The Latest from New Mexico

A President for All

By Chris Burley, Obama for America on

jona olsson, New Mexico's 2012 Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year

She’s battled blazing infernos. She's fought for social justice. Now, jona olsson has taken on another important mission: re-electing President Obama.

“This administration and Democratic lawmakers have been advocates of legislation and funding to better support emergency responders,” says jona, the 2012 national Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year. “In contrast, there was a recent attempt by Republicans to eliminate the US Fire Administration, the National Fire Academy and more."

This attempt was thwarted, but I believe Romney’s dismissive comments about not needing more firefighters and his attacks on unions, will lead to further degradation of support for first responders. His arrogant refusal to support programs for the most vulnerable in our communities would result in a huge increase in EMS, fire and other emergency calls, making our jobs—especially volunteers—more dangerous and difficult.”

As a woman, senior citizen, lesbian, former teacher, and trade unionist, jona also notes the President’s many accomplishments—repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and signing pay equity legislation are just two examples—that promote diversity and equality for all Americans.

“Pretty much every justice issue that I stand and work for, lecture about, or facilitate training on, it’s Democrats and President Obama that provide courageous support. On the GOP side, from their war on women and anti-LGBT fear-mongering to overt racist voter suppression attempts, I have a VERY hard time comprehending how ANY woman, ANY person of color, ANY LGBT person can even consider voting Republican this election.”

For jona and Jane, her partner of 21 years, the President’s support of marriage equality and other LGBT issues have been especially meaningful. “President Obama’s order to ensure that same-sex partners cannot be banned from hospital visitation is a huge relief to us. As a firefighter, I have always worried that, should I be injured, Jane could be kept from being with me in the hospital.”

jona is getting out the vote for Barack Obama to make sure the country keeps moving forward. You can help too! Sign up here: http://ofa.bo/gotv

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