It’s time to change the conversation. It’s time to put away harsh words and hateful rhetoric and begin focusing on the issues that unite us and not divide us. It’s time to begin listening to one another. Talk to your neighbor. Stop picking apart your differences and recognize what you have in common.

Change the conversation. No one has the right to divide our country and churn up hate. Politicians work for us. We are their CEO’s. They shouldn’t be given a pass to lie and humiliate others. Change the conversation. Let us reach across party lines and work together to make our lives better. Make it known that you are willing to compromise if it helps America.

It’s time to turn the conversation to the needs of ordinary Americans-the “Average Joe.” Right now, a small percentage of the country controls 99% of the wealth. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and hasn’t increased since 2009. A CEO’s average hourly compensation is $6,898. Americans deserve better.

Raising the minimum wage isn’t just a moral issue; it makes good economic sense. When a hard-working family has a bit more income, that money goes directly into the local economy. Instead of buying a shirt at a chain store, Mom can go to a local boutique. The family can eat out at a local restaurant. They can save a bit of money and buy that car they’ve been needing. Raising the minimum wage isn’t charity. It’s an investment in your economy. So change the conversation.

Call your representatives. Tell them it’s time to invest in our country. It’s our government; they work for us. The only way the conversation in Washington will change is if we begin at home.

                                                                                                                        Sharla Riddle,                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Stephenville