PHOENIX — This election season ABC15 is sitting down with voters to get past the politics and talk about the issues they are most concerned about in their everyday lives.
This week we spoke with Harriett, who lives in the southeast Valley. She's a retired human resource professional, who had hoped she'd be spending 2020 traveling and seeing her grandchildren.
The coronavirus pandemic thwarted those plans.
"Our whole world has changed. Everything has changed. We're sitting here with masks on," she told ABC15.
Masks are a precaution that she insists on taking, citing the number of infections, and mounting death toll. She believes they should be a standard throughout the country.
"A mandate across the United States so that everyone is doing the same thing, not just in one state, or one city," she said.
But for Harriett, who is African-American, even more concerning than COVID-19 is the racial divide in the country.
"I've never in my life experienced, so much hatred and just it's just terrible. Even when I was a child," she said. "Back to in the 60s. When there were riots, it was bad then. But it's really bad now, because people are doing all kinds of vicious things to people unnecessarily."
She said she expects that racism will always be a battle that needs to be fought, but she hopes the burden is easier by the time her grandchildren come of age.
"I have twin grandbabies. And they're four years old," she said. "I don't want them to grow up in a world that is racially divided. We are there now. And if something doesn't change very soon, something doesn't change. It's going to get worse."
One way Harriett is working toward change is through volunteering.
"Step outside of your comfort zone. And just try to do something that you ordinarily would not do. You'd be surprised just how much of a difference that can make in someone else's life."
She says it's a difference she tries to make every day.
"When I die, one thing they can say about me is that I tried," she said.