Believe Me, Believer Her

I was hoping to be more active in writing posts during this election season, but being busy with my life got in the way.  I wanted to post more about my thoughts in response to the news that comes out of the Presidential campaign and the rhetoric that I am seeing on Twitter.  I have to respond to what I am seeing today, because its making me so disheartened.

Last night, two women, and then a 3rd (reporter), came out to the media. They disclosed their personal stories of being sexually assaulted by Donald Trump.  It was no shock to me that he immediately threatened to sue the New York Times, and even less of a shock that he’s telling people to “just look at her”. Of course he is going to threaten the press for publishing an account of someone standing up to him for his attacks against their person.  Of course he is going to shame the women he assaulted and claim that he wouldn’t do what they are saying, because they aren’t attractive enough.  I say of course, because his behavior is exactly what our Vice President, Joe Biden labeled it.  It is the definition of sexual assault and that of a sexual predator.

This hits home for me, because I have been raped and I’ve been assaulted more than once in my life.  Donald Trump would probably laugh at me saying this publicly.  He’d probably say “Just look at her”.  It’s his m/o. I’m over-weight. I’m unattractive. I’ve got nothing to offer.  Reduce me to rubble, and maybe I’ll stop having the confidence to speak up.  That’s what he wants to do to these incredibly brave women who are speaking up. He claims that if these incidents really happened, they would have spoken up at the time.

I’m writing this to tell you that’s bullshit.  When a woman (or a man) is sexually assaulted, it is a violation of power.  Asserting power over someone else.  That’s why it is predatory.  After that, victims are often threatened if they speak out.  In my case, it was a family member, a shrink, a “roommate”, a college hook-up (separate incidents of different degrees of assault).  I can’t imagine it being a boss.  I can’t imagine it being someone who is richer and more powerful, who can strong arm people and can just get what they want.  Talk about intimidation.  He is using his power to intimate women and it looks like he has a long history of doing this.

As for his own remarks about owning beauty pageants, so that he can “do whatever he wants”, this kind of thinking is not original or unique.  From everything I have seen, from my woman eyes, there are men who behave in ways that are sexually predatory. When frat parties are planned to separate girls from their friends and push alcohol and/or drugs on girls so they are more “pliable”.  When men corner women, making moves to get them alone, where they will have power and privacy to assault them. When men use their power to insist that “beautiful” women surround them and fawn over them.

All of this feels like it is a distraction from this election, but it is a huge part of it.  I know the graphics that came out this week, about if only women voted vs if only men voted.  It was literally a she wins vs he wins scenario.  Of course those graphics resulted in Trump supporters trending a hashtag for a call to repeal the 19th amendment. Can you imagine anything more horrendous to our democracy than repealing a woman’s right to vote? I feel pretty confident that will never happen, but something tells me a lot of Germans didn’t think Hitler would really kill millions of people.

I keep seeing polls going up and down, for Hillary and then for Trump, although less going up for him these days.  What worries me, is that the polls can be skewed.  They, for one, generally poll likely voters.  This election is definitely going to have a lot of unlikely voters, and they will make the polls look like lunacy, by the end of the day.  My hope is that people actually show up to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton.  These polls also focus a lot on undecideds who then decide. I don’t get the rationale of having to think hard between the choice of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but c’est la vie.

Just as many of the endorsements for her have said, it’s not just because her opponent is so abhorrent. I was originally a Bernie Sanders supporter.  I also vowed to support the nominee, and I clung to my Sanders campaign support til the nomination happened.  Once it did, I gladly welcomed Hillary Clinton as the nominee.

The reality of any election is that you will likely never find a candidate that has everything you want your representative to have.  They will never agree with you on every issue.  But at the same time, we have the candidates in each election cycle, that we have earned.  In most election years, turnout is around 50%, even less in local election years.  That is of registered voters.  Many people who are eligible to be registered, don’t even bother to register.  I worked at the Board of Elections, and we did an experiment (unofficial) to time how long it took to fill out the registration form.  We must have done the test at least 10 times, filling out all information and taking our time.  It was an average of 1:30 minutes to fill it out, yet people can’t be bothered to do that, or show up 1 day (2 if there is a primary) to vote.  Talk about patriotism.  If you really looked at how many eligible citizens voted in local elections, you probably wouldn’t have 20%, which is considered a quorum.

With Hillary Clinton, she is more conservative, than what I look for in a candidate.  I am a left wing liberal.  I want to rescue the Chibok girls and help Haiti recover from the Hurricane.  I want to kneel with Kaepernick and stand side by side with #BlackLivesMatter.  I also recognize that there are many different issues that we face as a country.  These are complex issues, which sometimes intersect and sometimes don’t.  From international affairs (a big over-simplified bucket), education, infrastructure, security, health care, national debt, etc.

What really strikes me is the blind hate for Hillary Clinton.  I feel like it started when Bill Clinton ran for President in 1992.  I was only 14 at the time, so excuse me not fully recalling that time in my youth.  But I do remember that she wasn’t a demure wife. She was her own woman.  She was a lawyer, educated, and had her own opinion.  She was Bill Clinton’s equal, not his wife in the wings.  She broke a glass ceiling when she became the first lady, but didn’t act like a lady who’s job it was to just stand behind her husband and agree with his every word.  She had her own ambitions.  Yikes.  Ambitions.  How dare she!

I really think you could do an exercise in hypocrisy for everyone who is bent on never giving her a chance.  Take her resume.  Her work before being elected to Senate (leave out first lady, as that will be a dead give away).  Her votes in Senate. Not just on Iraq, but all the others.  Her work as Secretary of State.  If you take away her gender and her name, conservative Republicans would love that guy.  They’d be rallying around their golden child and Trump would have never been given this misguided spotlight.

I’d like to say I’m glad he’s been thrust into the spotlight, because it has shined a light on sexual predators and sexual assault.  I have to wait until November 9th to say that.  I have to wait until I have double confirmation, that Hillary Clinton is our next President.

I am excited to vote for her.  I’m thrilled to finally have a female President.  We have taken forever getting here. I’m giving her this term to see what she can do with this opportunity.  Can she help make $15 minimum wage a reality for all of those trying to live on minimum wage?  Can she really get our educational system to make college affordable to everyone, and not something that only happens if you have enough money, or take out enough loans?  Can she move our country towards renewable energy, in the speed that we need to, to combat climate change?  Can she stop DAPL?  Can she and will she ban fracking?  Can she and will she support organic farming and demand that products with GMO pesticides be labeled?  These are things I want, but believe me, I wouldn’t think for a minute not voting for her.

Even if she can’t get that stuff done, she is incredibly qualified to be our President, and none of the other candidates are remotely qualified for the office.  Hillary Clinton has had more mud slung at her in the last 30 years, than a pig at a trough.  Ok, that was bad.  Tried to come up with a new one, but my wit failed me.

I think she will preserve our Democracy, nominate good qualified candidates for SCOTUS, and keep us going in the direction of lowering unemployment, boosting the economy and strengthening our middle class.  I do believe she does champion the issues facing the lower/poorest class in our country.  Those who are not able to make it even pay check to pay check.  They rely on government assistance and social programs.  They deal with attacks that they are free loading, even though they literally have no other options. She has a history of working to represent the interests of the poorest of our citizens, and to look for solutions meant to empower and support all of our citizens.

So there it is.  My ramblings on what has been going on in the news this week, this Presidential election, and how I feel about it all.

For Freddie Gray

I want justice, for Freddie Gray.

I don’t think radicalized is the word I would use, to describe Baltimore. (http://www.newyorker.com/news/benjamin-wallace-wells/what-have-the-freddie-gray-trials-achieved) Baltimore seems to be a city at an epi-center of what I would say are polarized communities across America. I say polarized, because there are divides in the community. I don’t know if this is the reality for people in Baltimore, but that is how the media is portraying it.

I want justice, for Freddie’s Gray.

I want my fellow citizens to have equal protection by the police who bravely serve our communities. I want the police who serve our communities, and pledge to protect all citizens, to do so with such vigilance, that they hold their fellow officers to the same. I want to hold my fellow citizens to the standard we all strive for, and to stand for our rights together. I want elected officials, appointed judiciaries, and officers of our armed forces to protect and represent all of us. That is the true American Dream, for me,

I want justice, for Freddie Gray.
I want equality for ALL my fellow citizens.

Bet On It! Good Run Cocktail Party is On!

Good Run Cocktail Party

Silent Auction

Wine Tasting from Casa Larga

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Come support Angels of Mercy in the fight against human trafficking!

  • Bid on items from local businesses
  • Taste wine from local winery
  • Learn about trafficking and how you can help fight for those caught in a form of modern day slavery

When: Wednesday September 16, 2015

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Where: Good Luck Restaurant

Tickets: $15

http://www.goodruncocktail.eventbrite.com/

Get ready to bid on great items from local businesses!

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Why are You Supporting this Cause? Why Should Others Care?

I joined the Angels of Mercy committee, to plan their annual run/walk to fight human trafficking, this year. After some of the meetings, I had been thinking of how to help spread the word for their event and to help raise funds for their cause. So I had the idea to host a cocktail party. Since getting the ball rolling, I have been met with the greatest support from the Rochester community. The excellent staff and owners of Good Luck Restaurant opened up their place for me to host the event. Numerous businesses donated gifts for a silent auction. Organizations allowed me to post the event on their sites, and spread the word to their members.

Despite all this, I have only been able to sell 9 tickets to the fundraiser, and am in danger of having to cancel or postpone the event. In hindsight, I set the ticket price too high, but I was covering costs of the event itself. Still, I should have made a choice between exposure vs fundraising. I should have gone for exposure. The reason I am putting this out there, is because if I can’t sell the tickets, I can’t raise the money. I can still shoot for exposure. One of the questions asked in a request for a business donation, such as for the silent auction, is to explain the cause. It is a question I have been asked a lot in recent months. What is the cause you are supporting? Why are you supporting this cause? Why should others care?

Human trafficking is not something that is easy to talk about. The most common sense I get from people is the thought that human trafficking is really sex trafficking and boils down to under-age prostitution. It’s a touchy subject that is hard to get people to discuss. The catch-22 is that human trafficking thrives on people not paying attention. Since I have this very small microphone and really want to get the word out, I thought I would take a moment to share what I have learned about human trafficking.

Human trafficking can often take the shape of forced labor. Selling a human being and forcing them into any kind of slave labor, is human trafficking. It is the slavery of today. It is illegal, but incredibly difficult to prevent. Forced labor practices have been reported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to generate profits of $150 billion a year (http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_243201/lang–en/index.htm).  The ILO also estimates that there are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, including 5.5 million children. 55% are women and girls (https://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/overview).

But how is this relatable to people in the Rochester, NY community? These facts are staggering, but they aren’t exactly tangible to the immediate concerns of our area. In February of this year, it was announced that 7 men and women in the Rochester area were in custody, after a human trafficking bust in our city. 9 victims were rescued, 7 of whom were minors (http://www.twcnews.com/nys/buffalo/news/2015/02/18/rochester-human-trafficking-ring.html). These are someone’s daughters, sisters, cousins. They were missing, taken and forced into a nightmare. Many have heard the stories. A teenager gets an offer for a modeling shoot, or audition, and is flown to a big city. When they get there, they are forced into a van and never seen again, except by those buying and selling them. Other stories take place in developing countries. They shape of parents selling their child, because they are in debt and have no other options. The problem is that the debt is never settled and the child is forced into servitude with no end in sight.

Angels of Mercy is hosting their 3rd annual run/walk to fight trafficking on August 29th, 2015 (https://runsignup.com/Race/NY/Rochester/StoptheTraffickingEndtheCycleRunWalk) . You can register as an individual or with a team. Their goal is to fund a home for healing in the Rochester area. We do have trafficking here, and as we find the ones being held against their will, we need to have a place for them to heal. We need to provide crisis services for survivors and those seeking help. Angels of Mercy is working toward that goal, and I am with them in the fight. For more information on trafficking, and how educating girls is a direct combatant to this epidemic, I recommend the documentary Girl Rising (http://girlrising.com/).

Since I have a small window left to get ticket sales up (ie now is the time), I will still encourage everyone to reserve a ticket (or more) for the cocktail party I am hosting at Good Luck Restaurant, next Monday August 10th, 2015. Proceeds go directly to Angels of Mercy Run/Walk to fund a home for healing and crisis services for survivors and those in need. We will have information about trafficking available, a silent auction, and some clips from the Girl Rising documentary. Attendees can also register for the run/walk and find out more about how to get involved in this cause. http://www.GoodRunCocktail.EventBrite.com

Thank you,

Courtney Fay

Human trafficking is happening here in Rochester and Angels of Mercy needs your support

Please join us for A Good Run Cocktail Party on Monday, August 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Good Luck Restaurant for hors d’oeuvres and drinks (cash bar)

  • Hear stories about human trafficking busts in Rochester
  • Learn about the different types of human trafficking and ways to spot them
  • Bid on silent auction items from Good Luck, Del Monte Hotel, Black Button Distillery and more

100% of ticket profits support providing local services for women in need in the Rochester community.  You’ll also have the opportunity to sign up for the Angels of Mercy 5K run/walk on August 29 at Meridian Centre Park.

Time is running out to show your support. Purchase tickets on Eventbrite.com at www.goodruncocktail.eventbrite.com

A Good Menu is Set

 Get your tickets before we sell out
so you don’t miss these wonderful appetizers
by Good Luck Restaurant!

http://goodruncocktail.eventbrite.com/

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Appetizers

Charcuterie & Antipasto Station

 Bruschetta with Roasted Figs, Blue Cheese and Hazelnuts (v)

Lamb Meatballs with Feta and Mint Pesto

Crab Fritters with Remoulade

Margherita Pizza with San Marzano Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil (v)
winecheese

A Good Run Cocktail Party

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Visit this site often for updates on what promises to be a fantastic event for a great cause!

A Good Run Cocktail Party is a fundraiser aimed at supporting Angels of Mercy in raising funds and awareness about human trafficking.

Event will be held on August 10th, 2015 at Good Luck Restaurant.  Tickets can be purchased here:http://goodruncocktail.eventbrite.com/

Proceeds from this event will go directly to support the efforts of the Angels of Mercy 3rd Annual 5K run/walk.  Individuals and teams can register for the main event here:
https://runsignup.com/Race/NY/Rochester/StoptheTraffickingEndtheCycleRunWalk

This site will have new posts detailing the exciting additions we will be putting together to make this cocktail party one to remember, and one not to miss out on!

Only 175 tickets, so be sure to get yours today!
http://goodruncocktail.eventbrite.com/

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