As we round out this decade, the greatest highlight for me, hands down, has been becoming a mom to two beautiful, smart, loving, happy children. They are the joy and light in my life, my constant reminder of unconditional love, promise, and hope.
At the end of the next decade, they will be 14 and 16 years old. That means the 2020 election will determine what the opportunities look like for them as they enter high school, post-secondary education, and the workforce. The 2020 election will determine if the water, food, and air they are nourished by will help them grow into healthy adults who will have their own joyful experience of becoming parents. The 2020 election will determine the choices my daughter has about her reproductive health. The 2020 election will determine if they will be able to afford the education and training required to enter the workforce without sacrificing their ability to own a home and pursue the American dream. The 2020 election will determine if quality healthcare is accessible and affordable to them, given that both were born with pre-existing conditions.
The 2020 election will determine whether their children will be born to an America defined by upward mobility for working families and the ability to determine your own future or an America defined by greed that further concentrates the wealth of our nation among a few.
When I stepped into the political arena, it was because, for the first time in U.S. history, the future of our nation and our planet looks less bright for our children than it did for us.
With the current state of environmental protection and the growing overreach of corporate and special interests in our federal, state, and local governments, I worry that our children’s health and safety is at risk in their homes, schools and communities — whether that risk comes from the water they drink, the air they breathe, the unregulated pipelines that criss-cross their neighborhoods, or an active shooter entering their classroom.
With the current state of our public schools, overburdened with testing and underfunded in resources, teachers, support staff, and safe facilities, I worry that we are teaching our kids that their only value is in the scores they produce, whether on a test or on the field. I worry that some of our children will look at their crumbling school buildings and infer that their worth is determined by the ZIP code or country where they were born instead of their very humanity.
With the current state of our democracy, gerrymandered into a minority-majority rule and heavily influenced by industry lobbyists, I worry that we are failing to uphold our founders’ promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Pennsylvanians.
With the current state of our Commonwealth, I’m determined to stay the course, because as we look forward to 2020, there has been no greater opportunity for us to fix this.
The 2020 election will not just determine if Donald Trump will occupy the White House for another four years. The 2020 election — in a census and redistricting year for state and U.S. congressional districts — will set the stage for Pennsylvania’s leadership in the state legislature and in Congress for the decade to come. I’m staying the course because I think about what that means for my Jack and Eleanor and for all of our children.
2020 is not just about Donald Trump. 2020 is about your children and mine, our future generations, and the promise that was made to them by our founders.