Sam on the Issues
While my positions may change somewhat with time as
I constantly interact with others and seek common ground,
here are a few of my ideas and thoughts:
Politicians make promises when running for office to get your votes.
BUT WHEN THEY CANNOT DELIVER... they blame the other party, another entity, or the general public and end up creating more division.
Each party regains control and spends their time in office trying undo rather than adjust.
I see a different way forward.
My primary focus is children and their future. I believe physical/mental/emotional/spiritual unwellness begins in childhood and perpetuates itself into adulthood which is why, if our society is truly going to change, we must start with children… keeping them safe, cared for, and protected.
This involves many different aspects of our society: stable housing, treatment for their parents’ health issues, food security, education (as opposed to simply schooling them), nature and a connection to the outdoors, a future to believe in and build upon incorporating a plan to mitigate climate change, and community, including regular contact with the elderly.
Our educational system is failing our children. It is also chewing up and spitting out our teachers; there are plenty of teachers in Maine but we have a shortage of teachers working due to burn out, poor wages and/or unhealthy working environments.
Educational policies need to be malleable to each individual school district; what is needed in Portland is often quite different than what is needed in Beals. We need to find a balance between testing and practical learning such as how to use and balance a check book, basic gardening, how a toilet works and simple repair, how to change a car tire, etc.
I support student loan repayment for teachers and aides who commit to the profession for at least 5 years. Recruitment of teachers needs to begin when they are in high school. We need to recruit more males to the profession; a 50/50 ratio of female/male teachers would be ideal.
Aside from its people, Maine’s greatest asset is its environment and natural beauty. We need to manage it wisely and carefully while preserving and protecting it; we need to sustain our natural resources.
Future generations need us to focus now on mitigating climate change and carbon footprint for a healthy future. Let’s funnel the alternative energy money coming from the feds locally to foster energy independence within communities.
The towns would own and manage these resources which would include charging stations.
Let’s decrease real estate taxes on primary homes and homesteads by significantly increasing the homestead exemption.
At the same time let's increase taxes on secondary and seasonal houses. Let's ask our seasonal home owners for increased support of our infrastructures, frontline workers who serve them and their housing needs, and stewardship of our natural environment.
Let’s consider an increase in tax on non-commercial gasoline and fuel from May 15 to November 15 during which time we have over 8,000,000 visitors to our state.
We could then decrease our fuel tax the other six months to help us heat our homes in the winter and travel to sporting events.
I support lowering taxes for businesses and corporations in exchange for increased worker salaries and benefits.
We need to treat the underlying cause of most addiction… history of abuse, neglect and trauma, esp Post Traumatic Stress Disorder… for addicts to heal.
Treating withdrawal symptoms of addiction with addictive pharmaceutical drugs needs to be temporary while beginning the process of recovery. Addiction treatment currently focuses on Medication Assisted Treatment which keeps people addicted to pharmaceutical drugs and dependent on a system of disease maintenance which replaces the individual’s responsibility for recovery.
Let's convert one of our prisons to drug and alcohol rehabilitation. The current annual cost per prisoner in Maine is approximately $50,000. Let's put this money towards true rehabilitation as the majority of prisoners are incarcerated due to drug-related crime..
Anyone revived from narcotic stupor with Naloxone would have the choice of going to jail or rehab, rather than simply enabling them to repeat their dance with death. We do not have unlimited resources to dance with them.
I believe the most pressing issue of our time is mental health… anxiety/depression, the opioid crisis, people addicted to their phones/social media/conspiracy theories, aggression from the far right and left that makes up the majority of what the press presents, child abuse/neglect/trauma…
Abuse, trauma, and neglect form the basis of mental and emotional health issues. We all have issues but those with more trauma tend to have deeper, more pervasive wounds which present with more symptoms of mental health dis-ease. Pharmaceuticals have a role in treatment but do not heal dis-ease and the underlying causes of mental health. We need to expand the treatment and insurance coverage of mental health, including group and retreat therapy.
Western medicine is usually quite effective in treating urgent and emergent medical illness. We need to address these urgent and emergent medical issues with some type of universal coverage. But in the treatment of ongoing disease our medical system talks of disease maintenance, usually with pharmaceutical drugs, creating dependency on the medical system.
Who is responsible for your health? Many patients actually have to take a moment to answer this. We need to shift the responsibility for one’s ongoing health back to the patients and refocus the role of the system to support lifestyle changes and healthy living. Rather than simply treating the symptoms of disease with drugs, we need to support healing the root of problems which often involves poor lifestyle choices.
Mental, emotional and spiritual dis-ease have profound effect on physical illness, a concept which the medical system gives very little attention to though most of us are aware. Education is an essential part of change and must be employed by all patients and medical staff at a much greater level to make a substantial difference. More testing, drugs, and dependency is not a viable solution. Rather we need to empower Mainers to change behaviors, habits, and attitudes which will go much further to enhance one’s health.
ABORTION: Abortion is an unfortunate reality of our society. I like to think that we can get to a point where abortion becomes obsolete, where it's not needed, but we are far from there at this point. Abortion will continue whether it's legal or illegal. All we do by making it illegal is put women's lives at risk. That to me is unacceptable. I therefore, support the current Maine constitution statute on abortion. I would entertain a change to this law if 2/3 of the legislature or 2/3 of the people via a referendum want something different.
Any bill, law, or referendum needs to be written in language that any high school Sophomore student can read and understand. If the average Mainer can not read and understand a bill, for whom is the bill?
Let’s deal with one issue with each bill. Rather than 1 bill with 100 issues, let's create 100 bills with one issue. Along the same line, let's make any referendum simple to understand about a single issue.
Few Maine citizens understand how state governmental departments work and run. I would like to see a citizens council in place in every state department to monitor and oversee the internal working and effectiveness of each department.
Each community has different needs and strengths. What are they and how does the state support community on a local level?
Answering these questions would be where I would start by surveying each community with the help of representatives and community members. Let’s bring government back to the people, back to grassroot communities.
Local growth will promote a healthier and more stable Maine.
These are some of my Positions/Ideas.
I am just one voice.
I want to hear yours, and meet in the middle
for a common ground solution.
If you want Sam
to show up at your event,
have a conversation,
or link up for an interview,
feel free to reach out.
The more I make a stance about any issue,
the less I am open to finding common ground.
Like everyone else I have my views, ideas, and opinions, but if I listen with respect and openness to anyone about their views I tend to come away with a little different perspective.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”