Beyond party lines

To the Editor:

I am writing this with the hope that whoever is reading this, regardless of where they may lie politically, really takes a moment to let my words sit with them. I am writing this for you, for me, for all of us.

I have lived in the town of Guilderland for about four years, most recently settling down in my first home in the village of Altamont for the better part of one-and-a-half years. I have grown to really enjoy this community and look forward to raising my two boys here.

Originally from Rochester, I have witnessed the suffering that results from decisions made by local politicians that are not in the best interest of all the people. These decisions not only negatively affected the city, but the neighboring agricultural communities as well, causing numerous dairy farms to close and families that have cared for their lands for generations to lose them.

Today, Guilderland, Altamont, and its surrounding areas are my home; it is our home, and we as a collective have to do our part to come together and protect it. To be willing to put our personal biases and political allegiances aside and work to get voices in power to be a reflection of our voices, of the success and security we want for ourselves.

As I began to educate myself on our local politics and politicians, I was very mindful to not focus on the party alone, but the person. I believe, as I am sure all of us can agree, what a person stands for, what and who they fight for are what is important.

Michelle Hinchey, who is running for State Senate is standing for the 46th District. She is fighting for us — to have voices heard from an area that has, in the past, been cast aside.

One of the main things that resonated with me in researching and personally speaking with Michelle is her belief in common-sense politics.

While reading information on her website,, I found an excerpt in which she states, “I believe that government has a responsibility to work for the people, not special interests. As citizens and lawmakers, we have a collective responsibility to help enable each of us as individuals to rise to the best of our abilities, so that we can better ourselves, our families, and our communities.”

This is what we need, someone who looks at us as a whole. She believes that, if elected, she is not just working for those who voted for her, but all of us. My conversations with her have not been based on political hot points, but on what we can accomplish as a community.

How we can bring jobs and economic stability to our area, not just by adding more buildings but by investing in our local agriculture and infrastructure. The importance of our education system, making sure that from Westmere to Berne-Knox-Westerlo, you have access to the latest technologies and updated curriculums. That access to good and fair health care is available to us all.

She has inspired me to become even more involved in working toward a goal that benefits us all and establishes a life of social and economic security for the youngest inhabitants of our community to the oldest.

We are two weeks away from making decisions that will affect our lives and the lives of those we love for a long time. I urge you, my neighbors, regardless of affiliation, to put in the personal work of really looking towards those who see the bigger picture and are thoroughly invested in working with us to better our future. 

Dawn Donnelly


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