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A Response To Angry Readers

A response to angry readers and why I blog on the Patch.

 

There have been a lot of angry comments on my blogs inquiring about who I am, “who pays my way”, and why I blog on the Patch. I decided that it would be appropriate to shed light on some of these concerns.

First some background information. I come from a working class family. My father was a blue collar construction worker; my mother sacrificed and dedicated her life to raising me and my younger brother by being a stay at home mom (which I believe is way more than a full time job!). Importantly, my humble and devoted parents taught me the important lesson; to not only live within your means but below them.  Neither of my parents nor relatives are active in any political organizations or committees. I happened upon politics by looking to make my community better.

I went to SUNY Albany on a partial academic scholarship, received a private scholarship, and took out Stafford loans to pay for the rest. I worked in retail throughout college, both in Albany during the school year and back in Rockland when I returned.  I also am first generation college educated.

After an internship at the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and graduating Cum Laude with a double major in English Honors ( I wrote an undergraduate honors thesis) and Women’s Studies, I joined the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Program in Westchester County. I earned a small stipend, I think around $9,000 for the year, and was awarded a little under $2,000 to go towards my student loans. During my time in AmeriCorps, I learned how to write grants and received successful funding for numerous programs targeted to help youth and homeless people. After the year ended, I applied for jobs in Rockland and was hired by a local nonprofit. About a year into that job, I joined the Young Democrats, and rose up the ranks. See being involved in politics did not get me a job, my hard work and determination did.

While working full time, I attend graduate school part time at Marist College. This December, I will be graduating with a Masters Degree in Public Administration.  I currently have a 3.973 GPA. Ironically, the only class that I didn’t earn in an “A” in was Politics and Policy which I achieved a grade of “A-”.  Again, I received a small academic scholarship and used savings and loans to pay for the rest. Fortunately, I was eligible to finance my education through interest subsidized Stafford Loans.

And yes, I will be traveling, as a delegate, to the Democratic National Convention but there is no nefarious deal that has afforded me the ability to do so. When I found out a couple months ago that I would be a delegate, I started to budget. I shopped around and found the lowest cost flight available. While in Charlotte, I am staying with other young Democrats to offset the cost of the hotel room. The week that I will be out of work will be taken as vacation time, something I believe most of us have in our jobs. So to answer one reader’s question, I, me Joe, am paying my way.

So why do I blog on the Patch?

As Audre Lorde said, “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”

I know that there are some of you that “misunderstand” “or look to “bruise” my words. That is fine. I know I’m not going to change your minds. What I do know is that there is a silent majority who are more progressive than you think. Since starting my blog, I have received Facebook messages and comments from strangers thanking me for sharing my perspective.  

Second, I am comfortable speaking my truth and I decided to share my opinions with my community in this forum. I stand by and choose my words carefully. And I do have an agenda (as I think most of you do as well). To reacquaint yourselves to my agenda please see a past blog post:

And most importantly, I write for those who are intimidated by the vitriol that comes from the conservative right, those who are forced to be silent, and those who are harmed and oppressed by the (neo) conservative policies and beliefs I oppose.  

So contrary to what conspiracies are out there, I am not wealthy, do not have PhD and am not bought by any political party or person. I am a caring, working class, young professional who is trying to make our world a little better.

Be on the look out for my next post, which I hope to write while I am at the DNC next week. And thanks for reading!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mike August 31, 2012 at 03:24 PM
@laurel- "why does there only have to be one truth". Wow. Maybe we should just say there is no truth and anything and everything goes. Your philsophy appears to be that there is no good or bad, only do what is right for you. Dont you see the danger in this philsophy? There are ultimate truths, there is good and bad. The fact that you take a moral relative approach does not change this fact. In fact, the moral relatvism of today actaully makes the world a much more dangeous place.
Laurel Salmon August 31, 2012 at 07:06 PM
@Mike I assumed that this was implied by the context of the comment but I will explain it further. When someone is describing "their truth" they are talking about their personal experience in life. My "philosophy" is that different people have different experiences that impact how they see the world. They can all be valid (hence different "truths") because unless you have actually walked in another person's skin, you do not know how the world treats them. What I believe is making this world more dangerous is the idea that as soon as people begin to voice that they feel marginalized, they are told that their experience is invalid. My philosophy is that I am not in a position to tell someone that I am such an expert on their life experience that I know better than them whether or not they were treated fairly,
Robert Smith September 01, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Wrong again Mike. Here is the full context of that speech "If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that," he continued. "Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don't do on our own." Clearly when he said if you have a business you didn't build that he was talking about the roads and bridges he had just mentioned in the previous sentence and the internet which he mentioned in the following sentence. You most likely never saw the full context and I don't blame you because no media outlet accurately reported it, but here it is for you in black and white
Mike September 01, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Can you ask Mr. Obama if he will stick to his words that he said to Matt Lauer back in Feb 2009. He said if he did not improve the economy within his first term, then he should only be a one term POTUS. Well, the economy is actually worse today than 4 years ago. So since you will be at DNC next week, please have Lowey or Gilebrand or one of your other Dem politicians friends ask the POTUS does he still stand by his wn words?
Watchdog September 02, 2012 at 02:48 AM
SEE "2016 Obamas America" in theaters now....m ake up your own mind.

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