To the Editor:
I am writing to express my whole-hearted support for my friend and colleague, Julie Blake. I first took notice of Julie when she ran in 2015. I was raised in a political family and I’ve had some experience with different types of political campaigns. Julie ran then as she has since served. She ran an honest, compassionate, thoughtful, and inclusive campaign. She inspired me to find out more about the people who serve this community and then to want to join them myself.
I have now had the true honor to serve alongside her for nearly two years. I can tell you several things about her. Julie listens. Julie actively searches out the voices of those who might not speak up without encouragement. She asks questions about voices that she thinks should be a part of the conversation and works to include them. She is relentless in her search to see all sides of an issue while holding firm to her core values and her belief that a strong community includes everyone.
Julie acts. When the issue is one of public safety, such as the water from Trenton Water Works which has caused concern in our community, traffic issues around the Pennington Circle or the complicated needs of our older residents in times of emergency, Julie gathers people together, listens to their advice and concerns, and builds an action plan to solve the challenges at hand. She holds people accountable when they are not serving the people of Hopewell Township well.
Julie leads. When the issue is one of building community, Julie responds in the same way. She listened to the seniors and other in the community who expressed a strong desire to replace the current senior center with a facility that will better serve our seniors and include the whole community. She learned about successful centers in other communities and worked with our municipal and county partners to plan for a new, inclusive center for our residents. Julie fostered great relationships with members of the school board because they are our partners in serving and enhancing this community. She worked with the police and community to strengthen those ties. Julie exemplifies the best leadership practices by listening thoroughly, and acting decisively.
On November 6, you will be able to make your voice heard at the ballot box. Julie Blake has earned your vote.
Note: Kristin McLaughlin is a member of the Hopewell Township Committee. She is speaking for herself and not on behalf of the Township Committee.