I have lived and worked in Lakin all my life. My parents raised me and my siblings on a farm. We were never rich, but they put food on the table and made ends meet.
After 75 years in this city, I can’t manage any more and I might have to leave.
I retired 13 years ago after a 35-year career in banking, first as a cashier and then as an accountant. I loved it and I also had a part time job with my church. Since the pandemic, my only source of income has been Social Security checks.
I live a simple life. Every day I wake up, I have my breakfast, I say my prayers and I take care of the house. I live alone and I am happy. But the stress is mounting – I have a hard time keeping up and the bills keep piling up.
Food has become more expensive, as has gasoline for my car. I’m lucky to have health insurance, but the cost is taken from my social security check every month, which means my checks are lower and I’m behind on my life insurance. I’ve been so behind on my phone, internet, and power, they’re about to be turned off.
I’m running out of options and may have to sell my house to catch up.
I wish the politicians in Washington would listen to people like me and realize that my story is not uncommon. I am a hard working American and I never thought I would be in this position.
I’m a registered Democrat because my parents were, but I voted for Trump in 2020. I felt like he was a champion of the values my parents found in Democrats at the time: elected officials working for workers. Now, it seems too many people in both sides are working for themselves – this is the only logical explanation why they would not support investments in jobs and families.
It’s simple. We need politicians to support ordinary Americans.
We need to reduce the cost of basic goods, especially utilities. We also need universal broadband access – living alone, the Internet is my best connection to others.
Kansas Senators and Representatives: It’s time to start working for the workers. It’s time to bring good jobs back to Kansas and make life more affordable. It’s time to pass the infrastructure bill and invest in America.
Alberta Miller lives in Lakin and is a member of the non-profit advocacy group WorkMoney.