I am the 99%.
My name is Olivia. I can’t hold a sign because I’m so little.
I was born with club feet. One was so bad, it was nearly upside-down. My feet have been stretched into place and casted into position every week since I was 3 weeks old. It really hurts. I’m 3 and a half months old now, so I’ve done that a lot. It costs about $500 each time. (You can see one of my casts peeking out under my dress.)
On March 21, 2012 I had my first surgery, because the stretching wasn’t working. That cost nearly $9,000, but if my feet don’t get fixed, I’ll never be able to walk.
Medicaid is paying to fix my feet. My Daddy is a disabled veteran, but his insurance won’t cover my feet. My Mom is trying to raise my 3 brothers and I while she wracks up student loans getting her college degree, because minimum wage isn’t enough to keep a roof over our heads.
WIC is paying for my formula, because Mom’s milk never came in. She feels kinda bad about that, but sometimes these things just happen.
I hear that some people want to get rid of Medicaid, the Pell Grant, and WIC, so that the 1% can have even more tax breaks. Well, I want to be able to walk. I need to eat. And my Mom would like to be able to provide for me better someday. I don’t understand why people want to take that away from me. What did I do wrong?
I am a greencard carrying Chinese person with a family of four. Because my husband has worked so many years in a restaurant, he now has health issues because of his blood pressure. We are peaceful, law-abiding residents. Because of landlord harassment, who has threatened us with eviction, we are fighting gentrification. We need to protect the rights of tenants! Every year the rent increases. Sometimes the landlord doesn’t turn on the heat or hot water. The landlord is trying to evict us, and we are currently in housing court. We have to work to save money for rent to pay the rent, to survive. It’s really tough on us. We are the 99%!
I am an old, retired overseas Chinese person that has always been harassed by my landlord and threatened by eviction. The landlord has used all sorts of methods such as not accepting my rent checks and not providing hot water or heat. Last summer it was the worst when the landlord turned on the heat to bake us alive! We are the 99%!
I’ve been living in the US for 30 years, working in a restaurant all the entire time. Every day I work 13 hours, leading to my bad health now. After 9/11, I started getting respiratory problems. My wife used to work in the garment factories, but because there wasn’t business, she got laid off. Rent increases yearly, and we have 2 kids. Now we don’t have work, so life is very difficult. We are a part of the 99%.
Months ago, I wrote something for this site about my father’s struggle. He had a heart attack, open-heart surgery, and faced many injustices, living in America today without health insurance.
On February 27, 2012, he died due to his inadequate heath care. He left behind a wife of 25 years, 4 children and 4 grandchildren - 2 of which will never meet their amazing, wonderful, inspiring grandfather.
He is, was, the 99%.