Reject anti-immigrant bill

I am the daughter of a refugee from Germany. My mother fled to this country in 1936, after my aunt was sent to a concentration camp. My mom was welcomed here in this country. I have been taught that we are all equal under the law. Now that most fundamental American safeguard is under threat. LD 366 would make new immigrants guilty until proven innocent. They could be detained for any accusation.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, LD 366 will do the following that will hinder our local police’s effort to protect our communities:

— It amounts to racial profiling by singling out people perceived to be “foreign” for different treatment.

— It undermines the trust between police and communities, which will make immigrant communities fear the police.

— It allows detaining of someone without probable cause, which is unconstitutional.

It is shameful that a second Maine person has been detained by immigration authorities to be deported, this time to Guatemala.

America’s greatest monument is the Statue of Liberty, which carries the inscription, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” It is our most visible symbol. We have benefited from everyone who has come to our shores. No Americans should want this bill to be passed.

Renee Givner


Time to reform the Democratic Party

It was obvious to those in attendance at the Tom Perez-Bernie Sanders rally at the State Theatre in Portland that the Democratic National Committee — Perez in particular — was not in good standing with much of the crowd. More ominously, the “new” committee under Perez showed itself as unreformed and venal as it was under the disgraced ex-chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The sham of Democratic concord, sunshine and unity dissolved before the Sanders-Perez tour even started.

Even before Perez took the stage, the mere mention of the Democratic National Committee occasioned jeering and booing that stood in stark contrast to the applause and cheers reserved for Sanders. Perez proceeded to pace his speech so frenetically and lard it with so many facile objects of common scorn — name any of Trump’s executive orders or Cabinet appointments — with an end it seemed more to keep the crowds’ mutters of discontent and objections in check by drowning them out as to stoke political enthusiasm.

Audience members who voiced any disagreement with Perez were promptly silenced by the threat of ejection and physical intimidation by security personnel. How very Trumpian. Yet, I suppose the Democratic National Committee would rather adopt the methods of its avowed political enemy, than face the ignominy of having its chair booed off the stage at its own event.

So much for a grand reconciliation that will “energize the grass-roots base” and lead to a “political revolution” in 2018. And so it will be until the Democratic Party is remade from the bottom up.

Kevin Sheasgreen


Don’t take raise from tipped workers

As a tipped worker, I am disappointed in the actions by the Legislature to attempt to take away the raise that we worked to earn. Tipped workers came together with our community and small businesses to earn a wage that ensures that no one ever has to go hungry while working full time.

Like 82 percent of Maine tipped workers, I am a woman, and hearing that a wealthy, male-dominated Legislature has decided I don’t deserve more than $5 per hour is demeaning. Women deserve a full wage, and they deserve it without the threat of harassment and without enduring mistreatment at the hands of their customers.

Employers have been stoking fears about losing tips that aren’t true, and supportive tipped workers are often scared of losing their jobs if they speak out.

I am a college student, and I am studying education, a field where we desperately need more people. As women seek to attain higher levels of education, pay discrimination continues to hold us back.

Fifty-one percent of Old Town and 55 percent of Maine supported raising the minimum wage, a larger margin than any other referendum, presidential candidate or state Senate party. That made it even more disturbing when Sen. James Dill’s name appeared on the co-sponsor list on a bill, LD 673, to give me a pay cut.

I am urging everyone to call Dill and tell him that Maine women deserve better.

Amber Mondor

Old Town