To the editor:

In this heartbreaking year, despite how divided we are, those of us who escaped the worst consequences of Covid share the same cause for gratitude on Thanksgiving.

For many of us, next on our list of thanks is the survival of our democracy. However tattered, the electoral process remained intact because state and local officials did their jobs. Regardless of party and even personal threats, they protected democracy’s norms.

Going forward, we need more elected officials to value these norms and prioritize country above inflexible party loyalty. We’re fortunate to have examples of leaders in the Hudson Valley who’ve done just this.

Among them is Congressman Antonio Delgado, who was honored by organizations as varied as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for his bipartisanship, the American Farm Bureau for his advocacy on behalf of small farmers, and Human Rights Watch for his work to advance equality.

Another is the late John Dunne, longtime Republican State Senator and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under President George H. W. Bush. Mr. Dunne is remembered for bettering New York’s courts and corrections system and our nation’s faithfulness to civil rights laws.

Throughout his life he followed his conscience, accepting the costs when he diverged too far from sanctioned views. As someone concerned about the risks of climate change, I’m grateful that in his last year he endorsed the Energy Innovation Act, a bill offering a bipartisan solution to the climate crisis.

May 2021 bring us more leaders of this stature.

Eleanor Saunders


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