Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Sun, Jan. 19

Guest Column | Progress isn’t a dirty word

Marvin Robertson made some claims and accusations in another local publication that are unfounded. The Kingman Progressive Alliance (KPA) is accused of being a “Socialist” organization, which is absolutely untrue.

The KPA is open to all: Democrats, Republicans, Greens and Independents, even socialists may attend, but was founded to address the growing needs of a growing community. They are a public forum that stands for positive growth and bringing better education and jobs, and a better quality of life to the residents of the city.

I am a member, and I am glad to see some folks who are involved in local politics sharing ideas with the group and listening to the group. That is what a democracy looks like. What a democracy does not look like is one party rule. Or one group outshouting and name calling another.

Mr. Robertson has a right to express his opinions about the running of the county, as any citizen does. He can disagree with what different council members do and how they vote. That’s fine. But he clearly does not understand the KPA and what it is about, and is using a column in a local paper to label and condemn a group in an unfair and biased fashion.

Has he ever attended a KPA meeting? The fact that people he may not necessarily agree with come to KPA meetings does not give him the right to bad mouth the organization! He points to a forum on Intolerance and Racism as a negative thing. Why would it be? Does he deny there is an element of racism here? Or around the country?

This was not a political issue – it is an issue we face all around the country and need to develop nonviolent dialogue to deal with. It certainly had nothing to do with socialism or county corruption. There are people of different races and religions here in the county and in Kingman who are our doctors, teachers, factory workers, our neighbors. They deserve to live with dignity and respect, and be heard and considered as valued members in the community. That has nothing to do with political parties and ideologies. Nothing at all.

Change is difficult for some people to accept. When FDR passed the Social Security Act, it was met with extreme opposition; people thought it was the end of capitalism. It wasn’t, and it worked and worked well. Anyone want to see it go away? Medicare was the same – when President Johnson signed it into law, there were some that swore it was the “End of democracy as we know it.” But guess what – it wasn’t. How many folks want to end Medicare now?

Small towns and rural counties all over the country have growing pains, but grow they must, or they will become ghost towns and dead zones sinking into joblessness and obscurity. Crime will rise with joblessness, and the young and able will leave for better lives. Growth and change are constants in a society, and in life. If we want to have better opportunities for our children and families, better jobs coming to the area, less crime, more federal and state funding for regional improvements, and an ever improving quality of life for residents, we need to accept and embrace change.

That’s what being progressive is about.

The root of the word progressive is PROGRESS.

It’s not a dirty word.

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