Editor,

Veterans are an important part of our society and our community here on the Central Coast. Those who have served in the armed forces to protect our nation and its values deserve our respect and our appreciation for their service. I fully support the veterans community, and am honored to have the support of many veterans in my campaign for county supervisor (read what they have to say at ellenforsupervisor.com/veterans). I also believe in the value of paying tribute to those who have served our country. 

When I was on the Atascadero City Council in 2007, a proposal to build a veteran’s memorial known as the Faces of Freedom memorial came before the council. I supported this project and believed that the city should provide public land for the memorial. When the project was presented to our council, members of the community as well as our city’s Public Arts Committee requested (by a 4-1 vote) that we consider additional options for the design of the project before approving it. Wanting to see the best possible project put forth to honor our veterans, I advocated that our council approve the project but consider additional design options. While the rest of the council disregarded the committee’s recommendations, I dissented (read my comments on page 10 of the meeting minutes from 3/27/2007). 

Unfortunately, 13 years later some are attempting to rewrite history by falsely claiming that I opposed the memorial and am anti-veteran. Nothing could be further from the truth. My husband and several members of his family served in the French Military, and his grandfather was a resistance fighter in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. I have the greatest respect for those who fight for freedom throughout the world and our veterans here at home. 

It breaks my heart that veterans across our country fail to receive the services they need. Many lack adequate healthcare or mental health services, and tens of thousands are chronically homeless. While locally we have excellent programs that focus on assisting veterans in our community, even one homeless veteran is too many. We need to do more as a county to serve those in need, especially those who have served us. 

As supervisor, I will advocate that we expand resources for the most vulnerable in our community. We need leaders who will ensure no one is without a place to sleep at night, enough food to eat, or the medical or mental healthcare they need. These will be my priorities as supervisor – to support veterans and the great people of our community. 

Ellen Beraud,
District 5 County
Supervisor Candidate

Getting through this together, Atascadero