Traveling at the Speed of Life column: What I'm taking into the booth Nov. 6
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, when I walk into the booth to vote, I will be carrying with me, in my pocket, a list to remind me of why I am voting.
First on that list will be the names Alyssa Alhadeff, Martin Duque Anguiano, Nicholas Dworet, Jamie Guttenberg, Aaron Feis, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Scott Beigel, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alex Schachter, Carmen Schentrup and Peter Wang, the students and staff killed Feb.4, 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
I am taking with me the words of Ellie (freshman at Great River High School): "It was just before seventh grade that I learned how to paint myself with my classmates' blood and pull them over me in order to play dead in a classroom. I'm 15. I should not have to spend a decade preparing myself to get gunned down in a school." She then quoted Angela Davis, "I've had enough. I'm done accepting the things I cannot change. I'm changing the things I cannot accept."
I am taking with me the words of veteran Nate Reer: "We got home and my mother sat us down on the couch and said, 'Last night your dad took his life.' I thought, this has to be a joke, it must be a joke, some sort of weird cruel joke that mom would play on her children. From that day forward, I was a 9-year-old who wanted to commit suicide. I was going to grow up and be just like him."
The words of Wanda Viellieux are on that list.
"I'm a person that has some limitations. I just got word this month that my rent is going up by $30 a month. Currently I receive a Section 8 voucher. Unfortunately they base that assistance on what the fair market value is not on what the rent is. I was looking at two apartments before I found this out. One of the apartments I looked at was partly wheelchair accessible but I cannot take it because the rent is too high for the fair market value. When I moved to where I am (currently), I moved there for more than one reason. Most of the time when I have rented, I've lived with roommates and other people. I needed a personal space for myself to deal with the effects of my limitations and living by myself has helped. I knew that if I figured my budget carefully I would make it. With the rent increase I cannot make it for very long. I'm feeling like, because of that, I'm being forced back into a category of living with a group of people that are also low income but with various issues. In that environment I do not have the same space to deal with what I need to deal with. I feel like my inability to find something affordable for myself puts me back into this classification of where people in my situation are supposed to live."
"Yes, I'm in favor of a universal wage because everyone needs to be cared for. I would hope that some of the taxes I already pay could go toward it, reallocate the money, maybe fewer tanks."
So are the words of Angela Nevin.
"Just this week I took a stand with my family and friends against separating families at the border. We've been talking a lot about it. We all agree on that."
And Lynne Berget.
"I take a stand every day for the people I work for. I do in-home healthcare. Some of them are disabled or vulnerable, so they need a voice and sometimes I have to be it. Taking a stand comes with the job. I love my job."
"I took a stand for my friend. Her parents were not getting along. Her dad had to kick her mom out. So I was taking a stand for her well-being and getting her out of that house for a little bit. So she stayed at my house for a while."
"Telling the truth is absolutely important, very important. If you don't tell the truth, it's very complicated. You lack trust. You lack credibility. Why would you want to deal with someone who isn't telling you the truth. Why would you want to have a relationship with someone who isn't honest with you."
"Medicare and Medicaid are often forces for innovation and positive disruptive change within the healthcare system because they are such large purchasers of services. The private market is often in the position of following the direction of Medicare and Medicaid.
"The question of single payer is being hotly debated right now. However, It is hard to imagine designing any health care system without looking towards Medicare and Medicaid. Here are my criteria for the healthcare system I would like to see, regardless of who is the payer:
1.) Provide meaningful coverage and access to care for the most people.
2.) Design a system that incents all players (consumers, providers and payer) to seek/provide the right level of care, in the right location at the right time."
"We have an assumption in the United States of America, that capitalism is a great thing, and that competition in a market will drive costs down and quality up because it does for lawnmowers. That is not true for healthcare. Competition drives costs up in healthcare, just like it would drive costs up if there were six different roads to get from here to Hudson and you had to pay to use that road; just like competition in basic primary education is not going to drive quality up and costs down, it's going to drive costs up and quality down. It's a skewed assumption."
The words of Pat LaVenture and her three daughters.
"He (Phip LaVenture) lived his life according to the Rotary four-way test. Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Is it beneficial to all concerned? He lived by that."
"I vote. I don't think there is any integrity in it. Our political system is a mess. The money is a huge factor especially in national elections. It's embarrassing and something needs to be done about it, but what, I don't know. But heck no, I won't stop voting."
And I will be listening to the words of John McCain.
"In prison, I fell in love with my country. I had loved her before then, but like most young people, my affection was little more than a simple appreciation for the comforts and privileges most Americans enjoyed and took for granted. It wasn't until I had lost America for a time that I realized how much I loved her."
I'm voting to reclaim the America I love.