To the editor:
I am a fervent supporter of Amanda Kirchgessner’s campaign for NYS Senate. My biggest reason, until recently, was her strong support for the NY Health Act, which would provide a Medicare-For-All type system for all New Yorkers. Her opponent Tom O’Mara opposes the bill. Electing Amanda would be a big step toward getting the bill passed.
As her campaign has progressed, something else has also become clear. Amanda Kirchgessner is modeling the kind of campaign that Democrats need to pursue if we’re going to 1) earn the support of rural and working class voters, while 2) pursuing a truly progressive policy agenda. Amanda is doing both, incredibly successfully.
For one thing, she IS a rural, working class person who has experienced the same economic and life challenges these voters often face. With 16 years as a food service worker, she’s able to connect with people at the bottom of the economic heap and help them see the connection between their own situation and the public policy that impacts them on a daily basis.
Amanda does not dismiss, disrespect or demonize those who vote Republican. She has engaged literally hundreds of Republicans and independents, as well as Democrats, in personal conversations about progressive policy ideas. Many of them will be voting for her November 6. Democrats need to learn how to have these conversations and win over these voters to a progressive policy agenda.
Amanda Kirchgessner is an inspirational young leader, a brilliant thinker and a gifted communicator, who represents the future of progressive politics. Democrats need to learn how to encourage and support more candidates like her. Listen up.