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Letters to the Editor

Please help those in need

Because I believe in The Salvation Army's mission and community commitment, I voluntarily serve as the chairperson for the Christmas Kettle Campaign in Stevens County. In Stevens County, where the Salvation Army does not have uniformed personnel or a corps community center building, local volunteers like myself serve on the local service unit board. We are able to provide assistance to people in need year round, not just during Christmas.

With the season of joy and happiness approaching, my No. 1 wish is to encourage everyone who can to share a gift with others less fortunate. The sight of Salvation Army kettles and bellringers may remind us to be thankful for what we have and to think of others who may not have as much. They need your help. Please help by supporting The Salvation Army this season.

By giving to the Salvation Army this holiday season, you will contribute to several vital community programs, including summer camping, disaster services, nursing home visitation and Christmas gift distribution to those in need.

Please know that The Salvation Army works efficiently to put your donations to work and that your contributions help provide a hand up, not just a hand out to someone who seeks The Salvation Army's assistance.

Thank you for your past and continued support. With your help, The Salvation Army is able to make a difference.

Verna Zeiher


Stevens County

Salvation Army

Kettle Campaign

Pay attention to our state

Now that all the post-election dust has settled, I wanted to take this time to thank all of the people that enthusiastically supported my candidacy for Minnesota House of Representatives in District 11A. I was humbled and honored to receive the votes of so many residents of our district from every walk of life, every political party, and every age group. Everything that happened throughout the campaign was such a positive experience for a young college grad that was just trying to put his political science degree to work and do something positive for his community. I couldn't have done it without a strong team effort.

So many people have expressed disappointment about the results of the election. I want to say right now that I was thrilled with the results and that no one should be disappointed.

Firstly, one of my goals from the beginning, and the reason I got into the race, was to keep the conversation going about how we want governance to happen in our state. We did that by getting behind candidates and discussing the real issues with our friends and neighbors. We gave people a choice, and they chose. That's our democracy folks, no matter the result.

Secondly, unlike so many races around the state and country, we focused on what was important to us and didn't let mud obscure the issues. There was no name-calling, or nasty campaign tactics, or outside distractions (at least not by the campaigns), and that gives me hope for elections everywhere.

Thirdly, people listened. In my race, I won support in precincts that hadn't been won by a Democratic Farm Labor candidate in 10 years or better, and we increased our vote share in many other places. That's not to mention the fact that many of those precincts were in the opponent's home territory (Grant County)- places where his support should have been strongest. I'll let the pundits figure out what happened.

We don't always get everything we want when it comes to election results, but we did our job. We got out there and spoke up with honesty and integrity and kept that conversation going. There's nothing to be ashamed of in that. The key is to continue paying attention and stay engaged after the election, even though it didn't go your way. Ask questions. Go to town hall meetings. Pay attention to what's happening around you. You still have a stake in this, the success of our state, no matter whose circle you filled in on Election Day.

God bless and keep you all, and this great state!

Bennett Smith

DFL House 11A candidate