To the Editor:

Yes, I am an enthusiastic supporter of Katey Branch for State Senate (District 19) in the November election and I’ll tell you why!

If you don’t know Katey Branch but you’re familiar with the Alan Day Community Garden, you can thank Katey and her two lovely daughters. They created this cooperative agricultural and educational space over 10 years ago in Norway that now benefits all of us. This is but one example of Katey’s character that predicts the type of legislator she would be.

As someone in the healing arts community, Katey shares my concern and commitment to access to health care. When I was a Senior Manager for a government benefits program, I saw many people in terrible situations because of huge medical costs and lack of medical insurance. Those who had been productive workers for years found themselves with nowhere to turn if incapacitated through illness or accident. Once their jobs disappeared, so did their insurance benefits. Even without a major illness, some people continue to struggle to choose between purchasing food or needed medication. No one should have to decide not to seek medical care because they can’t afford the bills.

Katey is also a supporter of mental health services and adequate supports for people with disabilities. A close family member of mine has a lifelong mental illness, and trying to get effective services has been a constant struggle.

So if you care about your health and the vitality of our communities, please support Katey Branch.

I am confident she will pay attention to the needs of the people in our region and will be a strong advocate for better services.

Joanne McDonald

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