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State House District 83

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  • Christopher K. Dilts
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Thomas A. Harnett
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What are the greatest challenges facing Maine right now?

If elected, what are your top three priorities?

How will you encourage greater civic engagement among your constituents?

How will you support economic recovery in your district?

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Campaign Phone (207) 522-1254
Campaign Website http://harnettforthehous
Finance Type Clean Election Candidate
State House District
Obviously, the most pressing problem we are facing is the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on the lives of all Maine people, our public health, and our economy. As a state, we need to find our way through this crisis so that we can regain some sense of normalcy in our daily lives. We need to, and will, do that by developing a sound path forward for our students, our business owners, and the general population. That will require a lot of listening to those groups so we hear their thoughts about how to best move forward. One of my goals is to talk less and listen more. Beyond that we must address the ever increasing property tax burden being shifted from the state to municipalities and homeowners. No Mainer should ever be forced to decide "do I fill my grocery cart, my shopping cart, my oil tank, my prescriptions, or pay my property tax bill. We also need to find a way to keep our young people home where they can afford to live and raise their families.
1. Live up to the legal requirement that the state fully fund municipal revenue sharing so that towns and cities can provide needed services without placing undue burdens on those who pay property tax, I have fought for this tirelessly in my first term and created a Municipal Caucus with members from all parties. Together we achieved great success in increasing revenue sharing far in excess of the Governor's original budget recommendation. 2. Create a school and educational system that addresses the needs of all students and prepares them to be productive members of society with aspirations and the abilities to create a better life for them and the future generations. 3. Address the institutional, systemic, historical, and structural racism in our state and country. I believe in "liberty and justice for all"; not as a slogan but as a reality.
Prior to running for the Maine Legislature I served as the mayor of Gardiner for six years, and as a city councilor for a year before that. One of my goals was to increase civic engagement. We did that in part by going out to all parts of our community to learn what they thought was most important in their lives. What did they want their community to look and feel like. It was a transformative experience for Gardiner. We filled more city committees, we increased volunteerism, and we created a sense of place. All of that revitalized our historic downtown and made people feel part of something greater. If you do not go out to the people and listen, really listen, you will never know what they really want and you will never hear all of their wonderful ideas.
Local. Local. Local. I believe that small business is the engine that makes Maine's economy run. As mayor, I focused on attracting small businesses to Gardiner and supporting them when they came. We must support local businesses and entrepreneurs, those people willing to take economic risks. That will be even more important as we recover from this pandemic. A mayor, I tried to visit every small business every week. In the legislature I have tried and will continue to try to support our local business community that exists now and to help those that might come in the future. Maine has so much to offer as a way of life. We have wonderful communities, tremendous recreational opportunities, and it is a great place to grow up in and to raise a family if that is one's choice. If we can develop a reliable statewide broadband network, we can easily sell Maine as the place to live, work, and play.