Even as we were writing the pullquotes, captions, and headlines for Dan Aubrey’s cover story on civic engagement, we could imagine the letters coming into our e-mail inbox. “What about Republicans — why didn’t you include them?” Or “Once again U.S. 1 has shown itself to be part of the liberal mainstream media — and ignored the conservative point of view.”

Our response is that we reflect the community that we serve. Aubrey would have had to look far and wide and wait a long time to find a meeting of Republican Party stalwarts in Princeton. On the other hand, the Princeton Community Democratic Organization held a packed meeting in the middle of summer. Aubrey’s nearest assemblyman turned out to be a Democrat, as did his county freeholder.

On the other hand, we hope that everyone will recognize that the strategies for civic involvement presented in Aubrey’s article are equal opportunity — anyone from any point on the political spectrum can get informed, become active, run for office, vote in elections at every level, and — last but never least in our mind — write an insightful letter to the editor. We welcome them from all corners.

#b#To the Editor: Join the Heart Walk#/b#

Did you know that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the No. 1 killer of all Americans? In fact, someone dies from CVD every 39 seconds. Heart disease also kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. And congenital cardiovascular defects are the most common cause of infant death from birth defects.

But we have the power to change that. Research suggests up to 80 percent of heart disease and stroke may be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Each of us can do that through more exercise and a better diet, and by supporting the work of the American Heart Association.

I’m asking families, organizations and businesses in Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon counties to support the Central New Jersey Heart Walk set for Saturday, October 7, at 8:30 a.m. at Arm & Hammer Park, home of the Trenton Thunder. Heart Walk, the signature community event for the association’s Healthy for Good movement, is held throughout the country to educate the public about the small steps they can take to improve their heart health while also raising vital funds for research to prevent and treat heart disease and stroke, the nation’s top killers.

The American Heart Association is committed to helping individuals and businesses foster a culture of health, and to providing science-based treatment guidelines to healthcare professionals, policymakers and the public. For more information on the Central New Jersey Heart Walk, visit www.CentralNJHeartWalk.org.

Gina Petrone Mumolie

The writer, a registered nurse, is senior vice president for hospital administration at Capital Health in Pennington.

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