"The people are what matter to government, and a government should aim to give all the people under its jurisdiction the best possible life." - Frances Perkins
Maine’s immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers are an asset. Some of the kindest, hardest working, most talented, and most educated people I have ever met are New Mainers. Individuals and families have fled their homes to seek refuge in Maine. Portland is a safe and welcoming place for migrant families. The love and support shown by Portland residents after the arrival of hundreds of asylum seekers has been incredible to witness. And yet, we still have more to do. Securing stable housing, reducing the waiting period to receive a work permit, ensuring access to comprehensive health care, honoring the credentials of skilled workers and degree holding migrants, and creating institutionalized education pathways for our immigrant communities is necessary to reduce the economic burden and workforce shortage in our state.
Across the globe youth are leading a climate justice movement because we are directly threatened by the potential catastrophes. If we do not act toward reducing carbon emissions and protecting our land, air, and water, we will continue to be victims of natural disaster. I will work to integrate a Maine Workforce Education and Investment Act with Maine Green New Deal legislation. Maine has a unique opportunity to develop its workforce by building a green economy while moving in a direction towards meeting our goals for a renewable portfolio standard. The foundation for this was established with the recent signing of LD 1282, An Act to Establish a Green New Deal for Maine. Jordan will support legislation which moves Maine toward an 80-percent reliance on renewable resources for electricity supply by 2030 as well as other measures which ensure progress toward a sustainable green economy.
In her inaugural address, Governor Janet Mills announced that attracting young talented people to Maine and making it their home as a “top priority.” She pointed out that it will be young people who build a green economy for Maine’s future and she is willing to welcome the voice of newcomers to the public conversation. Her sentiments reflect the recognition that young people are visionaries. They are dedicated, intellectual, and committed to preserving the natural integrity of our planet. Young people far and wide have proven their capacity for civic engagement and charging social movements. I am here to uplift the voices and leadership of youth, to showcase their ideas and implement them into social policies. That is why you should elect me, a young progressive candidate, to Maine’s most progressive district.
As a social worker, I am running for office because I understand the power of policy to address root cause issues. The media often pushes false narratives that frame marginalized and oppressed communities as people who are needy, who are violent, or who are lazy. The reality is, people of low socioeconomic status are disenfranchised because of poor government and social infrastructure which does not prioritize their needs. Consequently, it is that much harder for people living in poverty, or people seeking asylum, or people burdened by healthcare costs, to gain forward momentum. When policies are implemented which provide resources and treatment to substance users, when healthcare is guaranteed at an affordable or no-cost rate to everyone, or when people who are homeless are provided secure and stable housing, it is a return on investment which offers multiple forms of state and municipal relief.
I believe in affordable and accessible higher education. Many people do not have the choice to attend higher education because of financial costs. Too many fear attending higher education because of the impending student loan debt they will incur. But Maine is not going to thrive unless our citizens, immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, have secure pathways to education which position them for a successful future to live and stay in Maine. By making sure our schools are well funded and well resourced, we are more likely to keep people in Maine and attract others to move here. I believe Maine can reduce the financial burden of higher education by creating a statewide law modeled off of the Workforce Education Investment Act that was recently passed in the state of Washington. Businesses which employ or have high demand for college level workers should partner with our colleges and universities to increase internship, apprenticeship, and service learning opportunities while contributing to the tuition relief of students they will eventually hire. Our education system needs to be a pipeline which sets our students up to live and work in Maine.