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In This Together

At 8:00 AM the other morning, I got a call from Kristin Olsen, who is the 25th District representative to the California State Assembly. I met Kristin when she was campaigning in Tuolumne County for the seat she eventually won.

Our first meeting set the tone for the others we had. She called members of our Board of Supervisors to make an appointment for a talk about her candidacy. When she reached me, I said I would be glad to talk with her, but since I wasn’t a Republican, I couldn’t vote for her in the Republican primary. Kristin said she would still like to meet, and we did. During the meeting, we exchanged views, and tried to find things we had in common. I found her to be intelligent, curious, and interested in many things beside politics. I met her a time or two after that first encounter, and it was always positive. The last time we were in touch, it was by email. She had won the seat by then, and I sent my congratulations. I added a line to them and it was this:

“Don’t forget the Democrats. We live in the District too.”

Kristin acknowledged my email with a promise that she would not forget us. When she called me the other morning, she said she was “remembering the Democrats.” Then she asked if I had any ideas about the State budget. I gave her a few – particularly regarding the need for an effective safety net for people who could not take care of themselves – – and she countered with appreciation for my point of view.

The moral of the story is simply this: Even though I recognize her commitment to her political party and its aims and aspirations, I believe Kristin’s instinctive knowledge of the importance of how the rest of us want to live will affect the way she thinks about things.
In a world of divided government and contentious politics, I hope Kristin’s leadership shows others the way.