Opinion: Karen Carter Peterson Is the Right Choice for Congress

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Karen Carter Peterson is the right choice for the Louisiana 2nd district in the April 24th runoff election. She has a proven track record of fighting on behalf of Louisiana and will ensure that women- especially Black women- are adequately represented in Congress. Senator Peterson is the candidate in the race that won’t take corporate PAC money, which means she will not be beholden to the growing American plutocracy.

The insurrection of January 6th was an alarm bell that the foundation of American democracy is deeply fractured. The stakes are higher than they have been in generations. The old way of doing things- sitting in cloakrooms and cutting deals with the good old boys- will not work if we are going to save American democracy. 

Senator Peterson is a fighter. She fought the tobacco industry and Governor Bobby Jindal to reduce youth smoking. She has fought to expand health care and improve education in the Louisiana Senate. If elected to Congress, she will bring real solutions to the climate crisis that is crippling the Louisiana economy and landscape, expand healthcare for everyone, reform the criminal justice system to be more humane and cost less money and reform law enforcement for safer and more vibrant communities.

Black women saved American democracy in the 2018 midterm elections, in the 2020 presidential election, and in the 2021 Senate runoffs in Georgia. Given the service of Black women to us all in those elections, it is an absolute disgrace that they are underrepresented in Congress. We need more Black women in Congress. There has never been a Black congresswoman from Louisiana. The time is now.

Senator Peterson says that “if women aren’t at the table, they will be on the menu.” Violence against women, atrocious outcomes for Black women in childbirth and widening inequity in pay for women- especially as a result of the pandemic- create a fierce urgency about changing gender inequities in our communities. The recent report about the LSU athletic department shows us just how real this is in Louisiana. But it is real everywhere. We are seeing protests about violence against women from Mexico City to South Korea. As Tupac said, “it’s time for us as a people to start making some changes.” 

Karen Carter Peterson will make some changes to norms about how women are treated if she’s elected to Congress. She will fight for Louisiana residents; she will fight for people of color and she will fight for women. Under no circumstances will she sit on the sidelines and cut deals with those who support the insurrectionists.

The growing influence of big money is an existential threat to the American experiment. The founders knew it in the 18th century, President Theodore Roosevelt knew it in the early 20th century, Governor Huey Long recognized it in the 1930s, and we need to recognize it now. Karen Carter Peterson isn’t taking a dime of corporate PAC money.

Inequality is a humanitarian disgrace, but it also threatens the stability of America‘s society itself. A powerful plutocracy and growing inequality led to the fall of the Roman empire, the French revolution and the Russian revolution. We need to do something about it in America now, before it is too late.

We can’t change the world, but we can change the world around us. The way we change the world is by electing Senator Karen Carter Peterson.

TJ Mayes is an attorney and advocate for public health, equity and economic mobility. He has offices in the Rio Grande Valley and Baton Rouge.

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