May 24. 2013 1:37AM

Another View -- Garth Corriveau: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's real leadership benefits us all


Devotion to public service and rugged individualism are two values deeply ingrained in every New Hampshire child growing up. They certainly were in me. And no elected official has more consistently exemplified those Granite State values than Jeanne Shaheen.

Whether it was standing up for the simple principle that equal pay deserves equal work, or that all men and women deserve access to affordable health care regardless of gender, or that every child deserves a quality public education, Jeanne Shaheen has never backed down from a tough issue. She can be found out in front, leading the way, long before others have mustered the courage to challenge or improve the status quo.

There is no more recent example than Sen. Shaheen’s consistent demands for action to stop sexual assault in the U.S. military. For years she led the way, passing legislation to ensure our brave servicewomen had the same health care access as the civilians they protect and proposing tougher standards for sexual assault prevention and response roles across every branch of the military. Last month, an award from the Service Women’s Action Network honored her hard work and leadership on this issue.

There are many local examples of Jeanne Shaheen’s leadership as well. She was the first New Hampshire governor to lead trade missions outside of the United States and has helped our small businesses to access customers in other countries. In the Senate, she continues to help Granite State businesses be competitive in new and foreign markets. She announced funding in 2009 to support the Amoskeag Business Incubator in Manchester, which has been a tremendous resource for local businesses, helping them to grow, expand, and strengthen our economy.

Politicians talk lot about hiring veterans or standing with law enforcement, but Sen. Shaheen can prove it. She was instrumental in making sure that Manchester and communities across our state received federal COPS and SAFER grants to hire returning veterans as police officers and firefighters.

A proud mother and successful small business owner, Jeanne Shaheen has devoted her life to our state and to public service. She is the first woman in American history to serve as both a United States senator and a governor. She knows that simply sending a press release or appearing on a cable news show isn’t leadership. Real leadership is bringing people together and working tirelessly to find common sense solutions to the challenges that face us. Her example is one I certainly strive to emulate.

I have known Sen. Shaheen for 15 years and have seen her leadership firsthand. She certainly helped to inspire my own involvement in public service. Jeanne Shaheen is a strong leader who represents Granite State values and delivers results.

Garth Corriveau is Manchester’s Ward 4 alderman.