Dear Editor: Ald. Samba Baldeh stands out as the best candidate for state Assembly District 48. When first elected to Madison Common Council in 2015, Samba already had substantial experience that will serve him well in the Assembly, and serve us well, as his constituents. All the candidates express policy priorities with which I imagine a majority of District 48 residents agree, but Samba's record of community service gives him a deep understanding of advocacy. He also knows what it is like to need an advocate — as an immigrant himself and as a volunteer translator for hospital and clinic patients, drawing on the three West African languages he speaks, in addition to, of course, English. To be a successful advocate, he has been tenacious working through bureaucratic regulations — not only local but also international. These experiences strengthened his commitment that government should serve the people. This is more important than ever, as many experience difficulties with the unemployment compensation system, just to name one example.
I have worked with Samba on neighborhood issues for five years and have appreciated his ability to make progress in seemingly intractable situations. I have seen him stand up for neighbors on contentious issues with the city; he began to do this immediately upon being elected. Remarkably, it wasn’t long before he developed a working relationship with people on the other sides of those issues. This is extremely beneficial, because despite disagreement, legislators must keep coming back and working together with each new issue.
Samba will also bring much needed diversity of perspective and identity to Wisconsin’s Assembly. District 48 residents, whether you already have your absentee ballot, will request it, or will go to the polls, I hope you will join me in voting for Samba in the Democratic primary for August 11.
Susan K. Pastor
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