Signs, group decry country in crisis
People are losing their jobs. People are losing their homes. People are losing their life savings.
"We have very few outlets to express our concerns," said Georgia Janisch, 65, of 1514 Dayton Drive, Janesville.
The group this summer erected three large signs, each with a pithy statement about the situation in which the United States finds itself, she said. The group changes the statements on the signs every couple weeks.
Some recent examples include:
-- "Americans are about to be looted to subsidize Wall Street and government fat cats!"
-- "Welcome newborns! You owe the federal government $32,215."
-- "A vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil."
The signs can be seen near the Highway 11 bypass on Janesville's south side, from Interstate 90/39 on Janesville's north side and along Highway 14 west of Janesville.
"We've gotten so many calls about the signs," Janisch said. "People say, ‘We like what you're doing. Keep doing what you're doing.'"
This loosely-organized group of concerned citizens met mostly by writing letters to the editor, which were printed in The Janesville Gazette. Dozens of telephone calls over the past year have grown the group to at least 40 people.
"Whenever another letter came in from someone who thought like we did, we'd call them," Janisch said. "It just keeps getting bigger. We're finding more and more people are just as concerned as we are."
The group is diverse, she said, but all are concerned:
-- The economic crisis is going to worsen.
-- The country's reputation abroad is tarnished beyond repair.
-- Elected officials seem to have no regard for their constituents.
"We're trying to find a way to help the American people realize that we must take seriously what is happening," Janisch said. "(The problems the country is facing) are not being addressed in the media. Our signs are our way of trying to address what media is not addressing."
Strangely enough, the group isn't seeking attention, she said.
"None of us is trying to get anything out of it except to change the direction of the country for our children and our grandchildren," Janisch said. "Our whole motive is to say, ‘Please people, wake up and help us turn this situation around.'"
She said the group knows it stands to be ridiculed or discredited.
"And we don't care," she said. "We're more concerned about what's going to happen if somebody doesn't stand up."
Janisch said many people feel helpless in the face of national problems.
"But if we feel that way, then they're right," she said. "If we think there's nothing we can do, then nothing will get done.
"The goal is to do the best we can … and if we find enough of us, we might be able to do something."