Areva Martin is a co-host on the medical daytime talk show The Doctors and also a a multi-award winning Harvard-trained attorney and advocate. She also is a Principal at her own law firm in LA Martin & Martin LLP.
She has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President for two reasons. “One, the glass ceiling. The concept that we have an opportunity for the first time in this country’s history to elect a female President. That is huge, for me as a civil rights lawyer, a woman, a mother. I have worked my whole life in a male-dominated career – the law – and to have Hillary in office is like having the first African-American President in Office. When you shatter that glass ceiling, the negative stereotypes that people have around gender roles makes it so much easier for people to imagine women as leaders – not just in government, but also in corporations, non-profits, and so many other areas. This election is historic. Unfortunately, that message has been muted by the unusual nastiness of the election and the distraction on so many other topics. Two, Hillary demonstrated commitment to inclusiveness and diversity. I could not have been more blown away when I was at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this summer – the number of African-Americans involved in her campaign and involved in the Democratic National Committee – from the top to the bottom, there were people of colour.”
Although we are only days away from the Election, the polls are becoming tighter than pollsters predicted weeks ago. “Trump tapped into unspoken hatred that still exists in this country. A lot of it is racism. Look at what happened with Beyonce at the Country Music Awards. Here is a woman that every award show she blows the ratings out of the charts. Yet, she goes to the CMAs and the vile, hatred comments are so pervasive that reports say the CMAs had to scrub her from their social media sites. Now of course they are pushing back on that, but clearly something has happened with her appearance. I think the voices that are fighting back because of the changes – the browning of this country, that Latinos are becoming dominant – this is backlash. Change is hard for people. Trump happened to what a lot of white people felt about Obama, about the changing demographics in this country. He was masterful into tapping into this which is why I see the tightening in the polls. These are the same people, I suspect, that wrote that vile hate filled messages on the CMA social media sites.”
Areva Martin is the founder and President of Special Needs Network, Inc., a Los Angeles based non-profit organization created specifically to raise awareness of issues that impact individuals with autism and related disabilities living in under served and marginalized communities. “Trump is already on record to say autism is caused by vaccines, and there is no scientific evidence of that. A Trump Presidency promoting that would be very detrimental to the community. What we need are smart people that understand the science of autism, the economics cost, and willing to put federal dollars not only into early intervention but also for teenagers and young adults, and adults with developmental disabilities. We need more dollars into those programs that support job training, employment, independent living and housing. Individuals with disabilities are routinely regulated to poverty level status – either live at home, or some government benefits. What we know is with proper training they can be employed, they can earn a living, they can live independently or with some type of assistance. Clinton has already gone on record – one of the first Republican and Democrats – during this election cycle to have a whole autism policy. I had the opportunity to speak to her one-on-one at a leadership meeting that was held in Los Angeles back in the summer about autism and she is well-versed on the issues and committed to it. That’s refreshing.”
On a lighter note, Areva Martin is very active on social media and you can see pictures of her fitness, which mainly includes lots of running, but she was very opposed to it beforehand. “Four years ago, I was at an event and saw a woman who looked incredible and told a friend of mine, who was a marathon runner, I want to stop this event regime I have and want to do something for the rest of my life. She said you should start running. I said no no. We just started walking. Then we would walk a block, run a block, walk a block, run a block. Eventually I realized I loved being outside. It was easy. I didn’t have to fight LA traffic. I didn’t have to have a membership at a gym. I started running. If you are breaking a sweat, you are running too fast. You don’t have to become a sprinter. Running is about endurance and power rather than speed. There’s something serene about being outdoors.”