My Plan for Sustainable Prosperity
GROW A NEW ECONOMY FROM THE BOTTOM UP
PUT THE FULL RESOURCES OF GOVERNMENT BEHIND GROWING JOBS RATHER THAN ATTRACTING THEM
Focus on innovators, entrepreneurs and risk-takers.
Make smaller-scale manufacturing and exports a high priority.
Build a ‘seed-to-success’ system to nurture and accelerate small business growth.
Award no tax breaks to companies that do not create or sustain good jobs.
FIX OUR ELECTIONS
CREATE AN OPEN PRIMARY IN JUNE
Allow all candidates and all voters to participate in one primary election, with the top two candidates going to the November election.
BUILD A TWENTY FIRST CENTURY GOVERNMENT
SHRINK STATE GOVERNMENT BY TEN PERCENT
Flatten state management layers, introduce new technology and increase efficiency
Reduce the size of the legislature to 100 members and restrict the number of bills that any member can submit to the number of years they have served.
FOCUS ON SCHOOLS THAT WORK
BRING PRACTICAL EDUCATION BACK INTO ALL SCHOOLS
Increase the state’s share of education funding to 55%, with all new dollars going into the classroom.
Expand early childhood education.
EXPAND ACCESS TO COLLEGES AND TECH TRAINING
ESTABLISH A TWO-YEAR FREE HIGHER EDUCATION PROGRAM
Support forgivable loans that will be reduced for every year that a students stays and works in Maine
MAKE HEALTH CARE MORE AFFORDABLE AND AVAILABLE
PUSH FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY IN HEALTH CARE PRICING
Reward consumers who save money
Expand Medicare and Medicaid
COMMIT TO ENERGY INDEPENDENCE IN THIRTY YEARS
REDUCE THE FIVE BILLION DOLLARS WE EXPORT EACH YEAR TO OIL AND GAS COMPANIES
Focus on solar and offshore wind
Decentralize energy production
Reinvest the savings in job creation, education and health care
BUILD TOMORROW’S INFRASTRUCTURE
SUPPORT A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR BOND FOR BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT NEXT YEAR AND AGAIN IN FIVE YEARS
MAKE MAINE A WELCOMING STATE
CREATE A WELCOME CENTER FOR EVERYONE WHO COMES TO MAINE, FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD
I grew up in poverty in the south end of Waterville, in a Franco-American family of mill workers and farmers. I’ve seen how the decline in our economy has hit working-class families hard. I know how poverty and drug abuse, hopelessness and anger can tear families and communities apart. And for too long I’ve seen politicians promise to bring back the past, which they have no power to do.
I dropped out of high school in the ninth grade and went to work loading tractor-trailer trucks on the night shift at the local bakery. Then I worked at a mill and in construction. When I was 18, I got myself in trouble with the law, for receiving stolen goods, and ended up spending eight months at the correctional center in Windham.
While I was there, I had the opportunity to reflect upon my life, and how I was wasting the talents I had been blessed with. I determined to turn my life around, dig myself out of the hole that I’d dug and help others lift themselves up with me.
Since then, I’ve built a successful career as a small business owner, an advocate for Maine, an organization-builder and an author. I’ve worked to improve the lives of poor people, build affordable housing for single parents, rebuild my neighborhood and promote good jobs for Maine people. I also helped build organizations working on transportation, energy, telecommunications and the environment.
During this last decade, I founded GrowSmart Maine and Envision Maine, where we convened hundreds of Maine’s best thinkers and doers, from across the political spectrum, to focus on the future, on common ground and common purpose. I’ve also co-authored two books – Reinventing Maine Government and Maine’s Next Economy – and written weekly columns for the Maine Sunday Telegram and Central Maine newspapers.
Through it all, I’ve seen Maine from the bottom, the middle and the top. I’ve seen how hard it is to get ahead in many parts of Maine. But I’ve also seen the great work that thousands of Mainers are doing to move us forward.