Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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Gov. LePage greets students after reading “Baxter at the Blaine House” at St. John Catholic School in Winslow earlier this month. By criticizing newspapers during his visit to the school, LePage took advantage of the fact that he had an audience that wouldn’t disagree with him, a reader says.
2013 File Photo/Morning Sentinel
As one can imagine, the work was at times daunting and overwhelming, but it was driven by thoughtful analysis of data, system complexities and best practices nationwide.
While the recommendations of the task force cannot immediately address the concerns of all, they do offer sound solutions, which, if implemented, will start to reduce the number of people who are homeless.
Already, the city of Portland and Preble Street, without any additional resources, have strengthened and improved the intake process so that people who are homeless can more readily connect to the services most appropriate to helping them move out of homelessness.
Already, Preble Street and the Portland Housing Authority are partnering to move people more rapidly into open housing units throughout the city, leveraging housing resources that already exist.
In the face of meeting the immediate needs of record numbers of people who are homeless every night, incredible work is being done to implement long-term solutions in smart, innovative ways. A spirit of community-wide cooperation, partnership and compassion will go a long way in helping this work move more quickly.
Democrats ready and able to regain the Blaine House
Our newly elected Democratic majorities in the Maine Senate and House of Representatives clearly have their work cut for them.
Rather than investing in Maine's future, Gov. LePage has proposed a budget that suspends revenue sharing with municipalities for two years, shifting more than $200 million in costs to localities, forcing them to either slash vital services or raise property taxes to make up the difference. We know our legislators will propose a reasonable alternative that mitigates as much of this damage as possible.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a chief executive who could see a bigger picture -- a picture that strengthens, rather than depletes, Maine's unique assets?
In 2014, Democrats will not back down from any challenge, be it from Paul LePage or Eliot Cutler. In regaining the state Legislature in 2012, Democrats did what all the pundits said was impossible, and we'll do it again in the 2014 governor's election.
It's time for a chief executive who will offer a plan to strengthen our economy and grow our middle class. Although we don't know yet who that Democrat will be, we do know that he or she will be a formidable candidate!
Mark C. Aukeman