Open Letter to Gov. Chris Christie from a Hardworking Jersey Girl

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Dear Mr. Christie,

I am going to try to keep it clean, though I may not be able. As you know, we New Jerseyans do not mince words, and we will sooner tell you exactly how we feel about you than be inhibited by etiquette or protocol.

So let me tell you my feelings, as a person who was born and raised in our great state, as a person who is proud of where I live and trusts in its institutions. Sir, you are a disgrace.

I spent a considerable portion of my career making very little money working for a school district that serves students with developmental disabilities. The district was a part of the county which is part of the state, as you know, and so I fell under the evil black umbrella of “State Workers.” Those parasitic succubi whom you love to vilify and denigrate.

Never mind that I was making less than $25,000, never mind that, as a non-certified staff member, I did not enjoy the protection of any kind of union, I was still one of your undeservedly pampered public employees for 6 years.

During the time I spent working for the state my (already meager) wages were garnished each pay period to contribute to my pension. I just recently checked my pension. Although I no longer work in the public sector (couldn’t afford to any longer), there is still quite a bit of MY money still in my pension account. And I’m counting on that money for my retirement.

So here’s the thing I need you to understand, that money is MINE. I worked for it. If you’ll excuse the histrionics, I very literally cried, sweated, and bled in the pursuit of my wages and I expect to collect every last penny I’ve got coming to me.

As you maneuver yourself to cut apart the safety net that IĀ and others like me have painstakingly woven for ourselves over many years of labor, do you feel it is an appropriate consolation to tell us, “welcome to the real world, people”? In the real world, when you sign a contract, both parties uphold their sides and if not, the party who has violated the terms of the agreement is prosecuted. That is what happens in the REAL world.

In the world of your creation, the rich get tax breaks and carte blanche to do whatever they like, while working-class people like me are expected to accept your bluster and off-handed justifications as you very literally rob us blind.

If there were any sense or justice in our government, sir, you would be impeached at the very least. Really, you belong in jail, as far as I’m concerned.

Even though I’m fairly sure you will never read this, I am writing anyway to attempt to let you know that I am not fooled by your “man of the people” pose. I am not fooled by the way you used Hurricane Sandy as a public relations opportunity. You are an elitist aristocrat, the type of opportunistic politician who slowly chips away at the rights and comforts of regular people all while he is high-fiving and yo’ing us in contrived photo opportunities.

I am ashamed of you as a representative of our state, that you would so callously break a promise with so many people. I am ashamed and I am shocked. I hope, for the love of this state and this country, that this will be the thing that finally changes people’s minds about you and that you will finally, rightfully lose any of the power you currently hold.

Yours very sincerely,
Shannon McGill