State Representative for District 88, Maine
Thesis Title: The Rising: Political Mobilization for Climate Action
I grew up on a farm in rural Maine and moved back there after graduating to build a life in my hometown community. I currently represent one of the most rural districts in Maine. When I talk to people in my district about the issues that affect them, I learn profound lessons, but one has stuck out to me. Local and state issues are national issues, at least in my district. I rarely hear someone talk about a local issue--a dam, a pothole, a Selectperson. Most of my conversations are about how we cannot afford access to healthcare, how our children don't get the education that they need, food is too expensive, politics is too acrimonious. We've arrived at a moment where our individual well-being revolves around our collective responsibility to hold our politicians accountable. We can't fix our own problems anymore. We need our political system to take action. We need different leaders in office to respect their constituents, and we need citizens to pressure their elected officials until we can thrive everywhere in America.
My time in Social Studies provided me with the analytical framework and intellectual resources to place the anger, frustration, fear, hope, and possibility that I hear every day in a broader and deeper context. One of the big reasons why I can see this is because Social Studies allowed me to apply social theories and history to the causes that I care about. My education, for which I am eternally grateful, is the foundation on which I build my life.