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Proud of Portsmouth and proud of Senator Shaheen


Proud of Portsmouth and proud of Senator Shaheen
Robert J. Lister

In Portsmouth, we have a great deal to be proud of. We are home to hundreds of New Hampshire’s finest military families, a beautiful and vibrant community, the lowest unemployment rate in the state, good schools, an involved citizenry and an incredible number of small businesses that make our community and the state proud.

I will be the first to admit that our success is the result of teamwork and sometimes a little compromise. There is no way that we would be able to succeed without the hard work of our residents and a strong network of leaders working hard to improve Portsmouth and our state every day.

One of our strongest team members is Senator Jeanne Shaheen. She has been fighting and advocating for us and she has delivered. Throughout her 20-plus years in public service, she has accomplished much and that is why I am supporting her for the U.S. Senate on Nov. 4.

My family and I have been proud to live in Portsmouth for more than 38 years and during that time, I have observed many changes. My first visit to Portsmouth was in 1961 to visit an uncle who worked at the Navy yard. What a different place this was then. One of the biggest changes is the transformation of our city’s transportation network. Most recently, our city desperately needed a new bridge to make transportation in and around the city easier for everyone. Thankfully, Sen. Shaheen was able to break through the gridlock in Washington and secure funding for the new Memorial Bridge. This bridge is absolutely crucial to the Seacoast economy, allowing goods and people to travel throughout the region more efficiently than ever.

Sen. Shaheen has also stood up for military families. When the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was threatened by a potential round of base closures, thousands of men and women who work there didn’t know what the future would hold or how they’d get by without work at the shipyard. Sen. Shaheen stood up to members of her own party and came to the rescue. She and others prevented the shipyard from closing and protected the nearly 5,000 jobs. She also brought the military’s new KC-46 refueling tankers to New Hampshire’s Pease Air National Guard — a project that will create hundreds of new jobs and inject millions of dollars into the New Hampshire economy.

But Sen. Shaheen’s accomplishments don’t end in Portsmouth. She helped write the bipartisan Small Business Jobs Act, which cut taxes for New Hampshire small businesses, increased business’ access to credit, and established the STEP program to help New Hampshire companies export their products overseas. She co-sponsored and helped pass the Travel Promotions Act, which strengthens New Hampshire’s tourism industry supporting nearly 70,000 jobs and with them, tens of thousands of New Hampshire families. Both of these commonsense pieces of legislation have helped our local businesses grow and create jobs. She is concerned with the environment and the effects on our cities and towns from sea-level rise and climate change.

As governor, Jeanne Shaheen took on the big utility companies and fought for lower electric rates. In the Senate, she continues to push to reduce energy costs and wrote bipartisan energy efficiency legislation that created jobs and saved consumers billions of dollars. Jeanne Shaheen has fought and advocated day in and day out for Portsmouth, and for local communities throughout New Hampshire. Her record speaks for herself. Her opponent in this election cannot claim any accomplishments that have kept the Portsmouth and New Hampshire economy vibrant or supporting small businesses or middle class families. We in New Hampshire and Portsmouth are a proud hard-working people concerned with the quality of life for ourselves, our children and grandchildren. We must preserve the past, welcome the present and plan for the future.

It is important that every one exercises their right to vote in this election. The results of what happens on Nov. 4 could affect life in many different ways.

Sen. Shaheen is accessible, and not hesitant to work with our elected officials on both sides of the aisle in a bipartisan manner. She seeks to benefit residents, families, workers and communities with a major plan in mind and not just (for the benefit of) the ego of a candidate. This is what we need to happen in Washington.

To me, it’s a no brainer! I am supporting Sen. Shaheen on Nov. 4 and encourage you to do the same. I will be one of the proud voters who send her back to Washington to continue working for your family and mine.

Robert J. Lister is mayor of Portsmouth.