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Equitable internet access
Being from Aroostook County, I want to wholeheartedly thank Maine voters for voting yes on Question 1 in the Maine state primary. Rural parts of the state will benefit greatly from our collective investment in the expansion of high-speed internet to underserved communities.
The internet is crucial to daily life in 2020 — to accessing health care, education, friends and family and doing business. Out of the roughly 85,000 Maine households currently without reliable high-speed internet, most of them live in rural communities like mine. For years, Mainers in rural areas have been working on the problems that disproportionately hold them back, and during the primary we were asked to zero in on the internet’s role in this disparity.
Without high-speed internet, rural Maine businesses cannot compete, residents cannot access telehealth resources, students cannot complete homework from home and more. Many rural towns are considered less attractive to live in since the lack of affordable internet access does not reflect 21st-century standards.
On July 14, however, Mainers were given a chance to make real change. With Question 1 now passed, rural Maine is on its way to becoming a better place to live and work. Accessible high-speed internet will enhance rural Maine economies and expand opportunities for businesses to remain connected and competitive.
Every dollar spent from Question 1’s bond will help to ensure a more prosperous, connected, and high-speed future for rural Maine. Thank you to everyone who voted for equitable internet access in the primary.
Magnan for Maine House
Veronica Magnan is my hardworking, dedicated, caring candidate for Maine House representing Orland, Penobscot, Verona Island, Dedham, Otis, Stockton Springs and Prospect. Magnan is a wife, mother, grandmother, educator, church and community leader, as well as a former legislator. Her experience, wisdom and willingness to work across the aisle will be a great help as we dig out of the pandemic economy and go forward (as Magnan says) with “courage and hope.” I have known Veronica since 2008.
“I have served people as an educator and community volunteer all my adult life” and a “ Margaret Chase Smith Democrat” are two ways Magnan defines herself. She is socially progressive and fiscally conservative. Some of her priorities are to support and rebuild local businesses, strongly push broadband expansion, clean energy and the fisheries community. She also supports Maine’s adoption of the Equal Right Amendment.
Please apply for your absentee ballot in August, and when it comes to you in October, join me in voting for Veronica Magnan for House District 131.
Pamela W. Person
Justice and freedom for all
Recent events have shed new light on the many ways racism is embedded in our society. While whites benefit from opportunities; people of color find hurdles, doors closed, all kinds of barriers. Racism exists in health care, education, housing, policing and voting rights.
We recognize that our silence makes us complicit with injustice and violence. To quote Martin Luther King Jr. from The Trumpet of Conscience on Nov. 17, 1967, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.”
We Quakers are called to better understand our complicity and to end it. We ask ourselves how we have supported racism in our communities, our state and our country. To find the answers we must listen and learn about the experiences of others — people of color, the poor, the incarcerated, the Native population of our state. Only with new understanding can we effect the changes we are called to make.
Let us open our hearts and minds to the tragic effects of systemic racism, the loss of generations of black and brown leaders to unjust incarceration and the intractable poverty of the caste system we have allowed to flourish. Let’s let the protestors into our offices and boardrooms, to tell us of their hopes. Attend city and town council meetings to encourage thoughtful responses to the calls for a more just society.
With new clarity we can legislate and live our ideals of justice and freedom for all Americans.