Iíve been surprised lately how on social media, friends and neighbors with much in common will rage vehemently against those they perceive to be on the other side of the political fence, not realizing the people they are raging against actually share many of their beliefs. Of course we all have differences, but I know that if we focus on the issues and not the party labels we would find more common ground than we realize.
For the upcoming election, how nice would it be if people would remove party labels and just look objectively at the issues, and then vote for the person who has acted in a way that is aligned with what they believe.
For example, I am going to vote for a candidate who understands that college, vocational/technical school and apprenticeship programs are all valuable, and that college isnít the only path to success. The candidate I vote for will understand that this means we must fully fund our public schools and allow them to use the best and most modern methods to reach all of our students, not just the ones who learn traditionally.
I am going to vote for a candidate who understands the healthcare needs of rural communities, and who will work to make sure we are no longer need to be designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
I am going to vote for a candidate who can reasonably address the gun issue recognizing that we can protect our Second Amendment rights and still protect our children from gun violence by taking a rational approach to appropriate safety measures, accessibility and mental health support. Gun ownership in this country is a right, and itís also a responsibility. The candidate I vote for will understand this and work to find a reasonable compromise.
The candidate who gets my vote will display a high degree of integrity, treating all people with dignity and respect, and listening to those with opposing viewpoints in order to find solutions rather than mud-slinging, name-calling or acting in ways unbecoming a leader.
The candidate I will vote for, in the 13th Legislative District, will be Sylvia Hammond. Not because of her party, but because of who she is and what she will do for our district.