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4/14/2020

Fighting for our kitchen table issues

Fighting for our kitchen table issues

Many of our leaders are disconnected from our kitchen table discussions. I don't feel heard by them. I've talked with a good deal of people who agree that our voices aren't in the halls of power right now.

(Blog post header image description: In the background a cropped photo of a woman talking and gesticulating with her hands while sitting at a table with another person, salt and pepper shakers, and a bottle of water are visible. The photo is presented in orange tones. The text reads fighting for our kitchen table issues.)

My political involvement started when I was young. I must have been maybe five or six and my father was a grassroots organizer who worked with Japanese-American leaders from around the country. They were citizens just like you and me, who wanted our government to acknowledge that a wrong had happened.

During World War II, even though they were American citizens, my father, his parents, and many members of our family were placed in concentration camps. From 1942 to 1945, it was the policy of the U.S. government that people of Japanese descent would be interred in isolated Internment Camps. There was no trial, no other charges than looking like the enemy.

My father was only a toddler and his parents had never done anything wrong. They worked hard and wanted a better life for their family. You know, they wanted the American Dream. My family, as all Japanese-Americans of the time, lost everything. They lost property but more importantly, they lost their dignity. They were herded into cattle cars and box trains and taken off into the middle of nowhere with nothing more than what a person could carry.

Regardless of the losses during those years, Japanese-Americans weren't asking for the property to be back. They wanted an apology and acknowledgment that something wrong had happened. They wanted it not to be forgotten, to be righted.

My father actually got to go to Washington DC and to be in the Rose Garden when that apology was signed by President Reagan, in 1988. It was a significant moment that had taken decades of hard work.

I learned dedication from those men and women who came together, week after week. It was a strong sense of justice that drove my father to meet with those leaders and to become one of them. He held meetings at our kitchen table. I remember him there, many nights, writing letters to representatives. But he also wrote to friends and family around the country, asking them to join that cause, to contact their representatives and let their peers know that our great Country needed to acknowledge that great injustice that happened.

This is the kind of dedication that we need again, now, to bring real change to our government. That kitchen table is where I learned that our voices really matter. I also learned that it takes many voices -I can't do this by myself. That's where you come in, and your friends, and your family. It takes a whole community and wide support for us to win a seat at the House of Representatives this November.

Many of our leaders are disconnected from our kitchen table discussions. I don't feel heard by them. I've talked with a good deal of people who agree that our voices aren't in the halls of power right now. When we hear the governor talking about golf courses as essential businesses, you and I know that he's not hearing our real concerns.

I'm concerned about kids getting food on a daily basis. Over half of the kids in Mesa receive a reduced or free lunch, how are they getting their nutritional needs met now?

I'm concerned that our healthcare system is understaffed and undersupplied. That our youth wants to go into the healthcare sector but to do so they get into enormous amounts of debt.

I'm concerned that the same American Dream that was stolen from my grandparents is being stolen again from an entire generation. We're working hard and making sacrifices to take care of each other and of our family. The government should be making these things easier, not harder.

School. Bills. Small businesses. Student debt. Savings. Everyday meals. I sit at my kitchen table with my husband and discuss these issues because they are part of our life.

I'm running to help solve these kitchen table issues. I will vote for more funding for our overloaded school system. I will vote to expand health care programs and to lower costs for prescriptions. As a small business owner, I know that those small business loans are not getting out the way they're supposed to. I will vote for bills that support the backbone of our economy, the small businesses of Arizona.

I want to make building a dream easier. I want to reduce the red tape and the cumbersome programs that are designed to only help a privileged few. It shouldn't be this hard. Our government should work smoothly and efficiently, almost invisibly, to make our lives better and to make things easier for us. So that we can focus on working hard and chasing that American Dream.

Please consider making a monthly donation or, when money is tight and time is slow, please volunteer with #teamhug to help us win the seat. It's time for new, responsible, leadership for Mesa and for Arizona. Donate here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/hugforhouse

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