Letter: I stand with Tom Barrett by Cheryl Hanson
A friend of mine and I were discussing the governor’s recall race. She made the point that, for a long time now, non-union workers have been losing jobs to corporate down-sizing and off-shore relocation and no one demonstrated or stood up for them. Implied, of course, was the question, why should I stand-up for you now.
The partial answer is that this race is about far more than public workers’ rights. It’s about the flagrant abuse of executive power, the pandering to out-of-state billionaires who are buying influence in Wisconsin’s governance to the tune of $25 million, the erosion of Wisconsin’s educational system from top to bottom, and the reversal of laws that protect our environment, health care, and women’s equal wage protections.
The other part of the answer required a lot of soul searching. My friend was right. I haven’t stood up the way I should for others who have privately suffered job and benefit losses. I haven’t been adequately incensed at injustices done to those who had to go-it-alone because they have no collective voice. I was wrong to sit on the sidelines while my fellow citizens suffered. For that, I am deeply sorry. I won’t make that mistake again.
I stand with restaurant cooks, bookkeepers, retail clerks, lawn care providers, and convenience store workers who can’t afford adequate health care.
I stand with bartenders, wait staff, and housekeeping personnel who must rely on patrons’ tips to eke out a living.
I stand with local grocery store workers who are required to wear uniforms purchased from their employer at a profit.
I stand with the men who plow driveways and collect garbage.
I stand with small business owners.
I stand with unionized and non-unionized trades people like carpenters, painters, electricians and masons.
I stand with county employees, health care providers, and child protection workers.
I stand with police and firefighters, teachers, school cooks, secretaries, and custodians.
I stand with those who have lost their jobs.
I do not stand with a governor who pretends to care about average citizens; doesn’t bother to pretend to care about senior citizens, women, single parents, or the uninsured; and who continuously courts and does the bidding of the rich and powerful.
I stand with and vote for Tom Barrett and Mahlon Mitchell because they know that “dividing and conquering” is no way to govern Wisconsin or to improve the lives of its citizens.
Cheryl Hanson, Minocqua