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Mon Mar 14, 2016, 10:14 PM

Listening to Donna - Two things I took away.

Last edited Tue Mar 15, 2016, 10:12 AM - Edit history (1)

I had an opportunity to attend a presentation put together by Donna’s sorority sisters of Zeta Phi Beta. Having heard Donna speak many times, I did not take a notebook. I am kicking myself. So all I can share are the things that stuck out in my mind.

First, the differences between Donna and Van Hollen boil down to compromise. What is Van Hollen willing to compromise when Donna is not. Donna talked about Simpson-Bowles and when Obama was willing to put cuts to Social Security and Medicare on the table. Like raising the eligibility age, and using chained CPI to lower benefits. Van Hollen was okay with having it on the table, but Donna fought to take it off. Donna also pointed out that raising the eligibility age is especially a disservice to black men who have shorter life expectancies. The other point Donna noted was that she has been fighting trade agreements, outside or inside Congress since NAFTA. The flight of industries from Baltimore since NAFTA easily cost the city 70,000 jobs. But 10 out of 11 of the trade agreements that have come up in Van Hollen’s tenure he has supported. Including TPP. He *only* questioned TPP once he started running for Senate and saw that it was unpopular with progressives. So, it looks like Van Hollen is willing to compromise on issues that would negatively impact Maryland's working families - like Social Security cuts and trade deals - and Donna will never compromise her values on those issues, and will always stand with working families.


Second was the issue of being a black candidate, a women’s candidate. The reality is that when Donna fights for family issues, she’s fighting for breadwinners of both genders, across racial lines, who struggle to make ends meet, who choose which bills to pay, who cough up huge sums for daycare, who may need a sick day, who can’t survive on today’s minimum wage, or worse still, today’s tip wage. Parents who want their children to have opportunities, like college, high school graduates who need to be able to learn a skill and go out and get a job without a degree. Young professionals who need to get out from the weight of student debt. As someone who has been a breadwinner, she understands financial priorities, she understands being the rock of the family. So, instead of focusing on the “single mom” label, focus on the “breadwinner” label and see how what she wants for Marylanders, and the American people, is universal.

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Reply Listening to Donna - Two things I took away. (Original post)
qwlauren35 Mar 2016 OP
elleng Mar 2016 #1
qwlauren35 Mar 2016 #2

Response to qwlauren35 (Original post)

Mon Mar 14, 2016, 10:21 PM

1. 'She understands financial priorities.'

'Donna talked about Simpson-Bowles and when Obama was willing to put cuts to Social Security and Medicare on the table. Like raising the eligibility age, and using chained CPI to lower benefits. Van Hollen was okay with having it on the table, but Donna fought to take it off. Donna also pointed out that raising the eligibility age is especially a disservice to black men who have shorter life expectancies. The other point Donna noted was that she has been fighting trade agreements, outside or inside Congress since NAFTA. The flight of industries from Baltimore since NAFTA easily cost the city 70,000 jobs.'

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Response to qwlauren35 (Original post)

Tue Mar 15, 2016, 09:42 PM

2. A mother's perspective.

One of the things that Donna did when she first got into office was to secure free dinners for disadvantaged children, a program that Maryland had been eligible for, but had never signed up for. As a non-mother, the significance of this goes right past me, but when I see other mothers in the audience, I see them nodding, and understanding. Experience shapes perspective. Donna is a mom, she sees the importance of kids eating dinner. She sees the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children, and she does it, because that's part of her perspective.

So, in direct contrast to the OP, I point out that having a woman, a mother, in a political position of power, such as Congress or the Senate, is game changing. And that's why we need more of them.

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