Tuesday, June 18, 2013
By Bob Keyes email@example.com
(Continued from page 1)
Sarah Schindler, who teaches at the University of Maine School of Law, says the president affects Americans’ everyday lives.
Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer
"They are a minority group of individuals who are treated differently and unfairly," she said.
Schindler said that campaign finance reform is long overdue, and that both political parties are to blame for the lack of effective reform. Public trust in elected officials suffers because everybody knows, or assumes, that the system rewards donors with political favors.
"Any elected official at that high a level owes a lot of people favors because they have donated to their campaign," Schindler said. "What does that do to our trust?"
She wants more money spent on public transportation, including high-speed rail and bus systems, and feels embarrassed for America when she considers how other countries handle public transportation. "We need to transition back to moving large groups of people at once," she said.
PRACTICING WHAT SHE PREACHES
She supports alternative energy, and believes that energy efficiency begins with reducing our individual dependence on automobiles. She tries to practice what she preaches. She owns six bicycles, including one that she reserves for guests, and rides her bike to work whenever possible, even in the winter -- though she admits that it's challenging and dangerous to ride on Portland's streets regardless of the weather.
She estimates that she fills the gas tank on her Volvo station wagon every few months.
Schindler has voted in every election since she turned 18, and pays attention to issues that affect her locally, regionally and nationally. She has given time and resources to local transportation issues, and thinks she might have an effective voice locally when it comes to urban planning.
Among the law classes she teaches are real estate and land use, local government and property law.
She has always felt a little on the outside when it comes to politics. After living in California, her family moved to the Atlanta area. She was in fifth grade during the 1988 presidential election contest between George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis. When the teacher asked about the election, all but five students in the room said their parents were voting for Bush.
Schindler was among the five.
"It didn't bother me at all," she said. "I've always been in some sort of minority."
Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be reached at 791-6457 or at: