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Victimizing the Victim Has Got to Stop!

http://www.atlanticdemocrats.com/news/2018/8/15/atlantic-county-democrats-stand-in-favor-of-sexual-assault-transparency-ordinance

How can it be in 2018 that this is an issue?   Why are we okay with turning a blind eye to the plight of sexual harassment and assault victims?

In this age of MeToo, it seems like a no-brainer to pass an ordinance demanding transparency, so why are the Atlantic County Freeholders opposed?

I suppose you could say we have come along way.  I’m sure many of you in my age range endured sexual harassment and innuendo for many years.  There was no complaining or reporting the perpetrator to Human Resources.  You tolerated it and then went home every night and took a long shower.

So today there are workplace processes and laws that are supposed to ensure a safe and sexual-free workplace.  End of story?  Hardly.  Suppose you have a great working relationship with your male boss and then one day he asks you out to dinner and a movie (or what we used to call “a date”).  At that moment the relationship changes.  What was a relationship based on mutual respect is now a power relationship – male employer, female employee.  Now you are not interested in dating your boss, but in that moment you are thinking, “If I say no I’m tanking my career, but if I say yes, what more will be expect or even worse, what if it doesn’t work out”.  It is a lose/lose predicament that millions of women have found themselves facing and still face today.  If you endure this unwanted relationship and finally report it, there is a chance you will lose your job, but don’t worry, your employer will tell you, you will get a nice settlement.  Of course that settlement comes with a cost – signing of a nondisclosure agreement or NDA – a term that, sadly is ingrained in our vocabulary thanks to our President.  You need this settlement – rent is due and you can’t live on unemployment.  But you don’t want to sign this NDA.  You want to make sure other women do not fall prey to this treatment on the job.  Now you are back in that lose/lose situation.

What is so hard to understand??  From the onset of the incident the victim has no good options and absolutely no power.  Can’t she at least have the choice as to whether to out the offender?  Isn’t that her right?  Again, to even have to spell this out in legislation is a sad commentary on how little we have progressed; but to refuse to even consider legislation is  unconscionable.

 

 

 

Tales from the Trail – A Public Servant Who Cares

carenOnce again on a hot August night (which you can surely tell from the picture), I had the honor to canvass a Linwood neighborhood with our current Freeholder Caren Fitzpatrick.  Needless to say, it was easy accompanying Caren around her neighborhood.  I was so impressed with the way she relates to her constituents and really cares about their issues.  While we were walking and before we would approach a house, she would have a background story for the resident — “I think this is my vet’s house.  She saved my dog’s life” or “They are new in the neighborhood and just had a baby” or “Mr. ***** has a hard time walking so let’s give him a chance to come to the door.”  We should all strive to know our neighbors so well!  We talked to a retired couple that had real concerns about the taxes in Linwood as well as many residents who are simply concerned about the direction our country is headed.  As they say, all politics are local and our current Freeholder board is a reflection of our national leaders – satisfied to keep quiet on issues affecting women, immigrants and students.  I am not satisfied and will not keep quiet!  I will be proud and honored to serve alongside such a caring woman as Caren Fitzpatrick.  She is a great mentor and I am excited for the chance to work with her for the people of Atlantic County.

Tales from the Trail – You Can Be Pleasantly Surprised.

37361136_274866776397866_5550519689844621312_n     I really enjoy canvassing and talking to the people in the community about the issues that are important to them – the seniors who are worried that increasing property taxes will force them to sell their life-long homes; the single mom worried about losing her healthcare; and the union member afraid of losing his pension.  It is surprising to me and quite refreshing how open and honest people are when they know someone is willing to listen!

Of course, canvassing is not all peaches and cream – I’ve had people peek out of their blinds and not answer the door or tell me that they are not interested – and that’s okay, too.  I wave or I say “Have a nice day” and move on to the next house.

But I truly was not prepared for an encounter that occurred the other day.  On a hot, humid evening in August, Katherine Friedman, who is running for City Council in Linwood and I, armed with our walking pieces (and for me a sweat rag), decided to forego the traditional “walk list” and just introduce ourselves to Katherine’s neighbors.  As we neared the end of the evening, we knocked on a door and were greeted by a friendly, welcoming woman who invited us into her home.  Upon entering, it was apparent that we interrupted what looked to be a prayer group.  The three men and three women were gracious and excited about the upcoming election and questioned Katherine about local Linwood issues.  One of the gentlemen finally asked what party we were running on.  When Katherine responded, democrat, silence fell across the room.  One of the women explained that they were staunch Trump supporters, good Christians who adamantly opposed abortion and couldn’t wait for Kavanaugh to join the Supreme Court.  For me, I honestly had to bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut, but for Katherine, she didn’t skip a beat, explaining that we are all people and when it comes to local issues, like a stop sign on the corner or a broken street light, it doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican, it just matters that you care enough about your community to get things done.  And guess what?  The group of Trump supporters agreed!  Being the progressive that I am, I was so surprised that I was actually having a conversation with a group of people whom I so vehemently disagree with – and that it was a friendly conversation!  Before we left, the group asked if they could pray for us and we agreed.  It was without the doubt the strangest thing that’s happened on the trail thus far but I learned something from Katherine – we are all people, regardless of party affiliation.  We may have different opinions, but those differences should not strip away decency and kindness for others.  Katherine Friedman, you rock – I will walk with you anytime!

Sexual Harassment in the Age of Trump

I wrote the attached essay in 1994 and reading it today sends chills down my spine.  Almost 25 years later and we are far worse off!  We have a president that demeans women, a Congress that still bans bare arms in the capitol and we are on the verge of having a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe and set women’s rights back 100 years.  I, like many of you, fought that fight back in the 60s and 70s and it is appalling that here we are fighting the same fight for our granddaughters.  How and when will things change?  When we elect women that will not take a back seat to any man and who will stand taller and fight for the rights that are inherent to every human.    WOMEN stand tall and take action – THE TIME IS NOW!

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No, Mr. President, The Media Is Not The “Real Enemy of the People” — JONATHAN TURLEY

In another attack on journalists, President Donald Trump called the “fake news media” the “real enemy of the people” yesterday. The tweet is in response to uniformly negative coverage, including on Fox News, of Trump’s handling of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Since the vast majority of reporters described the summit as a debacle, it […]

via No, Mr. President, The Media Is Not The “Real Enemy of the People” — JONATHAN TURLEY

vote2

Today more than ever we should realize the power of our vote.  We can blame Russia, or Trump supporters or Sanders/Stein voters, but the bottom line is 231,556,622 registered voters stayed home in 2016.  We cannot let that happen again in 2018 – the stakes are too high.                                                                                                                            Do you work long hours and can’t make it to the polls?  Is your polling place too far??  Is it raining???

NO MORE EXCUSES!!  Please download this form, complete it, mail it (or take it in person) to the County Board of Elections and you will receive a ballot on or after September 22, 2018. Just complete the ballot (making sure you vote for me) and send it in – no postage necessary!

https://www.nj.gov/state/elections/form_pdf/vote-by-mail-forms/vote-mail-ballot-gloucester-english.pdf

 

and if you are not yet registered to vote:

https://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/form_pdf/voter-regis-forms/68-voter-registration-english-atlantic.pdf