Opinion: Vote Duffy and make the North Country a better place, says Ogdensburg woman
To the Editor:
I have been a resident of the north country for 62 years. I have known Susan Duffy for just as long. We have served as each other's confidants through both good and bad times. Needless to say, I know everything there is to know about her. We have laughed, cried, worried, loved, been angered, and worked together to overcome many obstacles and have always been there to pull each other up when we've been knocked down. With a five-week difference in age and the fact that we grew up around the corner from each other, we knew all there was to know about each other.I have seen Susan go through all phases of life and it wasn't always easy for her. After her divorce and she moved back to her hometown of Ogdensburg, I watched how hard she struggled to raise three children on her own. I was the one that gave her a ride to the food pantry when her cupboards were bare. I was the one that gave her a ride to Good Will when her closets were empty. I watched her go from a struggling single mother of three, to a successful businesswoman who started her own business from scratch and found the strength to make it into a thriving business that fed, clothed, and housed her family. That business is now feeding, clothing, and housing her employee's families. It wasn't easy. It meant sacrificing a lot of time away from family and missing out on many special moments in order to reach her goals, which was to make a better life for them. Her work ethic, tenacity, intelligence, big heart and need to make a better life, enabled her to succeed in everything she set out to do.
We both came from big families. I came from a family of ten and she came from a family of twelve. We grew up in a time when we didn't have the material things. but we had the most important things. We had family and all the memories that came with growing up with family. We had relatives surrounding us and their houses made up our neighborhoods. We had holidays together where we gathered around a dining room table and ate in shifts because there wasn't just one family eating together, there were many families. Family was so important. We watched the downtown as it lit up with booming businesses and busy streets. As we grew up, we watched these businesses close one-by-one and as they did, we also watched these families, or pieces of family, slowly move away, because there was no longer a future for them in the north country. This was the case for Susan and most of her brothers.
We have seen people move back to the north country after retirement because it is a beautiful area and many of the aging parents that they were forced to leave behind, now need their care. The people that moved back now had to leave their children behind because that is where they have made their lives and aren't in a position to come back, due to the fact that there is still no future here for them without employment.
When we grew up, law enforcement officers were respected. They were heroes to many. They fought the bad guys and put them in jail, so we were safe. We turned to them when we were in trouble. We still turn to them, but they can't keep us safe like they used to. The bad guys are now given a slap on the wrist and turned back out onto the streets to continue doing whatever they please. There are no repercussions for their actions and instead of being in handcuffs, it's our law enforcement officers who have their hands tied. They constantly spin their wheels because of Bail Reform.
Susan has always been a closet-politician. She always voiced her opinion and was passionate in her beliefs, but now she wants to do more than sit and talk about them. She is aware of the sacrifices that she will have to make again, in order to achieve her new goals. Her goal is to fight to make the north country a better place to live with the opportunities needed to keep our families close and safe. We need a voice for our families, our law enforcement, the north country, and St. Lawrence County. Vote for Susan for her strength, perseverance, tenacity and love for the north country and its families. Those traits worked for her, now let them work for you.