Why vote? Whether you agree with or oppose the current administration, brave men and women gave up their personal freedom while others made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives to afford Americans the right to vote. I honor and pay homage to their lives every time I cast my ballot.
Why will I vote this November? The answer is simply because I care about the unnecessary separation, abuse and mental anguish inflicted on thousands of immigrant children being held in detention, some with no clear path to be reunited with their families.
To cover the cost of needlessly imprisoning immigrant children, $260 million was moved from cancer research, HIV/AIDS and other programs, along with millions of dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
There are other ways to address much needed immigration reform that should never include imprisoning, traumatizing and abusing children. My heart aches every time I think about how those children must feel.
Systematic dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency and rolling back current environmental protections; including those that prohibit New Jersey offshore drilling. The loosening of gun control laws, including, in the wake of horrific school shootings, revoking current laws that prevent the mentally ill from obtaining guns.
Deliberately sabotaging the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and repealing current health care benefits, including mandatory coverage for pre-existing conditions, preventative health care screenings and annual wellness exams. These are health care benefits millions of Americans rely on whether they have ACA or private health care insurance.
Passing and implementing fiscally irresponsible biased tax reforms, including those that prevent New Jersey residents from deducting more than $10,000 of their real estate taxes, thereby raising New Jersey residents’ property taxes.
Blowing up of the deficit by giving massive tax cuts to corporations while proposing budgetary plans for imposing deep reductions, cuts and privatization of Medicare, and reductions and cuts in Medicaid and Social Security.
Trade wars and tariffs resulting in higher priced consumer goods where some companies have had to lay off or fire employees. And farmers hurt by the current trade wars having to rely on $12 billion in government emergency aid.
The appointment of individuals who have long and troubling careers opposing women’s rights and civil rights, including rights for LGBTQ people, to key positions in our federal government.
Make your voice heard in November. Isn’t that what our democracy is all about? We Americans are very fortunate to live in a democracy where we have the freedom to express our opinions and take control over our lives. Your vote does matter. You have the power to make your voice heard and honor those who afforded us the privilege every time you cast your ballot.
Leanne B Patierno