We’re proud of the many SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member candidates for state office this fall. In the coming weeks, we’ll feature some who are facing primary challenges in the Sept. 13 statewide primary.
Rep. Christy Bartlett, of Concord, is facing a primary challenge as she seeks her third term in the House of Representatives to represent Merrimack County District 19. Bartlett, a retired insurance underwriter, is married to Chapter 1 President Peter Bartlett. Christy Bartlett said she’s enjoyed her time serving Concord in the State House. She said the key to the job — which many don’t do — is actually showing up.
“I’m one of 400 and I can only make a small difference, but I show up and that’s part of how to make a difference,” she said. “I always go to my committee meetings, where there are many who don’t. You have an opportunity to make a difference when you do show up and get involved. It’s a responsibility that I enjoy taking on.”
Bartlett has served on the Environment and Agriculture Committee, which doesn’t see quite as many bills as some other committees. But Bartlett said because she lives in Concord, she’ll often substitute on other committees, which gives her a broader view of the House’s business.
“If a Democrat is going to be out, they can call and ask for a substitute,” she said. “I’ve had an opportunity to sub on many committees, so I’ve learned about Labor, Commerce, Election Law and Education, and that’s been very enlightening.”
She said that while she was never a public employee, having been married to one, she knows the issues that face public employees well.
“As part of the Legislature, I feel like I can keep my ear attuned to the issues the union is concerned about,” Bartlett said. “Certainly a liveable wage and minimum wage are a big deal to me. Retiree issues and funding for benefits have been a real eye-opener for me. I don’t think I understood as well as I do know what the state promised and what they’ve done over a fairly short period of time.”
Bartlett said that when issues do crop up, she’s able to respond faster because of the union connection. She said the direct contact with union members is a good thing.
“People call me, and I like that,” she said.
She said that being a state representative is a responsibility that she takes seriously, and she’s looking to continue for another two years.
“I may not do this for the rest of my life, but while I’m there I’m going to be as active as I can and get other people active too,” she said.
You can see SEA/SEIU Local 1984’s full list of endorsed candidates here.