During the information sessions on Monday I heard the most astonishing thing. The Congressional Budget Office says, if everything were to remain status quo the only things Federal Income will cover by 2025 is social security, medicare and debt reduction. That’s it, nothing else. Holey Moley, that’s 13 years. We better do something about debt reduction and spending. I sound like a conservative but wow, when you hear that number it’s scary. I still don’t believe arts spending should be cut because it’s such an incredibly small amount of money in the $3.6 trillion federal budget. I literally can’t do the math because my calculator can’t handle the zeros. When I was a kid, a trillion wasn’t a number, it was a joke, like a grazillion. A millionaire used to be a really rich person, now it’s just someone who is ready to retire. I digress and I sound like a cranky old person.
Anyway, Alec Baldwin gave the Nancy Hanks lecture and he was charming and funny and entertaining. It’s always good to hear about how someone else fell in love with the arts. Alec Baldwin’s favorite musical genre is classical. How about that? On Tuesday morning we met with our congresspeople. We got to meet Bobby Rush, a thrill because of his incredible history in public life. We spent time with Jan Schakowsky and with Jesse Jackson, Jr. who encouraged us to think bigger about what we want and to ask for more.
Here are a couple of photos of the Illinois Delegation and our lawmakers. I continue to encourage you to reach out to those people who represent you on the local, state and federal level. It really makes a difference. Jan Schakowsky told us that 4-5 emails on one topic will be paid attention to – really, such a small number.