I grew up and attended college in New York. During this time, my political views leaned conservative, and like most Americans, I paid very little attention to politics. However, after college, I joined St. Louis-based AmeriCorps where I was sent to help the people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. After seeing firsthand the repercussions of deregulation and lack of stewardship, I began to question my conservative beliefs. I spent four years with AmeriCorps, working in a community-based service that served vulnerable populations. It was there I saw the effectiveness of “done locally, enabled nationally,” and it was this experience that completed my transition from a conservative to a liberal.
While I had devoted much of my life working in public service, it was not until disaster struck my family that I became politically active. In 2011, my life was forever changed when my father, Jack, was diagnosed with lung cancer. My father had never smoked, and lived a healthy lifestyle, but, being a musician, he did not have health insurance. I had never realized how much not having health insurance inhibits you when you need care; even if you did nothing to create your condition, and even when you want to pay for it yourself. It was then that I realized why President Obama had fought so hard to pass the Affordable Care Act. I realized that in a difficult time, it was the right thing to do: it helped so many Americans, including my family.
My father passed away in March 2011. He left a legacy of incredible music and political activism. His last few months were made better because of the direct efforts of the President, and it is comforting to know that because of Obamacare, other families will not have to experience the hardship and struggles that we did.
I support the President not only because of what he has done, but, because of what he energizes others to do. I know America is hurting, I can see it every day. That’s why I’m volunteering with the campaign. It’s my way of connecting. By organizing in our neighborhoods and sharing our stories, we can work together to make America a better place for all.
Join me and other supporters across Missouri as we work to help President Obama continue to move America Forward.