I remember way back in the day in the mid '70s, my mom and dad would constantly watch the local and national news. Constantly trying to listen to what was going on in the country. Back then, there was no CNN, MSNBC, or social media platforms to get their news. They received the paper (Spanish) and listened to the 11 o'clock news. My parents were very political in the sense that they wanted to be "Americanized" and learn how this country works. They had wanted and eventually became small business owners. On the pathway to citizenship is the goal for them. Seeing them going through this process was not very interesting, I was in my early teens and I had other teen stuff to think about.
THE DRAMA, WHO KNEW?
So in late 79', the Iran hostage scandal came out. My sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Stewart, had the class listen to the news and write about a story that we heard. The big headline was the scandal. It did intrigue me, why? who knows? Maybe because it seemed so scary and so international. So that was my induction into politics. Little by little, politics was becoming the norm for discussion in our home. With so many family members and with very differences of opinion, making it an over-dramatic novella (Mexican soap opera), it was fun to talk about politics. My parents loved President Reagan. Oh, and yes, my parents became naturalized citizens and took politics even more seriously. Now, we kids didn't rebel against what they believed in, in fact, most kids learn politics from their parents and usually follow along. I didn't. When I finally was able to register to vote, I became a Democrat. I didn't announce it, I didn't want to hurt my parent's feelings.
BUSH VS. DUKAKIS
This was the first election that I was to vote in. I didn't know what I was doing. I thought I was supposed to vote along party lines, you know across the board. My parents were doing the complete opposite, they were learning about the candidates. I had asked my dad if he was happy being a republican, because he was considering voting for a democrat. His reply, was to me at the time puzzling." I still have to know what the candidates stand for and see what they are about." I'm thinking, that's so interesting. Then I thought, he's wrong. He's a newbie like his daughter. I went to the polls and I was so confident and I felt so smart. I went up to vote and I had done so with voting all democrat across. My parents did their voting during the day. That night, we had extended family over to watch the results as they came in. It was exciting until my uncle asked who I voted for. I proudly said, Dukakis. He had a look on his face and asked "Why?" I told him, "Well, I am a democrat you know!" when I said that, my mother looked at me like I was acting up in the supermarket and she was going to pinch me.
BE IN THE KNOW
My uncle then continued to ask me if I knew about any of his proposed policies, his background, and what his campaign was about. I don't think I ever felt so ignorant in my entire life. I quietly went into the den and didn't want to participate in watching the election results. I wasted my vote. I couldn't participate in any of the conversations, because honestly, I didn't read about anything or even try to learn about any of the candidates. All I assumed was to vote with what party you are registered with. Boy was I wrong. I of course moved on, I went into the 90's full throttle with marriage and having my babies in 1991,1993,1995, and 1997. So getting involved in politics was a little difficult.
I went back to the political game when George W. Bush was running for president against Al Gore. Now is my chance to see who is the best candidate to vote for. I read quite a bit about the two. What most impressed me was Bush's military record and he is from Texas, I thought he was tough. I thought Bush was the better choice after my research, Bush was getting my vote. Now I felt like an informed voter. I'm voting against my party, but I felt confident in my choice.
So as time passed, I wasn't feeling the vibe and connection with democrats. I was more and more sharing the same values with the republican party. When the "no cash bail law" came out, I thought, ok, this isn't bad. People who commit very low-level crimes, can get out, go back to their job and there's no financial hardship of bail with families or individuals who do not have the money to post bail. Then I learned that the democrats had added much more offenses. Not just offensives, but violent ones. I did what a "normal or concerned" voter did what I thought I should do. I had contacted my Senator and asked for the list of offensives that were included in that list. After reading it, I download a voter registration form and filled it out to become a republican. I felt powerful because I'm sharing my values and ideology with a political party that identify with. Today, I am taking it a step further. I decided to run for public office and help transition a democratic dominance into a balanced table where I can contribute my republican thoughts and ideas, but more importantly, see to it that there's representation from those who feel like they have none. Balance, compromise, and understanding are what it's going to take to thrive and deliver a better quality of life for all, not just to one political side. Learn and know your candidates. Don't let them decide for you, and they will try with phrases like, "Vote for my team" or "Vote straight across" or "Vote all D". That is usually done to try to have you (the voter) vote their way, kinda like "Don't worry, we can decide for you how to vote." YIKES!
Take your time and see what the candidate is about. There are some fresh faces out there, new ideas, and more than ever politicians are endorsing other party candidates because they feel their party candidate is not the best choice and not afraid to be public about it. For example, Babylon Town Councilman Duwayne Gregory (Democrat) endorsed Ray Tierney (Republican) for the Suffolk County District Attorney race. That even shocked me!!!!! So there you have it, I as well am running for public office. Town Clerk in the Town of Babylon. I want to help my community have a sense of representation so they may acquire a better quality of life, like our Vets, seniors, struggling families, and disabled deserve our focus to make our Long Island life affordable, transparent, and more accessible when it comes to obtaining a beach pass, permit, and the ability to have a choice on how to obtain their passes/permits.
Thank you for reading this. It's my pleasure to run in this election and speak up for residents. We all matter. These next weeks, my team and I will be all over our beautiful Town, meeting with residents and listening to all ideas, concerns, and what you have to say! If you see us, please stop and say hello! I'll have a flyer with my info and ideas, I would be more than happy to share with you.
Please feel free to reach out!
Hope to hear from you!