It was with sadness and frustration that I read of Sen. Susan Collins’ “yes” vote on the Republican tax bill.

I grew up in Down East Maine. Every summer, the hordes came to witness its fierce and quiet beauty. The parking lots filled in Acadia, the sidewalks of Bar Harbor crowded with people in pink sweatshirts, and teenagers squatted on the rocky beaches at night, bonfires casting light on lapping waves.

Riding the yellow school bus, my siblings and I memorized the houses and trailers our classmates lived in. We watched as once-tidy homes settled into decay, and how sturdy buildings rose next to trailers in years when the price of lobster was high.

Most of all, we learned about community. We went to town spaghetti suppers, took puzzles to play with a developmentally disabled neighbor and watched as my mom, a pastor, conducted funerals for locals, and my dad, a business owner, helped workers buy their first home. And people helped us.

While I’ve been away from the state since the age of 18, I come back each year to find that not much has changed, although perhaps it’s getting harder to get by.

When Sen. Collins voted “no” on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, I thought she understood this. That she saw Mainers helping their neighbors while working three seasonal jobs, and knew these families, seniors and youth deserved support from their government. But then Sen. Collins voted for a bill that will make all of these groups worse off.

Mainers will get through. That’s what they do. They will hold more spaghetti suppers and buy coats for kids who couldn’t otherwise afford them. But it cannot just be the individual who bears responsibility for his or her community. The collective, in the form of government, owes something, too.

Sarah Fanslau

New York City