Brisa is twenty-one, living in Dubuque, Iowa. As an employee for her family’s business, Shaggy’s Flea Market (pictured above), and at Hotel Julien in Dubuque, she sees jobs as the key to civic life.
Her key to citizenship:
I believe I’m a good citizen. I don’t cause any trouble, commit any crimes, or bother any people. I just live. I feel like certain areas of Dubuque have good citizens; there’s no crime. There are others I wouldn’t even walk down the street because of the crime.
Basically, good citizenship is about not breaking the laws and not disrespecting anyone.
She’s not a fan of current protests:
I don’t see the protesters right now, like the ones in Missouri, as good citizens. And I don’t support the NFL protests. The flag doesn’t stand for Donald Trump. It stands for all the people who have fought and died for this country. People have stood for the anthem for forever. Now all of a sudden the flag is an issue? I don’t think that’s good citizenship.
How people should protest:
Don’t be violent, bring guns, harm people’s property. As for NFL players, don’t play (a given game or at all) to show your discontent.. It hurts business. In general, people shouldn’t be fired for their beliefs. But when they use their beliefs in a way that hurts business, then, yes, it’s fine.
I challenged her whether the Google employee should have been fired for his actions (if she’s not supportive of NFL players voicing their option):
Maybe he shouldn’t have been fired, but what he did was bad for business. And it wasn’t being a good citizen.
How people react to her Trump hat:
I can’t wear my Make America Great Again hat. People snicker at me. In 2008, I could’ve worn a Barrack Obama hat, and it wouldn’t been perfectly okay.
What “Making America Great Again” means to her:
Making America Great means bringing back jobs. Instead of giving out welfare money. Dubuque is receiving money to subsidize housing. Instead of giving people money, why don’t we give people a job? A better education? A better job? Then they can spend the money on what they want. They can have the freedom to do what they really want to do. Giving people grant money doesn’t give them freedom.
I asked her about President Obama’s success with job growth:
But welfare expansion was also the Obama years. So was debt increase. But Trump is focused on bringing back jobs. They might not be great jobs. But it’ll give people money, give people direction. Then they feel like they don’t need food stamps and welfare.
High school graduates need options:
Graduating high school, people need skills that aren’t just university focused. They need to see all of the jobs and all the ways to get there. For example, they need to have experience working with their hands if they want to be a carpenter. Graduating high school, I was pushed to go to university not knowing what I wanted to do, and got myself into debt. I would rather have gone a cheaper direction, a different route. Not everyone needs a history degree.
What it means to be an American:
The freedom to choose what to do with your life without the government or your employer telling you what to do. We should have the freedom to choose whether to succeed or not succeed in life.
How we can all improve as citizens:
People should shut off social media and hangout with each other again.