I'm a Democrat because…

Sharon Barikmo

Sharon Barikmo

I finally realized that you cannot go through life oblivious just because it is easier.

I was raised in beautiful neighborhood in Mequon. I lived in a nice house with a mom and dad who were always there for us. We had food on the table, a great big backyard, and decent healthcare. It took me a while to see that others were not so fortunate. It took even longer for me to understand how politics and lawmakers affect us all. 

After I graduated from Cardinal Stritch, I met my husband-to-be. Mike is an incredible person. He has a good heart and a wonderful sense of fairness. He was involved in unions, so I began to know more about how unions protect laborers. Still, I remained politically uninvolved.

As time went on, I noticed myself asking questions like, “Why shouldn’t we have a clean, safe environment?” “Why shouldn’t women have a choice regarding their bodies?” “Why shouldn’t all people receive a living wage?” I had started thinking outside the box I was in--questioning. I finally realized that you cannot go through life oblivious just because it is easier. 

I became a volunteer for Obama’s campaign and then Hillary Clinton. I follow daily what is going on in Washington and Wisconsin. I am appalled at what Republican legislators and policy makers are doing. It is clear that they are out to disenfranchise the poor. The middle class has been eroding for years through trickle-down economics that Republicans champion with tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthy and corporations.

I am retired and call myself a lazy gardener. My real passion has become watercolor painting. I’ve taken classes and continue to challenge myself to improve. 

Mike and I have two daughters, who are strong, independent-minded women, and a two-year-old grandson. We have to continue the fight and stay woke. It’s important for today and for those coming after us.