Weekly Radio Address: Jackson says Mainers will know that Democrats are on their side

Posted: December 16, 2016 | Senator Jackson, Weekly Radio Address

Hi, this is Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson. Thanks for tuning in.

One of my earliest memories of politics is of going to the polls with my mom in 1972 when she cast her ballot for president. We learn so much from our parents. My mom is a great woman, who did everything she could to provide for our family.

So when I was voting age, I registered as a Republican, just like mom. But as I got older, when I watched the parties jostling for votes and debating the issues in Augusta, I saw Democrats standing up for working families like my own. They were fighting to make sure that the loggers in Allagash and the fishermen in Stonington and the mill workers in Lewiston and Bucksport and Jay had a fair shot.

In fact, when it came to standing up for working people, it was Democrats who were always there. They were the ones trying to balance the scales between powerful elites, and the vast majority of Mainers who just wanted to know that their hard work would earn them a decent living and a fair shot at a better future.

I changed my registration and joined the Democratic Party because I felt Democrats fought to uphold that basic promise that tomorrow should always be better than today.

But over the decades, something has happened. People have lost hope, because the truth of the matter is, that basic promise that your kids can be better off than you were just isn’t being upheld for far too many Mainers.

There are too many families and communities where for years and years, things haven’t gotten better. They’ve gotten worse. Mainers have seen their good jobs shipped out of state or overseas. Communities have seen their local, independent stores shuttered when the mill closed or when the big box stores moved in. Moms and dads have watched their kids leave the state forever because they know in their heart of hearts that there just isn’t a chance for them to make it here in Maine.

For these Mainers, no matter how willing or able they are to pull themselves up, the odds are never in their favor.

Mainers aren’t the kind of people to put on airs. We know our place. But our place isn’t under the thumb of any big corporation that would control our destiny. Our place isn’t to be stuck financially underwater in our homes because some big shots on Wall Street tanked the housing market and still made off like bandits. And our place isn’t to be left wondering why the rich keep getting richer while questions hang over the futures of towns all over Maine.

We’re still fighting the good fight, but people don’t know who’s standing up for them. They don’t believe anyone cares that they’re still struggling, even when they work hard and play by the rules. They’re looking for solidarity from their political leaders, but many have lost hope.

Democrats are still in the business of making sure you get a fair shake. It’s going to be my goal for the next two years to make sure there’s never any question that that no matter what, we’re in your corner. When Mainers feel like their concerns about their families and their futures aren’t being heard, Democrats will be listening. We’re going to fight any policy, person or group that would further stack the deck against you. And we’re going to support the policies that level the playing field, that provide opportunity and hope to Mainers at risk of being left behind.

This is Senator Troy Jackson, and that’s my promise to you. Thanks for listening.