One of the unique privileges of being a New Hampshire voter is our ability to meet with presidential candidates and see who these people are beyond the stump speeches and off the debate stage.

I had such an opportunity recently when I joined Kirsten Gillibrand at the Claremont Soup Kitchen, talking about the impact that programs like these have on our communities.

After spending the afternoon preparing dinners with the senator, I came away impressed and inspired.

As she showed off her knife skills, Gillibrand talked about a wide-ranging number of issues: from getting money out of politics, to the women’s world cup, to the problem of underemployment in New Hampshire, to her sons she’d just dropped off at camp.

The entire time, Gillibrand came off as overwhelmingly smart and thoughtful in how she talked about policies and listened to people’s individual experiences. There didn’t seem to be an issue where she didn’t have a solution, know how to get it passed, and know how to pay for it.

I’d brought my daughter along for the stop, and was grateful to see that Gillibrand not only said hello but took the time to talk to her and get to know her.

We need someone in the White House with compassion and thoughtfulness and Gillibrand has both in spades. And her record of standing up for the important fights and winning, even when she’s underestimated at every turn, shows that she can win. I’m excited to continue to pay attention to the senator and I hope you do too.

JOHN STREETER

840 Old Claremont Road

Charlestown