One rite of passage for candidates in Manchester is to head down to the Manchester Community TV offices on Elm Street to record a short candidate speech. They are airing on Channel 22 all week, but you can also catch them on the MCTV YouTube Channel. Here's mine:
Hi, I'm State Representative Jacqueline Chretien, and I’m asking for your vote to re-elect me and Matt Wilhelm to represent Manchester Wards 1, 2, and 3. I'm a PhD bioscientist, a mom of 3, and I grew up here in Manchester. I ran for office in 2018 because I believe our state government needs to do a better job of reflecting the priorities of everyone in the state, and I'm running for reelection because after two years in the legislature, I only feel this even more strongly.
As a scientist, I bring a unique perspective to Concord. This year, unfortunately, we’ve gotten an crash course in how important it is for our decision-makers to understand bioscience and biomedical research specifically. My background means I can help make sure we have public health policies that keep up with new evidence and keep us safe. More broadly, my experience in research means I’m skilled at digging into data, interpreting statistics and evaluating cause and effect, which helps in all areas of legislating.
As a mom, I have a special interest in the future of our state. When working on the state budget, I have advocated for investments that have high returns and are smart spending as well as just the right thing to do. I want to make sure that the decisions we make are going to be good for the city and state years down the road, not just short-term fixes. I believe that childcare, healthcare, mental health, civil liberties and voting rights, and environment and climate protections are the best places to focus, because if we get these things right now, we can avoid costly problems in the future.
One place I think long-term investment needs to improve is in our public schools. I grew up here in Manchester, and I had a rich and rigorous public school education. Since I graduated from Memorial, back in 2000, it feels like support for public education has eroded. I think a big part of this is because the state hasn’t been doing its constitutional duty to provide for adequate education. School funding comes nearly exclusively from property taxes, and Manchester feels much more of a squeeze than towns with higher average property values. Over the last two years in the legislature, I’ve fought to get millions of dollars of additional state aid for education in Manchester, and we’ve made progress toward changing the education funding mechanism in the state. Now, we need to follow through so that our students and teachers get the same investments that those in Bedford, Hampton, or Windham take for granted. We also clearly will need to push for resources to help students who have struggled with remote learning, to make sure we aren’t leaving our kids with education gaps that will last a lifetime.
Two other priorities that I will continue to support are raising the minimum wage and establishing paid family and medical leave. We all deserve the dignity of earning a living from full-time work, and we all should be able to care for loved ones or spend time with new babies without worrying about losing our jobs or keeping up with bills. These policies provide stability for people at vulnerable points in their careers and lives, which helps keep our communities and local economy stable, too.
But most of all, I want to be a representative who truly represents the interests of the people of Manchester. I know there are tons more issues that are important to the people in this city than I can cover in these 3 minutes. I promise to always listen to any concerns or ideas any resident wants to share and to work with other legislators and leaders to find solutions that are fair and benefit everyone. Stay safe, and I hope to earn your vote.