By Steffini Bethea
This past Saturday, I went to delegate training in Atlanta. As I sat through the training, the gentleman that served as the facilitator mentioned several times (in jest) that being a delegate allowed you access to “ALL OF THE PARTIES”! That sounds like fun to me but I also had to sit back and think, “Why exactly do I want to go to Denver in August?” Now don’t get me wrong, I want to party like everyone else, but there is also a deeper more relevant reason. My reason has nothing and everything to do with Senator Barack Obama.
The reasons that have nothing to do with Senator Obama are:
A broken system that has my 68 year old father still having to teach in the Detroit public school system because he can’t quite yet “afford to retire.” (Fortunately, he does love his job)
A broken system that forced my mother to retire earlier than she wanted because after working 20 years at Ford Motor Company as a Systems Analyst, her job was outsourced to India.
A broken system that allowed my Aunt Pat to lose the $250,000 home that she owned outright because she could not pay a $40,000 medical bill once she became disabled.
A broken system that has allowed 2 of my friends to lose their homes to foreclosure.
A broken system that does not offer affordable healthcare for me and my family. It would cost my family of 6, $800/month for coverage. My husband and I are self employed.
A broken system that has my 65 year old mother-in-law still having to work at that school cafeteria, on the railroad tracks in Dillon, S.C., that Senator Obama always speaks of.
A broken system that has schools in Gwinnett County not making AYP because of the language barrier due to the influx of immigrants legal and illegal.
A broken system that has the elderly and sickly having to stay indoors on those days that we have a smog alert.
A broken system that has me paying $55 to fill up my car, while Exxon/Mobil just had a profit of $46 billion. (Somebody explain that to me PLEASE!)
A broken system that has cost some relatives, and children, of friends of mine to lose their lives in Iraq.
A broken system that has moved me out of the comfort of my previous neighborhood, just so that my children can get the best education.
A broken system that has millions uninsured, losing their homes, losing their jobs, losing hope!
Am I bitter? No! I am however, sick and tired of politics as usual! I want to go to Denver in August to cast a vote for CHANGE. That vote has everything to do with Senator Barack Obama. Tiger Woods was an agent of change for golf after he won the Masters in Augusta. Venus and Serena Williams became agents of change and now Black folks actually attend Wimbledon and the US Open. Magic Johnson became an agent of change for the NBA with the “Fast Break”. Doug Williams became an agent of change for the NFL after Super Bowl XXII. RUN DMC was an agent of change for Hip Hop. Spike Lee was an agent of change for Black filmmakers. Oprah, well she has just changed the game period (smile). I want to go to Denver to cast my vote for CHANGE on behalf of, my Aunt Pat, my mother in law, my parents, my best friends, my kids, my county, state, country and the 7th Congressional District. I believe Senator Obama will be an agent of change for OUR future!
If you happen to live in the 7th Congressional District in Georgia and are a registered voter, please support me by attending the Caucus on Saturday April 19, 2008. Help me get to Denver to vote for change.