Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a Coffee Meet and Greet in Northfield. I met some old friends and some new and am thankful for Eileen Toland and Nancy Woerner for sponsoring and hosting. I am also thankful for whomever brought the cheesecake – it was delicious!
But I am most thankful for the opportunity to meet Hildy, an 89 year-old immigrant from Germany. She is a passionate democrat and loves this country, even though it is not the country of her origin. Hildy told me she grew up in Germany, under Hitler’s regime and that what she is seeing now in our country is hitting a little too close to home. She was lucky enough to come to the United States in 1953 at the age of 23 to start a new life. Hildy came here, speaking no English, but acclimating nonetheless. She related tales of bureaucracy that she experienced (like the Kentucky DMV giving her a middle initial because a middle name was a necessity to receive a driver’s license). Hildy took all these minor inconveniences in stride since she had already experienced the worst of humanity, but now she is once again fearful. This is why, at 89, Hildy is becoming an activist – to ensure history does not repeat itself and to ensure that “America stays the greatest country in the world”.
Here’s to Hildy and all the others who experienced the worst events in history only to come out stronger and fight for the best this country has to offer.
In 1973, Roe v. Wade affirmed a woman’s right to privacy over her body; in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was signed; and in 2017 the #MeToo movement spread like wildfire. FINALLY, we can tell our stories without fear of retribution and hold men accountable for their unchecked abuse of power over women.
Sadly, I was wrong as evidenced by some of the headlines this week: “Louis C.K. Returns to Comedy Months After Admitting Sexual Misconduct”; “Michigan State: NCAA Finds No Rules Violations in Sexual Assault Cases”; “New Policies Proposed by DeVos Would Limit the Definition of Sexual Harassment on College Campuses.”
Is this how we make America great again – by forcing women back to the 1950s? NO! Women have found their voices and we must continue to use them – with our words, our votes and our pocketbooks.
We must continue to call out those in power trying to shut us down. We must go to the polls in November and vote as if our freedom depends on it because it does, and we must boycott companies and advertisers who care more about their bottom dollar that the pain women have endured.
I am a candidate running for Atlantic County Freeholder, but I write this not as a candidate; but as a woman, a mother and a grandmother. We must rise up in the names of our grandmothers before us and our granddaughters ahead of us. Now it’s OUR turn.
I submitted this as an OpEd, but I’m doubtful it will get printed verbatim, if at all, so I wanted to share this in case it gets “revised” by some male editor.
Retired Lt. Col. Nadine Flynn is running for City Council in Egg Harbor Township. Since my district includes two wards in EHT, Nadine agreed to walk with me and give me a Canvassing 101 Lesson. We met in the parking lot of the municipal building and before we began our walk, Nadine schooled me on really important walking tips. Nadine is the most organized person I know and carries a tote bag which contains an organizer – one slot is for mail-in ballot applications, the other for walk pieces, one for registration forms and even room for pens. She has samples of the applications color-coded for ease in understanding the forms that she shows to each constituent. Did I mention that Nadine has the forms in English and Spanish and that she is very organized? We met some amazing EHT residents that evening – all of whom were very engaged once they learned we were running on the democratic ticket. One tip I had for Nadine – always make that the lead!