Mama Bears and Systemic Inequity

I filed an appeal in the Arizona Supreme Court.  Kopec V Chew.  Case #CV-18-0248-AP/EL.  You can check it out at (btw, I think it is pretty great that we can file online…. and I wonder when we will be able to sign City Council and School Board nominating petitions online?  Because that would balance out our inequitable system… of course, then we would need some better internet services in some areas of town — like mine — with a speed of “1”. And yes, people who have the “upperhand” would be against such “improvements”, because we would be leveling the playing field… helping to end systemic inequity, and from their viewpoint “taking away their power and control).

I am pretty sure I was given the short end of the stick, by going for it (filing with the Supreme Court), without an attorney (Note: I could have had an attorney in Superior Court… for $5000… which is two months’ pay for me, but a drop in the bucket for others). In fact, according to the document, it looks like Mr. Jurkowitz is my attorney — which could not be further from the truth, because he is arguing that the Superior Court’s judgment should be upheld.

Let’s dig a little deeper.  Mr. Jurkowitz is just doing his job.  At the top of the page is another name — Barbara LaWall.  I have spoken with Ms. LaWall on three occasions… riding down the elevator in the Legal Services Building, at an Arizona List meeting, on the sidewalk in front of the LSB… two were nothing more than a hello, but one was a conversation about how a young man was being held in jail for protecting his mother and young sister from his abusive father.  Her comment was something like that the young man had broken the law, so he should have to face the law.  While I agree, legalistically, and as my “lawful good” 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons character, I cannot help but think about the more human part of that comment.

I cannot help but think about how restorative practices and alternate methods for “handling” situations like the young man’s are necessary.  I cannot help but think of the day that I held a gun at one of my abusers.  I did not pull the trigger, but that was my tipping point.  The moment when I realized that I would no longer sit by idly while the abuse continued.

Friends, community members… we are facing systemic injustices daily — in crimes, in domestic violence, in schools, at work.

When 20% of our population struggles with making ends meet, then we have a problem.   Our public education systems should be empowering our community to be able to advocate for themselves, and support themselves.  Taking away the co-dependency on the current government structure is necessary… because the current structure is full of gaps, and works to protect the outdated job descriptions.

Times are changing, and policies should change.  Instead of banning cell phones from classrooms, we should be teaching our youth how to approrpiately use this technology.

Instead of silencing our youth, we should be listening to their creative ideas.

“Progress is slow,” they tell me and you.

I see people digging their heels in, because they are afraid.  And when they are afraid, they enter crisis.  They enter survival mode.  They respond with fight, flight, or freeze.

I get it.  I was there for a long time, and with my PTSD (self-diagnosed based on the description of PTSD, and mindful reflection on ny behaviors), I find myself faced with responding while in crisis… and not always coming across as being kind.  I am hypervigilant. I have a sense of urgency that others might not have.

I am validated by older women in the community, who have seen the complacency after the suffrage movement.  I am validated by other Asians and other minority groups.

I stand for the “underdog”. Stand WITH me.  Not in front of me.  Not behind me.  Not beside me.  But WITH me.  Stand for equity.  Stand for liberty.  Stand for justice.  Stand for ourselves and our posterity.

“We are each a piece of the puzzle of life.  Without each of us, our picture is incomplete.”


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