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About ME

Born and raised in the Monadnock region to a single Mother who did everything in her limited power to keep our heads above water. Working as hard as she could to keep a roof over our heads, food on our table, and our world as stable as can be amidst such rocky seas. Our story, of a family impoverished while still working most of their waking hours away is not unique. It is the story of being working poor in America. One held by many, but not often told.  I was an apathetic teenager, who didn't feel represented. Who felt the system was too far gone for any real change to occur. "So why bother?" I think many of us have found ourselves asking that question in this era of American politics. Heather Stockwell, a community organizer and a longtime friend, saw me; a jaded high schooler with many opinions. Bringing me under their wing, and showing me a way out of my apathy through organizing.  We ran all around the State. Canvassing for healthcare rights, housing, a living wage and many more of issues equally as important. I was thrown into the deep end, and loved every minute of it. Organizing house parties, rallies, building community where there was little. In doing so opening a space for people to tell their stories.  That work also brought me to the State House. Testifying before House and Senate committees on legislation which aimed to solve the issues we canvassed for on the ground. Spending time at the legislature showed me that the body tasked with representing the people of our state was sorely lacking in working class representation. By and large the legislature was much older, much wealthier than the State's population. As a result many of the issues pertinent to the people were not discussed. If they were it was not from the perspective of those directly impacted.  As one of those people directly impacted, seeing that I met the constitutional requirements to run and that I didn't see the job getting done, I put my name into the ring for Hillsborough's 33rd district. Running to be a voice for those in the legislature who didn't have one and build a state that works for everyone, not the powerful. The campaign was a heartening experience. It proved to me that bringing community together can usher in a faith in the future which seemed lost. Not expecting to win I went out, knocked every door I could, went to every event I could. Building a campaign around the idea that we can have representation that reflects the community. Not just in look, but in spirit. The idea that the community passionate for justice in which we live deserves equally as passionate representation in the House.  By the end of the campaign I won first place. Proving that people are not just ready for a government that works for us all, but eager for it.  Elected alongside other strong Representatives, working class Representatives, who have gone to the House and championed the fights we elected them to. I was put on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee. Which during the legislative season has me in Concord most days. Doing public hearings, executive sessions, and subcommittees on legislation dealing with criminal penalties, the penal system, and many other issues. On that committee I have fought for the decriminalization of drugs, the humane treatment of prisoners in our state prisons and county jails, policies to reduce the harm of the addiction epidemic, and much more.  In the House I sponsored legislation to make it easier to vote. As well as co-sponsoring many bills to expand and improve healthcare access, putting in place consumer protections, implementing comprehensive mental healthcare in our schools, and protecting reproductive freedom.  It has been an honor to serve my hometown in the legislature. As long as I have here I will be full-throated in my advocacy for a state that works for us all. Even the steepest of peaks can be climbed and despite the fact we've got a long way to go, the peak awaits and we will get there. ​ Thank you for allowing me to serve, Jonah Orion Wheeler

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