Dear Representative-Elect Sherrill –
I am very proud to be a part of the groups who worked to elect you, and so I am writing to express very serious concern with early decisions I have seen from you.
Your choice to oppose Nancy Pelosi and your ambivalence towards not only the most effective Speaker in my lifetime, but to a woman who has tirelessly worked to pave the way for you, was deeply distressing. I hope you will reconsider this position and work with her and other women in Congress.
Now we are told you are caucusing with the Blue Dog Democrats, a group that has been detrimental to progress in Congress for, again, my entire adult life.
I did not help elect you because I am for “fiscal responsibility.” This phrase has been used by the GOP to gut environmental protections, the social net, education and healthcare for decades. We do not need austerity — we need an investment in these long-term benefits.
I voted for you to stand against gun violence, which will require funding for scientific research and education.
I voted for you to stand for immigration reform which welcomes refugees and the needy and people trying to make a better life which will require funding for processing and legal representation.
I voted for you for justice system reform so the school-to-prison pipeline is stopped, so people are not given life-robbing sentences for minor infractions. This will require another investment after removing for-profit prisons from our system; we will need a prison system that works towards rehabilitation and release.
I voted for you to make it easier and more affordable for all Americans to have healthcare — not just health insurance — health care. We will need an investment in our medical care.
I voted for you to uphold (and increase!) voting rights, marriage equality, protections, equal pay, livable wages, and freedoms for all within our country’s borders, not just for a select few.
And I will hold you accountable every time you caucus with a group that has firmly stood against that progress for my entire life. Thirty years ago, you probably would have run as a Republican, and I understand that. I will be asking you to work with the constituents who worked for you to help make the United States the land of progress it should be.
It’s time to stop banging the fiscal conservatism drum. Austerity hurts us. We need investment in the future.