Not all children learn well. Rather than regulating people to marginal existences, provide lifetime learning opportunities so that people get the opportunity to learn when they are ready.
As long as we continue to rely on the property tax to fund education, we will continue to have problems properly funding education. There are no simple answers, but many states have started to look for new solutions. We need a serious effort to examine and compare various ways of school funding.
As well as teaching the basics, schools should teach how things change, how to ask questions, and a love of lifetime learning.
Institute mentoring programs for all teachers, using experienced and talented teachers to help other teachers improve.
Improve the technical college system so as to better prepare Maine workers for jobs of the 21st century.
"Each of the great social achievements of recent decades has come about not because of government proclamations, but because people organized, made demands and made it good politics for governments to respond. It is the political will of the people that makes and sustains the political will of governments.
No more unfunded mandates. Either we fund laws, or we do not pass them.
Reduce red tape. We can make permitting and other state operations easier to deal with without weakening health, safety, or environmental standards.
State Government should focus on delivering services to the people of Maine. This can be accomplished while reducing the number of political appointees and upper level bureaucrats.
The State of Maine must practice frugality. I have been helping my customers save money for twelve years, and I will bring that experience to the legislature and help save the taxpayers money.
Eliminate Political Action Committees and special interest and corporate contributions to campaigns. Return the political process to the people.
Set campaign spending limits lower than present spending levels. Proposed spending limits are $17oo for a State House campaign, $7500 for the State Senate and $250,000 for the Governor's race.
"Environmental preservation does not have to be seen as a trade-off for the eliminations of poverty. Instead, integration of these twin issues will be central to the global agenda in the 1990's."
-John W. Sewall, president of the Overseas Development Council
Ecologically sound businesses are the engine of future prosperity. End tax breaks for ecologically destructive practices.
Set up one-stop business assistance centers in each County. Focus on women-owned businesses, value-added businesses, and businesses that focus on restoring the environment or do recycling without neglecting other types of businesses.
Eliminate the budget for smoke stack chasing Smoke stack chasing does not work and wastes the taxpayers' money. Focus on growing Maine businesses.
Upgrade maine's transportation system. Including not only roads and bridges, but also mass transit, railroads, and bike paths.
While upgrading Maine's telecommunications networks we must make sure that access to the network is insured for all people, or Maine's low income citizens will find it even harder to get a good job.
Institute full cost accounting. Let the people know what things like dioxin in the rivers, strip development, or the loss of diversity really cost.
Increase the state budget for tourism promotion, and dedicate the expanded revenue to promote sustainable communities and working landscapes.
Focus energy development on solar and wind power. Reduce total energy consumption, and build energy efficient housing, especially for low income people.
Change forest practices so that biodiversity is maintained while providing jobs for Maine workers. Eliminate Clearcutting, use more people and smaller machines. Reduce fossil fuel consumption in the woods. End the use of pesticides and herbicides in the woods.
While standard rhetoric would deny it, a program to boost maine's agricultural productionespecially if organic methods were encouraged, would provide more jobs, and more sustainable jobs, than any High Tech program that would be developed in the next decade.
Civil rights should be protected for all people.
A Single Payer Universal Health Care system is the most efficient, most inexpensive, and fairest way to deliver medical services to Maine's people.
Home based health care is a very efficient and effective way to provide services to many people. It is an excellent alternative to institutionalization for many older citizens. Home based care should be an integral part of all future health care plans.
Most crime is committed by career criminals. Early intervention with at-risk children will reduce crime. Well thought out training and counseling for incarcerated people will help break the cycle of crime, and more than pay for itself.
The direction of welfare reform must be to help people move into jobs with futures. Making people take dead-end jobs will only lead back into the welfare system, and it will not help their children break the cycle of poverty.
Greg has lived in a solar house that he built himself on Gridiron Hill in Industry since 1980. A graduate of the University of Maine at Orono, since 1983 Greg has been the sole proprietor of Low Income Carpentry, a business serving the carpentry needs of Older Citizens in Franklin County. Prior to that Greg Gerritt worked in a shoe shop, on a dairy farm, and in the woods. He is now an organic gardener, manages his woodlot, and is studying the relationship between the changes in the global economy and prosperity in Maine. For many years he has devoted a large block of his time to serving the community. Greg's work with the True Mountain Alliance, which required many trips to Augusta, provided him with an understanding of the legislative process and the desire to make sure that the people of District 78 are well represented in the legislature.
It's time for a change. The Democrats and Republicans have been tied to the Big Money special interests for so long that they have forgotten about the needs of the people. If Maine is to get beyond the win/lose partisan wrangling and come together around real solutions to our problems we must open up the political process and step outside of the two party system. The Green Party cares about the issues that affect the future of Maine such as health of the forest, violence, health care, and creating an economy that provides prosperity without wreaking havoc on our communities. The Green Party is also committed to governments that are really responsive to the needs of the people and a future beyond partisan wrangling. I am proud to be running as a Green.