little brother in the backseat
Kate Bennis (woman extraordinaire) just sent out the following letter on behalf of my brother Jamie. Please read and if you can, contribute. He is a good, good guy who has done amazing things. (Even if he used to drive me to distraction.) Also, I’ve added a few Sister-Notes in parentheses. Just because.
A few years ago a dear friend called with the news that he had cancer. He was not yet 50.
I sat down hard on the burning sidewalk and must have wailed, “What! You’re not done! If you are not here, who will do your work?” I despaired at the thought of losing my friend and my hero.
Jamie not only survived, but continued to thrive. He continued his work as a Professor of Law at American University, as a Maryland State Senator, as a partner and husband to Sarah Bloom Raskin, as a father to Hannah, Tommy and Tabitha, and as a friend to me and so many others. (Erika’s note: He’s also a pretty excellent relative.)
Every time I call Jamie, I ask one question:
What is the most exciting thing you are working on today?
Here are some of the answers he has given me over the years:
· Working to legalize Gay Marriage in the State of MD √
· Working to gain voting rights for prisoners who have served their time √
· Mandated all public buildings to not only recycle but compost √
· Helped make MD the 18th State to abolish the Death Penalty √
· Pushed for MD to have access to Medical Marijuana √
Jamie reaches across the aisle, enlists allies from all backgrounds, maintains strong working relationships with those for and those against the causes he champions and gets the good work done. (Erika’s note: This may be related to his Middle Child Syndrome.)
The work he does changes people’s lives. And not only those who live in Maryland.; when one State changes for good, others follow.
Here are a few of my favorite Jamie Raskin lines:
While arguing that adults should not be allowed to smoke in a car with a child under age 8, an opponent said Jamie was fighting for Big Brother. Jamie answered,
“No, I’m fighting for Little Brother, in the back seat!” (Erika’s note: I think this may have been addressed to me.)
In a debate, Republican Senator Nancy Jacobs said: “Mr. Raskin, my Bible says marriage is only between a man and a woman. What do you have to say about that?”
“Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible.”
Today Jamie is running for Congress!
He is out there fighting another battle—last time he fought for his life, now he fights for us. Unapologetically progressive, positive, hilarious, brilliant, wise, experienced and funded by a grassroots group of passionate constituents.
To learn more about Jamie Raskin, read here:
To donate and give the state of Maryland and, I dare say, our country, a voice for good, donate here:
And if you feel so moved, please write your own letter and spread the word that Jamie Raskin is here to make our United States the best country it can be.
Kate (and erika)