Not just another policy wonk

About Me

Hi there, I’m Lizzie. I think about things, muck horse manure, am a mom, and a public administrator. Every once in a while I rare back and come up with an idea that makes some sense. I spend a lot of time calculating things like cost or benefit to society, putting things into Excel spreadsheets, and I happen to know that if you don’t have living quarters in your horse trailer, you don’t have to pay excise when you register it. I teach some Pilates, grow gardens, and generally just try to keep things going. Politically I am quite recently an Independent, though I was a Democrat representative in the Maine State Legislature. I’ve decided that the two party system is creating a lot of gridlock, and people are spending more time blaming each other for problems than actively trying to listen to each other and find solutions.

Here are a few of the projects I am working on currently that might help folks and be of interest:

  • Understanding that the COVID pandemic has shown us everything about normal that has to change. From equitable access to basic needs, health care, child care, our environment, food security…. we must return to a locally-based, vibrant community model if we plan to grow our economy for all
  • Aging in Place: What is going to happen to you when you are old, and there’s no one around? Ever thought about it? Do you know how many people in this state are in this exact predicament? We all feel lonely and disconnected right now, thanks to COVID, but what if you were also struggling with age or a disability?
  • According to the folks at Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, we were down 75,000 folks to grow our economy before COVID. Well, here they come, moving out of the cities and immigrating from other countries. Our Maine is changing, and we are very fortunate to have people who want to be here and bring their skills. We’re fortunate to have people bring their culture here too! Maine’s broadband capability is expanding at leaps and bounds, both because of incoming residents who need to work from home and school closures, but as we move forward, we have to think long-term about housing inequity. The real estate market is booming as a result of the demand for housing, and the exchange rate is great if you are coming from New York- but what about the Mainers already here who can’t afford to compete? Now what? And then on the other end of the spectrum, what about the families who are choosing to NOT participate in the modern way of doing things, such as the Amish? What can we all learn from each other, and how can we make a Maine that takes from all we have to offer?
  • Tax capture from the sale of diapers, diapering products, and menstrual products in order to create a revolving fund to provide monetary assistance to people who need these items, which are not funded through SNAP
  • I chair the Local Food Ordinance Committee in Union, and am committed to creating food security for Maine’s people through local, easily available, affordable food
  • Childcare available during working hours for people who have to go to work. This may seem obvious, but not if you just survived the holiday season during COVID and with your masked children in tow at the office. Federal COVID money is coming into the state for schools and childcare, and it’s now time to ensure that all working people have absolutely rock solid, safe, and affordable childcare exactly when they need it
  • Ending the two party gridlock: we need new models of consensus building in government that takes into account the views of people who live in the more rural or more conservative areas of the state. We are one Maine, and yet many in the rural or more conservative regions feel marginalized by the urban or coastal vote
  • did you know adults can’t qualify for dental care using Mainecare?
  • did you know that if you have Mainecare for your child, most dentists can’t realistically afford to work with Mainecare because of reimbursement rates, and there are about two clinics in Maine that will take kids on Mainecare at all? And that this has been a problem for about 20 years?
  • Strengthening prosecution of domestic violence perpetrators and understanding the seemingly crazy systems we have in place, including personal recognizance bonds.
  • Finding ways to stop using so much road salt in winter, or find alternative products, both to keep people’s cars from rotting out so fast and protect the environment. There is a massive study being conducted on this topic currently, which is mega cool, at UMaine. Hopefully good stuff will come as a result, and more on this soon