October 27, 2011

Jill Duson: Strong resume, plus life experience

By Jason Singer jsinger@pressherald.com
Assistant City Editor / Online

(Continued from page 1)

Jill Duson

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AGE: 57

ADDRESS: 101 Pennell Ave.

PERSONAL: Divorced. Two children: Taina, 32, and Nathan, 19

EDUCATION: B.A., Antioch College; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School; certificate, Senior Executive in State & Local Government, Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government

OCCUPATION: Former director of Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, Maine Department of Labor

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Portland City Council, 2001-present; mayor of Portland, 2004 and 2009; president, Maine Electoral College, 2008; delegate, Democratic National Convention, 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2008; chairwoman, Portland School Committee, 2001; Portland School Committee, 1998-2001

WEBSITE: jillduson.com


• Jump-start the economy by implementing the city's newly unveiled economic development plan.

• Better market the city's affordable-housing programs and advocate for more funding for Portland from the federal and state government.

• Promote early reading and early childhood education.


Jill Duson will answer questions from Press Herald readers during an hour-long live chat with the candidate starting at noon today. Go to www.pressherald.com to participate.

Editor's Note: This is part of 15 daily profiles of Portland's mayoral candidates, paired with online chats. You can find out more about other candidates in our Portland Mayor Race 2011 special section.

She also owned and operated a lobbying firm in the early 2000s. Unlike many of the other candidates, she has public, private and elective-office experience.

Fortman said the leadership skills that Duson exhibited at the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services would transition well to the mayor's job.

"You're talking about thinking and planning strategically, and tenacity," Fortman said. "One of the quotes Jill used to use -- which I think would help anyone -- is she always approached 'Any complaint as a gift.' And I think that says something about being open. Embracing criticism, instead of having to become defensive, is a wonderful attribute."

Despite her resume, Duson hasn't won the number of high-profile endorsements that rivals like Michael Brennan, Ethan Strimling, Nicholas Mavodones and David Marshall have. But she said that if voters focus on resumes -- and she believes they will -- she'll win the election.

"If voters look at what I've done over 10 years instead of what I might have said in the last 10 weeks or even 10 months," she said, "they'll see I have shown the fiduciary skills and assertive engagement necessary to do this job. ... I feel like this job was made specifically for me."

Staff Writer Jason Singer can be contacted at 791-6437 or at: jsinger@pressherald.com


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