Originally published in Castine Patriot, April 5, 2018
Nathalie Arruda seeks House District 131 seat
Nathalie Arruda is seeking a place in the Maine State Legislature representing House District 131 (Orland, Dedham, Otis, Penobscot, Verona Island, Prospect and Stockton Springs), the campaign announced recently.
The Orland resident is challenging incumbent state Rep. Karl Ward (R-Dedham), who is seeking a third term.
Arruda, a 35-year-old mother of three and member of the Hancock County Democratic Committee, says she is looking to improve life for regular Mainers through legislation that benefits working class citizens in her district and throughout Maine.
“While most of the rest of the country has been recovering from the 2007-09 Recession, Maine has experienced three additional periods of recession since then, and those have hit rural Maine especially hard,” she said. “Housing, healthcare, education, child care, elder care, transportation, home repair—all these can be huge challenges when the stagnant economy means our cost of living has increased much more quickly than our household income.”
Arruda says she supports the creation of new businesses and tax incentive programs that encourage growth in local industries, but for those businesses to succeed they need qualified workers and communities that are thriving.
“We need a community of people with homes and vehicles in good repair, access to nutritious food and affordable healthcare, adequate funding for education, support for children and families, strong civil rights, and upgrades to infrastructure such as roads and broadband internet,” she said.
Arruda said perhaps her most important motivation for running for office is to help families like hers thrive in the struggling economy. But supporting families, particularly ones that are struggling, is about more than providing help financially.
“It’s about making sure there is access to jobs that pay a livable wage and have good benefits. It’s about making sure there is better access to broadband internet, particularly in rural areas,” she said. “We need to move past the stigmas held towards low-income people and put in real effort to get people working and thriving.”
Arruda says she’d like to see the Legislature make progress in public health, including universal healthcare, addiction treatment, and access to rural health clinics. She also lists funding for infrastructure improvements and sustainable energy initiatives, and helping a new generation of farmers in Maine as key points of interest for her campaign.
The Clean Elections candidate says she wants the young people and women of Maine to step into leadership roles in Augusta.