My Friends Our Nation is Going through some major changes now . The reason The Trump Presidency to be. Many Changes will happen. Changes that will affect All Our Lives.Changes in Health Care Income and The Environment Will happen. And They May Be Devastating to The Poor and Vulnerable. But Today i Come to you to inspire You. To Not Cave but to Fight The Good Fight. I Hope to Inspire You With A Story- My Story on becoming an Advocate or As some say Activist. I have been called both. i now prefer Advocate. Because i advocate for Causes on Social Media.
My Advocacy Journey began in 1986 when i got sick with Asthma.i didn’t protest but suffered in Silence Uninsured. I had Hope One day i would have Healthcare. I made A Promise to myself that i would help All to be Insured someday. That happened in the 1990’s after Healthcare Failed. As A College student a few years earlier i did papers on Civil Rights. This would play A Role in My Journey later on. As Would My Faith in God. I am A Christian.
I wasn’t active in any cause. But i did Vote. But in 2010 Things Changed for Me I was frustrated with the direction of the City i was living in Ocala Fl. So i wrote letters to the local Newspaper : The Ocala Star Banner. Then the ACA Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) Passed. I was elated. As i started before in My Blog My Healthcare Journey i am disabled and needed answers for an Eye Problem. I had no job and had a hard time geting one. i was taking care of My Disabled Father. I wrote President Obama for help. We Relocated From Ocala Fl to Miami Gardens Fl. I went to Vocational Rehabilitation. Saw an Eye Doctor and Psychological Evaluation was done. Plus another Psychological Evaluation by Nova Southeastern University. Both said see a Neuro Opthamologist. At Bascom Palmer Eye Institute – Miami Fl.i needed to find a job.
It was recommended i use a Computer i had no Computer..I was also told to Use Facebook to get a job.Soon I got a Tablet and later a Phone. Both from Samsung. I was a skeptic of Social Media.I believed alot of the bad misconceptions, without ever using it. But boy would i see how WRONG I WAS and that , it can change lives. Particularly my life. So in 2013 I joined Facebook and then Twitter. I couldn’t work because of My eye problem. But I learned Facebook and Twitter well. This would help me later on.
I got sick and couldn’t talk for 2 weeks. It sucked. But it motivated me to Fight for Healthcare if needed. As Florida did not #ExpandMedicaidNow. I was tweeting and Posting the Ed Show on MSNBC. I voiced My Displeasure with Local Issues.Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez was a frequent person of my criticism. He Closed Fire Houses and Closed Libraries to save money.
In September 2013 I watched The 50Th Anniversary of The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have A Dream” Speech. They asked :” What Will You Do To Advance the Dream ? ”
i said via Twitter : I Would Be A Voice For The Voiceless.
My Dedication to #CivilRights hy .Having MLK as One of My Hero’s Who would Inspire Me To Also Hear The Call To Serve. As I Believe Across To Healthcare is Both A Civil Rights and Human Rights Issue.
That Weekend in Church The Pastor on Our Video Screen said He wanted Christians in Government. i felt the Call to Serve.i always wanted to help others. Soon My Chance would come. I got home opened My Email. Got a Petition from Move on. i got my Chance to Fight For Healthcare.
My Goal for the Petition was 1 Million Signers to Represent The 1 Million Uninsured in Fl. But it wouldn’t be easy.I almost quit as i got 19 Signers in 1 month. I was a novice boy did i have alot to learn.
Good did happen i started my First Facebook page : Please Sign My Petition to help Expand Medicaid in Fl. Then with my @FredChristian3 Twitter account i Got A Tweet on TV on The EdShow. :
“My Governor Could Care Less If I Get Healthcare ”
i was elated and would get several Tweets and Posts on Air till the shows cancellation in 2015. Thank you Ed Schulz I appreciate it. I wish you would have interviewed me though on being Uninsured in Fl.. But I did get interviewed by Patricia Bourns of The Miami Herald. I was pleased and Share the article to this day. Thank you Ms Bourns you helped alot.
But the Petition was stalled at 20 Signers i was going to quit.I was so frustrated i locked Myself out of My Twitter acct.and I. was going nowhere with this. But then I joined Facebook Groups. A msn named Barry Sensa and His Friend Robin Conrad became mentors to me. Thank You Both I appreciate it. We All Championed the cause of Medicaid Expansion. Soon I got signers.We Founded The Page People Suffering due to republicans refusal to expand Medicaid. I got another small Victory too i created a new Twitter account @FredChristian10 which i use today. Plus that March I Finally got the courage to Post a Personal Post to Facebook. It would be My Healthcare Journey which would later become My Healthcare Journey Pre and Post Petition The Blog.I wrore other Posts that year. i Love to Write, and Talk and later on Those skills would come in handy.
But Soon I needed a new direction and Founded #ExpandMedicaidNow First as A # to Use on edshow, and Twitter.Then it became a Facebook page and group. My First page failed but i was determined not to let this one fail. I couldn’t fail i had to.be the Voice For The Voiceless on #ExpandMedicaidNow. The petition stalled again. One Group member threatened to kill me if I posted it. I almost quit. But a talented Facebook artist talked me out of it. I even Got Trolled by Gun Nuts for helping Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America over Open Carry in Target Stores. I was angry and No Way was i quitting !
I even did a Medicaid Expansion event on Facebook. We did get noticed by Facebook. Soon i eneded My Petition with 2,200 Signers in One Year. I was disgusted again but definitely NOT QUITTING !! I Finally was Convinced Social Media Could #Impact Positive Change .
In January 2015 Things got alot better I met a Mom Amy Rodriguez who had a sick Daughter Genesis Rodriguez. Soon Amy would educate me on How to Really Advocate. As i wanted Genesis to Live. Pictured Below Amy Rodriguez Gen Rodriguez.
Soon I was told and realized that good as My Facebook Posts were They didn’t reach enough people. So i became a Blogger and Also created More Facebook pages and groups Issues We Face, Team Blue ,and Random Thoughts The Blog By Disabled Social Media Activist Fred Christian.
i wrote on Amy Rodriguez and Gen Rodriguez to try to help save her life. It was and Is a Labor of Love.
in between Two Friends who are Very Talented Bloggers .Micheal Hoyt and My Fellow edshow member and Mentor Pat Taylor Fuller wrote blogs on me. Both inspired me to Write as they are dedicated to it.
In between helping Amy Rodriguez and Gen Rodriguez I always had a Commitment to #CivilRights So along with my Twitter and Edshow Friends Dennis Mack @littleredblog and Nekole MzDivah Dee @MzDivah67 We Endured DEATH THREATS Taking Out A RACIST. Thank You Dennis and Nekole For Having My Back. We got Coffin Memes it was Sick and Scairy. But We battled and Helped Anonymous take him Off Social Media.
During Easter 2015 I did A YouTube video filmed by My Aunt Carol. It was Part Sermon Part Testimony. It was done at My Friend Andres Carrero Ministry NotForgotten Event For Easterv All on Why God Let me an Ordinary Disabled man do this Extraordinary Cause. The Video Titled : Fred The Prayer Warrior Was a Success. I had a goal of Public Speaking and i felt that if I could actually talk to people in an audience things could change. IT WORKED !!
Soon Edshow eneded and i needed a way to Promote #ExpandMedicaidNow. I am A Man of Faith during A Ride home from Church God told me through Prayers To Blog Then I got the courage to Film myself on YouTube. Then later Facebook Live and Periscope.
The Blogs Used Art by Talented Meme Artists From Occupy Facebook, #FightFor15 #RaiseTheWage and #VOTEBLUE. Plus My Friend Andres Carrero of iKandi Design and The NotForgotten 180Project. Org Ministry
But One Day i got A message on Facebook. A Documentary Artist Thresa BrownGold of Art As A Social Inquiry wanted to Paint Me and hear My story. You see her amazing work in the memes with paintings of Myself Amy Rodriguez and Gen Rodriguez. Thresa BrownGold even painted President Obama. This is an Honor to me. I am Blessed and Humbled.Thank you Thresa BrownGold We All Appreciate it and You.
Soon I realized I needed a Team So #ExpandMedicaidNow Team was born. Amy Rodriguez would be Our Co Administrator and Community Liason .Along with Dennis Mack and Nekole MzDivah Dee,Pat Taylor Fuller, Alcinia Hill, Brenda Feliz Fegar, Elvira Ramirez, Genesis Rodriguez, and Angela Brill.
In March of 2016 I was creatively stuck Medicaid Expansion still didn’t happen. We needed a new Direction and again i Prayed. God answered with The Phrase #Impact
Soon An Old Skill Graphic Arts would come in Handy. As i was frustrated I couldn’t do memes. So Soon with Text Art,PosterWrap , and PicsArt I did it. So now i do my own memes too.
I didn’t do All of This alone . Two people helped me also who are part of the #ExpandMedicaidNow
Team : Elvira Ramirez and Brenda Feliz Fegar who Shared my Petition, and Generously share Posts For me Today. Amy Rodriguez and Pat Taylor Fuller Nekole MzDivah Dee and Dennis Mack Steadily advise me and share my Tweets and Posts. And Angela Brill helped Promote Our Cause with T Shirts.
It was Tough At Times my friends but If you have a Great Team, it is alot easier. I am Blessed To have One. Thank You to All on Facebook and Twitter who Share Our Posts and Tweets.I Always Appreciate it God Bless. Thank you to All who Published My Blogs. Thank you To All Talented Artists. Especially Andres Carrero and Thresa BrownGold.
*** Update To This Blog Since Published Originally
On The Week of December 7,2016 I made the decision to Cut A Few Facebook pages Out . They were not working . So Team Blue, Issues We Face, #FixMiami are Over. i Merged #Impact and #ExpandMedicaidNow into One Page Naming Our Future Org #ExpandMedicaidNow #Impact
But The Groups on Facebook #ExpandMedicaidNow #Impact Issues We Face Remain
This makes it easier to Find Follow and Support Our Great Cause
- Thank You To The Greatest Team in The World The #ExpandMedicaidNow Team Dennis Mack, Nekole MzDivah Dee, Alcinia Hill, Pat Taylor Fuller, Angela Brill, Elvira Ramirez Gen Rodriguez Amy Rodriguez Plus All My Twitter Team @SCyeatts @MrGoalie35 @0103lrl @Jimmacpam Jim McCarthy @Amaliada @TomD Sherry Borgstrom G Gevirtz and anonbruja @LeChatNoire4
Team I can’t Thank You Enough ! You Truly are Saving Lives in This Endeavor. And Are My Hero’s Too.
But Two People are Real Hero’s Amy Rodriguez who Fights this fight daily. And Genesis Rodriguez Our Inspiration when it gets Tough. Gen This is For You !!
A Very Special Thank You to My Church Abiding Life Ministries Pastor Travis Washington First Lady Brenda Washington Mitchell Spears Roslyn Spears and Two people who supported Us From The Beginning Jo and Curtis Robinson. Plus All Others Who Pray For Me and Us daily
A Very Special Thank you to My Family My Aunt Carol and Uncle Jimmy and My Dad.
A Very Special Thank you To My Neighbors and Friends Vanessa Rodriguez and The Management Team and Staff and Supporters at The Hamlet At Walden Pond Apts.
That Is What This is about to Me Saving Lives. And Helping Others to Better Society.
Finally My Friends Thank you Jesus For Growing Me and Guiding me and taking A Hopeless Skeptic and making Me achieve my dreams by Helping Others.
I hope this blog inspires you to Act and Not Quit. I Am Not Quitting This Fight to #ExpandMedicaidNow. So don’t quit yours either. Society needs Us All To Make The Lives of The Less Fortunate Better.
Memes By Blog Author : Fred Christian Founder #ExpandMedicaidNow #Impact Facebook @FredChristian10 @fredchristian13 #ExpandMedicaidNow Twitter
Issues We Face Logo By : Andres Carrero of iKandi Design / #NotForgotten 180Project.org Ministries
Photos By : Amy Rodriguez , Gen Rodriguez
Art in Memes by : Theresa BrownGold Of Art As A Social Inquiry
FOR INFORMATION ON Amy Rodriguez Gen Rodriguez See A Mothers Fight To #ExpandMedicaidNow Part 1 and 2 A Lifetime of Respiratory Illness by Dan Chang Miami Hearld
For Information on Fred Christian See Blog My Healthcare Journey Pre and Post Petition and
Your Stories Falling Through The GAP