Thanks to Todd DeVries for his insights and willingness to take part in local politics. I know Todd is accomplished in many ways despite having what some would view as a handicap.

I had the experience, many years ago, to lead singing for children prior to their Sunday school classes. The accompanist was a gentleman born with glaucoma. He worked as a translator at the airport but was also an accomplished musician. I could sing a song I knew from memory but didn’t have the music for, and he would pick it up, put in cords and play it all for the second verse. He told me one time that being blind was an advantage in discerning the character and mood of people. He was using all of his other senses without being distracted by appearance. Are they missing an arm? What does their hair look like? Are they in bright or dull colors? Glasses? All the outer shell.

This is why we need people involved in government who can see things from a different perspective. Everyone will have their own challenges, but there are ways for us to implement changes in our communities that will give greater freedom to all. Just like installing auditory walk signals and replacing corner curbs with sloped ones. I have wondered why so many new homes are built with several steps to the front door and not even a handrail. Another way to expand freedom and personal responsibility is in implementing secure voting by mail. There must be dozens of ways to expand responsible freedoms that will not take anything away from others. We need points of view different from our own.

Jill Ecklesdafer

Idaho Falls