Monday, November 06, 2006

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Eder Endorses Marshall

To the Editor:

I am writing to endorse David Marshall’s candidacy for the City Council District 2 seat. A 28-year-old artist, neighborhood activist, and local business owner, David Marshall displays the leadership and dedication necessary to represent District 2.

Dave believes in “social capital”; he connects people and builds community. He takes responsibility for his neighborhood and demonstrates his commitment every day by helping his neighbors. David Marshall immerses himself in the daily life of District 2 and always leaves it better than he found it.

Dave serves on the boards of the West End Neighborhood Association, my Portland Creative Economy Arts Incubator, and guides at-risk youth as they fulfill their community service obligations. He embodies our community's best values, and shares in the day to day struggles and celebrations of West End, Parkside, and University neighborhood residents.

As the House Chair of the Governor’s Creative Economy Council, I strongly believe Portland’s and Maine’s future success depends on attracting more talented young people into Portland so that clean, socially responsible companies looking for a sustainable pool of young, creative workers will follow, bringing livable-wage jobs with them.

If we are to realize this promise of the Creative Economy and continue to attract young people to the city, then we need to invest leadership in young accomplished people like Dave Marshall. Who better than a young leader like Dave Marshall to inform City policy on what his generation is looking for in a place to live and work? Dave represents this future.

At this time of change and growth in Portland, we need David Marshall with his effective, resourceful, hard-working approach to solving problems and dealing with quality of life issues on the street level where it really counts. Marshall has progressive, fresh ideas and years of proven dedication to our district. He will bring transparency and citizen empowerment to City Hall.

Dave Marshall is a truly impressive person, but don’t just take my word for it, see for yourself. Visit David Marshall at his art gallery, Pine Street Studios on 41 Pine Street. Let him know how he can best represent you on the City Council.

Please join me in voting for David Marshall on November 7th.

John Eder
State Representative
District 118


O’Brien Supports Gay Community

To the Editor:

In all of the controversy that has arisen from School Committee representative Stephen Spring’s “Gay, Green, and Gorgeous” advertisement in The Companion monthly, one point has remained absent from the discussion: Mr. Spring does not have an anti-gay opponent in his race.

Mr. Spring has been criticized because of his controversial campaigning behavior, namely the “gorgeous” ad in The Companion and a drag performance at The League candidates’ talent show (as covered by the Portland Forecaster), which were intended for specifically-targeted audiences. Mr. Nemitz had called me for comment on The Companion ad, and after a twenty minute discussion, could not get a comment out of me condemning the behavior—as a result, I was left out of the article. I did, however, get an email from Stephen Spring, thanking me for not jumping on the “bash Spring” band -wagon.

Regardless of how District 2 residents vote on November 7th, the gay community will still have an ear, a voice, and an advocate of equality issues on the Portland School Committee. My fiancée Stephanie and I put in a lot of hours for the Maine Won’t Discriminate campaign in 2005, and I have been endorsed and supported by many gay members of our community, including Barb Wood, Karen Geraghty, Michael Patterson, and Sive Neilan, to name a few.

Regardless of how you may feel about the controversial campaigning, please do not let it decide your vote. I ask you to vote on the issues, namely improving Reiche, and increasing public input on major School Committee issues.

Please consider voting for me on November 7th.

Sincerely,
Robert O’Brien


Strimling is Making a Difference

Dear Editor,

In 2004, my sister ceased to qualify for the MaineCare funds that had been keeping her employed at the Morrison Development Center. The Center was faced with a $12,000 annual deficit for employing Betty. Betty is disabled, and her job keeps her active, confident, and young. Each day that Betty is allowed to work at Morrison is a day she is excited about waking up and facing the challenges that are ready to confront her.

After struggling for months with the state bureaucracy, I turned to Senator Ethan Strimling for help. He responded quickly, contacting the Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services and explaining the specifics of the situation. He told them, ‘Here’s someone who wants to work and be productive and you’re telling me we can’t keep her employed! There has to be a way.’ Well, he was right.

Within weeks DHS figured out how to keep her qualified for Maine Care. Today, Betty continues to be happily employed. She is one of the few people I know who truly hates to miss work. Senator Strimling is making a difference, where it matters.

Sincerely,
Ralph Cusack and Butch Fenton
Portland residents and business owners