Saturday, December 6, 2014

THYME Magazine: Mia Love, Distinctly American

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume VIII, Issue XXIIIa

Mia Love, Distinctly American

She was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Haitian immigrants Jean Maxine Bourdeau and his wife Marie who had fled the country in 1973. Ludmya Bourdeau (Mia) came into the world December 6, 1975. Her father had been threatened by dictator François “Papa Doc” Duvalier's secret police. Jean came to the country by himself and was joined by his wife a few months later. Immigration law at the time allowed them to apply for citizenship if they had a child born in this country. Mia says: “My parents have always told me I was a miracle and our family’s ticket to America.”

When she was five, the family moved to Norwalk Connecticut. Marie worked as a nurse and Jean worked as a janitor, a bus driver and other assorted jobs. She grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood. She recalls that friends from her Catholic school were not allowed by their parents to come to her home for her birthday party. After high school, Mia attended the University of Hartford. A fine arts major, she was probably not looking forward to a career in politics. The theater appealed to her more.

After college, Mia became a flight attendant. Her sister Cynthia had joined the Latter Day Saints and Mia's investigation of the Church led her to do so as well. Jason Love, an LDS missionary on assignment to Connecticut, took an interest in this amazing young woman. Though young men on mission are admonished not to think about romance, the two found each other when Mia later moved to Salt Lake City. They were married, and here the story might have ended with Mia Love, mother of three, but for the bugs.

When she and her husband moved to a new neighborhood at the North end of Utah Lake, they found that the lake's midge flies were a real problem. She became a champion for the cause of getting the neighborhood sprayed for bugs! When the Supreme Court considered removing the phrase: "Under G-d" from the Pledge of Allegiance, she became active in public affairs again. in 2003 she was elected to the Saratoga Springs City Council. In 2009 she ran for mayor. She got sixty percent of the vote.

Running for Congress in Utah's Fourth District, Love again made history in this past election. She's the first black Republican Congresswoman, but there is more to her story. She has attained these milestones for Americans of Haitian ancestry in the United States as well. Love says of her earlier success: "I wasn’t elected in Saratoga Springs because of my race or my gender or my heels. I was elected by the people there because I had a plan and a vision to get us financially stable. Think about people like Martin Luther King. Imagine if he decided to fit into this mold that society told him to fit into. Imagine if he just listened to the government when they told him he was a second-class citizen.” Mia Love has already defied any effort to "mold" her. She will be a breath of fresh air when she takes her seat in Congress.

Boeing's Space Launch System

"Going to Mars is hard, but can you imagine the things that we're going to learn along the way?" -- Paisley Matthews, Boeing Program Integration Manager

No comments: