Being a Democrat is part of my heritage. I grew up in Detroit when the auto industry thrived. My African American family was middle class. Life was good, but adventure awaited me in New York and, for the past 37 years, in New Jersey. For most of that time, Rodney Frelingheysen has impacted my life – either while I worked for an arts institution that he supported or as his constituent.
I thought my values and his were similar. Following the last presidential election, I see that our core principles are very different. When hard decisions had to be made, Rodney cowered from his constituents and pretended that it was fine to allow thousands of people he represents to lose access to affordable health care. When he had the opportunity to kill the tax bill, he failed to stand up against it, and this tax cut will hurt many who live in his district.
In his place, I’m supporting Mikie Sherrill for Congress in the 11th District. I’m not supporting her just because she has an incredible resume, including graduating from Annapolis and serving in the Navy for 10 years prior to attending law school and becoming a federal prosecutor. I’m also supporting her because despite her impressive achievements, she hasn’t forgotten that showing kindness, compassion and empathy in the face of making tough choices is possible. Those are the values that most Americans embrace. It’s still who we are as a society. It’s who Mikie Sherrill is as a person.