Missa Eaton Op-Ed
Congressional candidate talks leadership, percentages.
Democratic congressional candidate Missa Eaton submitted the following op-ed, which we bring to you unedited and in its original form. Congressman Mike Kelly was invited to respond; read his remarks here.
"Lately, there has been a lot of talk about percentages -- the 1%, the 99%, and now the 47%. It is unsettling to me that today's politicians are so comfortable chopping up their constituents into segments, or percentages. It is now commonplace to hear our elected officials make public statements about how they will only represent the percentages that adhere to the same ideology that they hold. This is not good government, this is not equal representation, and this narrow-thinking is not a core value that our great country was founded on over two hundred years ago.
"Communities prosper together. People do well when their neighbors do well. Property values go up when the neighborhood is full of cook-outs and kids on their bikes. Good schools and thriving downtowns go hand in hand. Pristine parks and litter-free roadsides occur in areas with active citizenry. Government exists by the people, all people, 100% of them.
"As I travel around our sprawling, seven-county Congressional district, I am struck by how similar some of the stories I hear are. Seniors in Albion are just as concerned about paying for their medicine as their counterparts in Cranberry Township. Parents in New Castle want to make sure they can afford to send their high school seniors to college next fall, just like parents in Espyville. And the small business owner in Apollo wants to expand and prosper in the same way that a Main Street business owner in New Bethlehem does. At the end of the day, we all sit down and balance our checkbooks, we all face similar concerns about the future, and we all deserve a concerned and engaged representative working on our behalf in Washington, DC.
"What we need are leaders who are courageous enough to make the hard decisions, to sit at the table and work out the best solution, and who will work for the betterment of our country's future – for 100% of Americans. Too often, politicians rely on polls, party positions, and focus groups. Too often, they listen more to the big money, private interests instead of the people at home, or to their re-election pollster instead of checking-in with their conscience. Few people have the honor of serving in Congress, so those who get the chance should hold that office with grounded humility, dogged determination to achieve something great for our country, and pride for the progress they initiate. It's time for a gut-check and my gut tells me that we are in need of a new US Representative in Congress. I look forward to being that Representative and serving you, all of you."
Missa Eaton, 49, lives in Sharon with her husband John. Missa's daughter, Kalie Trueper, is 26. For the past eight years, she was a psychology professor at Penn State Shenango, previously working in real estate, retail, and managing a stock car racetrack.