I’m writing to seek your support to serve Brunswick in the Maine House of Representatives in the newly redrawn District 100. It is my hope to continue and build upon the great work of our outgoing representative, Rep. Ralph Tucker.

Our family shares a commitment to public service. My wife, Catherine, is a longtime physician in the MidCoast healthcare system. As for me, I have spent time on local committees, volunteered as a soccer coach and just recently concluded nine years working as an aide in the Maine Legislature’s House Democratic Office. Together Cat and I are raising our children, Sam and Lucy, in the Brunswick school system.

Right now I serve as an at-large member of our Town Council, a deeply rewarding job that has brought opportunities to bring greater transparency and a real sense of optimism to the work of local government. I’m proud to say that, in my years on the Council, I have never once missed a meeting or a vote, and I always do my best to respond to people who reach out to me and bring more people into local government.

Serving on the Council can be difficult, and some of the more frustrating problems we wrestle with tend to lead back in some way to more fundamental structural statewide issues, from our housing crunch to a lack of tax fairness, the cleanup of hazardous chemicals, the future of our working waterfront, the stormwater system on Brunswick landing, our response to substance use disorder and record overdose deaths and even the way we get rid of our garbage.

Trying to break through the inertia locally and take matters into our own hands does work from time to time. After all, we’ve got a strong council and an effective staff. But other times it leads us to the unpalatable tradeoff of significant spikes in our regressive property tax — a tax that so many of you have told me you are increasingly struggling with. Towns like ours are often left with limited options despite all the wonderful ideas happening here at the local level, and it can sometimes be a heavy lift to overcome that.

This is what’s on my mind looking ahead. There are so many ways we can make our Brunswick community stronger. The first step is seeing our problems for what they are and tracing them back to their roots. The next step is to go right at them, gathering allies and building momentum along the way.

We’re all thankful our community has a great group of lawmakers doing just that right now. Sen. Mattie Daughtry has advocated for paid medical leave and policies that bring young people to Maine. Rep. Poppy Arford has fought for those who are unhoused. Mainers can thank Rep. Jay McCreight for better access to both reproductive and behavioral health care. And Rep. Ralph Tucker has pushed Maine to meet its climate goals, spearheaded successful legislation to clean up toxic “forever” chemicals, and passed a first-in-the-nation packaging stewardship law that has breathed new life into our efforts to reduce waste and recycle more.

All of that work must continue.

I ran for Town Council three years ago on the notion of building a better Brunswick. And we have made real strides: major land conservation successes at Brunswick Landing, along the Androscoggin River and on Woodward Point, public composting bins, our high school track finally repaired, public education protected, an aging fire station replaced, Simpson’s Point improved, our senior property tax relief program strengthened, a stronger paving budget, bicycle, recreational trails expanded and better connected, a major solar power agreement, and more.

And through it all, our community has endured a terrifying pandemic, converting both our Rec. Center and the Coffin School into clinics full of amazing volunteers who have delivered more than 50,000 shots and counting.

We still have so much to do, but some of that work requires continued advocacy in Augusta. For nine years, I have worked alongside Maine lawmakers as a legislative aide, learning the ins and out of a complicated system and gaining an understanding of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to policymaking.

Brunswick will be best served if its next state representative can combine this institutional memory with a knowledge of Brunswick issues and the will to make progress.

That is how we improve our community, that is how we stick up for and elevate those who have been marginalized, that is how we bring fairness where there is inequity, and that is how we restore faith in government as an instrument for good.

It is my honor to ask for your vote in the June 14, 2022, Democratic primary and the Nov. 8 general election to be the next state representative for House District 100.

Dan Ankeles was elected as an at-large member of the Brunswick Town Council in 2018 and was re-elected in 2021. He recently completed a nine-year stint as a legislative aide in the House Democratic Office at the Maine State House. Ankeles and his wife Catherine have lived in Brunswick since 2011 and have two children in Brunswick schools.

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