In last month’s column, I shared with you something scary. This month, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will share with you some things for which I am grateful.
It is November already and as I write this it is a very mild autumn we are experiencing, which is a reminder that I am truly grateful we live in a geography that rarely experiences hurricanes like Irma, floods like those Harvey created with 50 inches of rain, and fires like the ones that destroyed towns in California.
I am grateful that my constituents who number about 61,000 made the decision to have me represent them in Harrisburg for the past 7 years. It is a privilege to serve in elected office whether that office is the local elected office of committee person or the highest office in the land, the President of the United States.
The experience is humbling and the responsibility is one that I take very seriously, and I try to demonstrate this by participating actively in committees, caucuses and floor debates in Harrisburg. You can check out any number of videos of my remarks on my Facebook page. Additionally, ensure that you are signed up to receive my electronic newsletter sent two times a month or my paper newsletter that is sent two times a year by calling the office at 215-482-8726.
This past year has provided me with an additional opportunity to be grateful. In May 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and have just finished treatment at the end of August. I am cancer free. I am doing my best to support other women who are still going through treatment and encouraging all women to be vigilant about self-exams and screening. Pennsylvania offers free mammograms to anyone who cannot afford one and my office can provide additional information. If you need a buddy to go with you, please let me know.
Last but not least, I am grateful that we live in the United States. Given the events and news over the past year or so we may not have felt particularly united; however, I am well aware that we live in a country that continues to be brave enough to continue the experiment that we have been living for the past 241 years. Our form of government is indeed an experiment and I believe that our foundation is strong enough to withstand the current strains and challenges. I believe our system of checks and balances will hold up, too.
One more thing, and perhaps the most important, we will only be able to continue this experiment if citizens continue to be involved. Involvement includes everything from running for committee person in 2018 to understanding how local, state and federal government work and using your voice and pen (or keyboard) to tell elected officials your thoughts and opinions.
And by all means VOTE! Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th. If you think you may be out of town or unable to get to the polls on November 7th, apply for an absentee ballot. Every vote counts – do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with you to make our community a great place to live, work and play.