Introduction (MAY 2018)
The Harpswell Democratic Committee held three “Gatherings” at different locations at the end of April and the beginning of May to hear members voice their opinions on Federal and/or State public policy issues. Nearly 50 members participated in these meeting and chose the most important issues to them. They then shared their views with the group. The “Vision Statement” below is based upon these discussions and reflects a consensus of opinion developed at these meetings.
Echo from the Past
“It is in order that each one of you may have through this free government which we have enjoyed, an open field and a fair chance for your industry, enterprise and intelligence: that you may all have equal privileges in the race of life, with all its desirable human aspirations. It is for this the struggle should be maintained, that we may not lose our birthright….The nation is worth fighting for, to secure such an inestimable jewel.”
—Abraham Lincoln (1864)
A Nation Worth Fighting For
The Harpswell Democratic Committee Vision Statement
Be it resolved! We, the members of the Harpswell Democratic Committee, claim "our birthright"--the American Dream! For too many “our birthright” is being denied. Deep divisions in the politics in Augusta and Washington D.C. have created a seemingly unbridgeable divide in our Federal and state governments. Autocratic political leaders would have us remain divided as clans rather than united as a people. Our future should not and will not be one of divisiveness. We claim our birthright!
We need a functioning government that works to lift everyone up, not just the richest among us. We demand an end to policies that promote social and income inequalities. We need support "in the race of life," and a “fair chance.” To compete in a global economy, our workers need equal and fair pay, skills-related job training, affordable and nutritious food, and a single-payer healthcare system. Our families need low-cost childcare, universal pre-K education, quality public schools, and affordable college tuitions. And when we retire after decades of work—we expect Medicare and Social Security to be there for us as well as funding for programs that help provide essential healthcare and nutrition for our elderly. We demand “equal privileges”—it is our birthright!
We need investment in our country’s infrastructure—our roads and bridges repaired, our public transportation revitalized, and every community across the state connected to broadband. We call for our government to invest in the people and their needs—young and old!
We reject policies that punish the poor. We reject a justice system that peeks under the blindfold and favors one race over another, and we reject the mass incarceration of scores of mentally ill and those with substance use disorders. We are a compassionate people and for this reason we call on our leaders to provide Maine residents greater access to mental health services and addiction treatment.
We reject policies that allow for the legal sale of military-style assault weapons. Too many people pursuing their “human aspirations” have been slaughtered. We fully support the rights of hunters to use appropriate weapons. We do call for a ban on assault weapons and high velocity magazines! We call for the passage of "red flag" laws and the requirement that anyone who would purchase any gun pass a mandatory criminal background check.
“The nation is worth fighting for” and the members of the Harpswell Democratic Committee honor those men and women serving and those who have served in our nation’s military. For too long our nation has not honored its commitment to veterans’ physical and mental health needs. We claim our birthright! We demand our leaders invest in those who have served with honor and integrity.
Harpswell is an “inestimable jewel.” Its natural beauty makes it one of the most beautiful places to live in Maine. We have a long, proud fishing tradition. Each is under threat because our nation has not been good stewards of the environment. We claim our birthright! We call for environmental policies that protect our air, our water, and our soil. We call for renewable energy policies, including solar, that will reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
We embrace America’s long tradition of providing people “an open field…a fair chance for [their] industry, enterprise and intelligence.” We claim our birthright! We welcome immigrants to our town and to our state because, like our own ancestors, they believe in America and want to contribute productively to our society. Our Maine workforce and our communities need the immigrant’s passion, idealism and energy. And to those who would clutter the “open field” with the heavy stones of racism or stumps of ignorance, we, the Members of the Harpswell Democratic Committee, promise to respond by standing up, acting up, sitting down, and voting out!
Finally, we extend a hand of friendship and caring to all of our neighbors. We look to find the Common Ground that unites us because each one of us is more than our politics. The axe that clears a Harpswell trail works just as well for a member of one political party as it does for another. The saxophone that plays in the gazebo at Mitchell Field performs for us all. The views that look out to sea, the patches of sand where we lay our towels, and the blustery winds that not only redden our noses but fill our sails and lead us forward into a new day are for everyone.