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Letter: Schwartz for Congress

Many people cringe when they hear the word "Congress," then mutter that it's gridlocked and broken. Yet over and over again, we elect leaders based on their hard-line positions rather than on their ability to collaborate. This year, I am changing my voting tactics. I am voting for a Colorado District 3 candidate who, above all, can work effectively on both sides of the aisle.

Gail Schwartz made impressive and important contributions as a Colorado state senator. As an elementary school teacher, I am grateful for the Building Excellent Schools Today or "BEST" bill that she championed, which has allowed my school to finally rebuild after decades of leaky roofs, windows and doors. However, I am even more appreciative of Sen. Schwartz's dedication to rural Coloradans. She lives up to her motto, "No one will ever work harder for you": She was named the Senate's hardest-working member.

Contrast that attitude with our current congressman, Scott Tipton. For the past three years, I have volunteered with an organization working to pass a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend — the fairest and market-based approach to address the real problem of climate change. Rep. Tipton has made scant time to meet with constituents in his district on the topic, even leaving important businesses leaders such as the Aspen Skiing Co. to meet with bottom-ranking aides when we travel to meet with his office in Grand Junction or Washington, D.C. (on our personal dimes). After eight meetings with staff, I hoped the congressman would consider our proposal, like so many of his Republican colleagues in other states have done for volunteers in their districts. I have been disappointed.

Gail Schwartz, on the other hand, is known for coming to agreement with those on all sides. No matter what future-Rep. Schwartz's position on climate change or any issue, I trust she will find the time to listen to opponents and host productive dialogue. Good ideas come from all directions, and a congressman with his head stuck in the sand can neither hear nor use them. Vote Gail Schwartz for District 3 this fall.

Amelia Potvin

Carbondale

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