State House District
Our greatest challenge is to bolster small businesses, many based in tourism, as Maine works to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic. Another challenge is to ensure quality healthcare for Mainers, including people in rural and low-income communities. We need to continue to focus on creating more “good” jobs, with higher wages and benefits such as sick leave, to address the income disparity, while being mindful of protecting our environment and quality of life, a significant attraction for tourists and for bringing workers to Maine. The legislature was in the process of finding solutions to fund transportation projects and working on mending the Land Claims Settlement Act to increase tribal sovereignty when we were pulled from Augusta. With all this in mind, supporting all Mainers through the current health and economic crisis is paramount on the mind of state leaders.
My top priorities are improving the quality of life for my constituents while caring for the environment. If re-elected, I will work to find economic solutions for business owners and workers, including bringing affordable access to high-speed internet to all Mainers in this time of increased online business and education. I will work to improve racial and social inequities (e.g., reducing the disparities in covid-19 infection rates in people of color, implementing a racial and social justice impact statement on new legislation, passing the Land Claims Settlement Act), to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis (e.g., pushing for more recycling reform, supporting the Climate Change Council and consumer owned utilities); and to improve the healthcare system so all Mainers have access to affordable preventative care, emergency services, and dental and vision care.
I will continue projects such as using my social media platform to share up-to-date and accurate information about issues and voting, working with volunteers to make check in calls to our older adults, reminding high school graduates to vote with encouragement and an “every vote counts” sticker in their congratulation card, and visiting classrooms and civic organizations to talk about legislative work. I will continue to work with organizations such as Community Compass and Healthy Peninsula to match those who have something to offer—skills, emotional support, life experience—with those who could benefit. At the state level, Speaker of the House Gideon’s work to remove the aisle rather than work across it needs to be continued. Those of us in leadership positions must embody collaboration and compromise so we are all pulling Maine in a direction that benefits every Mainer.
I will ensure employees, employers, and families are aware of local, state, and federal financial assistance programs and opportunities for job and skill retraining; advocate for support for small businesses that will help them survive 2020 and succeed in 2021; continue to increase the state’s share of education funding and municipal revenue sharing; and continue funding the Earned Income Tax Credit, a credit that puts money in the pockets of low-income workers.