Endorsements From Reverend Jerry Artis

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My name is Reverend Jerry Artis, Pastor of Love of Christ Fellowship Church.  I am writing my opinion on the upcoming election, November 8, 2011.  I am writing what I feel is the best path, based on the events of the past few years leading up to this election.  Sometimes you have to vote your heart as well as your mind.  I should have written this sooner because of some serious issues affecting our Town and therefore the children, who as you all know, is the main focus of our ministry as well as all who need help in any way we can.

It is with a heavy heart that I must write this article because I have been mostly a lifelong Democrat, though I have voted across party lines at times, if I felt the other candidate was better qualified.  I vote for whom I feel is the better candidate who reflects my views on crucial matters, regardless of race, for I know the sting of being rejected simply because of the color of my skin.

When I compare the candidates, I try my best to be impartial. Carefully listening, and evaluating them on their stand on the issues, and their compatibility with needs of the community both short and long term, and this has led me to believe it is time for change.

It is my opinion that most of our elected officials are out of touch with us, and are close to being tyrants, who care little about the expressed concerns of their electorate in favor of special interest groups at the expense of all of us.

Our Town officials created the environment that favors some communities over others.  Codes are not vigorously enforced, which make some areas an oasis for crime.  When we asked for jobs, affordable housing, and greater recreation facilities for our youth, we were given sidewalks and a community garden.  Which would be fine if things of more urgent priority were addressed first.  We were given a development that is not affordable for those who live in that area, will greatly increase already tremendous traffic, has been proven to be environmentally unsafe, will be an added burden on the school district, and in my opinion reeks of gentrification.  The voices of those who would be negatively influenced were ignored in favor of those who will not be impacted by this decision because they do not live in this community.

Crime has been a constant problem. Even though the town has no jurisdiction over the police, they could do far more to address the root causes of the crime instead of being part of the cause.  If the Town worked as hard to address some issues as they do for some special interest, we would see a marked improvement in the quality of life in this Town for all its citizens and not just a few.  I attended the meet the candidates night hosted by the NAACP.  I was totally dismayed when the moderator did not even address the issue of jobs!  I listened very closely to each person, and I saw no compelling reason why the incumbents should be reelected.  They offered no new initiatives, no vow to hold some slumlords accountable for their code violations, nothing that I could grasp as an incentive to return them to office again.

On their watch, we lost our school.  On their watch communities were divided.  On their watch, even as we were trying to heal, they brought in Avalon Bay to exacerbate the situation even more.  If only such a great effort was used to help us as it was to help a great development that we in the community did not want and will not address the needs of those who need it most!

Truly it is time for change.  We also don’t need a part time Legislature who is out of touch with our community and our school district. I feel that we need fresh ideas, we need someone who will truly listen to us. I say let’s give them a chance with the stipulation that we will not tolerate anymore indifference.  I must say that Herb Morrow and Elizabeth Black reached out to my church and me.  This made us feel that our opinion counts.  They acquitted themselves well, they answered very tough questions and were willing to listen to us.  For all these reasons stated above I feel they should have a chance. Surely we can’t go on with business as usual.  Please consider this and vote for change and a bold new direction in which we will be a partner and not ignored and dictated to.

Reverend Jerry Artis

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