I’m writing to endorse the candidacy of Joey Brunelle for City Council. As a former teacher in the Portland district, a musician, and a resident of South Portland, I have been living, working, and making music in and around Portland since 1994.

Portland is undergoing (and has been for over a decade) intense changes regarding housing, economy, demographics, and the shape of the local community.

The city is at a certain crossroads considering the positive and negative effects of recent economic growth and development as well as the process of gentrification that threatens to erase the organic foundations of neighborhoods such as East Bayside.

With the above in mind, I can’t think of a better candidate for City Council than Joey Brunelle. As a member of the Southern Maine chapter of The Democratic Socialists of America, I have had the opportunity to witness Joey’s charisma and sincere desire to engender a more equitable and local-centric approach to municipal governance.

As a Democratic Socialist, Joey is guided by a critical perspective to economic and social issues that are rooted in and exacerbated by neoliberal free market capitalism.

Joey understands the importance of placing local community at the forefront of policy and government. Because of his experience (e.g., a proud member of Portland’s LGBTQ community, a former renter, landlord, and now homeowner), I sincerely believe that Joey can separate the drive for profit from what is necessary to grow a healthy and diverse Portland.

Christopher Sutherland

South Portland