I came to Freeport almost 20 years ago – during an epic Maine snowstorm – I was a single mom with an infant and a toddler and no job. I had been promised by friends that I would find a welcoming community whose values I would share and where my children would flourish, and that is exactly what we found. I’m running for the Maine House now first and foremost to give back to a community that has given so much to me and my family. But I’m also running because in my life I have excelled at getting hard things done. I have worked to build consensus among people of many beliefs, backgrounds and experience levels. And I think these qualities will make me a rep who can get things done for Freeport and Pownal.
As daunting as that move was, it was nothing compared to finding a job in Maine at the time. But I was determined to raise my kids in Freeport. So, I ended up commuting to Boston for work. Unfortunately, that’s not just my story – there are lots of people who commute out of state for work. And we’ve watched too many young people leave Maine because there just aren’t enough opportunities here. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’ve worked as an engineer, an attorney, and as an executive in the biotech industry and believe that I have the skills to lead us into a more prosperous era. Economic development in Maine is the key to the sustainability of Maine, in terms of providing good- paying jobs that can support our families, keeping our young people from leaving the state and preventing continuing escalation of taxes. We must invest into our economic development and
• attract new economic opportunities to Maine in areas such as life sciences, agriculture and technology, and
• provide the skills and education to Maine people necessary to attract those businesses to Maine.
In addition, I hold certain basic beliefs that will form the moral compass on which I would legislate on behalf of Freeport and Pownal voters. They are that:
• Basic healthcare is a right and not a privilege.
• We must protect the environment and take measures to counter climate change to preserve the planet for future generations.
• A woman should have the right to make her own healthcare decisions.
• Educational opportunity is the foundation for individual opportunity.
Kathy is currently on the Board of Directors of Meridian Stories, a non-profit whose mission is to teach students digital literacy, and the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Freeport, a non-profit dedicated to fostering arts and culture in Freeport, Durham, and Pownal. She is also working with Focus Maine, a private-sector led initiative to accelerate the creation of quality jobs in Maine, specifically Kathy is focused on creating biopharmaceutical jobs in Maine.
For more info on Kathy's background, see:
• This article in The Times Record
• This article in The Forecaster
COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. We know that there will be a tremendous amount of rebuilding we will need to do when we come out the other side. We will have to rebuild our economy through incentives and tax policy, revive a health care system that has been stressed to the max, support an overburdened social welfare system and restart our schools. So, when we vote this election, we need to make sure that we elect people who know how to do these complex things. I’m the right person for the moment. I’ve managed technology businesses, have a deep background in the healthcare system and negotiated complicated agreements between parties with widely differing views. Now is the moment to elect the candidate who can repair and rebuild for our future.
I drove my first all electric car in 1981. My first job after college was working on GM’s prototype all-electric car. I thought we were on the brink of something big – protecting the environment and moving away from middle-eastern oil. That was almost 40 years ago and it’s hard to explain to my kids how little progress we’ve made. Maine can and should be a national leader in renewable energy and increased energy efficiency by building a clean energy economy. It’s exactly the type of thing we excel at, and it isn’t just good for the environment, but good for jobs in Maine as well.
I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. Earning an engineering degree opened doors for me that I never knew existed. I want to make sure every child in Maine has that same opportunity. In the legislature, I will focus on making higher education possible for more Mainers. By supporting our public schools and universities, and expanding access to community college and certificate programs, we can ensure graduates have the skills that match the job opportunities we have or can bring to Maine. Funding apprenticeship programs and fostering paid internship programs are critical to meeting that goal and will allow education to be affordable for everyone who has a dream they are willing to work to achieve.
If you’re a kid, retiree, or anyone else who lives in Maine, you should be able to afford a doctor’s visit when you’re sick. One of the hardest parts about retiring from my job was knowing that I would lose health care coverage for myself and my kids. I’ve just started looking at my options to buy coverage on the exchange. Figuring out the options isn’t easy. I’m thankful that the Affordable Care Act allows kids to stay on their parents insurance until 26 and prevents discrimination based on pre-existing conditions like my son has. Here in Maine, we passed a law that guarantees these basic protections for Mainers even if the Act is overturned in Washington. And that is great step for all of us.
Maine should continue to foster public-private partnerships that prepare our workforce for existing job opportunities and form the springboard for the jobs of the future. Partnerships between business and universities, community colleges and technical training organizations can provide our workforce with skills that match the well-paying jobs we need to bring to and keep in Maine. The co-op program that I did as an engineering student allowed me to begin my career with a running start in so many ways. In a post-COVID19 world, we will also need to understand and be responsive to changes in how America works and the potential to create remote jobs.
I have signed the American Promise Candidate Pledge, declaring that I support limitations on the influence of big money on our Democracy. I believe that the best way to re-establish a true democracy is to pass the 28th Amendment to the Constitution so we can overturn Citizens United and limit undue influence of money in politics. Please consider signing the Stand with Maine petition, which is meant to tell our Maine elected officials that Mainers, and not big out-of-state donors, should decide Maine’s elections.