By: Cody Townsend
We are mountain people. We are defined by our backyard. We live, work, play, and raise our families in the Sierra Mountains. John Muir once said, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” We know that’s not just a simple quote - that’s something that we truly understand because that is our everyday life.
There is something unique about our corner of California and the people that live here, which is why we need and deserve political representation that truly represents our unique values as mountain people. Someone that is one of us, someone who understands our challenges, someone who will fight for us, and someone who will protect our backyard. This is exactly why I am supporting Jessica Morse for Congress.
Like many of you, politics hasn’t really been my thing. As a career professional skier and adventurer based out of Tahoe City, I found more value in seeking the lessons of the wilderness, exploring the heights of mountains, and bonding with our community that shares a desire to be outside.
Yet, after the 2016 elections, I’ve decided that if we want to see our values as mountain communities protected, we can no longer sit on the sidelines. We can no longer only vote and hope for the best outcome. To truly protect our backyard, our community, and our environment, we need to work hard to ensure we leave our children the same future, opportunities, and environment we had when growing up.
Our current representative in Congress is not one of us. He has never lived in our district. He is a career politician whose values and interests are more aligned with those of southern California where he got his start in politics. He does not understand our challenges.
We know that one spark on a dry summer could ruin everything we have. He has done nothing to invest in adequate fire prevention to protect our towns and forests. We know that healthcare can be a long way away from home and more costly compared to other places. He voted earlier this year to take away our health care and make it more expensive. We know that snow-capped peaks are our year-round water source, as well as a driver of tourism, jobs, and economic stability. He believes climate change is a hoax and our rapidly changing weather patterns are of no concern. His policies do not represent what we know as mountain people.
When I met Jessica this April, I immediately knew she was one of us. She’s a true outdoorswoman. She’s hiked our entire district from top to bottom. She has a deep understanding of our concerns - from rural healthcare to rural broadband, fire prevention to forest management, and climate change that threaten our way of life. She has listened to us and will fight for us. She will give us a voice in Congress.