Published on Tuesday, July 10, 2005 - Portland Press Herald
(Before deciding to run for Maine State Senate from Downeast Maine, Nancy Oden was in the Maine gubernatorial race, hence the reference below to what she would do if governor.)
by Nancy Oden
Maine is losing itself. We are overwhelmed by toxic incursions, both mental and physical, into our lives.
Maine needs a real democracy, one where we, the people - not corporations - make the decisions that affect our lives.
For example, do we want these things we now have?
As a decades-long fighter for environmental and social justice who has lived in large cities, small towns, and as an organic farmer in rural Maine, I understand different regions' problems. I also know there are good solutions.
For some possible solutions, as well as a short biography, please go to my Web site. Feel free to comment on the contents, and offer your own ideas.
We need a people's governor in Augusta, someone who isn't afraid of, or beholden to, the corporate lawyers who swarm the Legislature's halls.
I'm running as an independent candidate so that I can work with people from all parties and walks of life who want a government where whatever we do is for Maine's people, first and foremost.
We need to grow more of our own food without poisons so we have true food security (as was done years ago); we need to re-use and recycle (as was done years ago) so we can put that requirement on garbage to stop the flow into Maine; and especially we need to assert our sovereignty as Maine's people (as was done years ago) and begin again making the decisions that affect our lives.
Maine's volunteer citizen activists working to create a better world, numbering perhaps only a few hundred at most, are stretched too thin. There are too many battlefronts so that corporate depredations take place without citizens' knowledge or consent.
Therefore, I have decided to take my and others' struggles for environmental and social justice one step further by running for governor. With other concerned citizens, we could do much towards regaining what Maine has lost.
If I am elected, my door and those of the various department heads will be open for you to just walk in to have your say, and we will hold meetings with many honest people looking for solutions.
We need to create a Maine where our young people can lead good, clean, healthy, productive lives instead of chasing the chimeras of "free money" (gambling or accepting a hazardous industrial project) and "needing more stuff" (insistence on making lots of money as life's goal rather than doing what's right), and accepting violence against others as just fine.
These sick corporate values, purveyed to our young people in a steady stream on TV and video games, help create an unhealthy, toxic atmosphere.
Instead, we can enlist our young people's help in protecting our life support systems: clean air, drinkable water, uncontaminated food and mental health.
We are the people; we can save what's left and move forward towards a more cooperative, sustainable, peaceful, clean and joyous society, free from unnecessary fear and full of hope for the future.
This campaign is for real democracy, which has been only an idea for far too long. It's time to make it reality.
Nancy Oden lives in Jonesboro and can be reached at , or 497-5727.