Four years ago, I worked the Convention for the Senator from IL who was running to be the first African American president and who promised Hope and Change. Four years ago, I woke up very early to try to be the first in my NYC neighborhood to vote for Barack Obama. I, of course, was met with a very long line and was not even close to being in the first hundred even though I was up and in line much earlier than the doors would be. Four years ago, I boarded a train for Washington, DC to join my friends and colleagues, many of whom I had worked with four years previously on a failed campaign, to finally share in the victory of a president we could all believe in. Four years ago, I was filled with Hope and looked forward to Change. Not just in my own country that I love and admire, but also in the world. Four years ago, I burst with pride when my home state of Ohio went for Obama and we all knew then that we had just elected the next President of the US.
Four years have now past. Many things have changed and many people have become disheartened, disappointed and deflated. The hope and change that they had voted for seemed too small. Four years of hardships. I think too many of us have forgotten some of the very big ups:
- First thing Obama did on his first day was sign the Lily Ledbetter Bill, EQUAL PAY LAW :)
- Passage of Hate Crime Bill making it a Federal Crime to commit an assault based on sexual orientation
- Extend Government Sponsored Health Insurance for 4 million children
- Reform of College Student Loans
- Tripled size of America's Service Programs
- Rescue of Auto Industry and Cash for Clunkers increased auto sales
- Signing into law the Stimulus Bill-
- single largest tax cut ever
- largest investment in education ever
- largest investment in clean energy
- largest investment in infrastructure since Eisenhower
- Health Care Reform- after 100 years of trying to achieve comprehensive health reform
- Appointed two women to the Supreme Court Justices- including first Hispanic
- Star Treaty, cutting US and Russian nuclear arsenals by 1/3
- 911 Responders Health Bill
- Repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell
- All American Combat Troops out of Iraq, as promised
- Killed Osama Bin Laden
- Escalated economic sanctions on Iran to a degree never seen before
- Came out in favor of Marriage Equality and same-sex
- Immigration Reform- Stopped Deportation of kids who were here through no fault of own
- Stock Market Doubled
- Unemployment under 8%
- 32 month of private sector job growth
If you want to see more, go here for another list, this time of 50 accomplishments.
Whether you see the glass half full, half empty or this is the wrong glass entirely for you; I am proud to have cast a vote for President Obama four years ago and today*.
*Well, last week since I mailed in my ballot.