Talk is cheap, especially when politicians make grand promises, swearing that they are looking out for the best interests of their constituents, many of whom are in vulnerable economic and social conditions. But rarely do those politicians back their words up with action. When they do, it’s vital that they’re recognized for their commitment.

Such commitment was demonstrated Monday by Zak Ringelstein, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, when he joined protesters from the Poor People’s Campaign in a nonviolent action in Augusta to draw attention to the plight of Maine’s poor and working class. Ringelstein was one of 18 people arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience during the demonstration.

Yet in many of the news reports of the protest and arrests, Zak Ringelstein’s name was never mentioned. A major political figure in Maine politics was arrested while protesting poverty and Maine’s mainstream press did not see fit to tell the public.

Mainers deserve to know when one of their Senate candidates demonstrates such a strong commitment to his or her principles that they are willing to be arrested for it. The silence of the press is tantamount to misinformation.

As a candidate for public office myself, running for state representative in District 19 (Sanford and Springvale), I saw firsthand Ringelstein’s commitment to reaching out to the working Mainers who have too often been left behind by our economy and our state when he joined me to canvass the neighborhoods in my district. Not every Senate candidate makes time to go out and talk to the people – most are too busy attending private fundraisers.

Zak Ringelstein is committed to improving the lives of working Mainers. That commitment was fully on display at the May 14 demonstration. It’s negligent of Maine’s press to be so quiet about it.

Jeremy Mele

Democratic candidate, Maine House District 19


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