Why I am a Democrat

The many ways the party has helped the American people

The author was profiled in the CN&R’s Aug. 16 cover story, “Freedom Summer in the segregated South,” written by Jaime O’Neill. She lives in Paradise.

I am an activist Democrat because…1) I got to go to college in California back before Reagan instituted tuition, when smart kids from blue-collar families got to go for $50 a semester. Democrats believe that people who aren’t rich should be able to go to college.

2) I went to Mississippi in the summer of 1964 to help eliminate American apartheid enforced for decades by homegrown terrorism. Democrats act to increase equality and encourage leadership from a diverse range of talented people.

3) My mother entered this country through Ellis Island. Democrats understand the contributions immigrants have made.

4) My blue-collar father worked two and three jobs at a time until he got a union job that gave him better wages/benefits and a voice in determining his working conditions.

5) My son has cerebral palsy. Democrats have done more to improve the lives of people with disabilities and to resist discrimination.

6) My brothers are veterans. Democrats do more than give lip service to the nation’s veterans.

7) I am a woman who thinks I should be equal to men. I abhor old males paying us less for equal work or telling us what to do with our bodies.

8) My niece and nephew are gay, one living with AIDS for 25 years and the other wanting to marry her partner with whom she has been in a loving relationship for decades.

9) I believe facts, science, history, and human knowledge should be respected and used to guide our future, and so do Democrats.

10) I know human activity is causing climate change and I believe Democrats are acting to mitigate the effects of that coming global disaster.

11) I don’t believe in putting more barriers up to discourage voters who are minorities, seniors, poor or students.

12) I fear that if the right wing consolidates more power on the Supreme Court, or if we can’t turn back Citizens United, we are in danger of losing our democracy. The Republican Party increasingly cares only about the super-wealthy and seems intent on moving us in the direction of American-style fascism, symbolized by a Bible wrapped in a flag.