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Stop playing games with our lives
The person writing this is an ordinary human being not a news pundit or a newspaper opinion writer, and this letter is an expression of the frustration, anger and feeling of helplessness in the face of the country’s leaders inability and unwillingness to address the basic needs of its citizens.
We, the majority of citizens, have elected a new president because we knew we needed a change in leadership. We are aware of the serious problems over which we have little to no control, and we are also aware that the people who can provide for our welfare appear to have no knowledge or interest in taking any action to work on our behalf.
What will it take for those at the top to recognize our predicament? How many of us will need to be hungry, without a place to live, without available health care, without child care and without work before they take notice?
Indeed, our struggles have become issues to be exploited by those very people whose major goal in life appears to be retaining and using power. Some of us care deeply about the survival of our democracy, but some of us can only respond to the need to simply survive. We want our government to address the pandemic and our basic needs and to stop playing games with our lives.
We need thoughtful climate solutions
In October, Democrats in the U.S. House introduced a sweeping and comprehensive bill to address aspects of the climate crisis by focusing on the ocean.
The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act (H.R. 8632) seeks to harness the ocean in the fight against climate change through seven related initiatives. These include such provisions as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by prohibiting new oil and gas leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf; setting offshore wind energy production goals of 12.5 gigawatts by 2025 and 25 gigawatts by 2030; increasing carbon storage in blue carbon ecosystems by mapping and protecting mangroves, sea grasses and salt marshes; offering incentives for increasing fuel efficiencies for fishing vessels; and authorizing $3 billion for shovel-ready coastal reclamation projects.
Other aspects of the legislation support climate-ready fisheries, fight ocean acidification, expand marine protected areas and promote international cooperation on marine resource management. I urge people to contact Rep. Jared Golden to support this bill, and to ask Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to consider sponsoring similar legislation in the Senate. Rep. Chellie Pingree is already a co-sponsor. Thoughtful solutions to our climate emergency are imperative.
Election workers are heroes of democracy
I had the honor of serving in Boothbay Harbor and Northport as an observer for absentee ballot processing and on Election Day for the recent federal election. After those experiences, I am 100 percent confident in the integrity of our elections here in Maine!
The election officials and volunteers were professional, detailed and committed to the promise that each eligible Mainer gets the right to vote. This group of dedicated people validated signatures, helped cure ballots and resolved issues all while maintaining safe spaces for citizens to vote despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the polls closed, the election workers reconciled the number of votes cast against the number of voters, checked and triple-checked tallies and secured ballots in accordance with the secretary of state’s directions.
The media should spend more time emphasizing how well our election system runs, rather than endlessly reporting on bogus claims of voter fraud and alleged ulterior motives of poll workers. Thanks to these dedicated professionals, we can have faith in our election results.