Letter to the Editor: Supporting Jennifer DeChant

Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012 in Opinion

I live in Bath, Maine, but I’m not a native. I grew up in Pittsburgh and call that wonderful city my hometown, but my home is in Bath. Fifteen years ago I chose to live here with my husband and raise our family. So, in our Democratic Primary, I was surprised to learn that “being a native” was considered as a differentiator between the candidates.

Bath is a great place to live. Our city just received the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust Main Street Center. This recognition comes from countless hours and days and years of dedication from citizens, business owners and municipal employees -and I would bet not all of them were raised in our City of Ships. However, those combined efforts have made and continue to make this city a viable community worthy of such accolades.

This is why it bothers me so much that the circumstance of where a person was born or graduated from high school becomes a part of the discussion around selecting a qualified and committed person to represent Bath in the legislature. That talk is divisive and unnecessary.

Besides, since I was not born here but instead have fallen in love with Bath, have decided to raise my family here and make time to be active in the community, does that mean that I pay less taxes, my family is less vibrant or that my vote counts for less? Does that mean that a non-native citizen of Bath can’t represent us in Augusta? Of course not!

In the Primary, we need to elect the most experienced person to compete in the general election in November, not necessarily the person who was born here. I encourage Democrats to vote for Jennifer DeChant for State Representative. She might be “from away,” but Jennifer will work hard to preserve and strengthen the foundations that make Bath a great place to live and work - a great place to call home.

Sincerely,

Claire Berkowitz

Bath, Maine

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