Who can forget Congressmen Joe Pitts and Bart Stupak ganging up to blackmail Democrats in 2009 and 2010, into removing all abortion provisions from the Affordable Care Act before Stupak was freed to vote yes on it? Aryanna Strader hasn't forgotten, and is challenging Pitts for his Congressional seat in Pennsylvania's newly redistricted and distinctly bluer 16th district.
Aryanna Strader is one of the most exciting candidates for Congress I've met. The youngest in a family of ten children, she served in the Middle East as an Army radio operator, started her own business, and still found time to get married, earn a Master's Degree and have two kids along the way. She's smart, passionate, an incredibly hard worker, and understands what it's like to scratch for every dime, all the time.
She learned at a very young age the meaning of hard work as she watched her mother labor as a waitress and her father who performed room maintenance and other odd jobs for local hotels.
Her family did their best while living well below the poverty line. With the assistance of local Churches, Food Stamps, and the National School Lunch Program, as well as receiving a public education – from Head Start through high school – Aryanna knew and appreciated the value of what her community provided.
Compare Aryanna to Joe Pitts, the man bought and paid for by corporate health care interests, a man who thinks selling Medicare to insurance companies and Social Security to Wall Street is absolutely wonderful.
In Aryanna's district, there is only one certainty: Joe Pitts is a dinosaur who should be consigned to history. Aryanna is the only Democrat challenging Pitts but she also has to fend off independent candidate John Murphy, who claims to have progressive values but has absolutely no problem characterizing Aryanna as "naive". Viva la patriarchy, Mr. Murphy. While he says he has similar values to Aryanna's, it's clear he doesn't have a lot of respect for women and that alone should disqualify him.
Aryanna Strader, at age 29, has already accumulated two lifetimes worth of milestones. If you know nothing else about her, know this: She knows how to set a goal and reach it. That's true of her life and it's true of her service.
Above all, Aryanna is a real fighter for women, and that alone makes her the perfect candidate to send Pitts packing.
I believe that all women should have the freedom to choose what is best for them and their families. We are witnessing new attacks on women’s reproductive freedoms, restrictions on care, and legislation forcing women to undergo procedures that would suggest that they “close their eyes”. The generations of women like my mom and those who came before me, fought for the freedom to choose and believed that these were settled matters. And now, unfortunately it is a fight that women of all ages must take up once again. I am prepared to lead that fight.
As a matter of family growth and financial security, we must also ensure that women in the workplace are on equal footing. During my service in the United States Army, I worked just as hard, pulled my own weight and went to war like all the other troops. And when I was promoted to an E4, I received an E4 pay; just like the male members of my unit. As a working mother of two, I will work as an advocate on behalf of women everywhere so they are treated fairly in their profession, and to set an example for my daughter, and my son.
Blue America is proud to endorse Aryanna and add her to our Blue America page. I know Aryanna will fight for working people in her district, and do everything she can to stop this insidious effort to shove women's rights back to the 19th century.
Help send Aryanna to Congress to undo some of the mess Joe Pitts has made.