Credit: George Danby / BDN

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

Yes on Question 3

Being a worker-owner at Fedco Seeds over the last two years of this global pandemic it has become clear to me that people being able to feed themselves is a bedrock right and necessary to the well-being of ourselves and our communities. The Right to Food Amendment which we are voting on in  Question 3 on Nov. 2 is one more safeguard of our ability to feed ourselves no matter the circumstances.

At Fedco, business is booming as we gain more customers because they realize just how fragile the food supply chain is. Backyard gardens and small orchards are springing up everywhere as people prepare for the next lock down or supply chain disruption. Please vote yes on Question 3 so that we can protect our rights to feed ourselves from the possibility of corporate takeover by Big Agriculture or Big Grocery.

Heath Garrold

Knox

Build strong foundations for Maine children

Long before Congress began working on a bipartisan infrastructure framework, families in Maine were navigating bumps in the road much more difficult than potholes and cracked pavement.

Finding child care in Maine can be very difficult. Many in rural communities either work part-time or not at all due to lack of child care. Adding to this challenge, the number of home-based, family child care businesses has declined almost 30 percent in the last decade. Family child care is the most flexible for those who work nontraditional hours and is usually the most accessible option in rural communities.

While child care costs can consume over 40 percent of a parent’s income, that expense barely supports the operational costs of child care programs across Maine.

This market failure is most evident in the low wages paid to educators in the field. Child care educators are in the bottom 2 percent of earners in the workforce across the nation. Early childhood education is a career that requires specialized skills in early learning and constant focus and attentive care for young children. Add poverty wages to this, and it is no mystery why early childhood educators leave the field.

Mainers need our Congressional delegates to approach investments in children and families with as much recognition of their value as the roads and bridges in the bipartisan infrastructure framework. Just as we can build strong bridges, we can build strong foundations for Maine’s children.

Heather Marden

Policy Director

Maine Association for the Education of Young Children

Augusta

Deb Arcaro

Chair

Family Child Care Association of Maine

Gorham

Voting is the bedrock of our democracy

I am writing, once again, in support of the urgent effort to give legislative support to the

people’s right to fair and easy access to vote. This time, it is in the form of the Freedom to Vote Act.

I am urging all who read this to please write to or call our U.S. senators — Angus King and Susan Collins — especially Collins, since King is a sponsor of this act. Write or call to urge passage of this act and please do so now.

In view of the  efforts of the Republican Party to try to seize power any way they can, other than by supporting almost anything that most Americans actually approve of,  including fair access to voting, the urgency to pass the Freedom to Vote Act cannot be overstated. Without the vote — the fundamental bedrock of democracy — America will simply continue to play out our ongoing Greek tragedy of dysfunction and power grabs that will render us all powerless, everyone of us.

Michael Thompson

Eliot