October 29, 2020

SophiaColley_feat.jpgMember political organizer (MPO) Sophia Colley remembers when the Obama Administration, led by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, delivered the historic Affordable Care Act to provide quality, accessible healthcare coverage for millions of Americans who had been otherwise uncovered and vulnerable.

At the signing of the law, Biden famously whispered in Obama’s ear, “This is a big (emphatic adverb) deal,” because he knew it was a giant step forward in protecting Americans who were otherwise vulnerable and uncovered against health problems and financial hardship.

Obamacare, of course, has since been relentlessly attacked by the Trump Administration and its GOP ideologues, many here in Florida. They’ve tried to damage and eliminate protections all together, while making coverage more expensive and/or allowing junk policies that benefit only the profits of big insurance companies. They’ve continued pursuing these attacks – such as eliminating coverage for pre-existing conditions -- all the way to the Supreme Court, even in the middle of the unprecedented COVID-19 public health emergency that has cost hundreds of thousands of Americans their lives, and more than 12 million losing their work-sponsored health benefits in the pandemic-related economic crisis.

The ACA is now even more vulnerable with a new extreme conservative Supreme Court justice who would be expected to follow Trump and GOP doctrine and be the deciding vote to strike down the law. The same grave concern applies to laws governing women’s reproductive rights and care.

“Especially as a professional caregiver who sees patients and families struggle, I can’t understand the type of uncaring, cruel mind that would want to so many to suffer,” said Colley, who has been a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in a Florida nursing home since 1991. “And now the current administration even admits they ‘downplayed’ this pandemic while knowing it was ‘deadly stuff,’ making the whole crisis so much worse. How many thousands of people would have been saved if the current president had been honest or if he cared about anyone other than himself?”

Colley believes that Joe Biden will bring back competence and compassion to the White House, based on his long record of public service putting the needs of working families first, and his own personal experiences and loss.

In addition to losing his wife and young daughter in traffic accident many years ago, Biden’s adult son died of brain cancer in 2015. Colley can closely and sadly relate. Her daughter died at age 26 in 2013 of sickle cell anemia.

As a CNA, she has seen and suffered with countless families whose frail elderly loved ones try to live out their final days in comfort and dignity, while proper funding for sustainable long-term care has been cut or withheld by Florida’s GOP-led legislature for the past 20 years. Colley has testified in front of the state legislature and in other important forums, stressing to officials the immense need for sufficient resources and oversight to make sure Florida seniors can receive the high quality care they deserve.

“We need leaders who truly know our challenges, who feel our pain. Joe Biden is this type of good and trustworthy man, versus the zero-out-of-10 character in the White House today,” Colley said. “This is why I’m ‘ridin’ with Biden’ and working so hard to use my voice and have working people be heard through their votes this election.”

As an MPO, Colley will send thousands of texts, phone calls and other communications to fellow members of 1199EIU United Healthcare Workers East, as well as many more to partners, friends and those in her community who deserve a government that is honest, earnest and that believes in an America for all.

“This is election is about healthcare and so much more. Racial justice, union and worker rights, immigration, safe communities, a clean environment are just some of the critical issue,” Colley said. “And even more broadly, we’re really fighting for decency and democracy. We all have to stand up and stand together.”


Early voting is underway. Visit here for a list of endorsed candidates. For more information on becoming an MPO or getting involved in the election, contact 1199SEIU Florida political coordinators: Coy Jones,, 954-895-2081, or Jason Morales,, 646-413-2755.