Thank you to the Portland Press Herald for reporting on the racism and bigotry within our state and country. Thanks also to the members of the Portland City Council and School Board who attended the news conference to speak out against ugliness rooted in fear, ignorance and poor policy.

Though I appreciate the words spoken by board members, and the important gesture Portland protesters continue to make, I am concerned with us taking effective action on this matter. Communities of color have long been systemically excluded from policy that provides economic opportunity. Policy is at the heart of the matter, and policymakers like Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins need to know that constituents of Maine will hold them accountable.

According to The Center for Global Policy Solutions 2014 report “Beyond Broke,” for every $1 in wealth held by white households in 2011, African-Americans held only 6 cents and Hispanics held only 7 cents.

This is a startling and shameful statistic in a nation as wealthy and as powerful as America. Rather than perpetuating the futile and insolent “debate” around which lives matter more, we should be urging those in power to address the unjust widening of the racial wealth gap, the underpinning of poverty for those who are born into a certain background or skin color. Communities of color deserve so much more, and we, as members, allies and as human beings, need to take action to ensure that we can continue to say “and justice for all” with a straight face.

Kristy Martino

RESULTS Seacoast Chapter Volunteer

Kittery Point

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