Sara Gideon, Democrathttp://www.saragideon.com
Office Sought: Representative - District 48
Occupation: Representative to the Maine Legislature
The George Washington University, BA in International Relations 1994
Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, Continuing Education in 2011
University of Virginia Darden School of Business and State Legislative Leaders Foundation Collaborative, Certificate in Emerging Leaders Program 2014
Married to Benjamin Rogoff Gideon.
Mom to: Julian, 11; Alek, 10; Josie, 7
Why are you running for office? We all choose to make Maine our home because it is a special and beautiful place. But coming together to plan and thoughtfully create sustainable solutions to our biggest challenges is a must. Whether we are talking about economic prosperity, investment in education, definitive action to slow climate change and deal with existing climate change, or access to affordable healthcare, all Mainers share the goals of preserving the way of life we love, while making sure that we have an economically and environmentally healthy state that we and our children can live and work in. I am committed to collaborative problem solving. I am driven to make sure my children and your children can one day choose Maine as their home if they choose. I know that every man, woman and child should have food on the table and a doctor when they need one. I am for Maine people. That's why I'm running for this office.
Freeport Town Council, 2009-2012 Freeport Town Council Vice Chairperson, 2011 - 2012 Representative to the Maine Legislature, 20012 - 2014
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
Every man, woman and child in Maine should be able to see a doctor when they need one. Seeing a doctor before its too late saves money for everyone. Maine is losing money every day that we refuse to accept the federal funds to expand access to healthcare.
As the only state in New England to decline this federal money, Governor LePage's continual vetoes of this legislation has ripple effects that go beyond the uninsured man or woman. It also effects hospitals, healthcare clinics and the people who work for them.
In a rural state of farmers and fisherman, craftsmen, seasonal workers and small business people, this decision has life altering consequences. Accepting these federal dollars and ensuring access to healthcare, will continue to be my priority.
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?Here's what I would change about welfare - the number of Maine women, men and children who need to access it. As a state, we need to achieve a place where there are fewer people who need public assistance programs. We need more jobs that are also better paying jobs. We need salaries and wages that can cover the cost of food, rent or mortgage and visits to the doctor. We need robust and affordable health insurance options. We need investments in early childhood education, excellent public school education and affordable post secondary education that gives every child the opportunity for excellent education and a fair shake in life. Our workers and our businesses need access to 21st century job skills that allow them to compete globally. We need capitalization on the Maine resources that can spur the economy of our future. And we need preventative medicine and preventative education to proactively protect those who are most vulnerable to ill health, poor mental health and/or drug addiction. When we get these things initiatives moving robustly in Maine; when we get Maine women, men and children doing better than just surviving; then let's reevalute where our public assistance programs should be.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?A person who works 40 hours a week in a minimum wage job should be able to afford a home to rent, if not own. They should be able to put food on the table and see a doctor when they need one. And those are just the basics. What about waterproof winter boots for their child? The ability to put new tires on your car? Maine's $7.50 per hour minimum wage doesn't even come close to allowing this. Recently, this newspaper cited a statistic that said, in order to afford the rent on a two-bedroom apartment in Southern Maine, a person would need to earn at least $16.19 an hour. What's the magic number for a minimum wage that is a livable wage? I don't have that answer personally, though I understand that a cross section of economists and business owners agree $9 an hour would be a good starting point. What I know for sure is that a livable wage for every Maine woman and man should be our goal and that I'm willing to work toward it in a collaborative way that allows Maine's small businesses to make incremental, realistic changes that allow them to continue to prosper while their workers do too.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other
Please explain your position on legalization?I support drug-free healthy living, but I also support the use of carefully managed cannabis for pain management too . Recognizing that many people use marijuana recreationally, I understand why there is a push for legalization and revenue generation through taxation. But, as a parent of three children, the oldest of whom is about to begin encountering marijuana and other drugs as a choice in his life, I just can't find a scenario where I can vote to support legalization. As another parent said to me, the Legislature's debate on this topic in 2012, was truly confusing for her teenager. Why, he asked, were the adults around him sending the mixed messages of: " Don't use this drug," while simultaneously talking about its legalization. As often is the case for me, my point of view ultimately falls back on science. A 2013 study by Northwestern Medicine stated that the developing teenage brain, when subject to excessive marijuana use, had abnormal changes in structure and further, that memory could be adversely and permanently effected. Sometimes, even as a policy maker, your parental lens is the one you ultimately view decision making through.