Dear Editor,

Congressional representatives must have their finger on the pulse of the district they serve, even if they reside in areas physically distant from their district.   It is nothing short of imperative that representatives know their constituents’ issues, hear their concerns, and engage in meaningful dialogue with those they represent.

Chris Smith is the representative for the 4th Congressional District of NJ.  He lives in Virginia, but maintains a small apartment in NJ.  Unfortunately, Chris Smith has been comfortably absent from his home district.  In fact, many years he spent fewer than thirty nights in NJ.  Hardly enough time to hear his diverse constituents clearly, I’d say!

It’s customary for politicians to participate in town hall meetings during an election season.  It’s a critical forum for hearing each candidates’ viewpoints and issues in some detail.  Chris Smith refuses to attend or participate in public debates, forums, or town hall meetings. This is in stark contrast with Josh Welle who has criss-crossed the district, shared his viewpoints, listened to constituents’ concerns, and familiarized himself with the diverse population he represents.

It’s time to elect a representative who’s not a phantom presence.  I want a representative I can see and hear, one who hears me.  Our representatives are not entitled to our vote.  They need to earn it.  On November 6th I will vote for Josh Welle.  I hope you will, too.

Aliza Greenblatt
Ocean Grove, NJ