The June 5th Primary has entered the home stretch. For the first time in 8 weeks, there is no where I need to appear other than at the doorstep of a registered voter to ask for their support in the election booth.
Since I decided to pursue the open Freeholder seat in March, I have been all across Morris County. I have been out and away from my family every day since, attending such events as republican club meetings, fundraisers, pancake breakfasts, awards dinners, and candidate forums. Often there can be 2-3 events a night, that is more than 100 events over the last 56 days.
No event begins without standing before the American flag for the pledge of allegiance. On some occasions, we have the joy-giving experience to listen to the National Anthem. As I look around the room, who do I see? Seniors.
Some may say, well of course, they have the time. That may be true, but it is much more than that. It is a sense of civic duty, it is patriotism. I have learned quickly not to say: “thank you for voting.” They look at me like I have two heads, as if I said “thank you for breathing.” “Of course I vote. I always vote,” is the response I get. It is me who walks away from that exchange as the beneficiary. Understanding that it takes humility, resolve, and again, a sense of duty to protect our individual freedoms. The collective conscience among older Americans is that we are in this together and only together, can we uphold the pluralistic society we have come to cherish.
I fear this is fading away from our social fabric. This is why we need to support our seniors to remain an active part of our communities and interact with younger generations to pass down this ethic and keep volunteerism alive.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned I have been campaigning for 56 days. I pause at this number since our nation’s population is estimated to have 56 million Americans over the age of 65 by 2020. In Morris County, our senior population exceeds the national average and it is growing. With that comes challenges. There is a real need for employment opportunities for those 55 and over. More than 3,000 seniors are considered at-risk and our region has the highest amount of older households dependent upon food assistance in the state.
I have heard you! Transportation, affordable housing, and lower taxes are what you need to stay here. My vision for the county is for it to become a “Naturally Occurring Retirement Community,” a NORC. As Freeholder, count on me to fight for you to achieve this.
Aura Dunn (Mendham Borough) is a Republican Candidate for Morris County Freeholder and is running with Incumbent John Cesaro (Parsippany). The Smart, Conservative Choice for Morris County. Dunn currently serves as District Director for the 11th Congressional District, representing and serving 730,000 constituents. Previously, Dunn served as the AVP of Government Affairs for Sesame Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street and several children’s global television programs.