What I Know

Like you, I woke up today after going to bed at 2am with fear, revulsion and a stomach ache that won’t go away.

My progressive sisters across the country texted me all last night, including my wise daughter. These souls were my lifelines as we watched our country succumb to hate and bigotry. My husband & I talked of leaving the country, even our state, after Missouri went bright blistery red with the NRA/anti-woman sentiment ensconced now in every branch of our state government.

But then I realized that he & I will probably be ok. Our immediate lives won’t change much. But how on earth can I go back to Jefferson City in January to work with these hateful people?

In despair I read posts from my friends & mentors – Denise Lieberman who wrote, “No words. More determined than ever.” Inspiring words from Professor Jason Purnell, who is an eloquent master of hope. And then a lightbulb moment.

I haven’t been working for social justice just for me. I work for you.

It is not all horrendous. Good people across the country were elected, including my progressive GOP friend, Barbara Bollier to the Kansas State Senate, who cares as deeply about gun violence and reproductive rights as I do. A Facebook group of mostly progressive women, Pantsuit Nation ballooned to over 3 million in the last few weeks and is still exploding. People are writing me for next steps, encouraging my leadership, reaching out for answers. As a legislator, I work for you, not for me.

I realized this after a long hot shower.

More kids are going to be shot & killed. More women are going to be attacked on all levels even more openly. Voter rights STILL need to be protected. Sexism, racism, bigotry, homophobia, anti-semitism all need to be fought against on a much heightened level.

The fight doesn’t end. In my total disgust, I’m hearing those in the past quietly whisper, “keep moving.”

So I decided this morning to finally get out of bed.

I’m taking your passion, encouragement and wise words and putting them back into my pocket. Putting on my hot pink oxfords which give me magic powers. Do what I know how to do. Going to fight with all the strength I have.

Please join me.

State Rep. Stacey Newman