The Coronavirus pandemic affects all of us. Many Americans must stay home from work during the health crisis. Most of us wear masks in public and practice physical distancing.
Still other people go to work because they can't afford to stay home or because their job is considered an essential service. These brave souls try to protect themselves as best they can, but nevertheless possibly feel they are exposing themselves to the threat of getting the Covid-19 virus.
The virus is changing the way people live in the United States and around the world. Covid-19 can spread from person to person, so this reality also affects the way politicians are campaigning for votes, even in local races that don't garner national attention.
The August Democratic primary contest for the District 101 seat in the Florida House of Representatives is an example of this fact. It gives us insights into what is happening from Maine to California, Washington state to Florida, and parts of the nation typically called "flyover country". The winner in the South Florida primary will most likely take the seat as the area is strongly Democratic. click here
Marie Woodson is one of the three Democratic contenders. Life has taught her again and again that she must adjust to the realities the world offers her. You can learn more about Woodson at www.mariewoodson2020.com.
When she was younger, Woodson's dad wanted her to become a medical doctor. But her family didn't have the right government connections in Haiti to get her admitted to medical school.
So, without speaking a word of English, Woodson came to South Florida, where she first got a factory job. Her gumption eventually set her on a career path in public service, where she worked her way up to high-level positions with the Miami-Dade County government. Woodson has lived in a house in West Hollywood for 26 years. She started her government-service career in her early 20's, retiring after 35 years.
Woodson started her campaign by knocking on doors, speaking with friends, family and neighbors and attending community events to meet voters face to face and gather support.
Now she can't knock on doors or meet people at community gatherings. The Coronavirus pandemic won't let her get close to the people she wants to represent.
But Woodson is using social media platforms to communicate with people in all parts of District 101, which includes Hollywood, Miramar, Pembroke Pines, West Park .
This interview tells the story of someone who came here with nothing and worked her way up.
Woodson, with two children, a husband and an elderly dad who taught her to give back, explains why she continues to campaign for a political position for the first time in her life.
Question: This is your first campaign for political office. What do you want voters to know about your background and experiences? And how does this background and these experiences prepare you for a new line of work?
Woodson: I was born and raised in Haiti. I migrated to the USA at the age of 21, after I was denied an opportunity to attend the only medical school in Port-au-Prince.
Growing up, during the summer my father used to make me teach the children whose parents couldn't afford to send them to school. As well, he would give me $5.00 and would tell me to spend $2.00, save $2.00 and share one with others who didn't have. He would always tell me that when I make it to the top, always remember to take others with me and give back to my community. This was the beginning of my public service career because medical school was not part of God's plan for me. Well, I have lived my life with these aforementioned guiding principles.
Coming to the USA was a privilege. I got a little job in county government right after I began school at Miami-Dade College. While earning a Bachelor and Master's degrees, I was fortunate to move up the ladder in county government. I was responsible for the operations of several major programs, including, but not limited to Social Services, Senior Services, Domestic Violence, Greater Miami Service Corps, Psychological services with a prior position of Division Director overseeing the disbursement of 18 million dollars monthly. I have also worked in the Juvenile and Adult Courts programs as Court Counselors.
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