Democrat and Chronicle prints “A reader’s proposal regarding autumn holidays”

Democrat and Chronicle prints “A reader’s proposal regarding autumn holidays”

[David Kramer outside the 1872 Cafe on 431 W Main Street casting vote in the original ballot box used by Susan B. Anthony in 1872 when she voted, illegally, for Ulysses S. Grant. From At Empire State College, I voted for “?”]

A reader’s proposal regarding autumn holidays.

On Monday, Rochester celebrated its first Indigenous People’s Day, replacing the Christopher Columbus Day holiday, much to the consternation of some. For example, conservative radio host Bob Lonsberry urged his listeners to still use Columbus Day. I offer a modest proposal to resolve this controversy playing out across the nation.

First, eliminate Indigenous People’s Day and Columbus Day as federal, state and local holidays. For example, schools would stay in session. Of course, the days can be unofficially celebrated: on Monday, indigenous tribes planted a symbolic pine tree of peace at Cobb’s Hill and performed traditional dances in the Lake Riley lodge; from 2007 -2010, the Italian Civic League presented Columbus Day parades in downtown Rochester.

Second, make the November election day a national holiday, an overdue change recently introduced to Congress. Election turnout would increase – and the kids would get back their lost vacation day.

Voters lined up outside Carmen Clark Lodge in Brighton Town Park, Westfall Road, 5:57 a.m. 11/03/20. If election day was a holiday, some of those who may have voted before work could have slept in. From On Election Day morning, Bill Pruitt offers “Abating the Wave Machine”

I doubt my proposal to make election day a national holiday will be enacted, but it is not without merit. As mentioned, the change was recently introduced in congress and is supported by President Biden. The National Commission on Federal Election Reform called for Election Day to be merged with Veteran’s Day. I spoke with Brighton Town Clerk Daniel Aman about the idea; his office used to help arrange town elections. Dan likes it, especially because no school would free up additional space for voting.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, October 16th, 2020



For you, Talker buys the D & C digital archives. And Noam Chomsky

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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