Unity in diversity
Yesterday was a big outreach day for me.
The morning started with a Right to Know NH board meeting, where we discussed proposed bills to improve government transparency, and thus accountability. The current lack of transparency and the unacceptable level of redaction of public information is a growing negative trend in NH. I'm honestly not sure whether this stems from actual malfeasance or just general incompetence. I suspect officials simply do not know what they can or can't do, and thus default to "no" rather than, as it should be, to "yes." As your Senator, I will continue to work to improve government transparency, openness, and accountability.
At 11AM, I raced off to a golf fundraiser at Stonebridge Country Club in Goffstown, hosted by the School District Governance Association, where my campaign sponsored a hole. I spoke briefly about my background and why I am running for NH Senate, and you can catch my second ever Facebook Live here. Apologies for the awful backlighting, I'm still learning as I go!
I then popped in at Manchester Market Day on the West Side to grab my Bardo CSA. We are clearly moving into peak tomato and onion season now. Noms!
Next, I visited Veteran's Park in downtown Manchester for the "We Are One" festival. I immediately loved the vibe: vibrant, inclusive, yummy food stands, and great, GREAT music!
The Manchester Republican Committee had already set up their outreach tent in a primo spot in front of the stage by the time I arrived at 2PM. The festive booth displayed Manchester Republican's literature and yard signs, and a GOP red balloon-making machine, which was a huge hit with the kids!
It melted my heart when one little girl came back to the booth with her dad to tearfully ask if she could get another balloon as her first one had slipped off her wrist and blown away. One kiddo built up a formidable collection of balloons, and I asked him if we could get a pic together (featured). Check out some excellent photos by Mark McLean, GOP candidate in Ward 8, here.
Our booth was next to the "Fight for $15"/union booth. One of the booth operators was dancing to the incredible band playing on stage, and when he noticed me also getting my boogie on, he came over and we started dancing together.
I complimented his sleeve tat, which was a teal and green forrest running from his wrist up to near his elbow. "I don't have any tattoos," I said, "But I love seeing what other people choose." We started chatting. "What do you think of Fight for $15?" he asked, handing me a flyer. "Well," I smiled, "I don't think you are going to like my answer." He smiled too, but took the flyer back.
We had a long, respectful, and interesting conversation. I explained my stance that I have nothing against voluntary association, but rather, my Right to Work position comes from forcing people into groups against their will or forcing employers to make economic decisions that might not work for them.
I explained that when it comes to minimum wage laws, first, it really only applies to a very small portion of the population (according to this Pew Report, only 2.6% of all wage and salary workers make minimum wage), and that, in my opinion, it is used to drive a wedge between people, to foment a class struggle narrative in which the only ultimate winner is Big Government. I also explained how in places like Seattle, where $15 minimum wage is now mandated, the very people they are hoping to help are losing their jobs. That employers, rather than far-removed bureaucrats, know best how to run their own businesses. I added that minimum wage laws end up hurting entry level workers, who are simply not yet experienced enough to warrant $15 per hour, and thus this crowds them out of jobs that could be providing a spring board to higher paid jobs later on. He raised his eyebrows at this last point. I don't think he'd heard this position before, and it seemed to make an impression. We exchanged contact information, and he invited me to come speak at the new "Conservative" group they had formed. I heartily agreed to come!
Being from Africa myself, the music in particular stirred me, and when I wasn't talking to attendees--or complimenting shoes and fashion choices!--I couldn't help but dance. My one recommendation for next year would be to dial down the volume just a smidge (yes, I admit that officially makes me "old" :P) and to announce where in the world the bands are originally from, because I'm not sure my guessing games were always accurate. Not that I cared, because it was immersive and wonderful, regardless!
In the evening, we had good friends over for a dinner of chicken, corn on the cob, roasted veggies, zucchini bread--thanks, Em, delicious!--and Bardo Farm tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad. A delightful way to cap off an exhausting, but rewarding, day!
If you would like a yard sign or to have me to come speak at an event--I’d love to meet you!--please email me at Carla (at) Carla4NHSenate (dot) com.
Join me at my monthly "Town Square" gatherings at Manchester City Hall on the first Tuesday of August, September and October from 5:30-7PM. Learn more and RSVP on Facebook.
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Tell a friend or family member in District 20 (Goffstown, Manchester Wards 3, 4, 10 & 11). Word of mouth is a powerful tool!
Thanks for your support! Let’s build a better future for all Granite Staters, young and old.