Diane Peeling, of Montgomery, works with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra and teaches at Pennsylvania College of Techonology's Writing Center. She is concerned about partisan division in government and, specifically, the Grover Norquist "Taxpayer Protection Pledge."
"I'm definitely against this partisan division in government that I've seen over the past couple of years," Peeling said.
"I think the people who sign the Grover Norquist pledge are not really representing the people that they serve," she added.
In late 2011, the Taxpayer Protection Pledge was signed by 238 of 242 House Republicans and 41 out of 47 Senate Republicans.
"Norquist is an unelected individual who puts tremendous fiscal pressure on people in the House of Representatives to sign pledges not to raise taxes, no matter what," Peeling said.
She believes that elected officials need more leeway to best serve public interest.
"This pledge creates gridlock - you can't expect elected representatives to negotiate for the people they represent with such a handicap," Peeling said.
"You can't take a government job and go in with such an inflexible platform," she added.
Peeling especially is concerned about the "fiscal cliff," or the problems that the U.S. government will face at the end of the year, when the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 will go into effect. She worries that the two parties in the partisan government will remain steadfast in their views, rather than work together to find a solution with which both parties can live.
"To avoid going over the fiscal cliff at the end of December, we're all going to have to compromise. We all will have to give a little, or more than a little," Peeling said.
In order to find a solution, Peeling believes both parties need to stay open-minded.
"Elected officials have to be open to dialogue, differing ideas and compromise," she added.