Growing up, Sunday night dinner was sacred for my family. My dad traveled every week for work in the shoe business, and my mom juggled a different schedule every week as a sign language interpreter. For my two sisters and me, it was the one night we knew we would all be together as a family.

My values and priorities are rooted in those Sunday night dinners.

Around that table was where I saw how hard my parents worked to provide for our family, where I found my voice, where I learned to listen and contribute and where I learned about coming together to make decisions that were best for all of us — even when it was hard.

I brought those values of hard work, determination and family with me when I was elected to the Maine Legislature 10 years ago, and they are the same values I will bring to Congress as your representative.

Just like my parents, Mainers across our district and state wake up every day and do the hard work they need to do for their families, businesses and communities. They deserve representatives who are willing to work just as hard as they do and make the tough decisions that will help move us all forward. That has been my philosophy throughout my time in Augusta.

But it is different right now in Washington. Instead of leaders who work together, we have a divided Congress so wrapped up in partisan gridlock and personality politics they cannot get anything done. The two parties won’t even come to the table, and the dysfunction is hurting our communities and our economy.

We don’t need more divisive, partisan politicians who refuse to come to the table. Maine’s middle class and small businesses need leaders who have a record of coming together to solve serious problems and staying at the table until the job is done.

That is what I have done in Augusta for 10 years, and it is what I will do in Washington.

As a member of Congress, I will work to make sure we have a tax system that is good for Maine’s middle-class families and small businesses. In Augusta, I brokered the largest tax cut in Maine’s history, and I did it by working across the aisle with Gov. Paul LePage and Republicans in the Legislature, despite criticisms from members of my own party.

Reducing our energy costs saves money for Maine families and small businesses. In Augusta, I voted for bipartisan bills to expand natural gas and energy efficiency programs in Maine and supported renewable energy like wind and solar power, and I will continue to support alternative and renewable energy sources in Congress.

If we are serious about strengthening our economy and helping our middle class, we can start by rewarding equal pay for equal work and raising the minimum wage. More than a quarter of the women and nearly one in four workers in Maine’s 2nd Congressional district would benefit directly from a higher minimum wage. We have the highest percentage of minimum wage workers in New England, and they haven’t had a raise in five years. As a member of Congress, I will work across the aisle to raise the minimum wage and make sure we are doing right by our small businesses so they can hire and expand.

And as the oldest state in the nation, Maine must ensure our seniors have the security and support they need to retire with dignity and live out their golden years as they choose. I will protect and preserve Social Security and Medicare, not raise the retirement age, cut benefits, or privatize these critical programs.

No matter the issue, I will work across the aisle to find a solution. I know the problems facing our state are too big to be solved just on party platforms and that the issues we confront can’t be resolved with only one side at the table.

The problems we face today, whether it’s the crushing burden of student debt or the struggles facing our communities affected by the recent mill closures, can only be resolved by leaders who are willing to sit down at the table and work out agreements that move us all forward.

I have always worked to bring people together, cut through partisanship to move issues and solutions forward and keep what’s right for Maine front and center in my words and work.

I will be proud to continue to do so as your voice in Congress.

State Sen. Emily Cain is the Democratic nominee for Congress in Maine’s 2nd District.