When I was in college in 1971, then-President Richard Nixon vetoed a bill that would have implemented a national day care system, the Comprehensive Child Development Act.

Fifty years later, we still lack a national day care system – and now we have also lost the national right of women to terminate pregnancy. This is only a shock if you haven’t been paying attention.

Credit: Submitted

There are nine fundamental human rights documents, but the U.S. stands alone in the developed world in failing to ratify most (six) of them. The U.S. is the only nation in the world that has failed to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). And the U.S. has failed to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the most comprehensive and detailed international agreement seeking the advancement of women.

What can you do? VOTE. Tuesday, June 28, is a primary election in Illinois. On the ballot are a number of judicial and executive office seekers. These local and state judicial and executive offices affect everyone’s daily life, and can have an impact on national decisions – as we’ve seen in the congressional hearings on the Jan. 6th insurrection where local state officials across the nation resisted pressure to change the outcome of the presidential race.

Don’t know enough to make a decision? Educate yourself. Independent groups such as the League of Women Voters have compiled information on the candidates. It takes time. But democracy takes educated and engaged citizens. And democracy needs our engagement and support, now more than ever.

Elizabeth Clarke
Human rights advocate

Editor’s note: The Evanston RoundTable has also produced a 2022 Primary Voter’s Guide.