Letter: Support James for legislature

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To the Editor:The moment I learned that Kathleen James was running for the state legislature representing Manchester, Arlington, Sunderland and Sandgate, I was thrilled. She is exactly the kind of person we need to represent us in Montpelier.I've known Kathleen for nearly 20 years. When we first met, she was working diligently and exuberantly on the Manchester School Fund, a program that back then successfully helped to fund our schools while keeping our property taxes low. My family and I had just moved to Manchester from Florida, a state where, historically, property taxes are kept low at the expense of school funding and, as a result, public schools are extremely challenging. I'm grateful that our boys received a wonderful public school education at MEMS. During those years, Kath and I served on the MEMS Parent Network Group together, where she gently challenged me one evening on a comment I had made. Her thoughtful words caused me to rethink my position, which I admit was wrong. There's a reason I remember that moment to this day. Kathleen is a powerful, thoughtful and effective communicator. I can't think of a more important quality for a representative to have when negotiating for our best interest in the legislature.Over the years, Kath has worked hard in our community for issues that are critically important to me. She cares deeply about our public schools while being a strong supporter of school choice. She has been an ardent advocate of environmental causes and women's rights, both of which have been under constant attack by the current leadership in Washington, putting the onus squarely on state governments to do the right thing. Clearly, her experience comes from countless hours of community service and leadership over many years.What I find most compelling, however, is her eagerness to reach out and have reasonable conversations in order to find common ground and get things done. This is why I wholeheartedly support Kathleen James for state representative and I urge you to vote for her on Nov. 6.Carmen (Lu) FrenchManchester



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