Knute of Effingham

Knute Ogren

For State Rep, Carroll County, District 5

I moved to Effingham a handful of years ago from the City of Hartford where I lived for 15 years. Prior to that, I lived just north of Boston for all of my growing up years in the City of Medford, before heading off to Muhlenberg College which is located in City of Allentown. I know a bunch about the feel of a city and while I appreciate all that urban life has to offer, I can't tell you how fantastic a time I'm having living in Effingham Falls. When I told everyone I was moving north, I said, "I'm moving to the middle of the woods, NH." Some friends actually Googled to find out where in the great state of New Hampshire the town "Middle of the Woods" happens to be located.

I've figured out quite a lot about the value of living in a small town. I've found it's a good idea to wave at people who are driving by even though I don't immediately recognize their car because in most cases I've met the driver a time or two. Neighbors around here -- well, they actually make eye contact with each other! That's pretty great. I really like the guys at the Transfer Station. Oh, and by the way -- driving to a place called a Transfer Station was never something I did while living in the city. Here in Effingham Falls, I get to see stars at night, breathe fresh air all day, listen to a variety of animals making any number of animal sounds, and simply enjoy a slower kind of life.

The life I have here in Carroll County ... it just seems simpler. I feel more grounded. I like it. I don't mind at all that it takes a good hunk of time to get from one place to another. The drives here and there give me particular time to think and to wonder about things that matter to me.

I work at Calumet, a Lutheran Camp & Conference Center in Freedom, NH and I am a member of the Lutheran Church of the Nativity in North Conway. I mention these places because it's my sense of who God is that compels me to take seriously the needs of my neighbor. I think a lot about that wonderful Bible verse, Micah 6:8, which calls me to, "Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God." My run for State Representative is in direct response to the calling of that verse. Here in Carroll County, just as much as anywhere else in this great state, there are people who are experiencing need ... who are being treated unfairly ... who are in trouble ... who are not being set up for success ... who are not receiving the support they require ... who are feeling desperate ... who are heading down a challenging road -- I think that people of good will, people who are in a good spot, can work more efficiently, more intelligently, more effectively so that our neighbors can be better situated for success. We are better when our neighbors are better.

I'm running in hopes that I can help people open themselves up to learning something other than politics as usual.

I'm running because it's just better for everyone when, after sharing our varied opinions, we do the hard work of finding common ground.

I'm running because, like most people I know, I want us to make the smartest decisions possible. To do that we have to understand the data and trust the research.

And I'm running because each one, urban or rural, rich or poor, faithful or non-believing -- every single one should be treated with common decency.

I don't have all the answers, but I'm willing to think deeply, to wrestle with ideas, to try new avenues that we haven't tried before, and to be an honest broker. If what you're reading here on is speaking to you, even a little bit, I hope you'll consider trusting me with your vote. Thanks for being a good neighbor out there. We need each other. Let's be good to the people we will meet today.