Posts Tagged ‘congress’
Tuesday is election day in Illinois and I will be voting, as I usually do. I had considered skipping this round of primaries, but a meeting with Tammy Duckworth changed my mind.
Last Thursday, I had an opportunity to attend a small meeting with area women to talk to Tammy Duckworth about economic concerns. It was hosted in a private home and had the feel of a home party. Diverse women gathered together to discuss the things that are affecting us and our families.
A woman brought her 18 year old daughter who will be voting for the first time. The young woman said she wanted as much information as possible. They were concerned about the older son who has been serving in the military. After several deployments overseas, they have noticed a change in him.
One woman is a business owner who wants to hire veterans. She was one of the first women to serve in the President’s Honor Guard for President Reagan back in the 80s. I had no idea such a thing existed, but Tammy Duckworth was in awe of her fellow veteran.
The group expressed concern for the role of women in the current political climate. Most agreed we seem like scapegoats and lesser citizens for the ways women are being treated across the country.
Honestly, I expected to see Tammy Duckworth in action like many other politicians who have come to my door during campaign seasons or that I met when I worked. My overall impression of candidates before meeting her was that they will say and do anything to get your vote. I’ve had politicians start their spiel one way in my living room, changing it mid-speech when one of my black children walked into the room. They’ve never given me a warm, fuzzy feeling.
Tammy Duckworth was different than that. Listening to her talk, she made it clear that she truly cares about people. While much of her recent work has been with veterans’ affairs, she mentioned ways she would like to spread those benefits to all American people.
As the daughter of a down-sized executive in the 1980s, she understands how tenuous a family’s security can be. She saw her 55 year old father down-sized, watched as he searched for a job, and relocated with her family to a studio apartment. Her experience has made her a good advocate for us all in today’s economy.
Tammy’s plan for building and strengthening our economy is spelled out clearly on her website. Thursday she provided examples and ideas that were practical and realistic. There was no grandstanding to pander to us. This is an actual plan.
Luckily, the experience Tammy already has in Washington will help her bridge gaps between parties. As someone who has worked with politicians on both sides of the aisle, she said she comes in with an advantage not usually seen by a freshman congress person.
I no longer automatically vote for women, but I trust that Tammy has women’s best interests at heart. Many times during the evening, she stressed that the current slew of republicans pushing for extreme actions against women have eclipsed the more moderate Republicans who have agendas to help people. I loved it when she said that most of her life–as a soldier–her birth control was provided by the government for their convenience!
It was easy to forget that Tammy Duckworth was anything but One of Us–the women gathered to hear her. She’s warm and personable. She is intelligent and full of ideas and plans on implementing those ideas. She is someone we need representing us in Congress.