Speak up, speak out

To the Editor:

On Feb. 25, I attended a town hall meeting meeting to which Rep. Bruce Poliquin had been invited but chose to avoid.

The experience of gathering with more than 100 fellow citizens, all concerned about serious issues facing our nation, was powerful and enlightening. Over the course of the 1-1/2 hour meeting, I listened to 35 everyday people – teachers, health care professionals, small business owners, retirees, students – respectfully explain how various government policies affect their lives and ask (the absent) Poliquin how his positions fit with their reality.

It was heartbreaking to hear from families who would be bankrupt (and some who would be dead) without the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and from Mount Desert Islanders who are U.S. citizens targeted at our own borders because of their birthplaces. It was scary to hear from senior citizens, legitimately concerned about the future of social security, and teachers whose retirement accounts are endangered by Wall Street regulatory rollbacks.

I’ve always considered myself a pretty ordinary citizen – I work, do a little community service, pay my taxes and vote on Election Day. But things are changing, and this ordinary citizen is fast becoming an activist. I love my community and my country too much to stand by and watch them be harmed.

As part of the Indivisible MDI group, I have been inspired to become involved in the political process. I am encouraging our congressional delegation to work in the best interest of all our citizens. I hope that others in our community also will find a way to speak up and speak out for themselves and their fellow citizens.

Gail Leiser

Bar Harbor

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