Thirty-six years ago I came to New Hampshire to work and raise a family. New Hampshire is a great state, but we are spending too much money on problems we should not have. Problems with solutions that we had decades ago and have backed away from; solutions that are proven and effective ways of addressing some of the huge cost drains on our families, communities and economy. Wise investments now will reduce dependence on public programs and ensure our future as the best state in which to live and work.
We need to repair what used to be the best community mental health system in the country. We can reduce our high rates of alcohol and drug addiction, which lead to job loss, homelessness, and family disintegration.
We must support our community health centers that provide lower cost health services and play a critical role in preventative health care. Targeted effective efforts will decrease rates of chronic disease, such as diabetes in the young and elderly, which reduces expensive hospitalizations and emergency room visits. This will save all of us money in reduced state spending and health insurance premiums.
We must address the need for early intervention for at-risk children. Allowing these kids to fail in school, live lives of chronic poverty that often leads to incarceration, is costly to families and communities.
We must make smart investments in K-12 education at the state level that increases educational achievement and opportunities while cutting local property taxes. We should also insist that all our high school graduates are money literate and know how to budget their earnings for economic independence.
We must stop NH’s brain drain, the out-migration of our young people, by partnering with businesses to ensure that our high school graduates have work-ready skills that lead to high-paying jobs. These partnerships should extend through our technical schools and colleges to keep pace with NH’s evolving job market. Stopping the brain drain also requires affordable tuition at NH’s colleges and universities. No kid should have to leave this state to find affordable, quality education.
NH must also remain a tourist mecca and become a business mecca. We have made important steps to fund repairs to our crumbling highways, roads and bridges, but the work is not yet finished. Government can also encourage and support business development that provides full-time jobs with wages that keep pace with NH’s cost of living. Shrinking wages destabilize small businesses in our communities that depend on vibrant consumer spending. Shrinking wages have also created broad swaths of residents who work full-time but are dependent on public assistance or struggling to say in their homes.
NH is still the best state to live and raise a family, but for how long? We are all in this together and need to look forward. We need proactive solutions to take care of problems, support individual health and well-being, and increase self-sufficiency. That is why am running for State Senate.
As a three-term State Representative from Exeter, I have a reputation for partnering with colleagues from both parties and crafting legislation that solves problems. I served all three terms on the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, twice as its Vice Chair; and, I have been recognized a number of times for my contributions and legislative successes.
I believe in a fiscally responsible government that is for the people, and in policies and actions that reflect this value. This is why I am running a frugal campaign not funded by outside money and not fueled by the destructive rhetoric that has gripped the nation and usurped decent public discourse. This is why I am running to be your next District #23 State Senator. I ask for your vote.
(Editor’s note: Donna is the Democratic Candidate for the District #23 State Senate Seat representing Brentwood, Chester, Danville, East Kingston, Epping, Exeter, Fremont, Kingston, and Sandown. She currently represents Rockingham District #18, Exeter, in the New Hampshire House.)