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Sat May 23, 2020, 12:10 AM

FLIPPABLE: Brittany Vogel for NY-AD107

For the past two decades Iíve been waiting for our politicians to address the issues that have made the lives of the working people, like mine, harder. After many years I have realized that if we are ever going to get the leaders we need, ones who care about the people and want to see us do better, then we would have to run ourselves.

Being from a working-class family I know what our people have been up against. I grew up in Upstate New York, my mother worked full-time, raised two children, and tried to get by living paycheck to paycheck. My father working 80 hours a week to keep up with the bills. At 16 I got a job at the local grocery store to help lighten the burden on my family. It happened to be the same year that the recession began. I went to Hudson Valley Community College to study business administration, and was the first one in my family to get a college degree. I worked very hard to move up the ladder to get into management, quickly working my way to assistant store manager. I knew I would need to try my best and avoid what I could see coming so clearly for us in the working class, how difficult things were about to get for us. I made my focus on leadership, reading all the books, watching all the lectures, and figuring out what it truly meant to be a good leader and serve my people. I had to put in the work and forge my own path, because nothing was guaranteed for me.

Being a leader of over 120 people at a time has given me a real window into the realities of our broken system, specifically in Rensselaer county where I have lived and worked for the past several years. Experiences that have changed my understanding if the world around me. The young daughter in Kinderhook that I worked with, who lost her mother to the opioid epidemic. My own family getting caught up in the heroin epidemic, which ripped our family apart. The people Iíve helped sign up with the local food pantry when they didnít have enough to eat, and the hundreds of birthday cakes I made for children living in poverty in my community, starting Upstate Cakes for Kids. Iíve listened many times to people who talk about their childcare and housing costs eating up their paychecks, forcing them to work a second job, their stories of being evicted, their struggle to live paycheck to paycheck, their battles with mental health issues, and their turn to drugs and alcohol to dim their pain. I see everyday how much our people are hurting, and I don't see anyone coming to help.

This is why Iím running for office. Our politicians have ignored us for too long. We need leaders at all levels of government that understand what our people have been up against, and that are ready to fight to make it better for all of us. I have the experience, the perspective, and the insight into the daily lives of our working people, and I am ready to fight for us, because my future is just as much at stake as everyone I am running to represent.

I hope you will join me in my effort to bring real representation and change to the lives of the working people of our community.

Thank you for supporting my campaign.


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