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Dear Editor:

Kimberly Parker will bring enormous energy, passion and commitment to improving the lives of all Chaffee County residents in the role of county commissioner. We need someone who is knowledgeable and proactive and has the drive to do the extensive work it will take to move the vision of our future forward.

She has long recognized the need for affordable housing in our community, and as chair of the Housing Policy Advisory Committee, she understands the complexities and is in the position to lead to address both rental and home ownership.

The critical issue of affordable housing was brought home to me when my “millennial” daughter decided to move to Salida to pursue her artistic career. In searching for housing and jobs, the stark reality of living in Salida for the average young person or family was eye-opening with many having to take on several jobs to make ends meet. As I interact with various young people, the seriousness of this problem has become increasingly concerning and, I believe, weighs heavily on the future of Salida.

This is a great retirement environment, but if we do not nurture and integrate the younger generation to become involved and productive in our community, we will not have a prosperous future. This is one of the most important attributes Kimberly brings to the position she is seeking. She is a model for young people to get involved and make a difference.

These next few years are going to be critical for our community and the nation. Evidence of the increased involvement of young people, women and minorities in the political arena will assist in rebuilding our divided country, and all of us need to embrace the possibilities inherent in supporting their effort. Vote for the future success of Chaffee County, vote for Kimberly Parker.

Leta Truett