What's running for office all about? For me, it's about connecting. Connecting with people. Sure, it's about issues. It's also about connecting with how people feel. So, when I was asked by the Patches to blog about the upcoming election for State Senate, I decided to make it personal. This blog will be about what my campaign is all about: connecting.
I decided to start here with the Danvers Patch. That's where I was born...so Danvers is a great place to begin. It's also where I worked my way through high school at DeMoulas Market Basket, worked my way through college at Chi Chi's on 114, learned how to swim at the Danvers YMCA and taught kids how to swim as a volunteer at Hogan Regional.
Danvers will always hold a special place in my heart.
My favorite part of the week was the parade through Danvers around Plains Park on July 4. Maybe because every single person was so friendly, not just to me, but also to my volunteers. Genuinely neighborly. And what a neighborhood! So peaceful, with its green lawns, tree-lined streets and pretty gardens.
And it was hard to keep up with the marchers. Not because the baby buggies and floats were moving fast, but because so many people wanted to have a chat. And not about issues, but about what we might have in common. And these were conversations that were struck up with the specific purpose of learning what we had in common with each other--and we did every time.
I didn't count, but I shook hundreds of hands on July 4 in Danvers and in Beverly. That was our third parade that day, and there were a number of people in Danvers that I had already met at an earlier parade in Beverly. One lady whom I had run into for the third time that day said, "Hey, I go to 'em all. I'm hokey."
And then I posed for pictures with the Queen of Hearts, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman...or reasonable facsimiles thereof.
Mary-Ellen Manning is the Governor's Councillor for Danvers and the surrounding towns and is a candidate for State Senate for the open seat being vacated by Senator Fred Berry.
Check our her Danvers parade photos at http://danvers.patch.com/articles/your-neighborhood-gallery-51ee9c63#photo-10559288 .
You can learn more about Mary-Ellen by visiting www.maryellenforsenate.com or https://www.facebook.com/#!/manningforsenate.