Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thank you, Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce!!!

I thought I would have five minutes at Candidate's Night, so I wrote the speech below.  Why I thought that, I'm not sure.  When I arrived tonight, I discovered I would only have 3 minutes.  (Bless you, Marissa, for saying that any speech longer than 3 minutes is too long!)  I had to cut several paragraphs to meet the time limit.  I left out most of the thank yous and the meat of my thoughts on our youthful exodus and how the challenge of our energy future might be the answer to creating new opportunities for them.

Maybe shorter was better anyway? 

In any case, if you couldn't make Candidate's Night, here is what I wanted to say...

"Good evening.  I'm Pat Martin and I'm running for the House to serve Fitzwilliam, Rindge, Jaffrey, Dublin, Harrisville and Roxbury.

I'd like to start by offering my thanks, to you, the citizens, for being so engaged and showing up tonight.  Whether or not you support my candidacy, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me during the campaign.  Such discussions help make me a better candidate and, with your vote, a better Representative.

I also want to thank all the candidates for "putting themselves out there" to run for office.  I especially want to thank Representatives Ames, Ley and Young for their distinguished service and for welcoming me to their team.  Cheshire 14 represents nearly 17K people.  It takes teamwork to reach that many people on a limited budget and even more so to represent them properly.  

Thank you to Representative Susan Emerson.  Our friendship proves that we can have different political opinions, but still be good friends who respect each other and can work together to solve problems.

Harry Truman once said that, "It's amazing what you can accomplish if you're not worried about who gets the credit."  I've learned that it's essential to have that attitude if you're going to attract the best minds and talents to your cause.

I've seen this play out in working with the people of Fitzwilliam on the quarry issue.  Representative John Hunt has submitted a Legislative Service Request or LSR which he thinks will return local control to mining operations.  Representative Susan Emerson is actively lobbying DES and DRED on behalf of the people of Fitzwilliam.   Their years of experience and contacts are great assets.  I offer to put my shoulder to the wheel to help them in this cause and to learn from them so that we can best serve the people of Fitzwilliam.

Working well with others is a requirement of the job of Representative and working well on teams is where I'm most comfortable and what I find most rewarding.

Good teams require a diversity of talent, opinion, respect for one another, and a spirit of cooperation.  In Rindge, our energy commission has produced taxpayer savings year after year.  The same core group of people have been working together since 2009.  From my days in the Air Force through my years as an engineer and then community volunteer, the greatest moments have always included others in shared victories. 

Speaking of teams, I would like to address the mass exodus of our young people.  60% of our High School graduates leave New Hampshire.

Anyone who volunteers with a community organization knows that it is essential to recruit young people to continue the good work.  Without a constant influx of new ideas and youthful energy an organization withers and dies. The median age in NH is over 41.  The older our population, the higher our health and human services costs.  There needs to be a balance between the safety and stability that comes with having an older population and the life and vitality associated with youth.

I see a glimmer of hope for bringing our youth back to NH in another of our challenges; energy.  It's time for New Hampshire to take a leadership role in energy conservation and renewable energy production. 
Doing so would generate many new good paying jobs, save money, and provide opportunities for our young people.  It is also good for our environment which is very much a part of the New Hampshire "brand." 

I ask for your vote because I care about the future of our families. I care about the educational system that is falling behind. I care about the future of our energy: where it comes from, how much it costs and at what price to our environment. I care about availability of affordable health care and see that the Affordable Care Act has already helped thousands gain access to health care and will continue to expand choices and accessibility. As a Vet, myself, I care about how we take care of those who have sacrificed for us. I also want to see the lowest taxes necessary to fund a responsive government with a tax system that is fair to all, not one designed to soak the middle class.

Finally, thank you to the Jaffrey Chamber for hosting this event. Providing a forum for citizens to exchange ideas and tackle problems in an atmosphere of civility is a tremendous service to the community and our future.

My contact information is on my literature on the table.  Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns that you feel haven't been addressed tonight.

In closing, I would be honored to get your vote on Tuesday.  I promise to work hard and to reach across the aisle as your representative in Concord.  Thank you!"

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