Representing your district is about more than sitting in committee. It’s about real, personal action to improve the lives of your neighbors.
Door knocking offers the opportunity to meet new people, hear the challenges they face and take personal action to help them now, not just during committee meetings or for a couple months at the capitol each year.
This summer while door knocking, I have welcomed new people to town (like Rachel, who is pictured). I have talked with young people and shared information about how they can vote for the first time. I’ve also connected people to services to better their lives. I wanted to take some time today to share a few of those many moments.
One voter I talked to struggled to interpret her Medicare bills. Healthcare bills are confusing at best and intimidating at worst. Thankfully, we have a program here in Wyoming called the Wyoming Health Insurance Assistance Program. I connected her with folks who helped explain her Medicare coverage.
I spoke with a gentleman on disability. He faced the same fiscal cliff built into so many public programs. If he worked more to afford what he and his family needed he would lose his income, but the services he received left gaps and needs. One of his biggest concerns was he didn’t have health insurance. I connected him with folks at Enroll Wyoming, who checked his eligibility for subsidized health insurance.
I met an older man sitting in his yard who told me he wasn’t eligible to vote because he had a felony conviction. Wyoming law allows some people with felonies to reinstate their voting rights, but I wasn’t sure about the details. I looked up the eligibility requirements and then went back to his house the next week. I explained the requirements and provided him the phone number. I hope he will qualify and have this right restored.
Lastly, I met a woman who’s husband is vulnerable to COVID-19. She has been doing all the right things to minimize their exposure. However, they live on a fixed income and finding the extra $10 for grocery delivery has become a challenge. I confirmed with St. Joe’s food pantry they are currently offering delivery service and provided her the resources to apply.
One of the most rewarding things about door knocking is when someone shares a challenge they face and you can connect them to a community resource. It also teaches me about the barriers people in our community face. I do this work daily as a public health professional. I use data to identify issues and partner with community leaders to create solutions. Door knocking puts faces to those issues, and fuels my desire to create solutions for the people of Wyoming.
As a legislator, these interactions will inform the type of legislation I fight for: healthcare for Wyomingites, easy and accessible voting, and economic opportunity to keep families secure, even during a pandemic.
I am impressed with the resiliency of people in HD11. I also know if we continue to see state services cut, many will struggle to keep the pieces of their lives together. As a legislator it is the people I’ve met and the stories I’ve heard campaigning for your vote in HD11 that will drive my decisions.