Encouragement is important in these troubled times ("Encouraged," The Astorian, Oct. 1). Taking action also brings one out of worry and a feeling of powerlessness.

Fortunately, in our democracy, using our voices does make a difference. This is how citizens are convincing their members of Congress to increase funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, so it can continue saving millions of lives, preventing millions of infections and keeping us on the path to finally controlling these pandemics.

Recently Oregon U.S. Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Peter DeFazio joined 125 other members of the House from both parties, co-sponsoring House Resolution 517 in support of the Global Fund. These representatives realize that these diseases must be treated globally to protect us locally.

So be encouraged by those who represent us taking action for the welfare of all. Citizens speaking up to those who represent them can help good things happen.

WILLIE DICKERSON

Snohomish, Washington

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