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Fosters Daily Democrat 10.28.2012

Going door to door as a candidate for state senate in District 4, conversation often turns to values. People care about their families, communities, and quality of life. I hear about jobs, owning a home, social services for the elderly and disabled children,good schools and safe streets. Citizens deeply care about our freedoms, low taxes, time in the woods or on the water, and making life better through religious and civic organizations. Barrington, Dover, Rollinsford, and Somersworth are great places to live, so as state senator I will do all that I can to make sure we preserve what we value most.

The legislature lost sight of these common values in the past session. I am running for state senate because we must restore common sense and civility to Concord and end the divisive us-against-them politics on social issues, public education, and women's health. Concord should pay attention to how our communities thrive, especially when it comes to the business community, represented by active Chambers of Commerce, working with local organizations and government.

My campaign is inspired by the belief that we can transcend political differences by working together. I've served on many boards, including the New Hampshire Historical Society, the New Hampshire Humanities Council, The Robert Frost Farm, and the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail. I've seen personally the commitment to New Hampshire values, to our cultural and natural environment, and to the good life families enjoy.

Supporting education, the arts, museums and libraries, and historic preservation has been my life work. Historic preservation and economic growth go hand in hand, and no place in the state demonstrates this better than this district. I will continue my legislative efforts to offer economic incentives for renovating historic properties to achieve energy efficiency and to conserve land by restoring funding for the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). This funding was essential for preserving the Tuttle Farm and protecting aquifers in Dover, for preserving land in Barrington, and for making possible the restoration of the Paul Wentworth House in Rollinsford. I served on the Moose Plate funds committee that gave Somersworth a grant to survey the Hilltop area, and now there are plans to turn the Hilltop School into a vibrant arts and culture center. Repurposed historic mills in Dover, Somersworth, and Rollinsford are contributing to economic growth, employment, and vibrant downtowns. The heritage, cultural, and arts economies are vital to the future of this district.

Community values also include the New Hampshire commitment to freedom and equality, enshrined so eloquently in our state and federal Constitutions. The promise that all are created equal and that “we the people” can form a more perfect union is not just a parchment dream but something we can be proud of in New Hampshire. We are neighborly, but we let out neighbors be. This means that people can worship how they called to do so, marry whom they love, and make private medical decisions without government intrusion. Democracy thrives when rooted in tolerance and trust, since the public good includes all citizens.

Government has a special role in promoting the public good through services the people know can only be provided through taxation. The past two years have seen attacks on teachers, police, firefighters, and other public servants, and cuts in the state budget to local aid and pensions mean downshifting to the local level. The current effort to turn Medicare into a voucher program and Medicaid into a block grant will mean dire cuts in services for our elderly and people with disabilities and more burdens on local taxpayers. There is a better way to move forward together. We face tough economic times, and I will insist on a realistic, balanced budget with no income or sales tax, but we can make these decisions without rancor and blame. It's better to consider first the services we want for our children, our elderly, our streets and bridges, and our safety, and to make investments in education and worker training, and cut red tape for businesses, so the economy will grow. That's the way to build a stronger community in District 4. If you share this vision of our values, I ask for your vote on Nov. 6.