Rosemarie De Angelis, DemocratFacebook
Office Sought: Representative - District 33
Occupation: Adjunct professor/Guardian ad litem
University of Maine, Orono Bachelor of Arts
University of Maine, Orono Master of Arts
I have been fortunate to have an ever-growing, ever-expanding family around me. It is represented by members of "Color of Community" which is a group of young men and women from around the globe who travel with me to schools, faith groups and community groups to teach about bias, prejudice and stereotype. We also explore the power of forgiveness, tolerance and love as stronger and more powerful replacements. The work of this group has increased the size of my family exponentially. It also includes many dear friends who welcome me and "Color of Community" into their homes and their hearts. I find the definition of "family" to be far more inclusive than exclusive and feel this has been an amazing gift in my life.
Hometown: South Portland
Why are you running for office? My life work has been in advocacy, having worked over 35 years in special education,, 13 years as an adjunct professor for immigrants and refugees, 13 years as a Guardian ad litem and over 15 years as an advocate for students, families, refugee/immigrants and employees. Being an advocate for the residents of South Portland, after serving 6 years in the City Council, feels like a natural fit. I am at ease in using my voice to speak for others and feel I am clear, thoughtful and reasonable in my approach to solving problems. I come from a family where community involvement was modeled; joining with others in Augusta would be an honor.
I served on the South Portland City Council from 2003-06 and again from 2009-12. Prior to that, I served over 25 years in various union positions including President, Chief Negotiator, Grievance Chair, MEA Board of Directors, MEA Chair of Health Trust, and state and national elected delegate to teachers' annual convention.
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
Many families need a "hand up" at times when economic challenges are the greatest. Poverty should not be a reason for someone to be without healthcare. Rather, it should be a human right and one afforded to all of us. This was an opportunity to help 70,000 Mainers be covered with healthcare. Instead, by denying it, we will have an overload in emergency rooms and clinics, a far more costly venture, than allowing people access to preventive 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?Other
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?Fraud in our welfare program--or anywhere--is unacceptable. The best answer for increasing welfare demands is a good job; right now Maine ranks one of the lowest in the country for job growth. Reform or the call for reform is not the ultimate solution, nor is using negative attacks and fear the answer. I am running with the hopes of impacting the economy by creating more opportunity and good paying jobs. That will result in less welfare need overall.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?I cannot say exactly how much at one time is reasonable. I need to further evaluate the state budget to address this, but I do know that $7.50 is not a living wage. This poor level of pay has resulted in the need for tax credits and higher welfare use, what many say they want to say. Closing corporate loopholes will improve our economy as well.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other
Please explain your position on legalization?Ultimately, I think this should be federally legislated; however, right now those who benefit are the dealers on the corner. The people of Maine communities will decide at this juncture. What is needed is regulation and taxation; we need to take the profits out of the hands of those in back alleys and, if legalized, create revenue generation that benefits Maine people.