Organizations: Women Veterans of Freeborn County

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2021

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The regularly scheduled meeting of the Women Veterans of Freeborn County met at the American Legion in Albert Lea on March 5.

Women veterans present included Pat Johannsen, Judi Olson, Barb Babb, Deanna Luedtke, Ruth Perry, Barb Peterson, Sandy Maiden and Julie Hamson.

The treasurer’s report was read.

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After this past year, it took the group a while to catch up on each other’s lives.

Luedtke read an article about Deborah Sampson. This law, enacted in January, deals with improvements in the way the VA provides care for women veterans. The number of women who serve in the military is expected to be around 2.2 million females by 2045.

Deborah Sampson was disguised as a man and fought in the Revolutionary War for 17 months as an infantryman. She was wounded in 1782 and honorably discharged the following year.

Another article dealt with support and opposition to Washington, D.C., becoming a state. A democratic Congresswoman in support of the bill stated there was a huge majority vote for statehood in 2018.

While there are no requirements for statehood, criteria is usually considered: population, resources and support. The D.C. area ranks first in federal taxed per capita paid to support the country, pays more in total federal taxes than 22 states and has roughly the same population as six other states. The area also has a bigger budget than 12 states and its triple-A bond rating outranks that of 35 states.

With many national and local organizations already working for D.C. statehood in the Senate and many Democrats co-sponsoring the bill as of last November, D.C. is perfectly positioned for statehood.

Opposition from a Republican representatives states that “When our founding fathers established our republic, they knew the balance between the rights of the federal and state governments would be delicate. It was vital that the system give each state certain rights and powers in shaping the country and representing the people. That is why our republic is worth fighting for, why our balance of power is worth preserving and why I don’t believe in tipping the scales for the sake of wishful thinking.”

The founders intentionally did not grant D.C. statehood so that no state would house the Capitol and perhaps have  undue influence over the federal government. They realized that a state made up entirely of government employees and lobbyists would be a massive conflict of interest, and having the same rights as other states would only encourage corruption, centralize power and destabilize the equality of individual states in Congress.

How would two additional senators represent a constituency that is, quite literally, the federal government? The idea of granting it statehood should not be a partisan stance.

Good discussion followed, and the general consensus was that Washington, D.C., should not be a state now or at any time. Federal versus state should remain separate entities.

Maiden took the group’s offerings to the food pantry.

The next scheduled meeting will be at 11:30 a.m. May 5 at American Legion Post 56. For any questions, people should call Luedtke at 641-425-3482.