May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. This time of recognition and awareness is important to me considering the fact that I am a 44 year-old African-American woman who has dealt with asthma and allergies all of my life. My family and I are quite familiar with this disease in that my grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins as well as my own two children have all been diagnosed with some form of allergies and asthma.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lung airways. When someone is having an asthma attack, their airways become inflamed and narrow as a result of reacting to "certain triggers", making it extremely hard for that individual to breath.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 3 million African-Americans have asthma. As a result of several risk factors which include poverty, poor housing and the inability to access quality healthcare, African-Americans are three times more likely to die from asthma-related illness than their white counterparts. Asthma is also the leading reason why kids miss school.
Although there is no cure for this disease, people with chronic asthma can have productive lives by taking the necessary steps to keep asthma under control.
As with a lot of asthma sufferers, allergies, mildew, mold, dust, smoke, pollen, stress, cold air and some forms of exercise usually instigate asthma problems for me. Some other "lesser known" asthma triggers include second hand smoke, outdoor air pollution, perfumes, colognes and other strong scents, being overweight, pet dander and cockroaches. In order to maintain good health, it is imperative that asthma suffers minimize exposure to their triggers as much as possible.
Unfortunately, the president and the Republicans in the House of Representatives don't think my doctor visits are important or even necessary. On May 4th, , they passed the GOP health care bill, that if it is passed in the Senate, will probably cause me and 24 million Americans to lose their health benefits. Not to mention, individuals with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, will not be able to obtain health insurance.
To help put this travesty into perspective, when the GOP healthcare bill passed, Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted, "Donald Trump and the Republicans just celebrated voting to let thousands of Americans die so that billionaires get tax breaks..."
The great news about this turn of events is that we don't have to lie down and accept anything this administration attempts to pass that will be detrimental to our society.
We have the power to fight back. We have the right to protest. We have the courage to stand up to self-serving "political bullies". We must support organizations that lead the charge towards social justice.
We want to hear your thoughts on smoking in multi-unit housing
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Legislative Learning Day 2017
CLICK HERE TO RSVP
Now more than ever, it’s up to us to turn individual passion into collective action and organize around the issues facing our communities.
That’s why we’re calling on you to join us in declaring December 3rd the United Day of Women. This nationwide day of action will serve as a way for communities across the country to stand united and discuss the issues most important to them – while receiving tools, resources, and grassroots organizing tactics from movement leaders.
Host a house party in your neighborhood and rally the people in your life who are ready to fight to protect the progress we’ve made as a movement.
Head over to the United State of Women Facebook page to get the details and the materials you’ll need to host your own #UnitedDayofWomen house party!
The United State of Women Team
State Pres. Hon. Dezie Woods Jones, Richmond Chapter Pres. Kathleen Sullivan, former Richmond Mayor Irma Anderson, Richmond Chapter leaders Joey Smith, Tanya Brown & Rev. Carl Jones
Oakland Chapter Pres. Dr. Kimberly Mayfield Lynch & Oakland Honoree Nyeisha DeWitt, Ed.D.
State Pres. Hon. Dezie Woods Jones & Oakland Chapter VP Simone Thelemaque with daughter Ainye
State Assemblymember Tony Thurmond, BWOPA Lifetime Member & former Man of the Year
BWOPA/TILE Main Horses (Past & Present) w/ State Pres. Hon. Dezie Woods Jones & Executive Director LaNiece Jones
Birthday girl w/ longtime friends - Peggy, Alona, Alfreda, Carol
Legacy Leadership Sisters Circle in Madera, CA. Huge thanks to AT&T, The California Endowment and PG&E! Engaged circle conversations "What's Your Super Power?", "Educational Change"; "Understanding the Culture of Police"; "Community, Education Leading to Economic Stability"; & the young leaders circle - Being a Minority in the Classroom"