“I was born in Belfast City Hospital in 1951 — at the time, it was the closest hospital to my family’s dairy farm in Troy. After our farm burnt down in 1956, we moved to Camden. My father started working at the Knox Woolen mill for 70 cents an hour – so we were poor, to say the least.
“After high school, I worked in construction and other types of jobs near home. In the 1970’s, I went through the pipe welding program at Bath Ironworks. After several years, I went to work for the pipefitters union out of Portland. I worked in paper mills across the state, and then worked in . our nuclear power industry.
“When the nuclear industry died, I was lucky to get into the postal service. Now I’m 68 years old and a bus driver. Since retiring from the postal service in 2005, I have not had a raise in income. When my pension goes up, so does my health insurance cost, which is magically the same amount as my cost of living raise.
“That’s what built this country — those great paying jobs. We made good money, enough to start a family and put our kids through college. I’ve been married 47 years; five grandchildren and two sons, both hard working young men with good families. I want them to be successful.
“Today, the economy might be doing well for some, but not for the working people. People are working two or more jobs, and they still can’t make a living. We need education, job programs and retraining. That’s where the future is, because those jobs aren’t coming back.
“I’ve voted for Senator Collins, but now she’s abandoned the middle class in support of Trump. She voted for his tax bill, which gave tax cuts to the rich and not the rest of us. Then I did my research, and found Sara Gideon. She’s done a lot for us in our state legislature. She’ll actually represent me, and will actually stick up for the people of Maine.”
– Clayton L., Washington, ME