Let’s face it, a mixed kid from Hawaii born to a single mom is not likely to become President of the United States. But in America it can happen because of education, because somebody gave me opportunity.President Obama in Golden, Colorado today
I just turned 18 this year, and my first presidential vote will be for Barack Obama. There are a lot of reasons, but this is the condensed version:
I am going to college this year - in fact, I just finished my last high school course last week. My mom is currently going back to school herself and going into loan and credit card debt, and my dad and his wife live on a shoestring budget. I couldn’t even attend community college on the “borrow money from your parents” plan. I don’t want a president who cannot understand that student aid is a vital part of many young people’s education.
I am female, and I want the autonomy to make my own healthcare decisions based on what’s right for my body, not someone else’s view of the world.
I am queer, and I want a President who recognises my validity as a person and believes I should have equal rights. I don’t know if I want to get married legally, but I’d like to at least have the option, not to mention that I want to feel safe and not have to fear hate crimes.
I’ll keep fighting for these issues and others no matter what, but I’d feel a lot safer if I knew the President was still standing behind me come January.
I support Obama because my parents are public school teachers. I know firsthand that teachers are some of the hardest-working individuals out there, and they don’t have the salaries to prove it. My older sister recently went to college to earn an English degree. While she received a scholarship, it’s taking a huge toll on our family’s funds for her to be able to learn the skills to start working in a field she’s passionate about.
My parents have always told me that college is important, but they wouldn’t be angry if I didn’t go. It’s seeming more and more like not going to be the case, unless by some miracle I can earn a full scholarship somewhere. I’ve wanted to work in human rights for a long time, and the news that college may no longer be an option is really weighing me down.
Supporting Obama is one of the most effective ways I can think of to make college a possibility for me again. I can’t do what Mitt says and simply “borrow money from my parents”; it’s not an option and I view it as a joke, frankly. Obama’s student loan reforms would help my sister and I immensely, as well as my parents. My mom and dad are the two most important people in my life, and I work for them 24/7. If there’s one less thing for them to worry about, life is a lot easier.
There are two major reasons I am voting for Obama:
1. As a woman, I have the right to make my own health care decisions. Congress has no place making those decisions FOR me.
2. I am a student who doesn’t have the option of asking parents for money. My father has been on SSDI for most of my life, and my mother (who was also on SSDI) passed away in October. As it stands, my financial aid and minimum wage job barely cover tuition as a commuter- never mind living anywhere but home. Without federal aid, higher education would never be within my grasp.
I fear what would happen to me, and the many others in my shoes, if we lose this election.
THE PRESIDENT: Part of the jobs bill that I sent to the new Congress last September would have helped states like Nevada prevent further layoffs, would allow them to rehire teachers who have lost their jobs. But Republicans in Congress let—
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no, no, no, don’t “booo”—vote.
One of the many reasons I’m voting for Obama this November is for his commitment to making higher education more affordable. The president understands this issue on a personal level. When he and Michelle Obama were first married, they had a combined $120,000 of student loan debt. (Not as much as my husband and me, but still.) More importantly, his student loan reforms greatly increase federal funding for Pell Grants, which are given on a needs basis to low-income undergraduate students to pay for college. Legislation in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act invests in community colleges, eliminates subsidies charged to the federal government by private lenders like Sallie Mae and Citibank acting as student loan middlemen, spends billions of dollars saved by that action on Pell Grants, extends support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions like City College, and helps many student borrowers manage their debt by making loan repayments proportionate to their incomes.Emily Raboteau for 90 Days, 90 Reasons: “Obama has made financing higher education easier.”