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Letter to the Editor: The Voice of the People

By Staff | Apr 28, 2021

The door has opened

After being asked to help put on a town hall style meeting held at the Fort in Sistersville on April 22nd, organized by Alex King and Khara Wren, I am encouraged that people in this district are more than willing to speak up and voice their concerns now that they feel they are actually being heard.

Over 20 residents showed up to hear Alex, Khara and I speak about everything from the Jim Justice mask mandates and his order to only lift the mandate if 70% of West Virginia is vaccinated, fully vaccinated according to the CDC guidelines, to some of what my campaign issues are including improving education, recycling, infrastructure, invigorating the area and numerous other issues which lit up the room when discussed (as the campaign progresses, I’ll have a more formal list and agenda laid out).

I asked the crowd what was the reason they never felt safe or brave enough to speak up about their feelings to want to do something to better the town and most replied it’s because in a small town they are worried about how they’re perceived by their neighbors – a sentiment sadly too pervasive in society.

They also felt like their voices aren’t heard by existing politicians whose agendas are assuming power without holding themselves accountable to those who elected them.

I told them that I feel the same way and that we decided to launch meetings like this so voices can be heard, whose ideas are as important as they are themselves.

In an effort to keep and build on this energy of encouragement, we are planning future meetings and town halls as well as fundraisers for my campaign which will include pancake breakfasts, rallies and other events (perhaps golf tournaments). In any case, the idea is that I believe we opened a door this week, one which had been closed way too long and has allowed must and cobwebs to form.

My campaign slogans are “to revitalize the district” and “to solve problems, not create them.” With what I saw at this town hall meeting, I have seen a town ready to open a lot of doors.

Doors to rooms full of hope and ideas and a need to make this district not just one where people exist but thrive and contribute and are happy about it, not just for themselves but for their families and their neighbors and friends. I’ve said it before and it is important to keep saying it so no one will forget it. We are America, we are God fearing, flag loving and freedom ensured Americans and everyone’s voices must be heard or we won’t have them at all.