Every day while the legislature is in session, we engage in opening ceremonies.
Those several mornings consist of a prayer – or words of wisdom – the national anthem, and the pledge of allegiance.
I participating you know ceremonies every day for the whole session, I had a chance to learn and to reflect.
The Pledge of Allegiance, which we all know by heart, goes like this.
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
The words which stick in my mind the most are the last phrase, "with liberty and justice for all.
I have come to wonder whether we live up to the mandate expressed by the pledge of allegiance.
When we deny seniors access to appropriate health care. when we limit the ability of students to be educated for a career and job in the 21st-century, when we create laws which favor one minority over the other, then we have not guaranteed liberty and justice for all. Instead sometimes it seems we guarantee wealth and privilege for some.
I first went into the legislature as a Democrat without really knowing why. Now I know why. I'm a Democrat because I believe that an investment in the welfare of the people of Maine is an investment in Maine itself.
I believe education which enables students to find success in the complex world of the 21st-century is essential.
I believe that as leaders we have a mandate to exert stewardship for the environment so that it can be preserved for those who will inherit it
I believe all citizens have a right to just and equal treatment and opportunities.