I was glad to read the Dec. 7 editorial (“Our View: Maine is one of the top ‘takers’ of federal help”) and the Dec. 10 letter from Eldon Mayer (“Maine needs job growth to draw young people here”), which both drew the conclusion that in order to spur economic growth in our aging state, we must recommit to attracting more young people to Maine.

I would posit, however, that such population growth will not happen as long as Gov. LePage continues his adversarial posture toward anyone who does not fit his narrow definition of a deserving Mainer. Indeed, “adversarial” seems to be a gross understatement after LePage recently decried our president’s humane immigration plan as “shameful.”

We aren’t the welcoming state that we must be in order to attract new and diverse families and youth.

Former Maine Attorney General Jim Tierney hit the nail on the head in his speech at Bates this fall, referenced by Greg Kesich (“Maine needs more nonwhites, or it’s in trouble? Let’s discuss,” Nov. 19), when he said that “Maine at every level needs to be open to those from somewhere else” who may not look like us.

While I have little faith in LePage changing his rhetoric, the consequences of inaction are too dire to ignore.

Take higher education, for instance. Unless enrollment in the state’s universities increases by 4.2 percent annually, the system will be forced to either lay off a significant portion of its workforce or increase its tuition by over 5 percent.

For all those interested in a Maine of the future that is economically strong and boasts a skilled workforce – especially those in my generation who’ve recently graduated from college or are still in school – now is the time to make our voices heard. Let’s make Maine a state that people move to, rather than move away from.

Simon Thompson