JAYNE MILLERICK: Support ONE Vote 2012 campaign

Senator John McCain and John Kerry – veterans of the New Hampshire political battleground – are being honored this week with the New Hampshire Primary Award for their continued support of the state’s first-in-the-nation status. While the two hail from opposite sides of the political aisle, they share a personal connection with the Granite State. With nearly a half-century of public service between them, the senators also share a commitment to preserve America’s leadership in the world – leadership that is defined in many ways by efforts to help improve the lives of the world’s poorest people.

Like Kerry in 2004 and McCain in 2008, candidates seeking the Republican nomination in 2012 will spend the fall outlining their vision for America’s future, a vision that will, by necessity include their thinking on how to rein in the U.S. budget. The intimate political environment in the first primary state provides a unique opportunity for voters to voice support for critical pieces of the budget that might not otherwise receive attention – like the less than one percent of the budget that helps distribute childhood vaccines, prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS and teach advanced farming techniques to those living on less than $1.25 a day.

While rarely mentioned on the campaign trail, today more than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa are battling starvation in the face of the region’s worst drought in 60 years. In the last three months, 29,000 children have died due to malnutrition and related causes. Without continued support from the United States and the international community, parts of Africa stand to lose an entire generation of future doctors, farmers, and teachers; the hope of a brighter future buried with them.

The tragedy in the Horn underlines the need to continue short-term emergency services, but it also demonstrates a long-term need to protect cost-effective programs that help families feed themselves and reduce the likelihood of crippling famine. As the world turns its attention to New Hampshire in anticipation of the 2012 election, the voices of Granite Staters speaking out on behalf of the world’s poorest people will be heard. For the next six months, we have a powerful audience and an opportunity to urge our leaders to respond to the crisis in the Horn with urgency and compassion.

As a ONE supporter since 2007, I have watched our small grassroots movement in New Hampshire grow into the 10,000 advocates it is today. Known for our no-nonsense approach to spending, Granite Staters stand behind programs that cost relatively little, but give millions a second chance at life. As ONE prepares to launch its ONE Vote 2012 effort to engage candidates on issues with the potential to help the world’s poorest people help themselves I hope that, like Senators Kerry and McCain, voters from both sides of the aisle will come together to preserve America’s legacy of compassion and “up-by-the bootstraps” assistance that builds friendships between nations, promotes economic development and most importantly, saves millions of lives.

Jayne Millerick is President of Marcucci Consulting in Bow and is a former Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee.

Author: Jayne Millerick

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