Ten years ago today, I sat in front of a TV captivated as then Senator Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president.
Obama’s diverse background and optimistic vision for the future resonated with me in a really special way. He rekindled my childhood interest in politics, which had waned over the years.
One of the most memorable lines in his acceptance speech perfectly captured an idea that my family’s experiences instilled in me from a young age.
“Our government should work for us, not against us. It should ensure opportunity, not for just those with the most money and influence, but for every American who is willing to work.
That’s the promise of America, the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise and fall as one nation, the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper. That’s the promise we need to keep, that’s the change we need right now.”
Just as the nation had gone through a lot over the previous eight years, I, too, had experienced my own up’s-and-down’s. From my father being permanently disabled by a back injury and financially-crippled by medical bills all the way to my circuitous route in and out of community college. Then, while coaching a high school swim team, I witnessed first-hand the disparities in opportunities available to students, depending on what neighborhood they resided in.
These experiences taught me that, in America, well-being and opportunity were far too dependent on luck. We were not doing a good enough job of taking care of one another.
It is for these reasons and more that I was the perfect recipient of Barack Obama’s 2008 speech. See, after I heard that speech, I knew I wanted to pursue a path that would enable me to make the biggest impact possible. Since then, every career decision I have made has had that goal in mind.
The San Diego Community College District cannot right all of the unfairness in America. However, it can be a place where opportunity is available to all who are willing to learn and where people will be taken care of as if they were a member of a family that rises and falls together.
At the end of Obama’s speech, he said “We cannot walk alone.” That statement was as true for his national campaign as it is for our local race. Our campaign can only succeed with your help.
Will you walk with us this weekend to talk to voters about opportunity for all? If you can’t walk, will you consider donating to our campaign today to purchase yard signs?
|WALK WITH US|