I am not a political person; I am however a people person. I grew up in a middle-class home where morality, decency, and integrity were instilled in me since before I could walk. I was shown that everyone deserves the same respect no matter the race, gender, sexual preference or financial status.

My father and mother were proud Auburn natives. My father was a well-respected and beloved detective who wore the uniform with pride and treated everyone he met the same.

I left Auburn to pursue a successful international modeling career, traveling and living in Europe for two decades. I was immersed in other cultures and exposed to many different ways of life, both privileged and poverty. Traveling opened my eyes to diversity and acceptance. There was a time when being American oversees was enviable, and carried an enormous sense of pride. Not so much today, there is so much hate, and division. Our country has never been so ridiculed and filled with hatred. The LGBTQ community, seniors, women, blacks, poor, homeless and disabled are being mocked and ridiculed, literally cast side.

What happened to humanity?

I returned to The Finger Lakes after thirty years with a much broader and a better-informed view of humanity. We can no longer afford to put on blinders, to not reach out and help our neighbors against injustice and ignorance.

Living with a mental health diagnosis has made me a staunch advocate for mental illness, common sense gun safety measures like universal background checks, and health care that’s affordable for all. That is our god given right, and no one should be denied healthcare in this country.

Immigrants should be welcomed, not ripped from their mother’s arms. Standing with all sexual abuse survivors, the appointment of Judge Kavanaugh disgusts me. The misogynistic, male privileged culture and the one percent who are running this country do not care about you, or me.

That Trump would openly mock Dr. Ford, who came forward out of great personal sacrifice, is disgraceful. That he would mimic a disabled person on TV makes me ashamed of him, and angry. I am ashamed of our country’s trajectory.

We are no longer great, make no mistake, the world is laughing at us.

So I say bravo and thank you to Dana Balter, running for Congress, and every woman in every community who is stepping up, and standing up.

I have learned the majority of us want the same things. A safe and honorable life with food on the table, and one we can provide for our families.

As an author, activist, feminist, mental health advocate, woman, and humanist, who will use her voice loudly. I believe deeply that justice, equality for all and peace are worth fighting for. I stand behind Dana Balter because we need competent, strong and effective women who understand people over politics, and the desperate need to take back our country.

After the disastrous 2016 election, I sobbed and sobbed. Then I got angry. And, then I got informed and engaged. How can we stand by a President and administration that does not care about the middle class or the poor, who is a bully and unfit to run this country? Today, I’m getting back to my grassroots, my community and taking action. I’m standing beside those brave enough to stand up for us all.

“The people I love, the country I love, the values I love are all being threatened and I cannot stand idly by.”Dana Balter

“What you’re seeing is just this harmonic convergence where women are running, women are volunteering in campaigns, women are making record numbers of contributions,” said Celinda Lake, Democratic pollster. “And women are voting for Democrats, especially women Democrats.” NPR

ON #BLACKFRIDAYS, WE TURN OUR RAGE INTO CHANGE.

“Let’s stay awake. Let’s give them hell. Let’s rise up and fight for us, and for our children. For everyone’s children.” – Glennon Doyle

Photo Credit: eylerwerve Flickr via Compfight cc

Jacqueline Cioffa

A retired, international model, and celebrity makeup artist. Co-Author of Model Citi Zen, the guide. Founder of http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com/. Author of numerous prose pieces in various literary magazines. Most recently published in Little Episodes Brainstorms the anthology, among esteemed artists Sadie Frost, Melvin Burgess and Todd Swift.

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