I began my career working for an organization originally called Doctors of the World and later called HealthRight International. Our belief was that health is a human right. I have followed that belief throughout my adult life and advocated for the basic right to health in my personal advocacy since leaving that job.
As Donald Trump took office I was heartbroken because I knew he didn’t understand the basic human right we all have to health care. Access to health and the ability to afford that health care are two different things. Just because republicans give us access to private health insurance that cost one million dollars a year doesn’t mean we can afford it. We need to save the Affordable Care Act. It’s a devastating loss for Americans.
Later in my career after a few more jobs in the health care industry I moved on to work for a homeless services organization where I had the privilege and honor to raise money and to work with people who were less fortunate than I was. I worked with homeless, formerly homeless and low-income individuals and families in New York City. Some were born and raised Americans and some were immigrants. I didn’t care a bit where they were from because I also had a belief that everyone had a basic right to shelter and dignity.
The words that come out of Donald Trump’s mouth and twitter account show he doesn’t understand what it means to give people the basic right to dignity as he finds it a pass time to tear people down. Let’s not forget how he handled Megyn Kelly, Rep. John Lewis and so many others. He also doesn’t understand the need for basic shelter. We see that as he pulls funding and attacks sanctuary cities.
A couple years later when I found myself in Los Angeles, California were my career took a turn and I ended up working as a fundraiser for an environmental organization. In fact, it was the largest environmental organization in Los Angeles. We fought hard to protect the ocean, to have healthy watersheds and to educate California about its drinking water to name a few things.
Trump doesn’t understand the importance of the environment. As a developer and large property owner you would think he would understand the importance of having health lands, oceans and air. Yet, he has no care in the world. He has frozen the EPA and put a gag order on employees. He has chosen to support dangerous pipelines and is opening our country up to a new world of environmental dangers. Let’s not forget the amount of funding he is cutting off from environmental organizations. It’s truly devastating.
My volunteer work went beyond health, homeless services and environmental work. I’ve advocated for the rights of immigrants and refugees over the years. I have also marched on Washington to end war, to fight for LGBTQ equality and rights and advocated for women’s rights.
Ted Cruz is still spouting off about the First Amendment Defense Act which will allow for legal discrimination of the LGBTQ community and Trump has promised to sign it into law.
It’s heartbreaking to watch as the new President of the United States of America sits behind his desk and erase so much of that work with a few simple strokes of his pen.
Trump has chosen to not protect our environment. He has chosen to make enemies of minorities, people of color and immigrants. He wants to build walls and barriers to the outside world. He wants to alienate people with policies like stop and frisk which will only increase a lack of trust between civilians and our men and women in uniform. This is not the America I know or want to know.
Where are our elected officials? This is getting to be too much. He is erasing all that is good in America. What is next? What will be the final line to wake people up?