Recently in Savage, Minnesota, a group of moms, and a few daughters and dads, gathered to discuss healthcare, the environment, gun safety, income inequality and additional issues that affect all of our families
They shared their hopes, their fears and the vision of the world they want for their children and everyone’s sons and daughters.
Angie, who is raising four sons with her wife Cheryl, has these same hopes and dreams.
She also understands that being a member of Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of MN is foremost about listening to all of us.
“My husband’s laid off work, he’s a union sheet metal guy. Constuction is supposed to be booming but he doesn’t have anything …. I work in the veteran’s health care area and its insane right now. So I worry about him not having a job and what am I even doing in my job because its so insane — we don’t have a budget and its just crazy.”
“For me, having a newborn, its daycare expenses. I feel very lucky, my husband and I, because we are middle class, we’re white and we can afford to have a kid or two. But holy cow, I don’t know how anybody else does it. So for me it just the access to having childcare, and affordable child care, because it costs more than our mortgage just to put a child into daycare each month.”
“For me, its a couple common-sense gun laws. And also, my husband’s a physician and some of the patients he cares for, instead of taking the time to be able to talk with them he’s trying to find ways they can afford their medications, or this and that, so those are two that really speak to us.”
“I think for me, (healthcare)too … and for my son, too, who has worked in the fields of pediatrics and pediatric trauma and dealing with a certain demographic, and now my parents are aging and coming to terms with — you know, its not just Social Security and Medicare, I see what’s happening to their friends that maybe didn’t have the best savings plan. I’m the oldest of four, my siblings had children later than I did, so I’ve got grown children and then the nieces and nephews and seeing that every day, like going to school is so much different now that what my children experienced. So the health care issues and also the education, the gun violence.”
I’d say “all of the above. I’m about a month away from being an empty nester, which I’m very proud of …. I paid for my own way through college and for my master’s degree and now I’m looking at outrageous costs for college for my son …”
“I think that one of the things that actually keeps me up all night is the rhetoric that goes on and the talking points which actually serves to dumb down people so that we aren’t making good choices. What we need in Congress are people who are not afraid to tell the truth. I remember watching the Republican debates, where everyone got on (Jeb) Bush’s statement on eminent domain, when he was talking with Trump about the Vegas properties and the press got on his case because they said people wouldn’t understand what that is. It’s about time that we elect people who not only know what they are doing but we need people who will tell us the truth so we can then help with those solutions, not to be told what to do, to have it dumbed down, so that they can pursue their own agenda.”
“My main (issue) is universal healthcare for everybody. That’s so important for everybody to get (diagnosis and treatment) in at the early stages of whatever ailment they have. And besides healthcare, leave my Social Security alone! I earned it! That AND Medicare, because I’ve had some health issues and its worked great.”
“For the first time I cried after an election (2016). And I marched a few days later. I’m a mom but children are raised and launched and on their own and my greatest fear is that we get too single issue … but I feel like sometimes we need to throw everything out and start over, that’s how frustrated I am with how our government seems to function right now…. I hope that within this next cycle as new congressional representatives are chosen for the house and senate, that compromise comes back into politics because its been absent for so many years now and its why we get nothing done.
“When I get up in the morning, I worry about what’s going to be on Donald Trumps’ tweetstorm. I don’t appreciate the tweeter diplomacy that he has chosen to take, um, It’s a very dangerous way to deal with the world. I’m worried that at some point he’s going to say something very inappropriate and then …”
“My personal worry is that I want to retire someday and I wonder if I’m going to be able to live the way I want to live. I’m worried about health care — I have Type 1 diabetes and you know, its pretty scary to think that I could be without health care.”
“I worry about the complacency. Every day it’s something more outrageous than the day before … its like the headlines are so ridiculous and I think ‘okay this is going to be the one that makes a difference’ and it doesn’t … I’m terrified of the world we’re leaving for the kids.”
“For me its overturning Citizen’s United and getting money out of politics and bringing the voice back to voters.”
“For me, its reproductive rights which is why I am involved in politics.”
“This is my seven year anniversary of being diagnosed with MS … health care is important to everyone, gun violence and all of that … mu biggest concern is how we as a nation – how angry we are with each other. It terrifies me …. life is too short.”
“I’ve got family, my sister and brother-in-law my are dairy farmers in rural Minnesota, Hillary supporters … and they are terrified that they are barely hanging onto their farm, there’s just so many issues that, if we can put a man on the moon why can’t we fix them, why can’t we fix them.”
“My biggest thing is being a millennial and coming out of college with so much debt and trying to find a job, so I came out of college with two degrees in social work and sociology and not being able to find an entry level job is so frustrating.”
“My top issue is with gun control. I can’t believe that since Sandy Hook we cannot still do the basic things that even the NRA agrees with, to protect our kids.”
“I can’t believe how Trump and the Administration are pulling back from the climate change deal and I think we’ve lost the respect of the world, we have lost leadership that really worries me a lot.”
“I just cringed because I think that this Administration and this President have dredged up prejudice and hatred that has been simmering for a long time. We need to have this country working together, and not all this division and stuff.”
I come from not a very glamorous background, I have family that lost their farm, lost their home …. my father was an 8th grade educated man but he supported his family doing roofing and sheet metal work. I come from a family of five children and my youngest brother is severely disabled to the point of not being able to control his limbs or his swallowing. There will always be troubles there will always be hardships, but how do people handle it? DO they handle it with courage, do they handle it with integrity, do they handle it with faith? What bothers me the most is that we have lost that. And we have leadership that feeds into that, people can get through hard times if they have the courage and integrity. I think of the comments of Eleanor Roosevelt “The government will never be greater than the courage and integrity of its people.”
“I don’t think we can change anything until we get the dark money out of politics …. There are no politicians on the right, right now … who would possibly say anything against one of their supporters because they are afraid of being penalized by the people who are giving them the dark money. Until we change that, overturning Citizens United and putting some controls on the money — we have to know where the money is coming from, until that happens they are going to keep getting money to get reelected over and over and over so they aren’t voting on how their true conscience might be.”
“Well, I’m really an education and health care advocate, but if we don’t have a planet, what good is it? Come on, the Trump Administration just destroys the Earth … I could go on about that. And then about nuclear war. We don’t have a plan. I don’t like seeing kids grow up with this kind of fear. The idea of Donald Trump talking on the international stage about nuclear war – oh my God. It’s sickening.”
“One of the things about the kids being off and having more time, I thought ‘well, I’m going to get to see more theater. Well, I went to see more theater than I have in the past this week. First I saw The Diary of Anne Frank, and listened to stuff and felt – oooooooh! — and then listened to stuff and realized how similar it was (to what is going on). I went this last weekend to see another amazing production and the two gentlemen in it will make you fall in love with the characters , they were so wonderful and so endearing, but they are gay, and they are a mixed couple, and everything is a disaster, every minute, and its set in Minnesota and they keep talking about the things that are happening. It was wonderful and I was smiling and I literally walked out and cried openly. I don’t want a world getting darker like this, where I can’t intellectually go and see something and think its important to feel it, but not be driven to tears because its reality. And its a whole lot of peoples’ reality.”
“I would just like to get back to any sense of normalcy, where we can turn on (cable news) and see our leadership saying complete sentences (laughter) and not, maybe, inciting war with the entire world — every day its a different county potentially at war, luckily the leaders of those countries , even North Korea, I mean even his trigger figure hasn’t slipped.”
“I don’t know, with our daughters going off into the future and giving us grandchildren … that they feel comfortable bringing children into this world. There’s no talk of that in our family — I mean, we did the Barbie® thing like the Barbies had babies first, before they got married, they didn’t have babies first, Barbie and Ken had to get married first (woman interjects: ‘I think those days are over’ — laughter from crowd) Maybe not! It’s worked so far! I would just like to live in a world where kids aren’t … I mean … thankfully I’ve never suffered from gun violence but I don’t want to, and I want to live in a world where we are not having lockdown drills in school. How can kids concentrate on, math, and science, and reading or anything when they’re worried that there may be an active shooter. It’s mind boggling to me, my girls are that far out of high school and they weren’t doing those things.”
“It’s the hate that is coming out, I’m an immigrant but I’m white so I didn’t have that much (trouble), but I have a pretty international group of friends, and some are from India or Pakistan with kids that are two or three years old, that were born here, and are told at daycare to ‘go home’? And that’s not okay. The hate that came out of the election, I mean I have a lot of friends, I mean its mostly the color because I’m white, I have an accent, I’m clearly a foreigner, and I’ve never had an issue. But a lot of my friends have had issues and that’s just not okay, I mean what kind of a society are we tell kids — and these kids are Americans and the parents, most of them, are too, and I mean what happened? How did we go so wrong?I I hope that attitude changes and we send a clear message — that attitude comes from the top. If Trump acts like that (everyone) thinks its okay all of a sudden? But (the hate) has really increased a lot in the last two years and it makes me so sad. It really keeps me up because it’s not okay.”