Ensure the growth in our area is sustainable and affordable.
Tourism, hospitality, fisheries, farming, real estate, and forestry are essential sectors of the district’s economy. Each sector has unique characteristics but all share in their need to grow. Our district’s economic growth should be pursued by developing a stronger local workforce, supporting local educational opportunities, sustainable land-use planning, and environmental stewardship.
Part and parcel to continued growth is the availability of affordable housing. Local growth will not happen without an increase in affordable housing and educational opportunities. Not all communities are alike, and despite differing needs and priorities, their freedom to act is often limited by the state. The State needs to be mindful of balanced growth and consider the unique needs of each community.
Modernize the electric grid and lead the transition to renewable energy.
Maine's electric grid is an anachronism- rather than a modern, multi-directional network , one that maximizes efficiency and makes best use of current technologies, our existing grid is stuck in the one way delivery system design of the last century. Modernization of the grid and how it is regulated is essential for acceptable reliability and customer service, as well as achieving our climate action goals.
Protect and preserve our environment for future generations.
Climate change is having physical and fiscal impacts on all communities. This is especially true in our district, given how closely our economy is tied to natural resources and tourism. Fisheries, the shoreline, beaches, our tax base, health and safety, and infrastructure are vulnerable. We need to plan now to protect these assets and identity where investments need to be made. Town governments do not have the resources to finance needed investments alone. Both federal and state funds will be necessary to fully meet these challenges.
Maintaining and improving environmental quality is the responsibility of the government, the community, and individuals. Sometimes threats and risks emerge for which there is no clear solution. Indeed, science has only recently begun to identify them. And sometimes the scale of the threat demands government intervention. The most recent example is the discovery of PFAS, or “forever chemicals” in fertilizer, farmlands, and well water. State assistance to mitigate this threat will be necessary.
Support options that reduce healthcare costs and increase accessibility to healthcare, especially to seniors.
Access to affordable healthcare is an essential ingredient for a continued high quality of life in our district. This is especially important for the older members of our communities, whose healthcare needs are greater than others. Maine has the highest median age of any other state and York's median age is the highest in the state. Accessibility to this older demographic must include options for care to be brought to them and not require they travel to get the care they need.
The fundamental right for individuals to make their own reproductive health decisions, including abortion, is under threat both nationally and at the state level. This right must be protected and if elected I will do all I can to assure Maine's current protections not only remain in place, but are strengthened.
Affordable, quality education at all levels.
Our children are our future. In addition to quality public education in each of our communities, our high school grads need access to affordable, quality education, whether that be at a 4 year college, a community college or learning a trade. We should celebrate whatever post high school training or education our children choose equally - making that happen, and accessibility extends beyond the local level. Costs and social perceptions create barriers to our kids in making the best choices- we need to do all we can at the State level to make sure those barriers are minimal.
Diversity and inclusion.
I am going to paraphrase the York Proclamation Against Racism and Discrimination and Bigotry because it encapsulates the values I hold dear.
Racism, discrimination and bigotry are destructive of community. . Everyone has the right to live peacefully, enjoy all the community has to offer, raise their family, and seek economic and academic opportunities free of racism, discrimination and bigotry. A strong, healthy, sustainable community includes and embraces people of every color, race, ethnicity, creed, sexual orientation and gender identity. Historic patterns and institutions have created an uneven playing field which persists to this day with respect to those who have been the subject of racism and discrimination.Traditional public school curricula - what is taught, how it is taught, and how it is prioritized - has been whitewashed (has not done justice to people of color as it pertains to the history of the United States). Institutional policies and practices may intentionally or inadvertently create or reinforce racism and discrimination. Active effort is required to combat racism, discrimination and bigotry. Great social change requires leadership and an ongoing community-wide commitment in order to succeed.