Why I Fight to Elect Democrats

I was born in Boston. “Boston, the home of the bean and cod. Where Lowells speak only to Cabots and Cabots speak only to God.” This is a reference to the old elite, founding “Boston Brahim” families. I am proud to be from Massachusetts where following the Kennedy family was almost a religion.

 

My family was blue-collar. My Dad was a union machinist for the Raytheon Company for over 40 years and my mother was a bookkeeper. With 4 children, they had to both work to keep us going.  My brothers and I were children of Italian immigrant grandparents.  We rarely talked politics at home, but I knew that both of my parents voted the Democratic ticket, it was a “given”.  Everyone I knew was a Democrat, sharing the same values  

 

In fact, I rarely thought about what it meant to be a Democrat until I moved to Florida 25 years ago! As I learned more about the Republican’s value system, I saw how much I truly believed in the Democratic party. My dad worked a 40 week, had paid sick time, vacation had health insurance provided by his employer, and paid into Social Security.  All these benefits were enacted under Democrat administrations.  His generation relied on a government that they trusted and more importantly that protected the “the little guy”. That philosophy was missing here, under Republican leadership.

 

I had a wonderful childhood and I would like to see the following generations to have the same trust in their government that I did.  We must elect Democrats who will fight to protect our environment, to protect a woman’s rights to choose, provide quality public education to our children and to welcome all who seek a better life, who flee from persecution in other lands. All these things I took for granted in my childhood.  A government that protects all of its citizens and not just the 1%.  I want to elect Democrats who will enact economic measures to lift us all up and expand the middle class.

 

That’s why I work to elect Democrats.

 

~ Stephanie Ballo

The reason for my initial involvement is not as important as why I continue to fight today. My main passion is Women’s Rights. The Equal Rights Amendment is a bipartisan issue. However, our Florida House of Representative Bob Rommel refused to bring this issue to a vote in the last two Legislative sessions. And even though the ERA would help with female poverty and the gender pay gap, violence against women and discriminatory justice, pregnancy discrimination, and gender bias in medical research, he felt it unnecessary.  UNNECESSARY! Women have been underpaid, undervalued, and silently discriminated far too long. 

 

Today women and girls will face the brunt of the COVID-19 health crisis. According to the National Women’s Law Center, “Women are 93% of childcare workers, 75% of hospital workers, 66% of cashiers and retail salespeople in grocery stores, and 88% of psychiatric, nursing and home health aides.” 

 

I have two daughters and a granddaughter, and I would like to believe that someday they will have equal rights under the Constitution. Now is the time to elect Democrats, in this state and throughout this country who will listen to the majority of Americans and give us a Constitution where there is no discrimination on the basis of sex.

 

~ Jane Schlechtweg

When I was 11 years old my father had a massive heart attack and was unable to continue at his blue-collar job.  He stayed home with the kids (4 of us, I was the oldest) while my mom worked 2 jobs.  I didn’t know this at the time, but one day my mother came home from work to find my dad sitting on the basement stairs with his shotgun. Terrified she begged him not to do this.  He told her he didn’t want to leave us but if he were dead the government would help her to keep a roof over our heads.  In the 1950s a person had to be at least 50 years old to be considered disabled. He was 47.  He died at 49.

 

I’m working to elect Democrats because I know from personal experience that we need people in government who will work to help those who need it most and I believe history has shown us that the majority of those people align with the Democratic Party.

 

~ Sally McDowell

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