By Ayo Maat, Ph.D.
Applicant for Delegate position with Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders
49th Ward, 29th Precinct, 9th Congressional District – IL
September 7, 2015 – Updated 11-14-2015
In considering applying to be a delegate to the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I had to examine my life and the principles for which I stand, the cost in time and commitment, and his platform.
I am a female civil rights advocate who works in human rights activism for three major demographics: persons who are disabled, seniors and persons of African (sic) descent. I do minor activism in green technology, healing through spiritual means and removing toxic foods and chemicals from our food supply. I support digital technology, nanotechnology and green technology to better the lives of all people with safeguards to ensure that no electromagnetic fields are lowering our quality of life.
I have lived in this cycle 67 years. I have three adult children who have disabilities, often hidden. Mine are not. I use a wheelchair. I have lived in the 9th Congressional District of IL since 1981, first in Uptown, then Edgewater and now Rogers Park since June 1989. I vote. I encourage others to vote.
I desire to be a delegate to represent and bring to the campaign experience in organizing that takes account of and is inclusive of persons who are disabled, ordinary or common people who want the humane put back in human services, and people in government who serve, protect the rights of, and engage people in government that is of, by and for them.
November 13, 2015, I received good news that I was on the petition to run as a delegate. Hallelujah, but the work of getting on the ballot and getting selected to the national convention (DNC) is just beginning even as we continue to pass petitions to get Bernie on the primary ballot and win caucuses in Iowa.
I am one of the busiest people in my community who is not always in front of the cameras, but I certainly have a hands-on, behind the scenes approach as a planner and strategist. I am the founder, president and CEO of the Black Network in Children’s Emotional Health aka BNICEH (“be nicer”) since March 1992 and the Independent Movement of Paratransit Riders for Unity, Vehicles, Equality aka IMPRUVE since Feb. 2000.
Since 2008, I have run the Green Think Tank for the Disability Community. In 2009-2010, I established the National Paratransit People’s Movement Assembly.
I have online contacts from the west coast to the east coast, the Midwest and the South. I am on social media writing and moderating blogs and I am the webmaster for IMPRUVE’s website.
Besides IMPRUVE, BNICEH and the Green Think Tank…, I am a member of ADAPT, Access Living, and Alliance for Community Services. I am the former and only female president of the Systems Programmers Society, and a former CAN-TV producer. I have written and edited books for two publishers. I have written for the National Alliance, and two local papers, Lerner News and the Chicago Defender.
I have experience as a project manager in a computer environment and in nonprofit business environments. I have worked as a senior programmer analyst. I am a visual artist.
I have served on the Executive Committee of the William Dock Walls Campaigns for governor of Illinois and Mayor of Chicago. I helped him develop his disability platform.
I have served on the 49th Ward Green Corps and 1Sky. I planned the Clean Energy rally on the Federal Plaza 5-7 years ago that brought together environmentalists from across the state and consumers. I have lectured as a nutritional educator and proponent of reducing carbon emissions.
I have received organizing training as a fellow of the Advocacy Institute in Washington D.C., which was run by former FTC chairman Mike Pertschuk with Kathleen Sheekey and former leader of Common Ground David Cohen. I have also received organizing training from The Hope Leadership Institute in Chicago, and Minnesota-based Wellstone Action, which provided political education and organizing with 1Sky on climate change and clean energy.
As a person who is an independent thinker, I am no longer a card-carrying Democrat nor Green Party member, though I vote in the Democratic primary. My political ideology is to support individuals who resonate with the people who resonate with freedom, social responsibility, and democracy that does not require billionaires that invest in greed and survival of the fittest and wealthiest. This type of democracy would not tolerate or choose human war machines when peace is possible, neither White supremacists nor corporate polluters to serve in high government positions. It would reconfigure any judicial system that is composed of justices too politically influenced by donors or parties or that is out of touch with diversity and youth to render fair decisions and mercy, when appropriate in serving up justice to disillusioned, hungry, miseducated, angry or abused prisoners of the county jail and prison industrial complex where rehabilitation is not a first, second nor last thought. It is nonexistent.
I have desired to see someone in the White House and Congress other than elite members of the Queen’s bloodline or the inheritors of political seats, and purveyors of absolute wealth made off the sweat of: people who live on the fringes, not having enough basic essentials; people who face inadequate housing and employment opportunities; people who wonder just who in government still cares about the Common Good of the people; people who have not become any more prosperous despite decades of working; and people who cannot shop or thrive in good health in their neighborhood, because it is a food desert or depository for chem trails, genetically modified foods, garbage, and chemical products.
I have thought that a woman should be our next president ever since Cynthia McKinney ran on the Green ticket and I listened to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. However, Warren is not running. Bernie is.
In reading the platform of Bernie Sanders and seeing that he discerns the needs of the many, I see a man who stands for the common good of the people and an America that reflects the values of a true democracy. I see a man who can win elections and the heart of the people, a man who can run this nation as effective a leader of the “free world” as he was as a mayor and is as a senator. I believe he is the answer to young people and people of African descent who have been disenfranchised by a government for the corporate elite and BIG MONEY. I see him as one who comprehends people who strive to lift themselves out of poverty and move up to middle class or higher, and former inmates who strive to find affordable housing and living wage jobs without penalty for already serving time behind walls of injustice. He is also the answer to beginning the repair of damage done by government and police who have forgotten their duty to serve and protect as opposed to shoot to kill unarmed people.
I can organize to bring to his campaign, members of the disability, African descent, green, and social progressive communities. Ladies and gentlemen, I am Maat, I’m in for Bernie, Not the Billionaires, and Maat brings Truth, justice and order to chaos as she balances the scales.
Do not forget the people who are disabled. We are diverse. We are not only military vets nor persons that some billionaires say are using up resources. And we have skills and experiences that can be used to change the face and reputation of America from one of shame and draconian law to one of economic and social justice.
I would love to be a delegate for Bernie at the DNC. However, if I am not chosen as a delegate, I pray that you consider someone else who represents the Black community a.k.a people of African descent, the disability community or the diverse progressive community who can work with Bernie to repair America and its reputation. I represent all three of these communities plus women, parents, community-oriented activists, leaders in the nonprofit world, the low income community of degreed and non-degreed unemployed or underemployed persons who have retired from corporate America, but not Life, or who want meaningful work.
Thanks for the invitation and the opportunity to win with Bernie and put the Democrats back in place in Congress as what the Party was meant to be, with a leader in the White House who represents the real freedoms that America stood for as the seat of the I AM Race (just rearrange the letters in America}. I AM clear that the real government lies on the shoulders of those who stand for Principle and I AM expecting principled people to take a stand Now.
Love and Peace,
Maat (I AM committed to bring order to chaos)
(pronounced with 2 syllables as in the original Kemetic language of the land renamed Egypt, Ma as in Mama and ott as in otter)
# # #