Friday, May 23, 2008

exactly, lady bug

Published in this week's Portland Phoenix.

Amen, Lady Bug.

May 21, 2008 5:57:37 PM

Youth for

With news of the recent endorsement of Chellie Pingree by the League of Young Voters (see "League of Young Voters Primary Endorsements," by Deirdre Fulton, May 6, at, I am writing to remind people that not all young voters support her. As a young, lesbian, feminist woman voter, I support Ethan Strimling because he is willing to fight for all Maine people, especially those of us who live within the margins. Although I am impressed by his voting record as a state senator, I support Ethan because the personal is political.

Ethan Strimling is a community activist I have collaborated with many times. When providing prevention education at Portland West, I witnessed Ethan’s hands-on style as a director, clearly involved with the people his organization serves, Portland’s at-risk youth. As a domestic violence advocate, I have watched as Ethan supported victims of abuse not only legislatively but locally, by attending vigils and events in his community. During pride events, I am never surprised to see Ethan in attendance, allied with LGBT Mainers. Throughout my involvement with the League of Young Voters, Ethan has backed our efforts enthusiastically, showing up for events and meetings in Portland and speaking on our organization’s behalf in Augusta — long before he decided to run for Congress.

Though it lacks the backing of a major political organization, I am proud to say Ethan Strimling has my personal endorsement as a candidate for Congress.

Jill Barkley


It's no secret...I am a vocal supporter of Ethan. And I was kind of blown away by the League's endorsement, particularly after reading their analysis of him in their voter guide and getting the sense that their biggest knock on Ethan is that he doesn't have the strong relationships in DC that Pingree has. Honestly, I'm far more interested in the relationships that a candidate has with the people he intends to represent. And Ethan's advocacy of Maine people is just superior to that of Pingree's, particularly those Mainers, as Jill eloquently articulated, who live within the margins. Their (our) voices have been silenced by the politics-as-usual denizens of DC, and Ethan would end that silence on Day One.

If you missed the televised live debate on WSCH this past Wednesday, find a spare hour before June 10th and watch it on line here. I'm confident that once you watch it, you'll see what I see...that Ethan is a champion of social and economic justice issues, and that he'll be the vehicle and voice that Maine people need.

And vote dammit. We are the change we've been looking for, so long as we get off our butts and take some action. And the first step is checking those little boxes on the ballot.

1 comment:

MRMacrum said...

I am with you here. I am by far more interested in a candidate whose grass roots connections overwhelm their connections outside their home turf. Strong ties outside our state indicate the possibilty (like Sen Collins) that the people who elected them will be supplanted by the people they meet and greet in their new job.