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Why I support racial impact statements
To achieve racial equity in Maine, our laws and policies must be guided by racial impact statements; that is why I am in favor of LD 2.
Far too often, Black, Indigenous and people of color are forgotten, overlooked and disregarded. Even if unintended, policies that do not consider the impact on these communities have, can and will continue to harm them.
On a personal level, my most damaging experiences have come from white uninformed people in power, because when wielding power (like policymakers do) ignorance leads to destruction. The same sense of urgency, diligence, and scrutiny that is put into the financial security of the state needs to be applied to the security of our people when implementing policies.
Simply put, the health and wellbeing of our BIPOC communities needs to be a priority. Having accurate, reliable, and accessible information of lived experience is one small part of doing that. In the end, it will take much more. It will take courage to make changes when presented with new information. It will take real investment of time, resources, and energy. It will take the faith and belief of our communities when they speak of their needs.
I am in favor of LD 2 because it provides a path to track our progress, and to prevent damaging regression based on facts; especially in these times, we have no room to go backward.
Child care is a national security issue
As Thomas College President Laurie Lachance pointed out in a recent opinion piece in the BDN, high-quality child care that is accessible and affordable is critical to Maine’s future. As a retired brigadier general, I argue that it also is critical to national security.
The United States military is currently challenged to find recruits who are fit to serve our country. Too many of our nation’s youth are disqualified due to poor academic performance, a criminal record, or because they are physically unfit.
One way to reverse this trend among youth is to reach kids early in life. This requires that we have programs available to them that provide the support our youngest citizens need to start out on a strong path. Many times, this start occurs in child care. These programs can help make the difference in whether a child grows up healthy, does well in school, and stays away from crime.
Lachance mentioned a new report, “Early Childhood Programs’ Scarcity Undermines Maine’s Rural Communities” in her article. Based on the research, more than one-quarter of rural Mainers live in a childcare “desert” where there is only one open child care slot for every three kids. I concur that targeted investments to improve access are warranted.
High-quality child care programs can change the future for many kids. These programs can increase the number of young Mainers eligible for military service. Considering current recruitment challenges, they are also a matter of national security.
Golden is a Democrat in name only
I’m writing in response to the recent article in the BDN stating that Rep. Jared Golden was one of two Democrats in the House who voted against the COVID-19 relief bill. When I heard that two Democrats voted against it, I had a sinking feeling that Golden was one of them, and I was correct. There’s something really wrong with that. The Democratic party needs to start considering a strong candidate to put up against him for the next primary in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.
Golden gave a long-winded, transparent “explanation” of why he voted “no” on his Facebook page. It’s transparent because he doesn’t seem to care about Mainers and their immediate needs — he seems to care more about his future political career. He might as well have an “R” before his name, as he often votes with Republicans. I don’t think he can be counted on to vote for bills that help the average Mainer. His votes affect the entire state.
I hope the Maine Democratic Party will consider a strong candidate to run against Golden next time, and the time to start looking for a good candidate is now. Golden has been a major disappointment to the people of Maine. I don’t think he’s even a moderate Democrat. I’m not suggesting we get a progressive Democrat for the 2nd District, but I am suggesting getting a moderate Democrat — one who won’t be a Democrat in name only. Maine can and should do much better.
Ronna L. DeLoe