1. Why did you decide to become a candidate this year? 

I’ve been an advocate for many years, and I feel ready to represent my community at the State House. The needs of our city and the people who call it home will always be my top priority, and I am committed to being a resource and advocate for my constituents.  

  1. If elected, what would be your three main priorities? 

Advocate for safe, affordable, and energy-efficient housing. Work to expand access to quality healthcare. Protect our rights, bodies, and choices.  

  1. How do you think Maine is doing in terms of addressing the wrongs of systemic racism? What steps should we be taking that we are not? 

I am proud of the work of the Maine Coalition on Racial Equity and the Permanent Commission [on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Maine Tribal Populations]. As a legislator, I will follow the lead of these entities and support legislation that leads to racial justice and tribal sovereignty.   

  1. What experience do you have that makes you believe you are the right person to hold this office? 

My work as a service provider within our community will give me a unique perspective in seeking legislative solutions. My years of advocating at the State House and the relationships I’ve built with legislators across the state has given me tools that I need to be an effective State Representative from day one.  

  1. What, if any, elected offices have you held and what accomplishments would you like to highlight? 

As an advocate, I fought hard alongside low-income people to win dental care coverage for people with MaineCare and to restore MaineCare access to immigrant children and pregnant people.  

  1. What do you believe should be done to address Maine’s affordable housing crisis?  

Renting costs have increased beyond affordability for so many Mainers, our rental housing market is among the least affordable in the nation. When over half of Maine’s low-income earners are paying more than half of their income for rent, we have a problem that requires immediate attention from our leaders in Augusta. I will fight against predatory housing practices, work to expand rental assistance programs, and find ways to make home owning easier for first-time homebuyers. I will work to pass laws that will fund the expansion of safe, low-income housing, increase access to much-needed housing vouchers, and better support our general assistance programs. 

7. What is your position on efforts to close the remaining gaps in access to MaineCare for immigrants? 

This issue is important to me and I have been working on it for the past four years. I will work hard to make sure this important healthcare is restored to all immigrant people in Maine. 

Election Day 2022 is Tuesday, November 8. This is called  “midterm election” because it is halfway between presidential elections, which are held every four years. In Maine municipalities with more than 500 residents, polling places open between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.; in towns and cities with fewer than 500 residents, polling opens between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Check local information to learn what time your polling place opens. All Maine polls close at 8 p.m.  

Both of Maine’s U.S. House representatives – Chellie Pingree in the First District and Jared Golden in the Second District – are running for re-election. They both have opponents who would like to hold these seats. Maine uses ranked choice voting for federal offices, which means you may rank your first, second, and other choices on your ballot.  

Every seat in the Maine House and Maine Senate is on the ballot in even-numbered years. Some races are between incumbents (people who hold that office) and challengers (people who would like to hold it). Some races may have no incumbent and be between two or more people who would like to represent that district.  

Voters in some places will be asked to select candidates for local offices, such as city council and school board, and countywide offices like county commissioners, sheriffs, and others.  

Ballots often include “ballot measures,” which are questions proposed by the Legislature or by citizens, and may be different in different locations. Voters select “yes” or “no.”  

Amjambo Africa is highlighting Maine’s BIPOC candidates. This month features Deqa Dhalac, candidate for State House District 120, South Portland, and Regina Phillips, candidate for Portland City Council District 3. Look for more candidates in the November issue, which will be published in late October.  

 Be sure to register to vote! Every U.S. citizen is eligible to register. Contact city or town clerk offices for details, or consult the information in Amjambo’s election feature.The Secretary of State section of Maine.gov includes voting details, links to local offices, and advance planning information about how to vote if you can’t go to a polling place on Election Day.