venture for me check it out: writewaywriting.com
Literature - the big heavies - Wright, Shakespeare, Zora, etc.
Love movies, singing (Karaoke), traveling, swimming, dancing and playing all kinds of card games. Love good food, better wine and even better entertainment.
Help children in poverty. Sponsor a child today.
www.compassion.com

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