I always find election season to be an interesting and exciting time in our country. I love how people who may typically shy away from politics become engaged. Everywhere you go, there is passionate conversation among friends, family, and neighbors about the issues facing our lives and communities. Even if it’s fleeting, there seems to be a

palpable commitment by all during the lead up to a Presidential election to make our country the best it can be.

This election season feels different. The stakes are higher. The rhetoric more divisive, even dangerous. Relationships between friends, families, and neighbors are being tested over disagreements about the best way forward.

Like many of you, I feel very strongly about what the right direction is for our country. I mailed in my ballot earlier this week with great eagerness, pride, and hope. Whomever you support, whatever your feelings are on either candidate, I hope you vote too.

PVA hosts webinar on voting during COVID-19.

On October 6th, PVA hosted a live webinar for all members focusing on voting during the November 3rd presidential general election. For those unable to attend, the webinar was recorded and will be available on PVA’s website. Members will learn how to make a plan to safely and securely cast a ballot during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who watch the session will also hear how the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) works to ensure states and local precincts meet the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Help America Vote Act.

Connecticut’s 2020 Candidates’ Forum on Disability Issues.

On behalf of NEPVA, I participated in a non-partisan forum with candidates (or their surrogates) running for President of the United States and United States Congress. Candidates answered questions on disability topics that include employment, transportation, housing, health care and other related issues. Among the current New England Delegation, Congressman Himes, Congressman Courtney, Congressman Larson, and Congresswoman DeLauro attended.

New Hampshire Gubernatorial Town Hall on Disability Issues.

On October 13th, I’ll be participating in the NH Gubernatorial Town Hall on disability issues. The two candidates, Governor Chris Sununu and Senator Dan Feltes will present their disability policy platforms and discuss the specific disability issues each would focus on if elected. They will also answer disability specific questions from the zoom audience. Information on how to join the zoom Town Hall was emailed to all NH NEPVA residents earlier this week. I hope many of you are able to join me!

NEPVA briefings with the New England Congressional Delegation.

This past month, I had the opportunity to discuss PVA’s 2020 Legislative Priorities with the district staff of the following offices: Senator Blumenthal, Senator Hassan, and Congressman McGovern. I continue to raise, among other issues, how our members shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden of the full cost of an adapted automobile, and why Congress should make access to IVF a permanent part of the medical benefits package at the VA. The staff members were very responsive and I look forward to following up with them in the coming weeks.

As always, I’d like to hear from you. What issues matter most to you in this election? What do you wish your Representative would pursue? What obstacles do you and your family face that you would like our legislative officials to be aware of? You can reach me at kristen@newenglandpva. org or 800-660-1181.

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