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9/16 NHDP Canvass

We kicked off the general election season this past weekend by canvassing Wards 5 and 9 in Nashua.

I always have felt confident in my ability to navigate political issues, but my one drawback to entering politics was that I didn't see myself as having the courage or charisma to strike up conversation with total strangers and inspire them to entrust me with their votes.

Well maybe I wasn't as polished on my first time out, but I had an incredible day on Saturday.

I don't think I even hit 20 houses I spent so much time talking to some fascinating people while making my way through Westgate village, right around the corner from where I live. I realized I was taking a huge step forward over the course of that day, because it was one of the first times I really made connections with voters I'd never met, many of whom coming from remarkably different political viewpoints than myself. The most amazing thing was that even though we may have disagreed on some policies, the general attitude towards me as a young candidate was overwhelmingly receptive. I'm finally starting to understand the truth behind Tip O'Neill's book, that all politics really is local.

Even though lugging around shopping bags full of literature in 80 degree weather made the time go by slowly, I felt like I didn't even begin to get started. I'm so energized now that I'm ready to go door-to-door all across my district every weekend between now and election day. Though I may not meet everyone - chances are I won't meet all 15,000 of the registered voters here - I'm really sold on putting quality over quantity.

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- by Andy Edwards | 9/19/2006 | Comments (0)

September literature

Here's the 4 x 6" campaign piece I made up the night before our canvass on Saturday.

I actually have a much nicer piece of literature that Glen Nelson of 20/20 Graphic Design, put together for me before the primary. Unfortunately I had to revise much of the content so it didn't go out this time.
That's okay though. They say you shouldn't bust out the high-gloss stuff until a week before the election.

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- by Andy Edwards | 9/19/2006 | Comments (0)

Where I Stand... My values and three major issues
My Values

Accountability… To the people, to create the basic public conditions that protect the rights of individuals while also providing them the basic tools they can use to succeed and grow in society

Equality… Fairness doesn’t occur naturally in human society so we need a government that will pursue justice irrespective of persons or power

Investment… In the community, to protect not only ourselves in the present, but also our children and descendents in the future

Opportunity… For a society that is the most stable, successful and just, we must actively work to create the conditions whereby human talent can arise from any segment of society in any walk of life

Unity… So we can move forward together and finally get things done for the benefit of all people

On the Issues

Education… We need to define what an 'adequate' education is as provided for by our state's constitution, because if we don't do it the NH Supreme Court will.

We also need to fund an adequate education for everyone.
Funds need to be distributed equitably and according to state set standards. Local control can still be maintained however something is fundamentally wrong if we have cities like ours setting graduation requirements well and above those of the state, and still not be able to pay their teachers. There are other schools districts in New Hampshire that don't even have the basic infrastructure needed to give children an adequate education.
(also see my responses to the Nashua Teachers' Union Candidate Questionnaire)

Economy… Access to health care should be universal and would be best implemented at the state level. Beyond our basic moral responsibility to provide for the common good, it is good for our economy to have future generations of healthy children and to take care of our sick and elderly.

Raise the minimum wage. It's sad that New Hampshire only provides for the bare minimum as set by the federal government. $5.15 an hour is unnacceptable due to inflation and the rising cost of living. New Hampshire's workers deserve a living wage.
(also see Over 650 of America's top economists call for raise in minimum wage -- Oct. 11, 2006)

Environment… We need to reduce emissions, stop pollution of our land and water, and protect wildlife in this great state. Global Warming is a major threat to our way of life and states like New Hampshire have the most at stake. New Hampshire is known for it's unique natural beauty and environment of freedom. We need to keep our forests alive, our groundwater pure, and our coastline intact. If we don't enact serious restrictions now, we will be forced to make major changes to our way of life in the near future.

We need to research and invest in clean energy alternatives. We are facing a major energy crisis because of our dependence on foreign fossil fuels. Conserving our current forms of energy is simply procrastination and is harmful to both our people and the environment. Instead of propping up a dying industry, we need to put everything we have into exploring sustainable sources of energy.

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- by Andy Edwards | 9/19/2006 | Comments (0)

Who I Am... A brief biography and why I'm running
My Background

ANDREW EDWARDS is currently a Biochemistry Scholar at Worcester Polytechnic Institute working towards an M.S./B.S. degree. He has been a Senator in the WPI Student Government since March 2006, serving in the Committee on Academic Issues. He is also a founding member of the WPI chapter of College Democrats.

He was inducted into the National Honor Society and graduated from Nashua High School South in 2005. He participated in We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution, a program offered by the Center for Civic Education through which he interacted with members of
New Hampshire’s judiciary and legislature and completed an intensive study on American constitutional principles.

He has grown up with a progressive outlook on education from spending 13 years in the
Nashua School District, and having his mother, Mary Edwards, actively involved in the Nashua schools by volunteering, serving in the New Searles PTO, and working as a paraprofessional for 8 years.

He also gained a unique awareness of issues facing families with disabilities through experience with his younger sister Katie, through the activity of his family in special needs advocacy groups, and his father's past involvement in the Northern New England Down Syndrome Congress.

He has had a diverse range of work experience, from manufacturing on the third shift at Teradyne, working as an IT assistant at a software engineering company, and years of work in the service industry.

My Decision To Run

Participation in democracy has reached an all-time low within my age group, this past decade, and we need more representation in congress for our generation. While it’s important to have people with the greatest experience to be involved in government, it’s equally important to have those who will inheret this world taking part in the decisions that affect their future. The age of eligibility for State Rep would NOT be at 18 if it weren't intended for us to fill this role, and this opportunity isn't being embraced and hasn't been for quite some time. However, our past irresponsibility in taking an active role in government doesn't mean it shall forever be so. It's time to challenge the status quo!

America badly needs Democratic leadership right now, and given our current holdings in the State House, this is the most important state election of our time. With Governor Lynch’s overwhelming popularity after his first term in office, the only thing stopping us from moving New Hampshire forward is more Democrats in the legislature.

I know that it is my civic duty to participate in government and I feel that my enthusiasm for politics and interest in improving our state and quality of life would best put to use in serving the people here, where I’ve lived my entire life.

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- by Andy Edwards | 9/19/2006 | Comments (0)