South Jersey Women for Progressive Change is pleased to endorse Andy Kim in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, as part of the Blue Wave of 2018. We are confident that Andy Kim, a Rhodes scholar, will bring his in-depth experience as national security advisor to General Petraeus under the Obama administration to this office. He has already demonstrated an understanding of the issues that women in the 3rd Congressional District face. He is building a grassroots campaign that will work for the voters of CD3, not the corporate interests of millionaires.
During our endorsement process, two campaign pledges stood out for us. Kim will not accept a dime from corporate PACs and his campaign has an average donation of $57. He also is pledging to be the most accessible, transparent member of Congress by committing to holding at least one meeting a month with constituents. SJWPC supports a candidate who knows that the Democratic Party needs to take leadership in transparency, because our suffering democracy depends on it. Once elected, we know that Andy Kim will make that happen in the 3rd district and he will become a role model for other Democrats in the Garden State.
SJWPC agrees with Kim on the environment, on the economy, on transportation infrastructure and on healthcare and on a women’s right to choose. We are impressed with his background as a Rhodes Scholar and an advisor to the State Department under the command of General Petraeus. In that role, Andy said, “We didn’t look at problems as Democrats or Republicans. We looked at how to save lives and do what was best for the American people.”
Andy Kim has pledged to vote no on offshore drilling along the Jersey shore and will work to respond to climate change and treat it as a national security crisis. He will work to fix our tax laws that President Donald Trump and Representative Tom MacArthur have voted for, GOP regressive taxes that dramatically hurt NJ voters and their families. Kim will vote to make changes to these draconian GOP tax laws and will boost the middle class. He will vote to rebuild New Jersey’s roads, bridges, tunnels and ports which will create jobs and stimulate our state’s economy. Andy Kim will vote to make healthcare affordable and accessible for all and he recognizes the right of women to make their own decisions about their own healthcare.
SJWPC will be on the ground in the coming months to support Andy Kim. Look for us at events, door knocking in neighborhoods, at phone banks and on social media. We’re enthused to help Andy Kim win this race!
by Jennifer North
I’ve been thinking a lot about the healthcare system lately. I think about it as I remind myself of all of the things I value that are in danger, both outwardly and hidden. I think about it as I remind myself of the voices of yesterday that should still be heard. Like the people who live in Puerto Rico. Or in Flint.
I think about it when I think about DACA. And I wonder why we are letting the oppressor control our narrative and focus.
So as I’ve been reminding myself that our healthcare system is still in crisis, that I rely on an individual plan for my family with multiple pre-existing conditions and ongoing mental health management needs, I’ve been reflecting on the most intimate intersection I’ve had with the healthcare system thus far. Last summer, my mother was hospitalized for more than two months and I spent quite a bit of time with her at NYU Medical Center. The staff and patients there are incredibly diverse, with a rainbow of skin colors, languages, body types, ages, dietary restrictions and anything else you might imagine.
People were separated from one another in this ecosystem based on a visual code. (Except for the patients who are stripped of mostly everything that makes then individually human.) The staff were organized by color of scrubs, lab coat or uniform. The family members by clothing, hairstyle and various places to brandish logos.
During this time, right in the middle of this time, was Charlottesville. I was moderating conversations about racism, identity and oppression by night, caring for my mother by day. Here’s the thing about privilege, when you spend half of your waking time calling out privilege, your own follows you around like a shadow.
Privilege, wealth and power have tremendous influence in the hospital setting. And it can mean life or death. It can mean the difference between staying in front of pain/anxiety/diabetes/pick-your-need-for-prompt-meds management and a downward spiral that can last hours or days.
So my goal during this time was to check my privilege in the hospital. I would not speak to healthcare workers in way that would claim power over them. I would not take healthcare workers away from people of color unless it was an emergency. I would get my mother’s booties, gowns, towels, tissues, water and whatever else I could to help to ease the burden of the staff and enable them to spend more time with the folks on my mom’s floor. I ended up helping dozens of people with their socks, booties, linens, and everything else people wanted since I know knew the content of most of the closets in the wing.
This may sound like a creative way to keep occupied when spending weeks in the hospital, but it was stressful, infuriating and really, really, hard. I had to stop myself from speaking constantly. When I did speak, I had to check my words and tone carefully before saying anything. These are not things I am used to doing, especially when I need something. I was there to keep my mom comfortable and it was hard to balance that responsibility with my own internal struggles to live my values system at the same time. The unrelenting challenge in confronting my privilege during my mom’s stay at NYU made it clear to me how comfortably and seamlessly I have wielded it during my mom’s many previous intersections with healthcare providers since she diagnosed with a genetic disease in 1995.
My mom is on the mend for now. And as I listen to the stories of so many women of color with chronic illness who are part of our membership, I wonder who their advocate is when they are too hot or hungry or groggy or nauseous to express what they want and need to get strong. Because in addition to the tiny macroaggressions that happen between people who are thrown together with little to do or say about it, there is institutional and structural racism that is already stacking the deck so high against them.
By Amy Durr
In the six months since Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico recovery efforts have been painfully slow. According to Vox: "Federal workers there are still in emergency mode: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is still distributing food and water supplies; the Army Corps of Engineers is still picking up hurricane debris and installing blue roofs on damaged homes."
Puerto Rico, a territory of the US, is home to 3.3M Americans. The residents of Puerto Rico are citizens of the US, but citizens without a political voice: Puerto Rico elects no members to congress and the residents of Puerto Rico are not eligible to vote in Presidential elections. The lack of congressional representation allows the Federal Government to ignore even the most critical issues of Puerto Ricans because there is no possibility of political fall-out.
Although relief efforts are making progress the major challenges facing Puerto Rico today are serious, including:
Here are some ways to help the citizens of Puerto Rico:
Follow Lin-Manuel Miranda on Twitter: @Lin_Manuel