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Cherilyn Strader: Not yet a voter, supports Jo Comerford

  • mactrunk


Thursday, July 12, 2018
Not yet a voter, supports Jo Comerford

On May 4, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg resigned, just after the deadline to get on the ballot as a candidate in the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester district.

I felt dismayed that I no longer had any representation at the state level and was frustrated this would leave just one candidate on the ballot. My outrage was quickly transformed into action, organizing with the Northampton High School Democrats a candidates night featuring those vying for 1st Hampshire state representative and Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester state senator.

Walking into the candidates night, I knew exactly which one I supported for state representative, Lindsay Sabadosa, but with five write-ins running for state senator, I wasn’t as confident in a particular candidate.

I moderated the Senate portion of the debate, where we asked questions from public education funding to health care to gun control. In each response, I was wowed not only by Jo Comerford’s experience working for national organizations like MoveOn and National Priorities Project, but also her approachability and specific policy recommendations.

As the moderator, I asked the question I believe to be most revealing about a candidate: “What is one issue that you don’t think gets enough attention in the state Legislature, and how would you address that issue as our state senator?” To this, Comerford answered economic inequality.

What I loved about her response was not only her mention of concrete policies to address it — $15 minimum wage and the earned income tax credit — but the fact that we must look at income inequality intersectionally through lenses like race, gender and age. You can view the debate here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4Ve6SUJvWY.

This summer I’ll be knocking on doors throughout the 24 cities and towns within the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester district. And on Sept. 4, I’ll be standing outside of a precinct with Jo Comerford buttons and signs.

As a 17-year-old, I can’t yet write in “Joanne Comerford, 186 Federal St., Northampton.” I urge our community to write-in Comerford at the ballot box on Sept. 4.

Cherilyn Strader

Florence