Please don’t sign the new Airbnb petition. It is not an issue of problem houses, though that is surely what brought this silent ambush to light. It’s about community. It’s about trust.

I bought my house over 20 years ago. I bought in a residential neighborhood on purpose. I have been creating a lovely property, with the help of local professionals. I plan to spend the rest of my life here.

I have a chronic, progressive disease. Now I am 68. Instead of being able to enjoy my lovely property, I have seemingly never-ending fights with, first, Big Oil, and now Big Money. Both may have local faces, but the truth is, both fights are about corporations and their offspring: billionaires (actual people) overriding the rights of everyone else. They poison our air and water. Does ExxonMobil have the right to do whatever makes money for them? We may learn soon.

And now, once again, the community is faced with a fight against Airbnb et al. For the second time, a petition is being circulated to force residential neighborhoods to accept commercial properties without even being notified, much less asked.

If you sign this petition, be aware that you are supporting only the interests of corporations and billionaires. Most of the petitioners are being paid to gather signatures. They are saying whatever their employer tells them to say. The local face here claims to have no personal gain. Frankly, that just seems to make them vindictive and mean-spirited, not patriotic.

The important thing is that corporations are again saying they make the rules and the money; to hell with longtime residents who are only trying to protect our property rights, with the help of our duly elected and brave City Council, standing with their neighbors and our community.

Louise Tate

South Portland

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