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The Bay Atlantic Symphony visited Vineland High School for the third year. Video by Jose Moreno

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In the months ahead, I hope that local residents will take a serious look at Tanzie Youngblood, who should be chosen in 2018 as the Democratic candidate to replace Frank LoBiondo as our congressperson in Washington, D.C. I have had the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Youngblood on several occasions and have been impressed by the fact that she is not running for office in order to obtain power and money. Instead, Ms. Youngblood wants to help the people of our region by focusing on issues that directly affect us all.

For too many years, South Jersey has been held hostage by career politicians, who have repeatedly proved that they care little about their constituents. There is no planned growth and development that would help area residents, who suffer under ever-increasing taxes. Natural assets such as the Pine Barrens go virtually unprotected by those who don’t understand their significance. The lack of opportunities and general neglect of our area have discouraged too many people to the point where they don’t even bother to vote.

A retired teacher, Ms. Youngblood is genuinely interested in improving life for South Jersey residents. In addition to supporting education, she wants to help local veterans obtain needed medical service, protect our environment from pollution, attract new job opportunities and invest in agriculture — a dominant industry in our region. She will address issues such as immigration reform in a comprehensive manner to effect real change, instead of arbitrarily allowing families to be destroyed.

As a widow and a Blue Star mother, whose grandparents were farmers, Ms. Youngblood recognizes that change is needed for South Jersey to ensure working people have access to health care and a living wage that will allow them to provide for their families. She also will promote a foreign policy agenda that is grounded in strengthening relationships with our allies through continued diplomacy. She has impressed me as a caring and compassionate person, who truly wants to serve the people of our region. I am confident that she will be the type of legislator that we can point to with pride. To learn more, visit her website at www.youngbloodforcongress.com

 Patricia A. Martinelli

Minotola

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