1. The past two days in Ward 5A have really been fun. (5A is the area immediately South of the center of the city.) I was invited to put up signs in front of four homes on East Street, one home on Union Street and James Street. Everyone I met was enthusiastic and gracious. It was a humbling experience. One of the highlights of our campaign.
People are concerned about seniors housing. Today, an elderly man told me he’d owned his house for the past 75 years. He’s afraid he’ll have to give it up because of rising property taxes. Attleboro doesn’t want anyone to lose their homes.
We will find a way to help seniors live in their homes as long as possible. If Houston, Minneapolis and other cities around the USA can give their seniors a break…. so can Attleboro!
Jim Hawkins is working on several bills in the state house to give seniors hope. I will support our seniors when those bills reach the City Council.
Meanwhile, our children need smaller classes. If we can build a new high school we can certainly figure out how to reduce the class sizes. I am constantly meeting students who are lamenting that their classes are very crowded. Are we listening to them? What are we communicating to them?
To help seniors and children we need more revenue. Our proposed new Economic Development Director could help by attracting new businesses to Attleboro.
2. I stopped at East Street to look at my map when a car with two ladies slowed down next to me. The passenger leaned out the window and asked if I was a census worker. I smiled and handed my palm card to her. “No, Ma’am, I’m hoping to be a city councilor.” She laughed, took my card, and told me to knock them dead in City Hall. Off they drove.
It was a good day. I was greeted by lots of folks and put five signs on their lawns. Four of the signs went right along Newport Ave, Route 1A. South Attleboro always seems friendly, regardless of the busy traffic.
John and I were amazed by the beauty along Pitus Ave, surrounded by a peaceful forest. So close — yet so far from the highways.
Two men shared their concerns today, along with the frustrations of keeping their medical insurance. Yesterday, a young man told me about his stroke and seizure disorder. People are struggling with their own issues and need someone to talk to, even a stranger like myself. I referred two of these men to the Larson Senior Center to talk with one of our terrific Social Workers. I’m going to follow up with the Wellness Director at the Attleboro YMCA for the man recovering from a stroke. Perhaps we can help his recovery.
I’m convinced one of the most important skills a City Councilor can have is be a good listener. I try.
The highlight this weekend was two fold.
Saturday morning we held signs from 10 am – 12 pm at the entrance to Stop and Shop & Pleasant Street. There was a lot of traffic, a lot of waves from neighbors, a lot of thumbs up, and at least a dozen cars honked for us! My team is doing a great job promoting the campaign and getting my name recognized.
The last 30 minutes the volunteers and I played a game. Would men or women wave or honk more? The rules? One point for a wave, two points for a honk. Believe it or not, men beat the woman with 36 points to 33 points! The men were more likely to honk for 2 points.
Next Saturday morning we are holding signs at County Square. We could use your help! If you want to volunteers some Saturday mornings, call Jan Waterman at 508-455-1918. Holding signs and waving can be fun and really helps the campaign.
I biked to Ward 5A, just south of the center, on Saturday afternoon. I covered Maple, Mulberry, and Carpenter Streets. I met lots of nice people. I found Manuel in back of his home, watering his garden. Manuel is 72 years old. He spends a lot of time tending to his vegetable garden. I told Manuel I wanted to help seniors get a property tax break, he signed my nomination papers and introduced me to his girlfriend who also signed. He also took five palm cards to show to five of his seven adult children who also live in Attleboro. He had already shown me so much kindness but concluded by asking for two of my signs to tie onto his fence. What a nice man! Manuel is the salt of the earth.
This campaign sometimes feels like a battle of signs. We have about 180 signs up. My opponents have lots of signs too.
The last two days have been exceptional with 11 homeowners requesting signs in wards 2 and 3. Each one of those signs represents a wonderful conversation with that homeowner.
Today, along North Main Street, I met a lady, her 18 year old daughter, and her daughters best friend. We talked about the large increase in Attleboro High School classes over the past few years. We talked about the need for a civics class at AHS. We talked about the new voting procedure in the state of Maine. We talked about college and the young women’s goals of becoming a social worker and an engineer. We talked about protesting when our schools lose good teachers through budget cuts. We talked about homeless folks in Attleboro and the need for a family shelter.
Each sign has a story behind it. This North Main Street sign represents a proud mother, a daughter determined to make this a better world, and a friend who wants to be a good engineer. This sign represents two young women that are proud to be voting for the first time, who care about Attleboro’s schools, and who want to make this world a better place.
Each sign tells an important story.
Today was really fun. We spoke to 20 voters around the city, from Park Street to Oak Hill to Seanna Street. We sent up Newport Ave and lots of side streets. We ended up on Cote Street above South Ave. Along the way, we put up 18 signs on folks lawns. Those signs are a symbol of what I stand for. Supporters want me to be a voice for the poor and struggling folks, our dedicated blue-collar guys, our children who need to learn in smaller school classes, seniors who are afraid of losing their homes and not affording their future tax bills, our public school teachers who work constantly trying to help our children, our dedicated city employees and their supervisors, our water department and temporary director, our librarians and their new director, our city nurse and social worker, and of course, our mayor.
One of my favorite moments today was when we knocked on Scott and Meghan’s door on Seanna Street off of South Main Street. I was sorry they weren’t home but I had the honor of putting up my sign behind their homemade sign on the front lawn. Their sign declared. “LOVE TRUMPS HATE.”
That’s exactly what we all need to do, in our City Council, churches, and social groups throughout Attleboro, Massachusetts and throughout our beloved America. We all need to stand up and tell our politicians and city leaders; we need to tell our educators, our children and one another: “LOVE TRUMPS HATE”.