As we emerge from the tragedies of the pandemic, we have the

opportunity to imagine the kind of world we want to live in. We

have the opportunity to do better. I imagine a world that protects

the planet for the sake of its children, one that guarantees universal healthcare, and one that understands that education is a basic human right.

 

Will you join me?

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Mario De Santis is a public school teacher and progressive Democrat running for office in New Jersey's First Congressional District. This seat is currently held by Donald Norcross.

"Healthcare inequity is a political choice. If a global health emergency is not humbling enough to motivate our legislators to fight for a universal healthcare system, I'm not willing to wait to find out the level of suffering it will take. At one point, we no longer have the luxury to wait and plea for our representatives to do what's right."

The grandson of educators, Mario has not left the classroom in three decades. A product of public education, he grew to appreciate the role public schools play in cultivating strong communities and currently teaches in Collingswood, New Jersey.

 

Early in his career, Mario discovered his musical talents could serve as avenues for building community and promoting advocacy. One of his first jobs was working with The Gabriel Project, a fine and performing arts non-profit which sought to ease the burden of children's medical expenses. Understanding this valuable lesson, he challenged his own students to apply their talents to provide relief during the pandemic and organized similar efforts. The result of these projects provided relief aid for the Camden County Women's Shelter and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey - efforts featured on the local news and honored by the State Board of Education Student Recognition Program. 

 

During the pandemic, Mario advocated for New Jersey's immigrant students and joined a coalition to pressure our legislature to include immigrant families in COVID-19 relief aid. He successfully lobbied to increase accessibility of local municipal meetings and was a strong voice in calling on the federal Department of Education to issue waivers for state standardized tests. During this time, he organized local actions and met with congressional staff to compel representatives to support single-payer, universal healthcare. With his partner, an academic dentist, he continues to join national demonstrations and advocate for a universal healthcare system.

Mario is currently an ABD doctoral candidate. Motivated by his first-hand experiences with educational inequities, his dissertation topic concerns educational disparities.

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