While my friends had prom and graduation, I was bouncing couch to couch trying to survive. During this time, I met my husband. I was 18 years old when I came here on vacation to meet his family. I fell in love and never looked back. We had two beautiful kids and a beautiful home in Rockport. I even went back to school for business administration and marketing, life was great!
Then it wasn't.
The IT company my husband worked for went under and he was let go. He couldn't find work and we lost everything. I'll never forget going to apply for assistance. After 10 years of paying thousands into the system monthly, when we needed the help, it was not there. I burst into tears. I found myself on the streets AGAIN, this time with two kids. What if I had been able to save just a fraction of that money, would it have bought us the time needed?
I began questioning democratic policy and registered Independent. I didn't understand the consequences of policy until living it first-hand. The government didn't help, it held me back. Another example? When they took my license when I couldn't pay the excise taxes on my repossessed car. It took years of working a minimum wage job within walking distance to afford it. Every tax, fee, fine and regulation is the difference between feast and famine for someone just trying to get by.
For years I picked up odd jobs to pay our bills. I managed a tile/stone store, cleaned houses, lobstering/dragging, I painted boats—you name it, I did it. It wasn't until we noticed the need for an IT/electric guy on the waterfront and worked to build our business, that we got ahead.
Today we do work on a majority of the commercial vessels in Gloucester, have customers from Cape Cod to Maine and are opening up a store on Harbor Loop. My experiences and what I saw out of government/media also drove my involvement. I read everything I could get my hands on pertaining to economics/policy and went back to school for pre-law government law and policy. I was eventually voted in as chairwoman of the Gloucester Republican City Committee.
My experiences made me question the narrative and after evaluating the stigmas surrounding each party, I found I'm a constitutional conservative. A “live and let live” sort, fiscally conservative I believe in minimal but EFFECTIVE government. Our government is about balance. Without it we've got problems and that's reflected in our state.
Some of the highest inflation rates in the country, mandates that violate our rights, worsening test scores/graduation rates, crumbling infrastructure, growing welfare state, housing shortage/skyrocketing costs and elected leaders that advocate for the picking and choosing of which laws to violate—serious problems are going completely ignored and because of that? People with it. People are hurting.
Everyone is stuck in the same old back and forth. It's time to bring new common-sense policy and fresh ideas to the table.
It's time to capitalize on what makes our district different from others, on what makes us great! Transparency is a problem. From the budget break-down, to the closed door, off record bargaining sessions and financial influence... we have to protect our state and its constituents from special interest. Constituent services should be main priority. How can you say you represent the people if you don't pick up the phone when the people call? Which if elected, I will put a process in place for constituent services, so people are finally heard!
We're driving out the fisherman, the blue-collar middle-class families, and pushing out small businesses! We have to find balance while respecting our rights and freedoms. Which is why I'm asking for you to pull a Republican ballot for the September 6 primary and write-in Ashley Sullivan–114 East Main St. Gloucester for State Representative.