From the Inbox
When I first took office as the Democratic Chairman of the 2nd District last year, I was told that my region was a Republican stronghold, and that finding solid Democratic candidates to run and win would be impossible. This year, in 2011, I believe that all of the naysayers are going to be proven wrong. What I have found in the 16 months since I have held this position, is that electing qualified, smart, and talented people to government is a far more important goal than simply working to elect candidates from one party over another; that true leadership comes not from party affiliation, but rather from the candidates themselves.
In Dallas Township, there is such a candidate: Liz Martin, who is making her second run for the post of Dallas Township Supervisor. Now, many of your readers might ask why special attention is being paid to a Supervisor race -- after all, it's a small, local office, right?
Wrong! In the Back Mountain, the largest political issue that has arisen within the past two years is the issue of natural gas extraction and transportation. It is at the top of voters' minds. The meetings, town hall meetings, and legal hearings are so well attended that there's barely standing room only. In the Dallas area -- the heart of the 2nd District -- issues range from allowing a metering station in close proximity to Dallas High School, tapping the aging Transco pipeline and pushing it to well beyond what it was built to handle, and of course, the issues of natural gas "fracking", itself. While Encana has pulled out of the area, those leases can (and most likely will) be sold to another company, and the integrity of our land, our drinking water, and the health of our population may once again be placed at risk. If a blowout were to occur at a metering station located at the proposed site next to Dallas High School, the consequences would be catastrophic. In the rollercoaster ride that this debate has become, the public has voiced its opposition to the industrialization of our residential areas, for the sake of profit for an industry that offers no apologies nor excuses for its destructive actions; and as local governments are directly involved in all of these issues, the role of Supervisor has become more important than it has ever been.
For each of these discussions, conversations, and legal proceedings, Liz Martin was there. She has stood up for the peoples' rights to clean water, safe towns, and safe schools. Liz has been there from the very beginning of the "fracking" conversation, speaking up for citizens whose voices are drowned out by the corporate cash of the gas industry. Through it all, she was never deterred, never intimidated, and always stood by her principles. If that's not leadership, then I don't know what is.
Her experience also makes her the ideal candidate: Liz has served on the Board of Directors for the Back Mountain Business Association, served as Co-Chair for the immensely successful and always well-attended Dallas Harvest Festival two years in a row, served on the Brass Ring Fund Committee, and was a founding member of the Back Mountain Arts Association Board of Directors. A businesswoman and community activist, Liz is the Managing Editor for Independent NEPA Magazine. She is a lifelong resident of the Back Mountain -- she graduated from Dallas High School and received her degree after attending College Misericordia (Now Misericordia University) and LCCC. Liz is a wife and mother, who also works as the office manager for her husband's business, Modern Nursery Tree Service in Dallas, and her son, Robert, is a 7th grade student and his Mom's biggest supporter.
As a District Chairman, I have the power and privilege of appointing at-large representatives to the party's Executive Committee of Luzerne County, and I could not think of any person better suited to best represent the voters in the 23 municipalities of the 2nd District than Liz Martin; I was proud to appoint her, and serving alongside her has been a pleasure and an honor. Liz is a person with a big heart and boundless compassion for her fellow citizens. Most important of all, I am prouder still to call her my friend.
This isn't about politics, this is about the future, and if Liz were running as a Republican, I'd still be supporting her. A candidate like her only comes along once in a great while, and if the voters of Dallas Township elect her to the position of Supervisor on November 8th, I guarantee that she will make them proud. Her opponent has been in office since the 1970s, and while times have changed dramatically since then, township government, unfortunately, has not.
Now is the time for a Fresh Start in Dallas Township: and Liz Martin is the right woman for the job!
Second District Democratic Chairman
Scott Cannon sent along this video
1 hour ago