The climate change emergency is at our doorstep. Last year the Legislature and Governor Mills’ adopted historic measures to build a sustainable energy economy. It will be a heavy lift. But if ever there was a time when we needed each other to survive and thrive, now is that time. So long as the bipartisan partnership that began last year deepens and endures, Mainers can succeed in protecting our health, expanding jobs, and preserving our way of life – and, become a green energy exporter in the bargain. As revolutionary war hero Tom Paine once said: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” Mainers have that power, let’s use it now.
Long and Chebeague Islands are two pearls of our District. Incorporated recently, they are trailblazers -- in sustainability, self-reliance, mutual care. But the occupants of Maine’s islands are extremely vulnerable to this pandemic. With a median age of 48 they are the oldest community in the oldest state. And they rely on two industries both smothered by the pandemic – lobstering and tourism. There are no doctors, no nurses. Broadband is intermittent and poor, hurting everything from school to telehealth. They need immediate help, but also help after the peak of the pandemic passes. In Augusta I will work hard to get it.
We rely on seniors as civic and community leaders, coaches, parents, grandparents, philanthropers…And yet, largely hidden from view, many seniors struggle with basic needs for prescription drugs, healthcare, housing, mobility, sometimes even adequate healthy food. Good changes are happening – expansion of the Homestead Exemption, an investment tax credit to increase affordable housing. More is needed. After years of inaction on senior’s needs, it’s time to devote the attention they deserve.
Maine gun owners and non-owners alike favor common sense steps to strengthen gun safety. Maine has been less victimized by mass shootings than other states, but we are hardly immune. We need sensible reforms that reflect our consensus to increase kids’ safety and our own. Unfortunately, our Legislature has not adopted a major gun safety law in a generation. Let’s come together to improve gun safety for everyone.
Mortality in midlife is higher in Maine than in all but three states in the US, an alarming trend driven by a spike in “deaths of despair”, those resulting from suicides, alcohol, drug abuse and the diseases they cause or exacerbate. Cumberland County, though less affected than more rural Maine has also been stricken. Recent progress on overdose antidotes and other steps should help but we need more treatment capacity and more focus on prevention.
Churchill said “difficulties mastered are opportunities won.” Mainers’ resilience and gifts for innovation and our extraordinary resources can help us meet and master our environmental and economic challenges. For example, our huge forests can revive manufacturing through new wood products while managed forests suck carbon from the air -- helping jobs and climate; our clean, cold waters are ideal for kelp and other plant aquaculture, reducing CO2 and acidification, benefiting the climate and the food source for lobsters – helping our lobster industry. Many similar win-win opportunities are emerging in Maine’s new economy. Let’s support them.
It’s great to be back in Maine. I caught the Maine bug as a kid, through summers at Aunt Alice’s house on Long Island, learning to swim on South Beach, and sail (and capsize) in Hussy Sound. My dream was always to return, but as a diplomat that was impossible. When l took a corporate counsel job allowing me to work remotely, we started looking for a Maine home close to a caring community, woods, and sea. We found it in Yarmouth where I live with my wife and middle-school daughter and enjoy visits from my millennial son.
Public service has been my calling. In Alaska I created and ran a teleconferencing and telehealth network for the Governor. In the Alaska House and the U.S. Senate I was a legislative aide; in Maryland I was deputy legislative counsel for the public defender. Along the way I’ve drafted, counted noses for, and helped pass my share of laws and initiatives by working well with both Parties. As policy planner for the Secretary of State the skillset was the same – finding solutions, negotiating, and building coalitions to adopt them.
After moving to Maine in 2016 I plunged into state and local issues: running for a Town Council seat (total immersion!...I lost a close race); volunteering and serving on the board of Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors; chaperoning overnight at Family Promise, a provider of shelter to homeless families; Bay Keeper at Friends of Casco Bay; member of the Yarmouth Committee for Energy, Efficiency and Sustainability; and volunteer, student and donor to our music school 317 Maine.
I’m running for Maine House because I want to serve the state I grew to love as a child, and the community that has embraced me as an adult. I also feel driven to run because I cannot simply watch our kids inherit a climate emergency my own generation helped create. Throughout my career I’ve been a public policy creature, now I want to use those policy creature skills, and experience – negotiating, problem-solving, coalition-building, idea-generating-- to help alter our climate’s course here in Maine and beyond.
I am supporting Peter Fromuth as our representative in Augusta. Peter is a thoughtful listener who has a passion for protecting Maine’s environment. He is receptive to all ideas regarding the complex issues affecting Maine and our environmental future. He has the depth of experience and skills to craft targeted proposals to meet these challenges.
Ann Thayer, Environmental Geologist
“Peter’s a gifted listener and collaborative leader. His zeal for public policy makes him the ideal champion for the causes we hold dear.”
Leslie Hyde, former Town Councilor
“Peter would bring to Augusta the vision, skills and negotiating experience we need to help Maine flourish now and in our children’s futures.”
Rebecca Sentementes, lifelong Yarmouth Resident
* Ordinary Seaman at 18, crewed on a tramp freighter, Baltic Sea
* Park Ranger, Olympic National Park, Washington
* Hitch-hiked to Alaska and worked for the Legislature and Governor
* Actor, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Scotland
* Legislative Assistant, U.S. Senate
* Co-Author, A Successor Vision: the UN of Tomorrow
* Director, UN Research, United Nations Association of the US, NYC
* Executive Director, Economic Policy Council, NYC
* Director of Policy Planning, U.S. Mission to the UN, State Department
* Member, Policy Planning Council, Office of the US Secretary of State
* Director, State Department Legal Programs, Northern Afghanistan
* Graduate of Georgetown, Oxford, Johns Hopkins; JD American University
1. Portland Press Herald/Sunday Telegram, February 2020, Op-Ed, gun safety
2. Portland Press Herald, August 2018, Op-Ed, opposing Kavanaugh nomination (Morning
3. USA-Today, September 2018, Op-Ed, supporting Ranked Choice Voting
4. USA-Today, July,2017, Op-Ed, opposing Republican draft of Senate Healthcare bill
5. Morning Sentinel, March 6, 2019, Letter to the Editor, Direct Popular Vote Gives Voters the Most Choice
6. Legislative Testimony in Augusta 2017, 2018, 2019
7. Various Op-Eds, international subjects: Washington Post, LA Times, International Herald Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, Daily Beast; interview, PBS Newshour
Revolutionary War hero
Tom Paine said
at another pivotal moment,
“We have it in our power
to begin the world over.”
Mainers have that power
and now is the time
we need to use it.