I decided to go to DC for a couple of reasons. The main reason is despite the fact that Americans are demanding job creation, our politicians and even the general public are not connecting the dots between the rhetoric and real people’s lives. My mother, for example, lost her job, her health insurance and a year later she was dead from a preventable condition. She was 58 years old. This is not the America I grew up to believe in. In her instance it was a straight line between losing her job and death.
Another reason I am here is that my parents brought me up to believe in a “Can-Do” America. To me, as a child, my parents were heroes – despite hard times when we couldn’t afford everything, we always had enough to get by as a family. Even though my dad was laid off 8 times when we were growing up, they still believed in America as the land of opportunity where if you worked hard and played fair, you’d succeed.
The heartbreak lies in the fact that my heroes thought that they were failures . But they weren’t told the game was rigged.
When your parents do the best that they can, no child should have to endure them seeing themselves as failures. I want to prevent my children from having to go through this.
Today as we met with our legislators, the response wasn’t completely receptive and that could be discouraging but I know that if we didn’t show up today, my kids would never have any connection to knowing about what happened to their grandmother. I think it is really important that our legislators see that we are real people and that we want everything else all Americans want – to work, put our kids through school and own a house. I do believe it is possible. If we don’t express our dreams about what America can be, we won’t achieve a better America. I want my daughters to have a better future.
As a nurse, I have had patients who have had prayed together because they had lost their jobs and their health insurance. I know these health care funding cuts will have a huge impact – more people with less access to health care will be sicker and possibly die. It is not Boehner that will be sitting with these patients, it will be me and other health care workers. These politicians need to come and walk a day in our shoes and see what is happening with real people.
The heart of the America dream hasn’t died, we are standing up for it and reclaiming it. Always remember – we have within us the passion and the strength to change the world.