It is very disheartening to me to see the stagnation and continuous suffering when it comes to the quality of life for so many of those in our district. As I drive through our communities in Piscataquis County, there is the ever-present evidence of boarded up homes and businesses that have folded. Our county is ranked as the poorest of Maine counties. The poverty rate is 18.7%. It is no surprise that our state and county is aging, the workforce continues to shrink, outmigration of our young people continues to grow, and there are now more deaths than births.
In addition, the combination of low wages and high health care costs are crippling far too many families. There have been some significant strides for some families with the provision of healthcare now that Maine is participating in Medicaid Expansion. Yet, with the most recent negative Federal Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act, many other Maine citizens are only a single step away from having no health care at all, thrusting them and their families directly into bankruptcy.
These are only a few of the factors that affect the daily lives of so many families in Maine, in Piscataquis County, and especially in rural communities across our state. Such challenges can be overwhelming, elevating a dire sense of despair and hopelessness, both of which contribute to further health problems. These negative trends must be corrected, not only for those directly affected, but for the future of our communities and our state as well.
It must be made perfectly clear, with acknowledged understanding at the state level, that people who live in rural areas pay taxes too. Yet, these are the very same people who are neglected or often excluded when it comes to the development of the “big ideas” for the rest of the state. Piscataquis County and our district have been a part of the “status quo” for too many years. It is imperative, that we as common communities, have advocates in our state legislature who will vociferously advocate and fight for the citizens of our communities. For too many years, we have been stuck in a rut of exclusion, indifference, inequality, and intolerance.
I am therefore announcing my candidacy for Maine House District 120 to advocate and fight for the rights and well-being of the citizens of our district and our communities. This decision is in no way a career path for me. These are the people that I see in my office every week and talk with throughout our communities. These are the patients and community members who feel under-represented, who feel dispirited, disenfranchised and hopeless. No person should ever be put in such positions or ever have their sense of hope taken away. We can and we must put a stop to these injustices and inequities, as the many years of business as usual in the past have not been productive or beneficial for the well-being or progress and development of our communities. The status quo of going along to get along is no longer acceptable. To continue to do so is not a sustainable path for the betterment of our district or for the future of our individual communities.
My candidacy is about doing what we all know is right, addressing without hesitation or reservation, those issues that must be addressed for those who cannot fight or advocate for themselves or their families. It is about fairness, inclusion, opportunity, and equality. We are now at a point where we must standup, activate, and advocate for every citizen in our district. No member of our community should be isolated, as inclusion celebrates us all. We owe nothing less to them, their families, our neighbors, and our friends.
I ask you to join me in this endeavor to be that vociferous fighter and advocate in the Maine Legislature, bringing new insight, advocacy and leadership for the citizens of our common communities in House District 120 by joining our team and making a contribution at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/drevansmaine