Why are you running for Maine House District 120? This is a question that comes up from time to time. In each person’s life, come others who pave the way for those who will follow. Yes, it’s a delicate balance to value yourself enough, to believe in your goodness and potential, without destructively becoming self-centered.
It’s about WE THE PEOPLE. Some of you may recall The “Declaration of Conscience”, delivered on the floor of in the U. S. Senate on June 1, 1950 by Maine’s on Margaret Chase Smith. The essence of her speech was that “standing for right is not always the popular and easy way. Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character. When people keep telling you that you can’t do a thing, you kind of like to try it”.
We in Piscataquis County are at a historic point in time. We must no longer stand on the sidelines. As we head into the November elections, we, the Democratic Party of Piscataquis County, tonight are making a statement to the rest of the citizens of Maine. We are not going to take it anymore. We are citizens of this great state and we demand inclusion in the process and accountability from our elected representatives. We will accept nothing less. We often hear the words “freedom” and “democracy”, but what exactly do we mean? We are governed not by armies and police, but by ideas. We want our ideas to be included in our state legislative process as our freedom and democracy do not stop at the edge of the Kennebec River.
As I have been going around the various towns in our county, I am dismayed by the calamities under which many of our citizens are living. I was raised in a family of 5 boys and one girl. My father, a truck driver and proud Teamster only went to the 8th grade. My mother, our home-maker, only went to the 9th grade. We lived in one of the most poverty stricken and violent neighbor-hoods in Houston. I saw how my parents struggled from day to day, just to make ends meet. I know what it feels like to go to bed at night without a meal, or to go to school without a lunch. I know what it’s like to not have the proper school supplies or the latest fashion in clothing, most of which were “hand-me-downs”. Today, it seems that these same struggles are occurring far too often for far too many of Maine citizens. We seem to be trapped in a time warp.
The recent headlines in the news made by our esteemed governor and the actions and inaction’s of our legislature demand that Maine citizens cease voting against their own self interests. We can no longer accept any circumstances that do not recognize the needs our senior citizens, cuts funding for the education of our students, not aggressively pursing resolutions for those who are unemployed, allowing corporations in particular to not pay a living wage to those who are employed, insisting that women must have the approval of men before they can make their own medical decisions and neglecting the needs of our homeless, especially our veterans, the single most important group that has and continues to ensure freedom and democracy for the rest of us.
If our society continues to allow wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority. Progress requires change and a civil society attempts to accommodate this need through openness, transparency and inclusion. The imperative is to define what is right and do it.
As Abraham Lincoln said, “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands for right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong”.
What Piscataquis County Democrats want is simple. We want a Maine community as good as its promise. If we are going to fail, rest assured, we will fail towards seeking success.