“Justice Justice Shall You Pursue”
Never before have I really felt this statement from Deuteronomy (16:20) in my bones as I do now. In a world where people are more visibly losing hope, becoming more prone to acts of violence that are so far from our basic nature of love, it is now that Justice needs to be brought to the forefront, unless we all wish to see more unraveling of our precious democratic system and its People here in the US. Though I personally feel our system is broken, I also feel that, like anything, it is not a lost cause for repair unless no action is taken to correct some facet of it.
If I Were a Rich Man Tour
On Aug, 23, 2012, the first participants of the If I Were A Rich Man Tour made their way to Northern California, embarking on a multi-state tour to raise awareness of Fair Share Taxation. On Aug 26th, 2012, I am proud to say that I will be touring from city to city, state to state on this historical campaign, part of the Jewish Action arm of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice.
From August 22 through September 7, this group will bring their voice to eight states, asking some of the wealthiest members of Congress, from both parties, why they continue to vote to line their own pockets and those of their millionaire supporters instead of defending the best interests of their constituents. By refusing to vote for the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000 a year, these members of Congress are blocking efforts to reduce the deficit and protect funding for critical programs and services. The team will also be talking about tax fairness and its impact on all Americans in meetings with community groups and members of the press.
(Taken from the “If I Were a Rich Man Tour: Tax Fairness for All Americans” FAQ)
Why This Matters To Me
In my wildest dreams, I never thought I would be a part of something like this tour; but to me, its appeal is plain and simple: All Americans should pay their fair share of taxes. Look, I’m no where near the top 1% of money earners, but I do aspire to be in the top 1-2%. This is not an merely an aspiration, but something that I have felt in my sinews since I was a child, and something I am always working on. For the record, I was an only child and I used to make bank teller registers out of shoe-boxes during my playtime. I am an entrepreneur, building a business that focuses on teaching financial health via saving, managing and making money.
Money is one of the top items on my Core Values list.
...But so are the Arts, access to basic living needs, such as palatable foods like grains and fresh vegetables, and better education for all. I am passionate about people. What most people don’t realize is that with the wealthiest not paying their share, the things that I am passionate about go away and I refuse to let valuable programs like public radio, parks and other life-lines for society to dwindle, simply because of Gordon Gekko greed.
I constantly say I want to help make sure the Arts stick around now and generations after my lifetime. It is now I am starting to understand really how to make it happen, and being a part of the “If I Were A Rich Man Tour” is a way for me to drop a bucket into the sea of hope. Plus, what better training for a future multimillionaire than to be versed in Fair Share Taxation during the lean times? Justice at work, indeed.
How You Can Help
We will be heading to many districts, including stopping at both the Republican National Convention in Florida and the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina. You can take part and follow along on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #RichMan.
You can also sign the petition, found at the Tour webpage.
And, of course, share the information with your friends, family and colleagues. The more we raise awareness around this issue, the more we raise our consciousness as a just and moral society.
Tera “Nova Jade* Greene is an award-winning DJ + independent film producer. Ms. Greene is also a published writer and poet whose contributions can be found in such anthologies as Letters to My Bully (Glover Lane Press) and Living Jewishly: A Snapshot of a Generation (Jewish Identity in Post-Modern Society) [Academic Studies Press]. She has blogged with the Jewish Journal’s historic “Oy Gay” blog since 2010 and has been involved with Young Jewish Adult leadership educational programs and fellowships since 2009. Tera is an Artivist (Artist/Activist); when she isn’t creating Art in various forms, she engages in social justice activism on a local and national level. By the same token, she is a social entrepreneur, constantly looking for ways to bridge gaps in society through the fusion of the Arts and educational experiences.
Her motto is “Start with Action, End with Action.”