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My First Presidential Election: The Issues Won't Let Me Down

I've been having an up-and-down relationship with the upcoming Presidential election. As an involved political activist and a sophomore in college, all of my social media feeds have pretty much nonstop been filled with commentary, bickering, and even fighting about candidates for the past few months. I think there are a few reasons why I have not outright come out in support of a candidate yet, or why I am not feeling particularly fired up about this election cycle.
 
I'm going to miss President Obama immensely, and to be honest am not sure I’ll ever love a candidate and President as much as I love him. I also have found a hard time wrapping my head around fully throwing my support behind a single person. This is my first time voting in a presidential election, and I am starting to come to terms with the fact that no leader can ever be perfect or even necessarily great. Finally, I'm getting increasingly frustrated by the apathy that is growing among good, smart, driven people who are fed up with our current political atmosphere.

 

I get it. So am I. 
 

But here's the thing. When good, smart, driven people with strong moral compasses back away, hate abounds.

Join Alicia Keys and MomsRising to End Mass Incarceration

“I have seen the devastating impact that incarceration has had on families. For the women and children left behind, it can deepen poverty and hopelessness.” ~Alicia Keys

This devastation can’t be ignored. The U.S. has a higher incarceration rate than any other nation in the world. Two-thirds of the women in the federal prison system, most of whom are mothers, are incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses. Women are the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population. This excessive incarceration is harming our nation, our economy and our families while for-profit prison corporations earn billions of dollars.

This is a problem that we can, and we must, fix.

Let's Make 2016 a MOMentous Year for Pennsylvania Families

MomsRising's Pennsylvania State Moms Force brought our voices to Harrisburg in January, reminding legislators that moms, dads and families around the state are counting on them to champion policies that boost our families and our economy including:

  • Access to healthy food
  • Affordable, high-quality early learning and childcare
  • Universal, paid family leave
  • Equal and fair pay
  • Earned sick leave
  • Reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant and nursing mothers

We're keeping the drumbeat going, even as our legislature remains gridlocked over the budget. Our voices are so important because: 

Taking my boy on the STUMP in NH #FITN

Yesterday I decided to declare my own "Take Your Child to Work" Day! It was the last day before the New Hampshire primary and nearly every candidate was within a 30 mile radius of our house, so we decided to take in the election up close and personal. While NH gets a lot of attention every four years, it is rare that both parties' nominations are in play. With so many candidates on the ground, even at this late date we could get still get up close with nearly every one we wanted to see.

So my nine year old son Dominic and I went on the stump!

I am the NH Director of MomsRising and by virtue of my work, my sons are well-versed on the priorities that I work on at MomsRising, and the policies that are so close to my heart as a both a mom and a voter.  

On Sunday afternoon, Dominic and I sat down and decided where we would go. Between commute times and the impending snowstorm, we decided on one Republican and one Democratic candidate and Dominic chose to see Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Let's Talk About the Zika Virus On #WellnessWed

We've seen the Zika virus in the headlines regularly these past few weeks. With so much information being shared, we thought we'd bring some experts to our Wellness Wednesday chat to answer questions around this topic.

I hope you'll join us, our Spanish speaking Twitter handle Mamás Con Poder, the Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control, the Office on Women’s Health, Heidi Murkoff & What to Expect as we discuss this issue on February 10th at 2 p.m. ET.

Follow the hashtag #WellnessWed and help us spread up-to-date facts and information about the Zika virus.

 

#Radio This Week: It's Time!

Radio!

The radio show this week takes an inside look at the impact of the federal minimum wage for tipped workers being stuck at $2.13 per hour and discusses a new book, Forked: A New Standard For American Dining; then we move on to cover the 23rd anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and why it’s time to update that policy; a time traveling discussion about Black women and girls, as well as Black History Month follows; and the show closes with a close look at the election experience in Iowa and New Hampshire.

#MilitaryMonday: A New Series By and For #MilFams!

Welcome to #MilitaryMonday!  As a veteran, military spouse, and mother of two school-aged children, I am excited to be a part of this new MomsRising blog series.

The military community regularly faces unique challenges. Our mission is to create a space where we can lift up military voices in honor of the courageous sacrifices that you and your family make each day in service to our nation.

Every time you put on your uniform, you are representing a proud profession. Through a legacy of leadership offering a future of hope, to you and your family the military is more than just a job. And, regardless of how long you serve on active duty, joining the military is a life-long journey.

We invite you to actively share this space, learn from one another, and offer tips and updates. We’ll discuss the issues affecting the military; we’ll look at education programs, childcare, housing, food and nutrition, deployments and homecomings, exercise, PTSD, spousal caregiving, healthcare and much, much more.

A Muslim Mom's Visit Today with President Obama

Today I was very honored to be one of the participants at a roundtable discussion today with President Obama when he visited a Baltimore-area mosque. It was a historic moment as it was the first time in his presidency to visit a mosque in the United States. It was also a personally significant moment to have the opportunity to meet and welcome the President to the mosque where I met my husband 14 years ago.

Demand Justice And Solutions For Flint! #FlintWaterCrisis

Take Action!

As parents, we do all we can to keep our kids healthy. And we rely on our government to make sure we have access to essentials like clean water. That shouldn't change depending on what color we are, our income level, or where we live. 

That's why we're beyond mad about the lead contamination of drinking water in Flint, Michigan. Join us in demanding justice from the Michigan State Legislature. When you click this link, you instantly sign on if we already have all your information. http://action.momsrising.org/sign/Flint_2016/

Here's what happened. In April 2014, in an effort to cut costs, an emergency manager appointed by Governor Snyder switched the Flint water supply from the Detroit water system to the Flint River. Long story short: dangerous levels of lead seeped into the water supply, posing long-term and serious health risks for local residents. 

Wellness Wednesday Recap: The Flint Water Crisis

By now you've probably heard the news. In April 2014, in an effort to cut costs, an emergency manager appointed by Governor Snyder switched the Flint water supply from the Detroit water system to the Flint River. City workers then failed to take appropriate measure to ensure lead didn't leach from pipes into the water supply.

The water turned brown, young children broke out in rashes, and the hair of some residents began falling out. Yet denied there was a problem, failed to adequately test the water quality, insisting that it met federal standards and was safe to drink. Can you imagine?

Even as residents started organizing and the Flint City Council voted to reconnect to the safer water supply in Detroit, and researchers found the water supply contained over 900 times the recommended amount of lead, officials insisted that the water was safe to drink.

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