Gia Drew for HD9

To the editor,

We would like to express our strong support for Gia Drew’s campaign for State Representative to the Maine State House in District 9. We met Gia over 15 years ago when she was our daughter’s high school art teacher in Kennebunk. She was a huge positive presence in our daughter’s and her friends’ lives. She was an excellent role model and mentor, and someone who inspired them to find their own paths, yet did not sugarcoat the road ahead for them. I know they look back at this formative time in their lives and are grateful for the contribution she made in helping them become the wonderful young adults they are today. Before writing this letter, we reached out to our daughter and two of her friends who are now living outside the district and asked them to speak to Gia’s influence on their lives as high school students.

Our daughter recalls “As an art teacher, Gia created space and opportunity for us as individuals. She was a forceful advocate and support system, allowing us to find our paths in an open, inclusive environment. Gia took us seriously, even as goofy high school students, and worked hard to make sure our voices were heard.”

Gia’s mentoring and leadership went beyond the classroom with after school clubs and as a Kennebunk High School running coach. One our daughter’s friends remembers: “as a high school student in 2006, I had the pleasure of calling Gia my mentor. I remember her fondly and recall her always going above and beyond for her students. I fully believe she’d take the same gusto she had back then for cultivating individuals and apply them to her role as State Representative. Now more than ever, the sensibility she showed to students of different circumstances is needed on a larger platform.”

Another of her friends recalls “I would say that Gia really cultivated a space that allowed students to explore creativity and art in a way that might not have been what the ‘expected curriculum’ was supposed to look like. I think that at a time in my life where structure and study seemed dull, being in that classroom felt like the opposite.”

In addition to being an inspiring and supportive school teacher, Gia has had years of experience at EqualityMaine. There, Gia has advised on policy at the Maine Statehouse, served on numerous boards and committees, worked on policy initiatives to reduce domestic violence, has fought to end youth incarceration, and worked in support of a policy to support our elder neighbors’ abilities to age in place. This impressive experience speaks to the type of leadership she would bring to the Maine Statehouse.

The issues facing our society today call for both a bold vision and fearlessness in order to implement real and meaningful change. We believe that Gia can provide that vision and leadership. Therefore, we are proud to support Gia Drew for the Maine Statehouse, District 9. Vote Gia Drew on July 14!

Frank and Jan Wertheim
Kennebunk

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