As the mother of a first-grader at Longfellow Elementary School, I know how desperately our school needs to be renovated. And that’s one of many reasons why I’m supporting Bree LaCasse for an at-large seat on the City Council over incumbent Jill Duson.

Longfellow is so overcrowded that hallways are regularly used for instruction, which creates a fire hazard. The building isn’t Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant; as a result, the father of one of my daughter’s friends, a man who recently had a stroke, cannot easily access the school.

Bree has been a champion for fixing all four of our city’s crumbling elementary schools, while Councilor Duson continues to advocate for a two-school option that cuts out Longfellow and leaves the fate of our school to the whims of a state process we can’t control and a future council whose membership is unknown.

I know I can trust Bree to do the right thing for the Portland Public Schools. She grew up in Portland and went to Portland Public Schools herself. Her husband, Chris, is a teacher in Falmouth, and although they could send their son to a Falmouth public school, they have chosen Reiche for Ollie. They are very involved and dedicated to their neighborhood and local community.

I respect the years Councilor Duson has served the city, and I’ve voted for her in the past. But this year I’m voting for Bree.

Amy Jaffe