Season of reflection

To the Editor:

The holiday season is a time to gather with friends, family, neighbors and loved ones in a spirit of celebration and joy. It’s a season of shortened days and evenings with many lights. Whether you spend this season renewing your faith, serving your community, or reflecting on a year that is well-spent, I wish you health, hope and happiness this year and in the year to come.

While I look forward to spending time with my kids and my grandchildren, I am also spending this holiday season reflecting on the progress we have made this year and preparing for the work ahead.

This legislative session I worked on a number of bills and signed quite a number into law. These new laws — which were sponsored and supported by Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Green Party members alike — I think will move Maine in a positive direction. Everything from expanding access to health care for thousands of Maine people, combating the opioid epidemic, to embracing renewable energy, to investing in public education, adding to the Rainy Day Fund, adding to child protection worker staffs so we can save Maine children and prevent more tragedies as we saw a few years ago, and much more, I am so proud of the progress we have made on behalf of the people of Maine.

Now it is time to build on that progress. Earlier this month, Commissioner Heather Johnson of the Department of Economic and Community Development and I released our State’s ten year strategy — our economic development plan — that I believe will foster innovation and collaboration and jump-start economic growth in our state to achieve a diverse, forward-looking economy that will offer everyone the opportunity to succeed.

In the new year, I look forward to implementing this plan in partnership with legislators, business people, community leaders, and individuals across the state. In particular, we really want to add to the work rolls — another 75,000 people — so that the workforce needs of all of our employers can be met in the coming years.

Now, while we celebrate life’s blessings and look forward to the year ahead, we shouldn’t forget that the holiday season can also be difficult for some including those who have recently lost a loved one, those who are cold and hungry, or those who are far from family or friends this year.

Maine people always lift each other up, we extend our hands and open our hearts to people in need and I ask that you do this of course this holiday season, especially for our children, people in need, people living alone, and seniors, and consider volunteering with agencies or contributing to the many organizations who are out there helping our neighbors every day. Afterall, as one ancient author once said, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

I believe that’s true.

I am wishing you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season and a blessed new year.

Gov. Janet Mills


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