Brigid's Blog: Putting the Past Behind to Open the Path Ahead

4.jpgThroughout the course of my campaign I have talked about building a broad coalition of supporters and treating all persons with respect. In light of the ugly revenge politics that we are seeing in New Jersey involving Gov. Christie’s staff and the George Washington Bridge scandal, it is essential to reach out to people that we have differences with and find ways to work together. I have tried to do this in my own life over the years. For a time I thought I was done with politics, until four years ago when I made peace with one of my political “enemies,” Gary Bradley. It was such a cathartic thing to do, that I found myself willing to run for office again. By putting the past behind me I opened the path in front of me.
 
With so many important issues to work on in the community, we can’t afford to let ourselves be divided over petty personal disagreements. If there are major, principled issues, that is different. Unfortunately so much of what goes on is petty grudges and revenge politics. We have to move beyond that. That’s why I have reached out to opponents in the past and am pleased to say many of them are now supporting me. I’ve actually had to warn my friends in the environmental community not to be alarmed when they see that the head of Stratus Properties (our big opponent on S.O.S) and the chief lawyer in the challenge to the S.O.S. initiative, Roy Minton, are both supporting me. I am pleased to have their support and will look for opportunities to work with them.
 
To be clear, I have not changed my stripes just as they have not changed theirs. I still feel very passionately that we must protect the environment. But it's crucial we have a civil dialogue and are able to speak to one another. There may or may not be opportunities for us to work together, but there is certainly no place for demonizing each other and engaging in the politics of revenge.
 
I believe our low voter turnout is a reflection of people’s disgust with politics as usual. We have to reclaim the idea of public service because the democratic process doesn’t work if a majority decides not to participate. That is why language is so important. During this campaign I am committed to bringing more people into the process. We need to encourage more young people to get involved in public service through voting and helping to turn other people out to vote.  I’m running not just to reform policies, I’m running to reform politics. 
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