Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. 

Vote for Eric Nakajima on Sept. 4 

As a longtime local progressive activist, and Democratic Party leader and friend in Hampshire County and beyond, I strongly encourage residents of Amherst, Pelham, and Granby (Precinct 1) to vote for Eric Nakajima for State Representative in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, September 4th. I first met Eric as we organized for the Western Massachusetts Rainbow Coalition thirty years ago. He has maintained his trademark combination of progressive vision and pragmatic skills ever since.

And — because it has been an issue of special focus in recent and upcoming elections — I want to emphasize that, as a woman, I am endorsing Eric as the candidate who will be the most effective working for all of us in the hard-knock politics of Boston.

Of the two candidates, Eric Nakajima has the most relevant and direct political knowledge, experience, and skills to ensure successful advocacy for his constituents locally, and across the Commonwealth. To this point, I want to especially appeal to previous voters for our current State Representative. It is laudable to give candidates a chance to prove themselves, hoping they will learn to be effective and then persevere on behalf of their constituents. Unfortunately, instead of doing so, our current Representative chose to leave the Democratic Party, and has now announced he will not serve another term. Eric knows exactly what he is getting in to, and wants to do it for us anyway.

Finally, I want to note that it would be historic for us to elect the first person of color to represent the upper Pioneer Valley in a state office. He will also be the only State Representative of Japanese-American descent. Please join me in making this momentous occasion come true by voting for Eric Nakajima on September 4th.

– Linda Marston, email

Thanks to the League of Women Voters 

Many thanks go to the League of Women Voters for sponsoring the candidates for our Senate district in a forum on August 13 at Deerfield Academy. While the local papers have done a good job of introducing us to the candidates, it’s been hard to get an understanding of the subtle or substantive differences among these four highly qualified people. Even the websites of the candidates can’t really give a comparison, or a measure of how to choose who will get your vote. Jo Comerford and the other candidates have similar values and priorities for the improvement of people’s lives, but at this in-person event, Jo clearly rose to the top. I want my senator to have knowledge of how things work, not just in the mode of critique of the status quo, but in understanding how to strategize and build the coalitions that are necessary to the legislative process. Jo Comerford’s answers to questions on the wide variety of topics convinced me that she is a step beyond the other candidates in her ability to consider issues and take appropriate action that will be possible, feasible, and achievable. Jo has a proven track record in organizing and getting things done. While each participant had good things to say and offer, hearing all of them in the live format convinced me that Jo Comerford is the best person to represent our district. I encourage you to join me in writing her name on the ballot on September 4th.

– Emily Samuels, Gill