My six-year-old son, Foster Raymond, has discovered his iPhone’s camera and video editing feature, which still seems to me to be nothing short of miraculous.

He has an older model, one we don’t use anymore, which has become his “phone” although it doesn’t have a service plan. But who needs phone calls when you can take photos and videos, crop, edit and create in seconds? Like I said, miraculous.

His photos are telling of our life sheltering in place as a family of six running for Congress, trying our best to do our part to steer our country into a better direction. These photos also tell of a future so far different from our past. Our children’s children will be living in a world unrecognizable to the one we have today. This is simply a fact, and one we all must embrace rather than deny. We can’t run away from challenges. Instead we must run into them and be the first to innovate.

The third most telling thing about these photos is one of privilege. My son’s parents are lucky enough to work from home. Our small businesses are hanging on by a thread, our financial future is definitely on shaky ground and times are stressful. But, he has love, safety, and above all – he has opportunity thanks to the technology he holds at his fingertips coupled with his education in a thriving school district.

This is a stark difference from the homes of so many Ohio children. One out of three of whom cannot read proficiently by 4th grade and one out of five of whom are currently hungry.

The other day, Seth and I were driving through Delaware to check on our neighbors and the community. Behind my old house on Park Avenue, we passed a backyard of another home I used to ride my bike by as a kid. The yard had no grass, only dirt. There were a few scattered, old and dirty toys, and then in the midst of it all I spotted a young boy. He had a stick in his hand and he was walking quietly and aimlessly, ducking out perhaps from the scene inside of this home. My heart sank and I was reminded why I am running for Congress.

Because that boy and his family deserve better. They deserve to know they have a chance. They deserve to know their country will have their back.

Here’s the rub.

While so many of us in our nation are left behind and forgotten, the rest of us will never truly prosper. My son lives just a few miles away from that boy and has a completely different life. Sure, my husband and I have worked incredibly hard to give him this life as my parents and their parents did before us, but when the inequities become this glaring, when working families quite literally can’t make it here anymore – we must do something.

The COVID-19 pandemic is going to push so many Americans who were already on the edge of poverty into poverty. Millions of us. And now, in this moment, we have a chance to not only rescue the American people but we also have a chance to rewrite the formula in order to create a more just and prosperous future for all of us.

Instead of rewriting that formula or coming up with solutions Congressman Troy Balderson is spending his days blaming China for our crisis. I swear to you, I will never, ever use my taxpayer-funded salary or communication tools to push propaganda, to point fingers at another nation or to lay blame in a time when we need action.

How can you act? How can you help your neighbors?

Take our community survey. First, tell us how you’re doing and if there is anything you need (really, tell us how you are really doing and ask if you need help). Second, tell us what you can give. Each and every one of us always has something to give.

Then my team will take it from there to connect you to one another.

Digital (and an amazing campaign team) makes anything possible. So just take a few minutes with that survey.

We can do this. We can. Believe in one another and believe in the good within us all. Far too many politicians have had only one special interest for too long – their own. And time’s up. It’s time for Americans to take our country back and I’ll be first in line.

Sign me up.

I’m ready to fight for my country. Enough is enough.

Can you imagine little Foster’s pictures of that new reality? 

I can and it’s beautiful.

Let’s do this, shall we?

Alaina

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