Denise Harlow, Democrat
Office Sought: Representative - District 36
Occupation: State legislator and LL Bean
Brandeis University, BA Pyschology
Why are you running for office? I have enjoyed serving the people in this district and would like to return to Augusta to continue advocating well for a healthy environment for all of us, quality jobs and health care for all and continuing to find ways to help our older Mainers continue to live in their homes and thrive. I'm also very concerned about the continuing political discord in Augusta. We need to listen to each other and not dismiss people with differing opinions.
State Legislator 2010 - present; Treasurer and Board member of Riverton Community Association 2009 - present
The federal health care law has offered to pay states to expand their Medicaid programs to provide health coverage to low income Mainers. Do you support Medicaid (or MaineCare) expansion?Yes
I believe everyone has a right to access quality, life saving health care.
Reform of the state’s public assistance programs has been the focus of debates in the State House and on the campaign trail. Do you believe that the state’s welfare programs are too generous?No
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?We need to enforce the laws we currently have in place. When we talk about welfare abuse and fraud, it has repeatedly been proven that this number is minute. It makes me angry that we demonize the poorest people among us while repeatedly giving corporate welfare to the biggest corporations while they are not paying their employees enough to live. Talking about welfare fraud distracts us from this fact and allows us to continue to reward the wealthiest while demonizing the poor. We need to support community conscious companies who provide good paying jobs, such as Lamey Wellehan, and emulate their practices. This is what we need to be talking about, not the distracting political rhetoric.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?We need to pay people enough to live, and I think we can agree that 7.50 is not even close to enough.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Yes
Please explain your position on legalization?I support decriminalizing possessing small amounts of marijuana for personal use, but I am also very concerned that we need to educate people about the dangers of substance abuse, in addition to the dangers of smoking marijuana and what it does to your lungs and entire body. I support this mostly because charging people with a crime for smoking marijuana while our jails are filling is not working.