U.S. Sen. John McCain visited U.S. troops in Afghanistan over Christmas. Vice President Joe Biden attended the funeral of one of two fallen New York City police officers killed because they were upholding our laws. President Barack Obama is playing golf while vacationing at a beach-front home in Hawaii. What is wrong with this picture?
Domestic abuse challenges
In a column published in the Dec. 27 BDN titled “She escaped domestic violence, but now she needs to start over in Maine,” the authors, Sandy Butler and Luisa Deprez, state that “Unlike many domestic violence shelters, Spruce Run doesn’t limit its clients to a 30-day stay. Plus the agency helps clients find transitional housing after their shelter stay.”
This is a serious misstatement in an otherwise excellent article. Serious because women fleeing abuse and violence in their homes should not be led to believe that Maine’s domestic violence shelters have a time limit: we do not. Also, almost all domestic violence programs have transitional housing and in any case work with victims and survivors on transitional services to create a life free of violence.
The challenges involved in building that new life are well stated in the article; the barriers are many and resources may be hard to find. Yet victims and survivors are engaged every day in moving forward, and the services and supports of all of the domestic violence projects in Maine are critical.
I hope this letter corrects the article’s implication that only Spruce Run-WomanCare Alliance provides exceptional service. I am very proud of the work of Next Step in Hancock and Washington counties, and I am equally proud to be a member of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence with its eight member projects.
The Next Step Domestic Violence Project
Insurance key to cure
Sandra Boodman’s Dec. 25 story about cancer survivor Dana Deighton failed to emphasize the real reason for her successful treatment: health insurance. Many of us without insurance could have all the “luck and excellent doctors” with a “willingness to ask questions and to advocate for” ourselves, but without health insurance, we would never be able to get so many tests, surgeries and treatments.
At this time of year when we think about how we can do better, I am writing in support of the related issues of increasing the minimum wage and expanding MaineCare.
During the 1960s, my mother supported our comfortable middle class family with the earnings from her “pink collar” office job. She could not do this today, when many families rely on two adults working several jobs to stay afloat and thousands in Maine struggle with the threat of being pulled under by medical debt.
If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, then today it would be $10.40 per hour. A higher minimum wage would be good for families, businesses and the economy because workers would be spending their earnings to provide for their families. And with the expansion of MaineCare, more of these dollars will be spent in Maine.
A strong majority of Mainers (and Americans across the country) support an increased minimum wage and expanded access to affordable health care. We in Maine can get this done. It would be good for all of us.