My View of the Primaries

Vernice Moncooyea Willis

I am an enrolled member of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, also half Ponca Nation descent, and a concerned Democrat, please allow me to share a few reasons to vote for Bernie Sanders and for ICTMN to formally endorse him.

I hope by now you have published for your readers his position statement on Native issues, called Empowering Tribal Nations [https://berniesanders.com/issues/empower-tribal-nations/]. There is a lot to this, and I encourage the reader to read it in detail, but I would like here to share one quote from it by Bernie Sanders

“Time and time again, our Native American brothers and sisters have seen the federal government break solemn promises, and huge corporations put profits ahead of the sovereign rights of Native communities. As President, I will stand with Native Americans in the struggle to protect their treaty and sovereign rights, advance traditional ways of life, and improve the quality of life for Native communities.”

I am a retired newspaper printer, and the first woman to be accepted as an apprentice at the Tulsa World and Tribune Newspaper in 1974. My career was good, much thanks to ITU and Union wages. Aside from my printing job, I was able to run my own community performing arts organization – The Oklahoma Indian Theatre and Dance Company. The printing career wages allowed me this wonderful contribution to my community for 20 good years. Now it’s 2016, what do I see - a desire for a better future for the younger generation. All the benefits of healthcare, fair wages, attaining loans, stable work - these are big issues this election. Please think of those struggling to have comfort now and in the future. The security I have and enjoy is gone for many young people. Unless long overdue changes in government take place, it will remain a desire.

Bernie Sanders won convincingly in my state of Oklahoma, one of the “reddest” and most conservative in the United States, so I don’t understand what sort of electoral fraud and forensic breakdowns could lead to him losing so badly in New York state, other than the egregious disenfranchisement that occurred in Brooklyn and the Bronx, where many supporters were denied the right to vote. This needs to be investigated thoroughly at the state and federal level, and even at United Nations level, as we have become some kind of third world nation. I see little in the media about the investigations by the NY Comptroller and the NY Attorney General.

My husband was a retired SFC Army Veteran of 22 years. He never drew his Social Security, nor did my father or brother. They each died a few years before retirement age. Presently, the government wants to do away with Social Security, and this is very, very wrong: They have depleted what millions of Americans paid into for their future. They should pay back all they took out.

This government has mishandled our money and our programs. The leaders have denied hardworking Americans so much. When we cast votes for politicians to do our bidding they turn around and promote their personal gain, or are merely tools for big money and corporations, because it is profitable for the politicians doing so. This is so disgraceful. It must come to an end. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate to address the issues of all Americans doing their part to help this country survive.

I humbly ask you to endorse Senator Sanders, as his opponent has too much baggage, too much bad history internationally as Secretary of State, too much manipulation by and debt to her ultra, wealthy donors, too many ties to Wall Street, too many transcripts of her Wall Street speeches that she won’t release, and too many problems in terms of credibility to lead the United States or to be even found credible in the international context. By doing so, you as a media network manifest your relevance, your intelligence, and your leadership.

Vernice Moncooyea Willis is retired and an auxiliary member of the Tulsa American Legion Post 1. She hosts an annual Gourd Dance to fundraise support for Veteran's needs. She also volunteers as a Precinct Inspector during all elections for the Tulsa County Election Board.

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