Sreeizzle2012 is ranked #24 of 111
Young Maryland Progressive, Community Activist, Cancer Research Fundraiser, Medical Student, Baltimore Ravens Fan, Pianist, and Singer
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My political story
Throughout my years of volunteering at Maryland hospitals, I learned how the current for-profit health care system, comprised of corporate health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, has created immeasurable barriers for patients and physicians. Patients, for example, had to worry about expensive prescription drug costs and whether they would get necessary procedures needed to live well. Those procedures were at the mercy of insurance companies putting profits over lives and health. Physicians meanwhile had to worry about am extremely important role as part of their career: being the number one patient's advocate. If insurance companies were not in the way, they would easily be able to care for their patients. Ultimately, the big picture of the medical industry, big money, and politicians started falling into place for me. My father, who was insightful about how politics and society worked, always emphasized that the rich always find ways to keep things the same with everyone else struggling. It made a lot of sense. Universal Health Care bills died under each democratic president because of the influence of the medical insurance industry and drug industry. Republican presidents of course never believed in Universal Health Care. However, progress (such as Medicare) happened under Democratic Presidents over time. In 2007, I believed in Barack Obama's ability to inspire young people to fight for a better world. He believed in my future where patients would not have to suffer from terrible health or medical bankruptcy because of a corrupt business desire. He believed in putting physicians in charge of health care and making sure their profession (and my future role in it) is respected. I wanted to play a role in making him President and being a part of the fight in universal health care. Therefore, I tried to find a way to get involved in the campaign. Given that I used the internet often, I had a feeling there was a website named Barackobama.com. I was correct. Upon opening the website, I was impressed at how Barack Obama was connecting people from all walks of life on the blog to talk about their plans to knock on doors, spread the truth, let people share their stories, plan events, and phonebank. I met many young people who shared the same beliefs, hopes, and sense of community as I did. We were all in this together to fight for a better world for our generation. We felt proud on election night hearing that Barack Obama won. However, we knew that was not the end point. I was more empowered as a freshman at undergraduate school to extend my community activist involvement with college students (who are typically apolitical) to push for the health care law, raise awareness of the for-profit system's effect on young people, and fight for cancer research funding (something the drug industry is obviously against for obvious reasons). I regularly participated at my college's relay for life to raise the research funds. I have worked to raise awareness of youth cancer (starting with a facebook group after my leadership camp finished). I did an important job of connecting survivors with each other and encouraging them to tell their stories to college groups lobbying for health care reform (HCR) and raising awareness. They were key voices that needed to be heard in the HCR debate. Ultimately, HCR was signed by President Obama. Ever since, I have been active in defending the health care law and spreading the progressive truth to other people. Dailykos has provided me a platform to do that.
Why I deserve a Netroots Nation Scholarship
This year and scholarship is my best chance to go to Netroots Nation. I will be busy with medical school starting in August. Most importantly, I want to grow as an activist and broaden my activism nationally. I was able to make a difference locally through college, volunteering at hospitals, and free clinics. Netroots Nation is the ideal next step and place to grow and learn with new people. They will provide me with new opportunities and challenges. I will make new friends and allies. I will inspire them while they teach me a lot. I have already inspired people on dailykos, Obama campaign volunteers, and people suffering the wrath of the insurance industry.
What first inspired me to get involved
Barack Obama inspired me to use online tools to be active in community. Also, the connections between health care, insurance profit corruption, and my future role as a physician were important in getting me involved in politics/blogging.
The blog post I am most proud of
The Dailykos blogpost entitled "Some Shocking Obamacares Facts". I felt that Obamacare was way underappreciated and I cared so much for progressive values needing to be mainstreamed such that I wrote a fact-filled diary. It inspired many others to sell the law, something the administration was failing to do.
More about my political involvement
I am not an active DFA member. I have volunteered in the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns. I am an active kossack. I meet with Maryland Kossacks monthly to stay active in local politics. I also specifically involve myself at a free clinic that tends to the uninsured Hispanic population. I have learned a great deal about how medicine creates huge barriers against Hispanics. I am working to break them down. I hope to meet with Latino activists at NN2013 to connect more with this underserved community. It will help me in me in medical school and as a physician.
How I've gotten others involved
I have used dailykos to host progressive blogger meetups in Maryland, and inspired a kossack named JamieG from MD to be optimistic about politics and bring people together to fight for a more sane country and world. My most rec'ed diary called "Some shocking Obamacares facts" inspired others to sell Obamacare through twitter (237 tweets), facebook (5,300 likes), and have a great discussion about the future of health care activism post-Obamacare.
Why I think participation in the netroots is important
Online tools and youth are the future obviously. The future is ours. Online media connects people who have been shut out and hammered by big money corruption. Online media gives us the tools to fight for a better world.
My Twitter manifesto on online activism
We live in a very small world. Online media is proof of that. It also emphasizes that we are in this together.
If I could design a bumper sticker it would say:
Patients and Money do not mix well!
My wild idea for a cool new action
Dress up as medical color (red and white) coffins with dollar bills engrained in the coffins at politician offices to highlight people who have died because of the money driven insurance industry. It could get people passionate about medicare-for-all. Obamacare is not the end point. Even with Vermont getting medicare-for-all, the other states will still be a huge challenge.
I am a