Joyce Johnson Aims to Unseat Veteran Charles Rangel
1 year ago
After 40 years in office, the Harlem congressman might be vulnerable
Likewise with education. There are four community school districts, which only one has been reasonably good, and the rest languished. Your opportunity in this country begins and ends with education, or lack thereof. A lot of folks say well it’s really not the job of the congressperson -- they work for Washington. I think the larger part of this job is twofold. What’s done in Washington, legislatively will affect the lives 315 million people. On the other side it is the top level position of this community.
Loop 21: With the demographic shift in the district, as a result of rezoning, do you think the rise in the Hispanic population changes the landscape of this race?
Johnson: The shift is no surprise. This is something we’ve known has been happening for some time. There is certainly ethnic, national pride, but at the end of the day people are really looking for someone to work for them. I say this to many people: You are the employer and I’m asking you to hire me. I’m asking you to look at a resume that is distinguished and make your decision.
Loop 21: In 2010, the New York Times endorsed your candidacy, highlighting your advocacy for women’s rights and civil rights. What did that endorsement mean for your campaign and do you hope to get their endorsement again?
Johnson: Of course I do. Every endorsement is a validation. A lot of people will never see you on the ground. This is 700,000 people. I know a lot of folks will not see me. The New York Times is for many people a gold star endorsement. That is significant, so of course I would. But every election is different. I’m going after that endorsement again and I’m going after others.
Loop 21: On a national scale, what are some of the key issues you would like to tackle if elected to Congress?
Johnson: Immigration reform. You have so many people -- Hispanic and African -- are hunkered down and afraid, they can not participate fully in the progress or gift to this community what they could if they had all rights and privileges or at least to know what their status was. Their status can be productive.
For me, as a women’s political activist, women are still disproportionately underpaid. When we take that salary to afford a family disproportionately on our own, it does matter.
My worry in this day in time is a lot of the things we fought for and won are now in jeopardy again -- worker’s rights, the right to petition, so many things.
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