This endorsement originally appeared in The Manhattan Times. The text is available in Spanish on the website.
I went to my first Bernie Sanders (for Senate) rally in 2006.
His passion and energy and fist-in-the-air championing of the little guy are infectious and real.
His continued presence in the Democratic Primary has allowed it to be dominated by substantive talk about ideas. And when decent, smart Democrats talk about issues that matter—the economy, living wage, women’s rights, civil rights, energy, education, jobs, the environment, international affairs, immigration, SCOTUS, bi-partisan cooperation, and so much more—America wins.
I happily will take either of ours over any of theirs on November 8th.
Let me be clear: I’m not against Bernie. I get the appeal: simple slogans that belie a yearning for a simpler time. But the United States is bigger and more diverse than Vermont.
I am for Hillary: a nuanced and pragmatic thinker who considers the whole picture and chooses from among the options we actually have, while working to create new ones. It’s an adult way of thinking that I find appealing, for it acknowledges the reality of a difficult and complicated world.
Every politician has a stump speech that tells the crowd what it wants to hear. More telling is how a candidate responds to questions that are not rehearsed, where the candidate must rely on a store of knowledge and experience. It’s powerful to hear why the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland all believe she is the best choice to move this country forward on race relations and law enforcement in communities of color. Even more compelling was her response to a middle-aged white man’s question at a North Charleston, South Carolina town hall, where she spoke on the importance of listening with empathy and putting herself in the shoes of people who struggle every day with both the gross and subtle indignities of racism.
I believe that she is the most qualified candidate to run for office in my lifetime.
Hillary Clinton had an 8-year first-hand view of the White House from the perspective of First Lady, though she cannot fairly take credit—or blame—for her husband’s policies and actions while President.
She represented New York State ably in the Senate. And on a world stage, she has a deep and broad knowledge of issues and actors that is unmatched in either party.
I was skeptical when Hillary first ran for Senate in 2000, because she wasn’t really from here.
But as surely as I became a true New Yorker by getting involved, Hillary made herself a New Yorker when she:
- fought for NYC immediately after 9/11 to secure recovery aid, and fought for the Zedroga Act for the healthcare of first responders;
- co-sponsored or introduced bills to raise the minimum wage, boosted the upstate economy with initiatives to move local agricultural products to downstate consumers;
- advocated for our Veterans, National Guard and Reservists as the first NY Senator to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee;
- expanded Head Start and healthcare for children, Pell Grants for college students, and introduced legislation to fund Historically Black Colleges and Universities;
- introduced legislation to mitigate lead paint in public housing to strengthen lead safety standards in child care facilities and to ban the sale of toys with lead paint;
- forced a thoughtful review of safety standards at the Indian Point nuclear facility during its relicensing application;
Hillary has stood strong on gun violence, working to pass sensible gun legislation and to hold gun manufacturers responsible for the havoc that their products wreak every day in this City, in this State, and nationwide. She supported the Brady Bill, as well as legislation to revoke licenses of gun dealers that break the law, and to fund CDC research into gun violence as a public health issue.
Bernie Sanders opposed all of these measures.
Since 90% of the guns seized or used in violent crimes in New York come from out-of-state, we depend on federal legislation and the federal enforcement of laws in jurisdiction outside of our City and State.
Hillary has been talking about women’s rights and LGBT rights being human rights in the Senate, in the United Nations, around the country and around the world.
As Secretary of State, she quietly fought to include LGBT protections in State Department aid initiatives and for our US employees around the world.
We need someone who can do the job already because she has done so many parts of the job already.
As a Democrat, I also appreciate the work that Hillary has done supporting “down-ticket” races—i.e., races for State legislatures and local councils and assemblies as a way of building up the Party throughout the country, rather than just keeping her focus on her candidacy and her potential
On April 19th, I urge you to vote for Hillary Clinton.
My name is Liz Ritter, and I approved this message.
The writer is a community activist with an MBA in healthcare who has worked in electoral politics, government, and civic engagement for more than 40 years.