Miriam Laing (50), a Democrat from Lake Worth, FL, has spent most of her career working for nonprofit Jewish organizations. An activist since childhood, she is very involved with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and lives just 32 miles from Parkland, Florida. She believes it is important that her children “understand what it means to be involved in your community and to give back and take responsibility.”
We are providing the unfiltered opinions of voters interviewed for this project. Those views are based on their understanding and perception of facts and information from a range of sources. In some cases, that information may be misleading or incorrect.
What issues concern you most right now?
My number one priority is common gun sense laws. I’m looking for a candidate who also makes this a priority and who’s willing to work hard to close the background check loopholes. Another issue I’m concerned about is women’s issues, particularly these last few years. I’m worried that the freedoms I’ve had will not be the freedoms my daughter may have when she’s an adult. Climate and education are concerning issues as well.
Are there any make-or-break issues for you?
If a candidate is unwilling to address gun violence, then I could not support them. I also could not support someone who is racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic or misogynistic, even if they have other views I agree with.
Does religion affect your political views?
Judaism teaches us is that it is our responsibility to take care of one another, to be charitable. It’s something I grew up believing, and I think it’s an inherent part of Judaism.
Does Israel affect your political views?
I have a great love for Israel, and I would consider myself a Zionist, but it’s not in my top three requirements I want to focus on. But if a candidate was anti-Israel, that would not be okay.
What traits are most important to you in a candidate?
Honesty and the ability to speak to all kinds of people without being condescending. Someone who has a grasp of the issues but is also able to connect in a real and genuine way. Hypocrisy, corruption and total inexperience, as well as bullying and demeaning behavior, are traits that are unacceptable to me.
Is there any conflict or disagreement in your family about politics?
My husband and I don’t always agree, but he’s not a Trump supporter by any stretch. I think I’m probably on the far end of left, and he’s more moderate. I would probably be considered a raging liberal. We agree on the important issues, but we just don’t always like the same candidates in terms of their personalities. We do have a few people in our extended families who do not agree with us. We’ve had to essentially agree to not speak about politics or remind people coming to family gatherings not to discuss it so that there is peace.