Dear editor,

The greatest opportunity to shape the future of Auburn is by participating at a local level with our government.

Sarah Payne is not content just to talk, she freely gives her time back tenfold to our community. Sarah is not just a person drawn to community service; it’s always been who she is. When you talk with Sarah, you discover an unpretentious woman who sees each person as a person — as opposed to rich, poor, Christian, non-Christian, black or white; for this and a long list of various personal and professional traits is why I am confident Sarah Payne will be able to represent all voices in our city as mayor.

To narrow down my generality, please continue reading for two specific instances that come to mind:

• In 2012, Sarah’s career path allowed her to be “all in” for Auburn. She grew the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival into much more than just cars including introducing various forms of art and education to the festival, linking multiple generations together. Sarah’s passion for community is portrayed through the involvement of volunteers who line the streets for all Labor Day festivities, including the Friday night cruise-in, which is known to attract global crowds and nationally recognized talent. Sharing a passion for Auburn with the late John Souder, Sarah’s legacy lives on each year with the buzz the festival brings. Although her career path took her elsewhere, Sarah and her entire family still devote their entire Labor Day weekend to volunteering all things Auburn.

• Four years ago, Sarah recruited and led a team of volunteers with the intention of attracting more foot traffic downtown during the dreary months of the winter to promote economic development for our small businesses, who notice a decrease in business during these months. In sleet and snow, when many others were tucked in the warmth of their homes, Sarah was on the front lines of yarn bombing, beautifying Auburn, the community she has an unwavering passion for. This passion ignited other communities to follow suit. Today there is an actual yarn bomb trail across the region, allowing Auburn to receive regional news coverage and become known for more than “just cars.”

I call to attention specifically these two examples because today, more than ever, we need a leader who not only understands the importance of uniting a community, but knowing how to bring people together — to have not only a vision for what our future looks like, but the skill set and steadfast passion to ignite the same fire across our community, so nobody or nothing is left behind. Sarah Payne holds a professional skill set so unique and fine-tuned by personal and professional experiences, it is my personal and professional opinion she is more than qualified to lead our community into a future of economic development, growth and wellness than her opponent.

I’m proud to cast my ballot for mayor to Sarah Payne and hope you will join me at the polls on November 5th, 2019.

Jen Gibson

Auburn

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