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Common sense

Dear Editor:

I recently wrote a letter to the editor criticizing J. Paul Brown for voting against a bill to protect the homeless youth of Colorado, a vote he defended by saying, “politicians keep expanding the government to buy votes.”

Protecting at-risk youth isn’t simply trying to “buy votes.”

Taking action to protect children is a worthy cause that everyone can rally around; the Colorado State House passed the bill 64-1 against Brown’s objections. However, Brown’s refusal to help children doesn’t end; he voted against Senate Bill 11-177, which extended the Teen Pregnancy and Dropout Program, a program to help teens avoid pregnancies and stay in school.

I am a senior in high school. At my age, there are plenty of distractions and a strong support system is everything. By voting against extending this program, Brown voted to remove what could be the only support for many at-risk teens. Keeping our population well-educated and well-supported is one of the main roles of government, and it is especially important in the current economic climate. Without a well-educated and well-trained populace, our country will not keep up with China or India.

Staying in school is imperative. Statistics from the government show that by simply getting a high school diploma, the average person increases their earning potential by up to one million dollars. However, for many kids, this cannot happen without a support system that helps them overcome challenges in life. Once again, J. Paul Brown’s radical ideology failed his constituency.

Mike McLachlan, Brown’s opponent, understands the need for children to stay in school. Both of his children graduated from Durango High School and have or will graduate from public Colorado universities. His wife, Barbara, has taught at Durango High School for 20 years, and was named the 2012 Teacher of the Year. Please join me in supporting Mike McLachlan and bringing common sense back to House District 59.

Ben Marvin-Vanderryn

Durango

This story was posted on September 26, 2012.