WHO IS ERIC FRAME?
Why am I running?
After 18 years of schooling, I left college $33,000 in debt and came home in search of marketing and advertising jobs. In the initial months of the job search, I was mostly offered commission based pyramid scheme sales gigs. I was discouraged, all of these years hearing about how I needed a degree to be able to be successful and now with the degree I couldn't find a position at all. Through a friend, I finally found work in the Retirement Planning Industry. The company started three of us at $14 an hour while everyone else on the team, doing the same work and hired at the same time started at $15. It was unfair and unacceptable. I ended up fighting for a year to get that dollar for the three of us. Even though I was satisfied with our pay finally being equal to everyone, I still was not able to find an affordable single bed apartment anywhere in the Sacramento area.
Around the same time, my Mother was diagnosed with Leukemia. Our family was devastated. You go through life with blinders, hearing person after person going through tragedy, but you always take comfort in thinking it will never happen to you. Until it does. Mom went through several chemotherapy treatments. She fought hard. I watched as these treatments took the strong mother who raised me, and put her through indescribable pain and suffering. But even as she experienced the most horrific thing I have seen to date, she still loved. And burned bright enough to touch anyone who met her; no matter how briefly. During her treatments, our dog died, I totaled my car, and I gained 30 pounds from stress, cubicle work and illness anxiety. Through all of it I held on to the fact I needed to stay strong for her, my dad, and my brother too. I lost my mother in November 2015.
Due to the overwhelming stress and grief, I quit my job in January 2016.
After my mother's passing I went through all the stages of grief; shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression... I asked myself things like "Why did she have to suffer?" "Why is it that we are still paying for treatment even after what happened?" I couldn't shake the injustice of it. The injustice of the world really.
After the initial shock I began thinking about the rest of my life. I thought about how much my job made me miserable. I thought about my career path and my passions. Most importantly I thought about what my mom would have wanted for me.
This was when I was introduced to politics. I stood in a crowd of thousands as I listened to Bernie Sanders speak differently than any politician before. I learned of medical freedom, universal healthcare, all these things I knew were broken, but I didn't know how to fix them or even why they were the way they were. A fire was lit in me that had always been there, but was dormant. I went door-to-door for Bernie Sanders. I contributed money to Bernie's campaign. I was convinced that this was the revolution that would break us free of old party politics.
I was shocked to witness the media collusion against Bernie, the 'discrepancies' at the polling place and that pathetic 'democratic' convention, complete with noise cancelling speakers to drain the jeers. I was disappointed but still feeling that fire burning underneath the surface. I knew I couldn't support Hillary after what happened, so Jill Stein gained my vote and support during the convention, when she stood with the people in the streets of Philadelphia. I was thrown off, but still determined to find somewhere in the political world where my views and passion fit.
After the primary, my father and I walked 500 miles through Spain. The Way of St. James or El Camino was both enlightening and beautiful. On this journey I reflected on myself, my family, and what my purpose in life was.We met wonderful people from all over the world.
The trip was previously planned for my father and mother, but as fate had it, I was the one who ended up going with my father. "The Camino provides" as people say. This trip, originally intended for them, ended up being a gift from my mom. To bring my father and me closer and to give us a beautiful and difficult adventure to let us come together and grieve. The Camino taught me confidence, especially when meeting new people. It also gave me time to read. I dragged around JFK and the Unspeakable on the walk. I continued to read other books like it, such as The Franklin Coverup, and Access Denied. They made me question many of the things I knew, and encouraged me to start looking into corruption and why the United States is the way it is.
I returned home with the determination to be more active. I went to rallies, marches, community events, city council meetings and county budget hearings. I joined the Green Party of Sacramento, and started fighting the inhumane and unconstitutional response to the homeless issue in my own city of Sacramento. The passion I always had pinpointed itself. I was born for a reason, and I went through the difficult times that I did for a reason; to push me to be a voice for those who didn't have one. To advocate for our brothers and sisters on the street, to speak up for the children who go missing and are trafficked, to change the world for the better. I have attended meetings of many organizations across the board: Green Party, DSA, California National Party, NorCal Resist, Peace and Freedom, Move to Amend, Healthcare for All, Save Our Children, Parents United For Kids, Reapeal the Gas Tax...
And one thing united them all. We need to join together to get real change.
So why am I running?
Because there are too many issues NOT to run for office. We need to elect We the People. The People of the 99%. I am running because I know I can make a difference, and I am running because I am not the only person with a story like this. I am running for the elderly woman who was kicked out of her apartment and now is homeless because she cant rent anything affordable in Sacramento, for the single mom who can't afford California, but can't leave because her family is here, for the father who lost rights to his child due to a corrupt system, and I am running for my mom.
I became an independent, because I realized that policies matter more to me than parties. I am grateful to the Bernie movement for waking me up, and for the Green Party for introducing me to my soulmate and now wife.
But this goes beyond the constricting walls of labels. This is about giving the ignored a voice, giving the youth the fire and tools to continue building and fixing this country.