To The Daily Sun,

To Reps. Travis O’Hara, Doug Trottier, Mike Sylvia and the rest of the Belknap County Delegation:

I am a born and raised Granite Stater, 37 year long Lakes Region resident. I love and respect our commitment to representative government and the fact that your state representative could literally be your next door neighbor.

Having local representation is key to the vision our forefathers created for all of us. We rely on a governing structure that limits it at the federal level, conveys and protects another level for each state, and then ensures a local level for maximum self governance. Our New Hampshire Constitution takes the commitment deeper by an amazing ratio of people to state representatives. Our NH forefathers committed to fair representation in this governing structure. They understood that local matters intersect with state often, and that state business also intersects with federal. They got it. They knew that to maximize local control, state representatives must be allocated directly to small populations with as close proximity to the people as possible.

With every community having a dedicated representative, we have a voice to bridge the gap between school district or town issues to corresponding state issues. It is a great weapon against oppression and governmental overreach, and a jewel to preserve self-governance at the closest level possible. Every time we force different communities to share representatives, we inherently water down all of their voices.

We deserve to be heard within the concentration our three-tiered governmental structure was envisioned to bestow upon us. We should not see our voices parceled out for political party interests — they are not protected in our constitutions — the citizens are. For larger roles, such as congressional districts, the commitment to preserve access to a localized level should remain the sole and primary objective. Failure to do so only weakens the people's voice and undermines the representative government we were all promised. Our voices should matter regardless of political party or donor status. Our freedoms are not supposed to be for sale or leveraged for D.C. power; that’s the type of maneuvering that is silencing people. We live in NH — the Live Free or Die state for this very commitment to freedom — gerrymandering has no place here. It will only make things worse; oppressing and silencing us more. I realize some of you don’t like our government at all, and want to see NH leave the U.S.; creating more negative feelings about government may be exactly what you want. But for those of you who still love America and want to keep parties out of the equation and leave the decision who to put in office to the local voters — please remember that manipulation of districts for parties is antithetical to that purpose. Putting parties first is selling us out.

Diana Lacey

Belmont

(1) comment

bunnell.brendan

I am inclined to reach out to them to better understand their decision here, which I will do. I agree with your sentiments, particularly about the manipulation of districts for lofty goals. I actually agree with their opinions on the federal government, but sacrificing the local representation we have to better achieve such an action seems counter intuitive if the goal is to maintain limited government. We ought not sacrifice the greater representation of any man in order to seek greater representation of our state interests on the national level, as then we would risk not actually representing the opinion of these citizens. A time will come when the force of popular opinion in this state demands a redress of grievances if we are to do our jobs right. The primary purpose of our form of government is to protect the interests of the individual over those of any institution, group, state or federal government. Yet I can’t help but feel we may be sacrificing our integrity when we choose to play party politics in such a manner. I’m sure there is more I have not learned on this subject.

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