Jefferson County, Washington is my home and I love living in this beautiful tucked away community on the Olympic Peninsula. We are an eclectic community of boat-builders, retired college professors, and organic farmers. We have another distinction as well: Jefferson County’s median age is the oldest in the state with over 58% of the population over the age of 55. Our population of majority “at-risk” individuals is particularly vulnerable to the ravages of Covid-19, and my campaign volunteers and I are entirely dedicated to protecting our residents by limiting our contact with the very voters we need to reach! As a mother who has always taken very seriously my role to protect my family from harm, I now extend that same sense of responsibility to my entire community.
Zoom virtual coffees have replaced traditional “meet and greets.” Our online campaign presence has become ever more sophisticated. We are planning even more paid ads and direct mailings, and we just put up our first campaign video. Our generous community is responding, and my long-standing visibility in the community as an out-spoken member of the Planning Commission and community activist has helped to overcome the challenge of getting voters familiar with our campaign and me.
Yes, as women in politics we must work even harder now to have our voices heard. But let’s remember that other women are at real increased risk of harm during this enforced stay at home period. Statistics from nearby King County show that calls for assistance to the domestic abuse hotline have increased by 23% while victims are in virtual lock-down with their abusers. We cannot overlook this serious problem, and I whole-heartedly support our local Dove House where vulnerable women and their children can find refuge in this time of Covid-19.
-Lorna Smith, Candidate, District 2, Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners, (D)