To the editor:

Stacia Kraft has done something no other council candidate in recent memory has done: she’s called attention to the polarized nature of Salem politics and offered to do something about it.

It doesn’t matter which side of this divide you’re on, or how you define the divide — progressives vs. Trumpers, new Salem vs. old Salem, millennials vs. boomers. Our community as a whole is disunited, and we all pay the price.

As Kraft’s Facebook page shows, she draws the lines in different places. She’s interested in what works, and also in what isn’t working and could be done differently or more thoughtfully. Her own politics are progressive — more so, in fact, than anyone currently on the council — yet she’s happy to work with people across the political spectrum. As Kraft has noted, there are more similarities than differences in what we all want from city government. The job here is mainly management. The infrastructure doesn’t care about the politics of the people who manage it.

Faced with someone who doesn’t fit into the usual pigeonholes, it’s easy to assume Kraft must be on the side of “them” and not “us.” The side she’s on is the side of community. She’s already done a lot of things for this city — activities that took initiative, focus, resourcefulness and hard work. And the activities and groups she started are still going. She has in effect been a serial entrepreneur for city volunteerism. Serving on the council — something she has stepped up to do because stepping up has always been her style — would just be one more example.

Josiah Fisk

Salem

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