When things are good we tend to believe certain things, at least I did. I always believed that if you got hurt at work while working there were safety nets in place to protect you.
I was wrong and it cost me everything. I was let go from NWA/Delta Airlines due to weight discrimination. I took it to court and won, but the time the dust settled I was still out of a job and lost my house.
In 2009 I became homeless and started living out of my car. One of the things that surprised me was as the media attention around my story grew, the number contacting me saying “Contact your politician” increased. People even wrote on my behalf to politicians believing they could make a difference. Most simply ignored the letters and emails.
Two tough years living out of my car passed and I never had felt so alone. Then one day out of the blue Keith Ellison tweets me saying he wants to meet. WOW. It was the first sign of hope that I had felt in two years.
Keith Ellison has strong ties to my former employer Delta Airlines. One of his top donors was my old union. I knew based on my contract if my case was reviewed I'd get my job back with back pay. I already had the judge's ruling; all I needed was my contract honored. Back then the Delta merger was going on and I fell through the cracks.
I felt renewed hope having Keith Ellison reach out to me. I contacted his office as he asked me to do and waited. A few days later his office got back to me saying he was too busy to meet.
I tweeted Rep Ellison the info his office gave me. His reply was what his office said was “Not True” and that he just needed to find time.
A few days later. ... He blocked me.
One of the worst things you can do to a homeless person is fuel them with hope and then take it away. I don’t know why Keith Ellison did not end up meeting me. Maybe he was too busy. But I judge a man by his actions not just his words. Keith Ellison was the one to reach out to me not once but twice. He’s the one who gave me hope. And why for whatever reason he felt the need to block me instead of being a man instead of simply saying he had no time is beyond me.
Solving homelessness is a huge task. But I firmly believe that if Keith Ellison had invested a small amount time he could have made a huge impact in helping me get my life back. To me what Keith Ellison did is the act of a coward.
I now have housing but it's a shadow of my past life. Getting hurt at work should not cost you everything. A signed contract should mean something. Discrimination of any kind should be viewed as wrong. So where is Keith Ellison.
I am a hard worker with strong ties to the community, graduate of Totino-Grace High School. I don’t drink or do drugs. I just want whats right.
If Keith Ellison can’t keep his word to a homeless person ... Who will he keep his word to?