Opinion: Cobb is a leader with hands-on experience, says Colton man
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 8:43 am

To the Editor:

Entering the lobby of a Lewis County government building for an early morning meeting, I noticed a circle of a dozen women having a lively discussion. I hesitated, curious, and listened.

The women – all pregnant – were sharing suggestions of how to care for themselves and their children. I was impressed by their enthusiasm.

Then I realized that the group had a leader, herself pregnant as well. It was Tedra Cobb. She must have driven over an hour to lead the session. She listened, encouraged, and guided the women as they decided on specific steps they could take for their family’s well-being.

Years later, I witnessed Tedra again listening, leading, guiding, but this time it was a group of smaller North Country employers. The business people were exploring ways to help improve the health of their employees and their families, while also reducing their operation’s cost of health care, Workers Compensation, and absenteeism.

Many members of Congress are lawyers and/or professional politicians. They see issues as competing and opposing points of view with winners and losers. They too often lack “hands- on” experience with issues and so have to rely on special interest associations, lobbyists, and SuperPac’s.

But Tedra has a wealth of experiences. And she understands that the process needed in Washington starts with listening and learning from the people in the North Country and not from special interests elsewhere.

Whether the issue is health care, the environment, opioids, or school violence, Tedra will listen and learn from us. What is the problem? What are possible solutions? She will see the faces and pocketbooks of households and small businesses in Lowville and Watertown, Malone and Glens Falls, Plattsburgh and Saranac Lake, and not the super-rich in skyscrapers on Wall Street and Dallas or the political elites in mansions in LA and DC.

Most importantly, Tedra knows that the best solutions for the North Country are often not passing more laws, but guiding our communities to solve issues among ourselves – making better decisions on what we buy, how we raise our kids, and how we get along as neighbors and contribute to our community. That is the strength of the American democracy – the people and the process we have to solve our problems ourselves. We need leaders who understand that.

I urge you to vote for Tedra Cobb for Congress.

Robert J. Penski