"The connection between the writer and his characters is a weird one, I think. You have only yourself to work off of, so obviously you're making characters out of different aspects of yourself, different experiences, memories, dreams and wishes."
My name is Mayra Guadalupe Rubio Limon and I am a dreamer. When Congressman Joe Garcia (D-FL) asked me to join him at the 2014 State of the Union I was thrilled because I knew it would give me a chance to tell my story, and that of the 11 million others that have one just like it.
If America really is the "land of opportunity," then it is only fair that everyone truly should have equality while on life's endeavors. Sadly, however, when I reflect on the evolution of our great country, I don't believe we are the land of promise we once were.
When thousands of men and women work full time but need food stamps to put food on their tables, when they can't get health benefits, when they can't get paid sick days, then we must do whatever we can to stand up for them.
Nearly 6 million young people in the United States are floundering, unable to secure a meaningful foothold in either school or work. 20 percent of them live in poverty, numbers that soared since the Great Recession and have remained stagnant.
There are some of us who, because of our cultural backgrounds, are expected to walk certain paths even if we cast nary a shadow there. And we continue walking on these life paths even if we don't see the light.
Too often, farm workers like Abelino are hurt as they work to provide fresh food for the rest of, sacrificing their own health for ours. What's more, they rarely seek medical care in the U.S. because they can't afford to miss work. These hardworking people deserve health care.
What freedoms? Well... your freedom to remain poor -- and get sick and not afford health care. Your freedom to remain in the rat race of pursuing the American dream with a questionable chance of actualizing it.
The reality is that there are fewer rich people in the US then many would have you believe and regardless of effort the majority of those that make it big already had a seat reserved by their parents before they got there.
People feel compassion toward the needy around the holidays and are motivated to make donations before the tax year ends. This spike in giving between Thanksgiving and the New Year is a double-edged sword.
In case you hadn't noticed, there was a resurgence of interest this past year in my great-grandfather, William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States and the only President also to serve as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Although it's still possible to win the lottery, the biggest lottery of all is what family we're born into. Our life chances are now determined to an unprecedented degree by the wealth of our parents. That's not always been the case.
As someone who believes all social justice issues are interrelated, here was a chance to take a stand in defense of families being torn apart by an immigration system that flies in the face of our nation's immigrant history, and the bedrock American value of justice for all.
What most Americans seek and deserve is not unreasonable. They want a renewed social contract -- a national agreement and practice that rewards honest, hard work. I suggest an approach called the American Invest for Success Program.
Compared with the European and Chinese dreams, the American Dream is alive, evolving, and shining. However, we must honor all its four components: reducing it to only economic prosperity and thus presenting US-Americans as primitive fame-and-fortune hunters is unfair.