The other day, when I realized I really, really do want to run for the US House of Representatives, an old schoolmate asked me how popular am I?
I don’t know.
I’ve never been the person who got invited to the “cool” parties. I wasn’t in the “cool” cliques. I didn’t matter to me then. It doesn’t matter to me now.
What does matter to me is that this election cycle, like no other in my lifetime, overwhelmed my feelings — I’ve felt frustrated, I’ve felt frightened, I’ve felt powerless. Worst of all, I’ve felt hopeless and helpless. I know I’m not the only one who’s felt this way — regardless whom you voted for.
I don’t understand feeling hopeless and helpless, even though I have felt these emotions, and my way of dealing with these particular feelings is action. I have to do something.
I readily admit I’m a novice at politics, but I’m a quick study. I’ve been working with low-income people for the last few years (and frankly, most of us are dangerously close to meeting the area median income). I work for an hourly wage, I’m taxed, and I live paycheck-to-paycheck.
I have a car note. A couple of credit cards. A personal loan. I’ve been married. I’ve been divorced. I like ice cream and road trips.
I’m a lot like you.
The American middle-class is the lifeblood of this country, and yet it has been deliberately and methodically, exsanguinated. My goal is to stop the bleeding.
My action plan right now, is to meet with people, in coffee shops, small groups, book clubs, wherever, and fact-find.
What do you need that your current representatives are not providing? Do you feel that the billions of dollars in tax money collected are mismanaged? Do you feel that tax collecting is done under implied threat of violence?
I want to hear from you!