In a time when many people feel they can have little or no impact on government at the federal level, it is time for citizens to focus on those areas where their voices and ballots have the most impact: in local elections.
My education is in government and public administration. I have served nonprofit organizations for decades, including two years of service to my neighborhood association in another city. The vibrancy of neighborhood communities is of particular importance to me.
I recently had coffee with one of my neighbors, Marpheen Chann, to discuss how we might revive the civic association for Riverton, and I shared some of my other ideas for how Portland could benefit from organizing its neighborhoods. Marpheen listened actively to my ideas, and I felt like I had found a kindred spirit – someone who cares about community as I do, and wants to take action.
At the end of our visit, Marpheen informed me that he is running to represent District 5 on the Portland City Council. I was thrilled to hear this.
Marpheen is intelligent, articulate and passionate about the city of Portland and its people. His campaign slogan is “A Portland for Everyone.”
I believe that sums up a great philosophy as succinctly as it can be expressed. This is the kind of new blood every level of government needs at this time. I strongly encourage every voter in District 5 to support Marpheen Chann for Portland City Council.
Lawrence Jackson Rosen
Letter to the Editor in the Press Herald by Kate Beever of Deering Center
I am a resident of Alba Street and owner of Maine Music & Health, LLC, which just received the 2017 Maine SBA Micro-Enterprise of the Year Award. I am writing to encourage voters in Deering Center, North Deering and Riverton to vote for Marpheen Chann to represent District 5 on the Portland City Council.
Recently, I stopped by my neighborhood coffee shop, Black Cat Coffee, and overheard residents talking with Marpheen about affordable housing. As someone who has lived in almost every neighborhood in Portland, I couldn’t help but join.
My family has lived here for generations. I’ve seen many changes, many of them positive, but lately it seems the pendulum is swinging too far. As we develop more and more spaces accessible only to a small group, we lose touch with the people who really live and work here.
Each time I’ve moved in Portland, I enter the race to find an affordable rental. I am fortunate because I can keep moving around – I have a car, a business, and can save for deposits and homeownership. When I think about single-parent families or young professionals who walk or bus to work, I am pained to think about how much harder it is for them to have to look and move outside the city. This kind of empathetic thinking is not that hard to do.
Marpheen is empathetic. Just from observing Marpheen chatting with my neighbors, I could tell he is a genuine human being who cares about our city. His message of a better Portland – a Portland for everyone – resonated with me.
In the future, I hope there’s room for our small businesses amid all the hotel and high-end development in Portland. And if you haven’t been priced out come Election Day, vote Marpheen Chann for Portland City Council, District 5.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2017
Quinn Gormley endorses Marpheen Chann for Portland City Council District 5
A place where young people, working families, and seniors and retirees can afford to live and age in place. A place where students of all ages and at all levels, whether pre-k or college, can learn the skills needed to get good paying jobs and be good citizens of a democratic society. A place where immigrants and refugees are welcome and can contribute to our community and our economy without fear.
But to run a grassroots campaign, I need your support. I need you to contribute to my campaign. I need you to sign-up to host a house party, to put up a lawn sign, and to spread the word.
In the coming days, I’ll be knocking on doors and getting out into the community.
I look forward to earning your vote.
Your contributions are SSL Secured.
State Rep. Denise Harlow
State Rep. for Maine House Dist. 36 (Portland)
"I first met Marpheen in 2014 when he was advocating for more funding for Maine’s public universities as USM’s Student Vice-President. He is an intelligent, articulate young leader that impressed me with his decision to return to and serve Riverton - despite the childhood he experienced living in Riverton Park. He is the caring, compassionate young leader Portland needs at this time."
Hon. Christine Powers
Former State Rep. from Naples, ME
"I have waited for four years for Marpheen Chann to decide to run for office. It is my honor to encourage Portland citizens to support Marpheen’s bid for Portland City Councilor. Marpheen possesses the ability, desire and the leadership skills necessary for this important post. The city of Portland would not only flourish, but would also be poised for strong growth with a leader like Marpheen Chann."
Maine Law Class of 2016 and Executive Director, Life of Purpose Treatment & Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice, University of North Texas.
"I studied with Marpheen while at Maine Law. He has been a strong advocate for social justice issues and is the sort of compassionate young leader we need as city councilor to help solve the opioid crisis at the local level."
How we fund renovations at four Portland schools, Longfellow, Lyseth, Presumpscot, and Reiche, has been an issue of much debate in the city. After meeting with residents and officials and hearing both sides, I will be voting in favor of the $64 million bond.
But, as we move forward, I would encourage my fellow advocates and activists to not forget the value of civility, cordiality, and candor for those that may not agree with the All Four Schools Now approach. This is an important issue, yes. But it is a single issue and, after all is said and done, we’ll need everyone to come together again to solve the many tough issues that Portland is facing.
That said, this issue is one that hits pretty close to home. I was a student at Reiche in the mid-1990s, before moving to Riverton Park and attending Riverton Elementary. Memories of the concrete ramp and the library, and knowing the diverse student population that it serves now, compels me to help ensure that kids attending all four schools today, and tomorrow, do so in an environment that fosters learning and makes each and every student feel valued.
Infrastructure inequity in our schools affects educational outcomes and student achievement. In a 2014 study published in Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, researchers made two key findings:
Candidate for Portland City Council District 5
You wouldn’t be able to tell now, but I used to hate public speaking. The thought of getting involved and having to lead anything, used to give me chills; it made me nervous. But, you know, I knew there was a greater purpose for me in life than to wallow in self-pity and selfishness. There was a lot of bad in the world; deep down, I wanted to do good.
But here’s what made it difficult – I didn’t have the easiest childhood growing up. My single mother was alcoholic, engaged in prostitution, and it seemed that at every turn she had a new boyfriend. I was put in foster care. I couldn’t have asked for a better foster family. But the state Department of Health and Human services was facing allegations of racism and we were moved into a group home, then into a another foster home – where my sister and I experienced emotional abuse. Then my sister Tanya and I were reunited with my two youngest siblings in 2012 and adopted by the Berry family in 2014.
A childhood like that… it kind of messes you up. You don’t know who you are anymore. You don’t know where you belong. On top of that, my adoptive family was deeply religious. Like Trump voter religious. Like “we hate Planned Parenthood” religious. And I knew I liked other guys since I was 7. If they knew then, they probably would have sent me to a conversion therapy camp run by a pastor that visited our church once. My dad once asked me if I was faking all the church stuff. But the truth is, I really tried to get the whole religion thing. I was a student council member at my Christian high school. I was a music leader and a youth group leader. Christian parents loved me and told their kids to emulate me.
But As someone as messed up as I was, the idea of a God with unconditional love was appealing because I was starving for that kind of love in a family that didn’t even know I was gay and having to move from home to home.
So how did I get to where I am today – how did I get over my fear of public speaking and leadership? At some point, I needed to make a choice… do I want to do good, or do I want to protect myself.
A lot of people don’t realize at first that they can do both. You can do good AND take care of yourself. You can be an activist or a leader or a manager; you can do big things; great things. And you can also not drive yourself crazy. And I think it all boils down to our conception of happiness; our pursuit of happiness. So I’ll share three truths (small t) that I think will help you on your journey.
#1 – The Hard Truth: You won’t be happy all the time. But that’s ok!
I think people have this idea of happiness as this state of being where you are happy all the time. Every day. As if nothing in the world can bring you down. But I can promise you – there is no one in this world who is that happy ALL the time. Even those people you see on the street who have this huge smile on their face, as if they didn’t have a care in the world, they’re not lying to you – they simply understand the truth that you take and accept life as it comes; all of its ups and downs, its mountains and valleys and storms and all of its calm and calamity.
There idea of suffering and pain changed at some point. Many of us live in fear of bad things happening. We fear it. We loathe it. We hate it. We don’t want it in our lives.
And we have good reason to. Bad things hurt. Suffering hurts. It’s painful. Sometimes, if we allow it, it brings our entire world to a standstill. It can turn our worlds upside down and have everything crashing down. Whether it’s a parent who disowns you or refuses to accept who you are; whether it’s a break-up (and believe me, I have had some of those); whether it’s a lost friend or a relative you’ve lost. It hurts. And we hate it. We loathe it. We fear it. We don’t want it in our lives.
Just the past year, I lost a friend that I was close to in middle school and high school. He was a friend from church and we hung out a lot. We experimented. We kissed. But this past year, he became one of the victims of the drug epidemic sweeping across this country. And you know what makes it worse? Someone who I used to be friends with, who went to school with both of us, gave him the synthetic drugs that killed him.
Even though we had lost contact – my mind immediately returned to the times we spent with each other in middle school and high school. Despite being closeted and being the only kids of color in our community, and both of us being adopted – in a way, we helped each other cope. But he took the wrong road and made the wrong friends and it hurts.
What hurts most is that I didn’t try harder to be a better influence in his life. I was busy getting an education and trying to make my way in life. I remember after hearing that he had passed away, I listened to the song “How to Save a Life” by The Fray. And I want to read some of the lyrics:
#2 – The Healing Truth: Change what you can and learn to accept what you cannot change.
You cannot change everything. You’re not superman. We’re human. We’re finite. Sometimes we’re smart. Sometimes we’re stupid. Sometimes we make the right decisions and sometimes we don’t. But you know, that’s ok.
How many of you have heard about the five stages of grief? There’s denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. But I want to focus on the acceptance part.
I couldn’t save his life. I can’t change everything. I am not superman. I’m human. I’m finite. Sometimes I’m smart and sometimes I’m pretty dumb. Sometimes I make the right decisions and sometimes I don’t. But that’s ok.
Realizing that you are finite and that you’re human is deeply healing. Too many of us wish we had superpowers and when we wish we had done something differently, we’re really wishing that we had a time machine – but how many of you have watched those time travel movies? What is a recurring theme? Don’t tamper with the past – because it can alter things tremendously.
There were many times I wish I could go back and do things differently. But you know what? I also realize that if I had changed one little thing, if I had stayed in one foster home for a month or a year longer, or if I had gone to a different high school or came out earlier – I wouldn’t have met the people that I have met who have loved me and made a difference in my life. I probably wouldn’t have gone to USM or law school or met people like Sarah and got involved with the Queer Straight Alliance and the CSGD.
The thought of not having lived through and losing all the good experiences I’ve had was just as painful as all the bad experiences I’ve had.
So I had to discover the healing truth that I am human and I can’t change everything. So I must accept the bad WITH the good. You can’t have the bad without the good. You can’t learn to appreciate the good times if you lament about the bad times ALL the time.
#3 – The Hopeful Truth: There will be good times.
There will be good times. Take this graduation ceremony for instance. You’re celebrating an achievement. So I want you to do something for me right now as I wrap up: Let yourself be happy. Appreciate and live in the moment – here with your friends, maybe your family. Relish the moment – think back to the last couple of years and think about all the projects you’ve worked on, or the homework you may have submitted on time, and all the friends you’ve made.
And as you go forward into life with your degree and figure out what job you want and where you want to live and start thinking, maybe, that you want to start a family – now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land and you can adopt kids and there’s assisted reproductive technology and science has even found a way to combine genes and DNA from two men.
There will be bad times. But there will be good times. So remember. There’s the hard truth – you won’t be happy all the time. Suffering and pain exists. There’s the healing truth – you can overcome, no matter how hard, no matter how dark. Just accept that you can change the things that can be changed, but accept the things that you cannot change. That will save you a lot of anxiety and hurt in life. And finally, the hopeful truth – good things have happened, are happening and will happen. Put things in perspective. Remember to appreciate and live in those moments and to not let the bad things make you miss those opportunities to just be happy.
Portland, ME - Come to find out, healthcare used to be predominately non-profit, with a goal toward controlling costs. This all changed when President Nixon signed the Healthcare Management Organization Act of 1973, allowing for-profit corporations to contract with independent practice associations (IPAs), who in turn contracted with individual physicians and health practitioners.
By the 1990s, roughly 68% of premiums paid went toward actual medical care. The rest went to line the pockets of executives.
Obamacare recognized this by creating the 80/20 rule, where at least 80% of premiums paid were to go toward actual medical care and costs. As Healthcare.gov explains:
The 80/20 rule is sometimes known as Medical Loss Ratio, or MLR. If an insurance company uses 80 cents out of every premium dollar to pay for your medical claims and activities that improve the quality of care, the company has a Medical Loss Ratio of 80%.
Insurance companies selling to large groups (usually more than 50 employees) must spend at least 85% of premiums on care and quality improvement.
If your insurance company doesn’t meet these requirements, you’ll get a rebate on part of the premium that you paid.
The Town of Mount Desert, with a year-round population of around 2,100, voted 101 to 59 in favor of a resolution declaring their town as a "Sanctuary Community" - meaning that they welcome all regardless of nationality.
“So what this resolution does, it’s a statement of values for the town. And it also says that we want our local law enforcement to be spent on local issues,” said Feldman, a professor at the College of the Atlantic. “My sense was that there was an awful lot of support for the resolution as a whole, and even those who had reservations seemed supportive of the overall message.”
The resolution came about when a petition was circulated by a group of residents in response to President Trump's anti-immigration actions.
The resolution ensures the safety of residents regardless of their immigration status and prohibits town police officers from enforcing Federal immigration laws.
The Maine Municipal Association says the resolution is the first of its kind in Maine.
Read the FULL ARTICLE.
After some exhaustive, investigative journalism, I have uncovered that Trump's nanny, Gretchen Gotchaham, one of the most world renown nannies, had tendered her resignation letter shortly before that press conference.
Citing personality difficulties and an excessive number of temper tantrums, Nanny Gretchen was unable to aid the situation despite her many, many years of expertise.
"I am literally on the verge of tears," she replied to one reporter. "Nothing seemed to work. He is beyond saving at this point. I literally can't even."
Candidate for Portland City Council District 5.
Marpheen has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern Maine and a J.D. from Maine Law.