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Voices Behind The Vote: Casting A Ballot To Protect Assisted Living Residents

Courtesy of Georgia Petropoulos
Georgia Petropoulos (center) with her parents, Connie Chalamidas and Chris Petropoulos

Politicians and judges on your ballot this year have made decisions in response to the coronavirus pandemic that immediately impacted the health of the community—and the economy. These decisions affected the small business of Georgia Petropoulos, who owns Casa San Pablo, a senior living home in Albuquerque, and now inform her vote.


"My name is Georgia Petropoulos. I’m currently an assisted living administrator and owner.

When the pandemic first came to our awareness, I felt pretty scared, and my primary responsibility was to keep our residents safe. It has changed the way we build confidence and trust. It’s a very difficult decision for families because we have to quarantine residents for up to 14 days upon move-in, and visitations have been highly regulated by the state.

I think, when we look at the decisions that have been made, I think they were made with good intent. I’m going to do my best to keep that good intention in focus with how to best take care of the residents, and try to explain that to families, and try and help the residents not feel so lonely. Anything that we can do to protect each other and work in compassion are so important.

I will vote with the candidate that has good intentions to protect our citizens as best we can. And I know that that’s very, very, very difficult because people’s livelihoods are at stake. But I just know that if we have been successful one time, we know how to do it again. But our priorities have to be to protect each other first. I think that we’re going to come out of this situation better people.

I come from a family where both of my grandmothers were immigrants. I remember them studying for their citizenship and I remember how important it was to them. I was very little, but that had a profound impact on me – that my grandmothers became citizens after I was born, and that they were so proud of that citizenship, and I will always vote. I hope I can do right by them."

Nash Jones (they/them) is a general assignment reporter in the KUNM newsroom and the local host of NPR's All Things Considered (weekdays on KUNM, 5-7 p.m. MT). You can reach them at nashjones@kunm.org or on Twitter @nashjonesradio.
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