As I write this in early June of 2020, the country is in the worst turmoil in recent memory and the pain felt is something I desperately wish to fix. None of these problems can be remedied by a single stroke of a pen so, if I’m elected, these systemic problems will be in the front of my mind as I concentrate on supporting local solutions to local problems:
It's time to stop leaning on property taxes to pay for services.
I find it difficult to imagine that you or anybody else in New Hampshire are pleased with the cost of property taxes. I’m not. Our local officials are stuck with the difficult task of either putting off annual maintenance and improvements to the town or raising property taxes. New Hampshire towns receive minimal aid from the State, but it wasn’t always this way. Money used to flow down to towns from Concord, however, that flow has slowed to a trickle over the course of decades. As the cost of goods and services increase, towns are left to fend for themselves with property taxes being their only revenue generator. It’s time to demand that the State support our towns.
Affordable and predictable retirement in rural New Hampshire, now and in the future.
In 2017, when the standards for the Housing for Older Persons ordinance in Hollis were amended by the voters to ease the development of such projects, the planning board heard the comments of the community. As a member of the planning board, the most common arguments I heard were that the changes would not only have a positive impact on the town in terms of increasing town revenue without burdening the school system, but that they were a necessity for many of its long-term residents to stay in Hollis. Property taxes' steady march upwards was already starting to make Hollis a place too expensive to remain for people who had spent decades in this town raising their families and making lifelong friends and memories. The obvious counterpoint, which was also made before the planning board, is that many people moved to Hollis for its rural character and the addition of housing would change that character. It should be possible for New Hampshire residents to retire in the towns they've invested so much in and also allow our towns to retain much of the rural character that we cherish, but only if the State prioritizes financial support of our towns.
Representation for young families in uncertain times
The New Hampshire legislature needs representation of families who are trying to find a balance between an uncertain future for schooling and daycare, and their ability to work. Work for many of us is an impossibility without regular school or childcare. Childcare may be allowed to operate now, but if additional stay-at-home orders arise or the Fall of 2020 presents us with less-than-full time in-person schooling, what then? The people who make our laws in Concord may empathize with families having to readjust what everyday life will look like for the foreseeable future in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but with the average age of a state legislator being 61, New Hampshire families with school-aged children deserve representation by someone who is living this reality as well. With an increasingly aging state, this is one of the most critical portions of our citizenship; the ones who are taking care of their aging family, the ones who should be replacing workers ready to retire, the ones who are raising the next generation of Granite Staters, the ones a stronger New Hampshire cannot afford to lose.
Listening to the Community
Empathy through the Practic of Law
Living through a complex time to be a parent
Inspiration Through Sacrifice
Current Member of the Hollis, NH Planning Board
When my family first settled into Hollis, I knew that I wanted to get involved with the community because it was apparent, even before we moved, what a tight-knit town Hollis is and many towns in New Hampshire are. I feel more connected to my neighbors now than in any other place I’ve lived, but it was serving on the planning board that has made me feel like a part of the community. There are few things that people in Hollis put above its rural character and small-town feel, and it’s that value I hope to uphold as your State Representative. I feel fortunate to be able to take a small part in hearing the concerns of my town and it’s my greatest hope to be able to do the same for Milford, Mont Vernon, and New Boston if I’m elected to represent you in Concord.
For the nearly ten years that I’ve been a practicing lawyer, I’ve met and worked with many lawyers and the ones I admire the most, the ones who are able to reassure their client and deliver a positive outcome, are often able to connect with their clients in a way that acknowledges the complexity of federal, state, and municipal laws and regulations. Rarely is a trip to the lawyer a situation lacking in stress and it requires a great deal of expressed empathy to gain the trust of a client. This type of empathy is something that elected legislators should be expected to show. Not just an understanding of the concerns of the citizens of New Hampshire, but an understanding that we as a community care enough to understand the laws that we are governed by. Legislators should be able to distill our laws into something understandable by every person they represent and, when I’m elected, this is one way I will not let you down.
We are living in unprecedented times as parents. Should we work to provide for our families or should we educate our children whose futures we care so deeply about? The answer for many, if we’re fortunate, is both. My wife and I regret nothing about the life we’ve crafted, but we also stress over the never-ending frustration of not being able to give our kids everything we believe they deserve; teachers in the classroom that inspire, playdates with friends, birthday parties, more one-on-one time with us. We are all, of course, redefining what each of those things mean. Our laws were always meant to take the shape of who we are and I believe they must reflect not only the brightest future we see for our kids, but how we get there.
If I were talking to you in person right now and trying to explain to you what motivates me, not just to run for New Hampshire state representative, but in everything I do, this is the part where I might get emotional. I’m married to a frontline medical worker. This pandemic is not the first time I’ve had to consider the sacrifices she makes. When we met, she was sacrificing herself to educational and training requirements of her higher calling. She has sacrificed much of her 30s giving birth to our children while continuing to work full-time. She sacrifices her time with our kids because she wouldn’t be the complete person she demands to be; one who had long dreamed of helping people and saving lives. She worked when Ebola reached the United States. She’s been called every bad name you can think of. She works in a place not unaccustomed to violence. Her life has been threatened by her patients. Despite all of this, she never has and never will need me to be her knight in shining armor, but this is the first time I’ve ever been presented with the opportunity to make a difference in her life as a frontline medical worker. Her sacrifices inspire me every day and they will drive me if and when, you, the people of New Boston, Mont Vernon, Milford, and Hollis, choose to give me that opportunity.