To the Editor:
As my time as a member of Congress is coming to an end, I want to thank the people of Maine’s Second District for allowing me the privilege of representing them here in the people’s House.
From Fort Kent to Lewiston and Franklin County to Washington County, Mainers have shared with me their lives, their hopes and their concerns. We have worked together to improve our transportation infrastructure – which is pretty important when you represent the largest geographic district east of the Mississippi.
We’ve worked together to stop bad trade deals from taking away good jobs; and to attract new businesses to Maine’s increasingly diverse and innovative economy. I’ve been down on the clam flats, hiked our new and growing recreational trails and walked the floors of our mills. I couldn’t have asked for better ‘bosses’ than the men and women of the Second District.
I’m proud of everything we have accomplished together. We’ve helped support innovative small businesses across Maine through the Northern Border Regional Commission. We’ve protected and created new jobs in places like DFAS at Limestone. We’ve expanded access to affordable quality healthcare. We’ve taken steps to strengthen manufacturing in Maine by ensuring that our service members wear American-made footwear.
I’m particularly honored by the work I’ve been able to do with our veterans. During my time in Congress and with the support of our local veterans’ organizations, we expanded access to care – making it easier for veterans in The County to get care at Cary Medical Center, so they don’t have to take time off from their jobs and travel hundreds of miles, round-trip, to Togus in Augusta.
Working together, we ensured that aging veterans always could access affordable and quality healthcare at state veterans’ homes. We secured additional resources to confront the very serious problem of veterans’ homelessness. We strengthened the GI Bill, making it easier for veterans to access important education and training opportunities.
I’d like to thank my fellow delegation members – Rep. Chellie Pingree, and Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins. It’s been a pleasure partnering with them over the years on a number of issues critical to Mainers.
I’d also like to thank my staff, who always have helped me meet the needs of my constituents. They include Peter Chandler, John Graham, Diane Smith, Jane Calderwood, Gene Allen, Dan Rafter, Daniel Walls, Ben Goodman, Mac Routh, Andrea Quaid, Chris Winstead, Matt Dubois, Barbara Hayslett, Susan Cerini, Brandon Smith, Rachel Smith, Cassie Doyle, Rosemary Winslow, Brian Zimmerman, Nora Todd, Ed Gilman, Kim Glas, Monica Castellanos, Nancy Dolan and the staff on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
I’d also like to thank all of those who have been on my staff in the past and who worked so hard for the residents of the Second District.
Despite the partisan gridlock we see all too often here in Washington, Mainers are known for our tenacity and our willingness to roll up our sleeves and get things done. We have a proud history of well-respected lawmakers who have done just that, from Margaret Chase Smith to George Mitchell to Olympia Snowe. I am confident that if Maine’s representatives continue to be guided by a commitment to partnership over partisanship, we can continue to achieve great things.
I return home honored by the time I spent serving the Second District in Congress, grateful for the people I met and the experiences I had, and optimistic for our future. Working together, we’ve made Maine a better place. Thank you.
Rep. Michael Michaud