One day, Alura DeFrancesco had a realization about how much politics impacts her life. She decided that day she would do everything that she can this year to help elect champions for working families up and down the ballot in Pennsylvania.
"I wanted to take control and make a change," said DeFrancesco.
As a direct support provider for Northwestern Human Services, DeFrancesco has been
an SEIU member for two years and credits her union for helping her understand the role that politics plays in her life and the life of her mother, stepfather and little sister.
"I think it is great that the union takes a political stand. If you stand for nothing, then
you'll fall for anything."
Once her eyes were opened, nothing could stand in her way. DeFrancesco has
participated in all four Member Political Organizer (MPO) deployment waves this year.
When she started she was green, an inexperienced but energetic member ready to do
the hard grassroots work that makes a difference on Election Day in close races. (And
there are plenty of close races SEIU members are involved in this year!) Now she is
proud to say she can persuade a vote on tough issues, she can convince someone why
they need to register to vote and turn out and she can call herself a political veteran.
From her experience in the field, it is clear to DeFrancesco what four more years of
President Obama will mean for working families like hers.
"I believe it will mean justice and equality," said DeFrancesco. "Everyone will have
access to good healthcare and people will be able to afford their lives. There will be
more jobs resulting in less people being on the streets and less people requiring welfare
assistance. And hopefully that will result in lower taxes. A win for Obama will mean
hope for a brighter future."
On the other side, an extremist right-wing, anti-worker, anti-middle class Romney-Ryan
administration will have a hugely negative impact on her future.
"To me, it means never being able to pay your bills AND put money aside," said
DeFrancesco. "It means choosing between getting gas to make it to work, or buying
groceries to feed your family. I believe there will be more people living on the streets
and personal debt will be at an all-time high."
Through it all, DeFrancesco has seen firsthand how people do take their vote
seriously and that America's democracy, what Alexis de Tocqueville called "the great
experiment," is still alive and well.
"I went to the home of an elderly woman. It was above 95 degrees out and she asked
me to come inside to cool down and she offered me water," said DeFrancesco. "It is
nice to know that people see the good work that we are doing and they appreciate it!"
- Get involved. Volunteer with our team: http://action.seiu.org/page/s/dayofaction