I had been planning to keep quiet through primary season in the interest of peace and harmony. But last night, after doing hours of research and thinking hard about our system of government, I decided to support Erica Smith for US Senate. Erica checks all the boxes for me, and perhaps most important, she's an African American woman.
It's been my experience that many of us give lip-service to diversity, both in terms of gender and race. But all too often we don't follow through with action. We say we want more black people serving as elected officials, but we don't support them and vote for them. The same can be said of women. It's not that complicated.
You can read more about Erica's platform here: https://ericaforus.org/erica-smiths-platform-for-progress The section that resonated most with me is this:
- I support Senator Corey Booker’s Marijuana Justice Act. Marijuana should be legalized and the prison sentences for same should be reduced or commuted commensurate with decriminalization of opioids and more compassionate approaches to victims of the opioid epidemic;
- I support implementation of 2012 and 2014 Department of Justice Community Policing Recommendations and Guidelines for Implementation of School Discipline Policies that enhance nondiscrimination protections of Title IV and Title VI Protections under the 1964 Civil Rights Act
- I support reinstatement of Section V of the 1965 Civil Rights Act, universal and automatic voter registration, Election Day Holiday and protection of our electoral process from interference from foreign governments
- Equal Pay for Equal Work, Closing the gender and demographic earnings gaps
- Common Sense gun control that bans bump stocks and assault rifles and enhances universal background checks
- Gender equity and protections for LGBTQ communities from harassment and discrimination
- No money bonds for misdemeanors and low level felonies in advancing the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment
- Sentence restructuring for non-violent, low level drug offenders
- Strengthening laws against human trafficking, opioid trafficking and prescription controls
Another paragraph of her website I appreciated is this:
“I AM AN ENGINEER.” I was employed as an engineer in the private and government sectors for over ten years before committing to full-time public service. Working in the high-tech, cutting edge technology field of aerospace and materials engineering equipped me with the business acumen and logistics talent to resolve what is wrong and improve what is strong. I was also able to hone my problem-solving and consensus-building skills. It structured my fundamental approach as a legislator to focus on how to re-engineer formulas, criteria and policy so that they do the most good for the good of all.
Erica has what it takes to be an excellent US Senator, and she has her work cut out to win the primary. The DSCC is supporting her opponent. I wish that sort of thing didn't happen, but it's been going on for years. I used to get upset by it, but nowadays I realize there's nothing to be done except keep on working for people we believe in.
For the record, I have nothing but positive things to say about Cal Cunningham, Erica's primary opponent. Like Erica, he's doing the hard work and running a good campaign. We're lucky to have two excellent candidates, either of whom would be a giant step up from Thom Tillis.
I'm still leaning toward Warren for gender reasons, but am considering voting for Biden for a lot of other reasons, all of which add up to stopping the Great Orange Menace.
My political instincts really suck, I know that, so I'm really just going to go with my gut when all is said and done.