I remember the day that my mother told me not to tell others that we had to go to the church to get food. I remember that day because, in that moment, I learned to feel shame for being poor.

That sense of shame stayed with me when I watched a Repo Man seize my father’s car.

It stayed with me when the food we had gotten from my mother’s friend, meant for the animals she rescued — not for us — had gone bad, and made me sick. 

My mom even sold her wedding ring to earn just enough cash to keep us from losing our home and having nowhere to go.

Growing up, I helped my mother clean parking lots before classes during high school, and worked overnight shifts full-time at McDonalds to help buy groceries. I did it just to help make ends meet, and I still felt that shame.

My lived experiences are what bring me to Anna’s campaign. I’m here to help create a world where people don’t need to feel shame and struggle for food each day and night. I’m here to build a state where children don’t have to watch their families struggle and fight for something as basic as a roof over their heads. 

Anna is the candidate we can send to Tallahassee who has the compassion, conviction, courage, and strength to help the people who are helpless; she will lift up the powerless that have been ignored by our current government. Most importantly, she will ensure that love and strength lead the future, not greed and cowardice.

I am honored to be a part of Team Anna, and I don’t feel that old shame anymore. In deep contrast, I feel pride that we have found power in our pain, and I invite you to join us.