It's time to stand up, be counted</p><p>

I had the pleasure of reading Charlie James' editorial piece, "Out with the old democratic coalition, in with the new" in the May 14 edition. I don't consider myself politically savvy when it comes to these types of issues. However, as I concluded my reading, I found myself in total agreement with the general sentiment: It's time for a real change.

I consider myself a child of the '60s when Black unity, pride in our race and our community, and the feeling like we were really contributing and supportive of one another reigned. Muhammad Ali was champ then, and Malcolm X challenged the way we thought about ourselves. It was a real significant time in our history.

Now, for the first time and way over due, real hope is being revived in the hearts of all Americans through the candidacy of Barack Obama. Americans are hungry for it. The issues at stake are re-establishing worldwide credibility and good will for Americans, affordable health care for all, sound retirement plans, affordable housing, developing and keeping jobs here at home, public disclosure and accountability by our governmental leaders, bringing our troops home from Iraq, reducing gas prices, taxes and more.

I see this as more of a partnership between presidential hopeful Barack Obama and the American people. Its time than we gave voice to our concerns and demand answers from those who have been elected to serve us.

We cannot afford to be caught up any longer in our day to day living while ignoring issues that have tremendous impact on us, our children and our children's children.

With freedom comes responsibility. It's time for every American to accept their God-given responsibility to get involved and give back to a country that provides more freedom for it's citizens that any other country in the world. We need to do this before we lose it.

Every personal contribution is important and every vote is significant. If we don't begin to stand up and be counted, then we have no right to complain about issues, like continuing high prices and the loss of jobs to overseas markets.

Rick Freeman

Skyway/Rainier Beach[[In-content Ad]]