by Terrell Turner of Stewartstown, York County

Campaigns come and go, and it seems like that’s a rollercoaster a lot of us are tired of, especially in defeat. At the end of it all there’s a lot of broken relationships, distrust, and helplessness. People we consider heroes show us just how human they are as disappointing decisions made for the “greater good” seem to conflict with core principles that we hold dear. 

I believe a lot of us need a place to harness those feelings. No matter how many friends we have on social media, there is a huge world around us and a lot of work to be done in it. When I first moved to PA, I met a few local activists and started to volunteer for Put People First! PA, a grassroots organization that advocates for healthcare as a human right. This work was being done even before Bernie’s first run in 2016. A few months in I became a father, left the organization, ran for political office that led to subsequent work in the races of others. I soon hit the repeated brick wall of campaigning. 

I became extremely tired of that and really wanted a soft place to land so I reached out to Nijmie, a Co-founder of Put People First! PA and was accepted with open arms. I immediately saw the growth and was quick to realize that this was a moving machine that hadn’t stopped at all. I immediately joined the PPF-PA direct action at governor Wolf’s house demanding he take action within his executive powers to protect the health and safety of his citizens here in PA. 

This isn’t a joke or a flimsy organization that can die with the defeat of any candidate. It’s a people powered grassroots organization that breaks through party lines and connects us through the basis of which we all have to operate, our health and healthcare as a human right. 

So this is my ask of anyone in PA feeling disillusioned or angry with what lies ahead. Leadership is in a lot of us. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be at war with a power structure that’s so many seem too easily bend to. It’s great to have political leaders, but it’s also our job to aggressively push or even break those in power to represent us starting with local officials and continuing up the ladder. There are many roles to fill and work to do, but I’m confident this is where I belong and where leadership can flourish.

So I ask you to join us at Put People First! PA and the only commitment you have to make is your desire to see people living healthy and dignified lives. Like and follow our Facebook page, sign up to get involved, and let’s get organized!

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