Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Voting for working people

Just because someone may identify with one political party or another, will they continue to vote against themself and their livelihood if their party doesn’t support them regularly? With a few exceptions, and according to their voting records, our Republican legislators in House District 131, Rep. Sherman Hutchins, and Senate District 8, Sen. Kimberly Rosen, voted with their Republican colleagues against several bills aimed at helping working people.

They opposed a bill for construction workers to earn prevailing wages when building schools and municipal projects ( LD 1564 and 1658), and Hutchins opposed LD 1459 allowing loggers and haulers to form cooperatives to negotiate for better wages and working conditions (Rosen voted for that one). They opposed LD 1282 that would create good paying jobs and a well-trained green energy workforce (which was supported by the Maine State Building and Construction Trades Council and iron and electrical workers), opposed teachers having the right to negotiate over planning and preparation time ( LD 240).

Don’t just listen to what they say, watch what they do and how they vote over time. Let’s vote for Democratic candidates who will vote for bills like the ones above to support workers trying to make a fair living for their families, such as Veronica Magnan in House District 131, Nicolas Delli Paoli in House District 130, and Bev Uhlenhake in Senate District 8!

Karen Cote


Gideon’s commitment to health care

As a longtime Maine resident and voter, I look forward to voting for Sara Gideon for U.S. Senate in the upcoming election. I believe that we, as Mainers, deserve a senator who will put our needs ahead of special interests and political parties. One reason, in particular, for my support of Sara Gideon is her commitment to access to high-quality, affordable health care, no matter where you live or how much money you make.

In the Maine Legislature, Sara fought to expand Medicaid so that 70,000 more Mainers could have health care coverage, passed laws protecting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and took on the pharmaceutical companies to lower costs of critical prescription drugs like insulin.

Additionally, she helped pass six laws that make sure Mainers can get quality, affordable reproductive health care in their communities. As our senator, she’ll continue working to make sure more people have affordable health care.

Sara Gideon will bring needed change to Washington, DC. I hope people will join me in voting for her for U.S. Senate.

Connie Cater


How I use ‘from away’

I am writing in response to your recent editorial about how Maine citizens should drop the attitude about people “from away.” Let me start by saying that I have many friends and coworkers who were not born in Maine. However, I do have an attitude toward some people from away.

I lived in a small town in Aroostook County for over 20 years. I had neighbors who bought property and built houses way off the road in a very small town, and then complained that they didn’t have police and fire protection. They fed the bears then complained about nuisance bears. Some of the properties were on dirt roads and the new residents expected the road to be paved, the ridiculous cost be damned.

They bought beautiful old farm houses, and after one or two winters trying to heat the place, built new additions with state of the art kitchens and bathrooms. They lived in the additions. They opened “bed and breakfasts” which no doubt made a nice tax break, but they never had any guests that I saw. They complained about high taxes and lack of city amenities in a town that didn’t have any industry to support the economy. Of course, they only had time for all of this after they posted all of their property to keep everyone else out.

When I use the phrase “from away,” I mean it as a derogatory descriptor. Maine doesn’t need any more people “from away.”

Constance Poulin


Beat polio for good

Overcoming more than 30-plus years of challenges, including the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization declared its African region free of wild polio in August, and now only Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to report cases of the wild virus.

Conquering such obstacles and reaching this milestone was an incredible public health achievement for Rotary and our partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, and while I am eager to celebrate this progress, particularly as a polio survivor, as we approach World Polio Day on Oct. 24, I have not lost sight of our ultimate goal: global polio eradication.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left no part of the world untouched. Earlier this year, polio immunization campaigns in vulnerable countries had to be temporarily paused due to the pandemic, all the while, the polio eradication program has played a vital role in lending its infrastructure to support the COVID-19 response. As polio immunization activities begin to safely resume in countries where polio remains a danger, we must do our part to continue the march toward global eradication because as long as polio exists anywhere, it remains a threat everywhere.

Anyone can be part of the fight to end polio — visit endpolio.org to learn more about how you can get involved. We still have work to do, but I am confident that if we remain focused, we can beat polio for good.

Ann Lee Hussey

South Berwick

Collins has not risen to the times

I rather like Susan Collins and have been happy with her service. To my eyes, she is a bipartisan politician in the Maine tradition who watches out for Maine. However, I will not vote for her this time.

We have a bully president whose party is failing to keep him in check. Collins has her moments where she talks tough but it’s not always backed up by action. This and her vote for a controversial Supreme Court nominee tells me she has not risen to the challenge of the times.

Mary Offutt

Little Deer Isle