Last month, I has the huge privilege of meeting the venerable Valerie Jarrett with a few other MOMocrats. I left inspired to do more, but wasn't quite sure until I chatted with the fine folks at People Acting in Community Together.
Yesterday my kids and I had the opportunity to give testimony on health insurance reform at a rally outside Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren's office. About 175 clergy and community leaders gathered to add our stories to the health care insurance reform debate. Representative Lofgren spoke briefly and complimented the group on the peaceful demonstration. She relayed that the night before she had attended a meeting expecting 40 people. Instead she was greeted by more than 300 rowdy protesters, and most were not ready to debate civilly. Oy vey! WTF people - aren't there more important things we need to talk about - like how we should pay for this and the details of a plan?
The afternoon's gathering was hosted by a Rabbi, blessing shared by a Baptist minister and the crowd sang, "This little light of mine". It was a far cry from the events seen all over the news featuring town halls shut down by angry protestors. I was proud to be amongst this group of smart and compassionate people.
When my friends asked me to speak last week, I did not hesitate to volunteer. But as I watched the news and read online accounts of what was happening at rallies around the country, I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into. Moreover, when the head organizer mentioned that agitators were seen at other rallies around the country and that a large group off Teabaggers assembled at an event the night before I began to worry about what I had gotten my kids involved with. But as I stood in a circle surrounded by preachers, community activists and friends, I knew there was no other place I would rather have been.
Valerie Jarrett challenged us to take to streets and get our stories told. I did just that and so have many others. Now it is up to us all to make sure our elected officials stand up too and roll up their sleeves to get it done. We need access to affordable health are. My kids can't wait.
Check out other stories from people around the country who shared their stories yesterday through PACT and the PICO network.