In my neighborhood, as well as throughout the country, volunteers for local, statewide and even presidential campaigns are knocking on doors talking to voters. In my part of Cambridge, MA we have a heated race for the Democratic primary for state representative. No shock that Cambridge is solidly blue so whoever wins on September 8th will also win on November 8th.
While the incumbent, Tim Toomey, has a lot of support and I have found many leaflets for him at my door, I haven't been able to speak to someone from his campaign. On the other hand, I was able to speak to two volunteers as well as the candidate, Mike Connolly, himself. All three times I asked about food issues. The volunteers were appropriately non-committal. They reiterated Mike Connolly's commitment to progressive issues like advocating for a living wage. When I was able to speak to Mike, he told me about when he was a law student elected to contribute two articles to a prestigious law journal. Initially he wanted to write about food insecurity in the United States, but was steered away from this topic by the professor advisors.
He seemed earnest so I left the encounter impressed by his past acknowledgement of the issue and leaned toward voting for him, but wanted to learn more about his opponent. This morning Mike Connolly's campaign left a 4 page letter at our door going into depth about Mike's personal narrative and his vision for the community. He shared about growing up in a poor area south of Boston and relying on nutrition programs as a child. By the end of the letter we were convinced.
Mike and his volunteers all stressed how responsive the campaign would be to e-mails so while I'm going to cast my vote for Mike Connelly, I wanted to thank him for his commitment while driving home how important these issues are to voters in his district.
By writing or speaking to campaigns up and down the ballot about food issues, we force them to come up with talking points and begin to think through the necessary changes to ensure a stronger, healthier, more delicious and sustainable food system in our communities.
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