My advocacy for affordable housing is steeped in the history of my family who immigrated from Italy at the turn of the 20th century to escape the extreme poverty that caused malnutrition and disease in the home country.
My grandparents with just the clothes on their back sought a better life in America, even though for many years after they arrived, they faced prejudice, negative stereotypes and discrimination.
They were proud of their cultural heritage and ethnic roots and their love of family and country sustained them through difficult times.
My father’s parents and my mother and father took advantage of one of the largest affordable housing programs the world had ever seen. The G.I. Bill created a new middle class in this county and elevated millions of people out of poverty to pursue their dreams.
Today, we have an enormous wealth gap that threatens to turn our country into one of “have” and “have nots”.
The same hopes and dreams my grandparents had are shared by all who today call America home.
Building affordable housing is investing in people to achieve and realize a better quality of life, to realize the American Dream, to feel a part of what’s good about our country.
We have a moral obligation to acknowledge and respect the dignity of every individual and for people like me who have been given so much, much is expected in return.