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Paid political letter: Vote for a fresh perspective

Like many of you, I had a difficult conversation over this past week with my wife about what we are going to do with our kids when school starts. Do we send them back to school and risk exposing our vulnerable family members when they return home, or do we make sacrifices and choose distance learning? These are heavy decisions because we’ve seen how our children’s personal relationships have suffered from a summer of isolation and how hard it has been on them. We are all aching for normalcy.

I listened to a young mother this past week as she described her unique situation with four children at home. One is in high school, one in middle school, one in elementary and one is starting preschool this year. She told me how difficult she expects it to be coordinating which days a child is going to in-person classes when they all attend different schools and how she is going to manage transportation and daycare while both parents work full time.

I appreciate how well our local school board, administrators, teachers and staff have handled this crisis so far. They have worked hard to offer safe, yet manageable options for families, and they deserve our support. When legislators get back to work, they will undoubtedly have to make important decisions to adapt our schools and child care facilities to the new reality of educating and caring for children in a pandemic. This will add costs, and there will be some legislators who want to cut state funding when schools need it most.

When we vote this year, we choose who is making these decisions. It makes sense that the person best equipped to understand these problems is someone directly experiencing the impacts of these decisions. I have four small children at home, and I have been fighting for high quality education and child care since before the pandemic. This is going to be a challenging year and we need a new voice for working families in District 27A. For a fresh perspective, please vote for Thomas Martinez, the DFL-endorsed and Minnesota Education endorsed candidate, in the Aug. 11 primary and on Nov. 3 in the general election.

Thomas Martinez