It is hard to believe that the election is just a week away.
The energy out there is remarkable. I just got back from Florida where we held “Early Vote for Change” events across the state to spread the word about voting early - close to one million people have already voted in the state.
But I see this energy everywhere I go – in Missouri, Iowa, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, you name it. People are voting early and men and women who have never been involved in politics are getting involved.
It is difficult to remember a time when there was so much enthusiasm around an election. It makes sense. This is the most important election of my lifetime but I can tell you, Joe’s mother who is 91 years old says this is the most important election of her lifetime.
It is clear people know we need change but they also believe that if Barack Obama and Joe Biden get elected, we will actually be able to change America.
Every day in my classroom, I see how high the stakes are. I’ve been an educator for 27 years. Teaching is my life’s work, my passion. I’m still teaching four days a week at a community college in Delaware.
My students are my heroes. Most of them already have jobs, but they’re going to school in hopes of getting better jobs. And some of them already have kids. More than ever before, I see how Bush’s failed policies have made things harder for them.
A few weeks ago, when I asked one of my students where his homework was, he told me he could not buy the book he needed because he had not hit payday yet. I have students who cannot drive back to campus for extra help because they can’t afford the gas to make the trip. One of my students is dropping out of school because his father has been diagnosed with cancer, and I recently got a call from his aunt. She asked me if there were any scholarships, any other means available, to help him pay for tuition and stay in school. He is not the only student I know who will not be back next semester because there is no money for tuition.
There is nothing more heart-breaking than seeing a student who wants to learn leave school because he or she does not have the money to pay for it. That should not happen in America.
It is not just my students who are having trouble. Everywhere I go I hear stories from people who have been negatively affected by the last eight years - single moms having difficulty managing during this tumultuous economic period, teachers struggling to provide their students with the attention they deserve, seniors being forced to choose between paying for medication and the electric bill.
Barack and Joe will help my students and the many people I have met on the campaign trail. They will strengthen the economy, create jobs and get women equal pay for equal work. They will make health care affordable and accessible. They will improve our education system and make sure that men and women who want to go to college will be able to do so. And they will implement an energy policy that decreases our dependence on foreign oil.
They will also end the war in Iraq responsibly and bring our troops home. I have heard so many stories from people who have family members fighting in the war. This is an issue that has always been important to me, but it is on my mind even more now that our son Beau, who is in the Delaware Army National Guard, has been deployed. Every morning I wake up and pray that he will come home safely.
If you want to change America, please join us. This election is too important to sit on the sidelines. We need you to canvass, make phone calls, be a poll watcher. We need you to convince anyone you know who is still undecided.
Electing Barack Obama and Joe Biden the next President and Vice President of the United States will be a victory for all of us.
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