EDITOR’S NOTE: I have to admit I was happy to receive this letter from a 27-year-old that was voting … Yeah! Take note, everyone, please get those ballots filled out and dropped off at the nearest ballot box (or in the mail on Monday – BEFORE Election Day, to ensure they get postmarked.) I was thrilled that the candidates forums had helped inform her voting, but she must have missed Jim Heffernan’s segments, as she said, “Listening to them I knew none of them were bus riders.” Jim is running for the Transportation District Position #1, and Jim made sure to ride the buses, attend the board meetings and recent budget meetings. So, we wanted to clear up Ms. Kennedy’s perception about the “other candidates” not riding bus.
I’m 27 years old and I would really like to finish my AA and transfer to a 4-year college. But, I‘ve chosen to live on the Oregon coast, which has been an amazing experience. It’s a different kind of education. It’s enriching, just as continuing my formal education would be.
There’s a good community college nearby and I have been able to take a few classes and meet some great people that I’m sure I will know forever. I’m building a life here and it feels correct. A lot of people might not appreciate such a simple idea, but for people like me, people that are on their own and just doing the best they can, it’s a really big deal.
I have attempted to get myself more invested in pursuing the AA, as the path to getting it and moving forward has been made very clear to me. I know it will be a big accomplishment that moves my life in the direction I want. All I have to do is show up.
This is where the problem lies. I don’t drive. So, I either ask a friend or I take the bus. I can get my head around regular bus travel. I kind of like it. The real problem with my plight to attend college is that there is NO BUS at the TIME I need it. I work full time and the only classes that fit my schedule are in the evenings. Those classes end around 9pm. The bus to the college stops running at 7pm. This leaves me stranded about 15 miles from home. So, I don’t go to school right now. I just dream.
I watched the MooVoter candidate forums and was able to hear from the candidates for Transportation Board. I had never heard of any of these people, but in listening to them I knew they weren’t bus riders. Some said everything was fine and that is way off. Others touted technology as a solution. “No!” I shouted at the screen. An app won’t move me from point A to point B.
Despite my shouting at the screen I was also given some hope. The one candidate that stood out was Mary Leverette. Clearly, this person is smart, creative, calm, and although not a bus rider, I felt like she wanted to understand and that she would work hard to do just that.
In watching this forum, my dreams of getting back to aggressively pursuing this degree came alive. I’m voting for Mary Leverette for the Transportation Board. I don’t know if she can fix my particular situation, but I feel like she’s the only candidate that will try. I hope you’ll join me.