To the editor:
In the midst of a crisis, we become more aware of the critical role our government leaders play, especially on the local and state level.
These leaders are both the neighbors who greet us at local events and the champions we rely on to introduce and pass bills that fund our schools, protect our environment, expand regional transportation and ensure the health, safety and equality of all citizens.
The primary role of a state representative is to serve as a legislator: To write, co-sponsor, debate and pass bills on behalf of constituents.
Republican state Rep. Jim Kelcourse has fulfilled his role as someone who spends time in the community, but he is not as effective as a leader who goes to the Statehouse to fight for the issues that move our communities forward.
He has introduced and co-sponsored fewer bills than many of his colleagues, and while he works with many constituents one on one, he is often dismissive of those who ask for his views or his support on specific legislative initiatives.
Amber Hewett, the Democratic nominee for state representative, has the qualifications, experience, drive and compassion to fight for the residents of Amesbury, Newburyport and Salisbury.
She has written, fought for and passed legislation in the Massachusetts Statehouse and other statehouses along the Eastern Seaboard in her role as environmental advocate. She knows what it takes to build relationships, negotiate the subtleties of a bill and finally see it passed.
In fact, four years ago, Gov. Charlie Baker signed her first wind energy bill into law, and she has since won passage of similar bills in several Northeastern states.
A fourth-generation Newburyport resident, she knows this district and understands its needs. She will roll up her sleeves on Day One and get to work tackling the issues that face our district — and those issues are more complex than ever.
When I first met her last year, Amber said to me, “I don’t want to simply donate to a food bank, or attend a yearly fundraiser, I want to solve the food insecurity problem.”
It is that kind of solution-oriented thinking that this district has been missing. And there couldn’t be a more urgent time for Amber’s creative problem-solving skills.
It matters who represents us in the Statehouse. Our legislators should be more than friendly faces in the community. They should fight every day for our needs at the Statehouse, where up to 6,000 bills compete for attention each session.
It takes a determined leader to be that type of unwavering advocate, and Amber Hewett has already proven she has what it takes to fill that role.
Please join me in supporting her as our next state representative in the Tuesday, Nov. 3, election.