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To those of you who may be pondering Kerry Lester’s October 1 OpEd about whether you are a Donkey or an Elephant, I offer you the following thoughts… I am a VU graduate of 1989. Although I earned my degree in Psychology and Philosophy (rather than in Political Science), I spent most of my time while on campus engaged in Student Government. This interest later directed my career path in important ways. After graduating, unsure of what I wanted to do, I volunteered in John Kerry’s Senate office. Later I was invited to join the staff as his Massachusetts Scheduler. In that role, I was able to observe Senator Kerry, and interact with him on a professional and personal level. What I saw was an impressive individual who cares deeply about the country, thinks independently for the good of the whole, and who has innovative ideas on how to implement policy in a fashion that will be productive.

Since I am not in any way connected to the Kerry campaign, I was not asked to write this letter to the editor and it has not been previewed by the Kerry organization. I have not worked for him in more than a decade. Furthermore, I am (and have always been) registered as an independent non-enrolled voter.

After obtaining a Master’s degree in Public Policy, I went on to work in Municipal Government and serve as an Assistant Town Manager for a community in Massachusetts. In that capacity, I see the impact of Federal and state policy on a real level and get to implement those policies at a local level.

There are times in the past that I have voted Republican and there are times that I have voted Democratic. I base my decision in part on the country’s current state of affairs and in what direction I think the pendulum needs to swing. From my observations of present federal policy and direction, I think the pendulum has swung too far to the right and it is now time to breathe some fresh air back into the system. I am concerned, as we all are, about the bungling of the situation in Iraq, but I am also concerned about domestic issues and the dismantling of important environmental policies over which President Bush has presided.

My husband and I earn a decent living and can afford many of the finer things in life. However, while we would all like to eventually be in that top 2% of wage earners in the country, the reality is that most of us Villanova graduates end up in the upper middle income range. Right now, I believe Senator Kerry’s tax policies are better for the majority of the country as we need more money in the hands of the middle income earners to spur consumer spending and help revive the flat economy.

I took the time to write this letter because in this upcoming election the country will make a pivotal decision between going backward or moving forward to embrace the innovations of tomorrow. Thus, I don’t think we can stand idly by on this election. For those who may be still on the fence or for those who are disillusioned in the political process, I urge you to tune in, get educated on the issues, and make sure you get out and vote.

Finally, I wanted you all to know that John Kerry is the real deal. His policies are what the country needs to solve today’s problems, and his time has come to serve the country as its President.