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Senate candidate Andrea Harrington understands crucial problems facing Berkshire County

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By Saturday, Aug 6, 2016 Letters

 To the Editor:

As a 74-year young seasoned citizen, I wholeheartedly support Andrea Harrington as our next State Senator. And I cannot wait to vote for her on Thursday, September 8!

Attorney Harrington cares about, will support, represent, and fight for all the constituents in our Senate district. Her background speaks volumes about her knowledge and experience dealing with very real and crucial problems facing our county and our neighborhoods. She knows the battles she will face as a State Senator but very dearly knows from her life experience and legal practice the needs of the most vulnerable.

Her views on pay equity; the serious need to properly fund our public schools; the support of the $15 minimum wage (which, hopefully, will lead to a livable wage); and her small-business experience as an attorney building her own practice…all demonstrate that she truly believes in the Rule of Law and Justice for All.

She has no doubt that broadband wireless must be provided for all the counties in the district to attract business, encourage economic development and level the playing field. To complement those concerns, she knows that infrastructure policies must be seriously addressed for implementation of and maintenance for viable transportation. There is no question that she advocates for clean air and clean water; how crucial it is that the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 be met by 2020 for the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Attorney Harrington has no illusions about those of us living on only Social Security and the compounded effect the loss of cost of living increases created, and the wall of impoverishment many seniors face. As a result, she will diligently work to fund such programs as the age-friendly Berkshires Initiative, programs to help seniors stay in their homes, and programs that support transportation availability and heating assistance to offset those losses.

Her understanding of the need for comprehensive, equitable health care for everyone in our Senate district is immeasurable, more than admirable, and reflects the many reasons she is running for office.

Women are underrepresented in all of our legislative bodies, unconscionable at this time in our history, and that disparity in inequality must be addressed and remedied.

Having run for office twice in Bridgeport, Conn.,, in 1984 and again in 2000, I know how hard it is for anyone to run for office, especially a woman. Because of threats in 1984, I had to have a bodyguard on either side of me throughout the day of the primary.

As an administrator at a law school in Bridgeport, I know the trials of women trying to break the glass ceiling. Nearly every position I held in my paid working life was either a hostile work environment or I was sexually or verbally harassed at a time when the men I was working with were making 4, 5 or more times my wages or salary!

Please do not for one minute mistake this to mean that I would vote for Andrea Harrington because she is a woman, but it is a joy to support a talented, knowledgeable, creative, seriously thoughtful and solutions-focused individual who listens to each person’s very real concerns and plans to address each and every one of those concerns when she is elected.

So my support for Attorney Harrington’s candidacy does not come lightly. I believe she will be a great Public Servant. Please join me on Thursday, September 8, to vote for Andrea Harrington.

Rachel I. Branch

North Adams

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