Credit: George Danby / BDN

Voting safely

With just over two months before the November 3 elections, many Mainers find themselves grappling with unexpected hardships brought on by the coronavirus. We’ve heard from Mainers who are deferring retirement or coming to grips with unexpected unemployment. Some struggle to afford their health care and medications. Many family caregivers find that providing care, whether at home or long-distance, is now even more challenging.

Suffice it to say that the 2020 election will be like no other, but voters can count on AARP Maine to advocate on the issues our members and their families care about. Through our non-partisan voter engagement campaign, Protect Voters 50+, we are providing information on how to cast your vote safely whether by absentee ballot or in person. We’re also tracking key races and candidates’ positions on issues that matter to voters 50-plus. Visit AARP Maine’s election page for details.

Additionally, as part of Protect Voters 50+, AARP is providing polling results, sponsoring debates and hosting tele-town halls. We know that Mainers want to hear how the candidates will address key issues like protecting Social Security and Medicare, bringing down healthcare costs including prescription drug prices, and strengthening the economy.

I hope people will ask the candidates where they stand on issues of concern to them and their family. Especially during this pandemic, it is essential for politicians to protect the health and financial security of older voters. Let’s work together to demand action and ensure that Mainers 50-plus, whether they are working parents, grandparents or family caregivers, can vote safely and make their voices heard.

Pat Pinto

AARP Maine Volunteer State President

Portland

Hope and pride

As I watched the Democratic National Convention I was reminded of what being an American means to me.

I was taught that we are a “melting pot” and the beneficiary of people of many differences. E pluribus unum — out of many, one — has always seemed a fascinating concept. As I watched a rich variety of speakers, I noted that a very few looked like me, a 73-year-old, Catholic woman of French and Irish descent. So I listened. Such wonderful diversity is a reminder that there is much to learn.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris both show respect for all people, along with empathy, intellect, and hard work. We have many problems in our country right now but the hope I feel comes from knowing that both of these leaders know how to listen, to recognize a problem, to gather information from our vast resources and to consider varying viewpoints.

Once again I feel hope and pride in saying that I’m a citizen of the United States of America.

Suzanne Chabot

Ripley

Support for Savage

Mainers are fortunate this November to be able to make a meaningful choice in casting our vote for U.S. Senator. I am not referring to the choice between the Democratic and Republican nominees who represent the politics of corporate interests and the preservation of the status quo.

Actually, Mainers have a choice in the independent candidacy of Lisa Savage, a former school teacher and union negotiator and well known peace and climate change activist. Unlike the two “Republocrat” candidates, Lisa does not accept corporate donations or corporate support of any kind and is therefore able to respond to demands for universal healthcare, an economic recovery based on climate justice not the maintenance of the military industrial complex, and a foreign policy based on an equitable sharing of the world’s resources.

The combination of the global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter uprisings have made it clear that politics as usual have created a divide between wealth, privilege and entitlement leaving behind the workers, the prison nation, the homeless and those without adequate health care. It is no longer a question of which party controls the While House or the Congress, but which candidate has the courage and integrity to promote real and lasting change.

Lisa Savage has a track record of speaking truth to corporate power and standing with those marginalized at the bottom of our steep economic ladder. Change is possible. Make change a reality. Vote for Lisa Savage (number 1 ranked-choice) for U.S. Senator from Maine when you vote in November.

Maureen Ostensen

Hope