In Prescott, in Prosser, in Walla Walla, in Dayton and in Pasco, I have seen deep poverty. People are doing their best to make ends meet but that has often meant not repairing their homes, neglecting their own health, seeing their kids struggle to finish school or become dependent on drugs.

We are simply not doing enough to help each other — we cannot continue to address complex social problems one individual at a time.

I have been humbled by this experience these past several months, of talking with people who graciously spoke with me on their front porches, stoops and doorways. They have moving stories. They are proud people, no matter their circumstances. It makes me think that if we could just listen to each other more often and more honestly, we really could work some magic on a broad level.

I don’t know whether I’ll win or lose this race for the state House; nobody does. But my point this whole time has been to walk away from our familiar sites of propaganda and talk to each other in a kind and open way. We have huge areas of agreement. If we build a mass of opinion, together, we can sway many of our elected leaders. We must vote out the people who will not listen to us or give us the time we deserve.

Our country is us. Our government is us. A wealthy few would like to keep these institutions from ordinary people, but we’ve seen time and again how power hoarding has worked out for them — those regimes never last. Let’s insist on our self-governance and on representation with integrity. I sincerely care about the people in my community. And I know in my heart that you do, too.

 Everett Maroon

Walla Walla

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