To the editor:
In Rep. Frank McCarthy’s recent response to my Oct. 14 letter, “Right-to-happiness not right-to-work,” he used 600 words defending the anti-union, “right-to-work” legislation, which retards wages and hurts the middle/working class, and not a single sentence on health care, education, affordable housing or healthy and social lifestyles.
This is entirely indicative of his personal voting history in Concord. You see, over the two interrupted and unproductive terms that Frank has served, he has voted against Medicaid expansion, while local teacher salaries have remained some of the lowest in the state, and local college tuition has risen to the highest rates in the nation. All while our property taxes continue to climb.
A right-to-happiness platform of policies would address all of these issues and others that are so real and a part of our lives.
I believe, over the next two years:
• New Hampshire must support and join Colorado’s effort in the fight for “single-payer for all” health care (Amendment 69, ColoradoCare) with our own, state-tailored legislation; making health care more affordable and accessible for the citizens of New Hampshire.
• New Hampshire must remove Common Core, placing the direction and fate of our children’s education into the hands of our local districts, which know and understand our next generation better than anybody. At the same time, if we do not raise the salaries of our public school’s educators our community will continue to risk losing many of our educated and professional, young teachers to higher paying school districts elsewhere.
• In order to address the student debt crisis and restore the working and middle class, the public community college system must be made more accessible to more citizens of New Hampshire.
As far as “significantly adding to the working population,” as Frank mentions in his defensive response, I have personally witnessed the vast majority of my friends and peers flee this valley in pursuit of “real jobs,” salaries and benefits. We must cease our ever-increasing local tax rate, invest in affordable housing, foster local business and find creative ways to connect the young workers with better opportunities in our wondrous valley. It will not be hard to convince young workers and families to come to one of the most beautiful places in the world.
We must begin the process of raising the “minimum wage” in a responsible manner, joining Montana, Ohio, Washington, Oregon and so many other states in the pursuit of a “living wage.”
You see, health care should be a right, not a privilege. Education must be the most important aspect of our local culture, and the jobs of the future should be reflective of the past that made this place so special. It should go without saying that all of this legislation would be a major step toward healing our current and tragic opioid epidemic.
I ask for your support, and your vote, on and beyond Nov. 8.
Candidate for state representative for Chatham, Conway, Eaton and Hale’s Location