Democratic Weekly Radio Address: Alfond says, Let’s show the people of Maine what can happen when we work together
Audio link here.
Some say Maine is a divided state. And of course there are those who want to divide us. Divide us by age or by gender. Divide us by geography, or even by how we make our living. And there will always be those who define and divide us by what we believe.
Good Morning. This is Senate President Justin Alfond. Earlier this week, I was sworn in as the 115th President of the Maine Senate—and, along with 188 State Senators and State Representatives, who were also administered their oaths of office by Governor LePage.
It was a day of ceremony and celebration. One where
Democrats and Republicans stood shoulder to shoulder as the new, 126th Legislature.
It’s a new day for Maine politics. One where we get to choose whether we build on the trust the people of Maine have placed in us—and, get results—or, one where we squander this opportunity by digging in our heels.
Make no mistake. There are those, on both sides, spoiling for a fight, and expecting the worst – a showdown in Augusta between the Blaine House and the legislature.
I say – let’s disappoint them.
Let’s show the people of Maine what can happen when we seek common ground.
Let’s show the people of Maine what can happen when we listen to both sides of an argument, and care about all sides of an issue.
Let’s show the people of Maine what can happen when we work together. We must work together. The challenges we face are too big for one party to solve alone.
We won’t always agree. But we have to defy the odds. We have to set aside the rhetoric and do what is right for Maine people.
No issue is more urgent than economic security, and nowhere are Mainers relying on us more to work together.
Lawmakers have heard your mandate: We must keep the jobs we have and create the jobs we need.
Let’s begin by developing a blueprint for job growth, region by region. We need to connect the dots between industry, education, and the future of small business in downtown Maine.
We need to analyze current jobs to identify future jobs, and teach the skills required to fill those jobs.
Why should any Maine business ever have to look elsewhere for qualified workers? And why should any Mainer ever have to leave the state they love to find the job they want?
You see, economic security is not a partisan issue. We all pay bills, buy groceries, and seek shelter in a storm.
Lawmakers have heard the other mandate: Mainers—like much of the country—are tired of political gridlock.
Mainers want to know that every day we are up here we are doing our job—serving our state and the people of Maine. We need to put your interests first.
As Democrats, I can say that we stand ready to work. Maine needs all of us to work together.
And so, to those voices telling us we are destined to clash, I offer these words in reply. To quote John F. Kennedy:
Let geography make us neighbors.
Let history make us friends.
Let economics make us partners.
And let necessity make us allies.
With our future in mind, let’s get to work. Together.
This is Senate President Justin Alfond. Thank you for listening and have a great weekend.