October 27, 2016
PORTLAND, ME – During a “Dirigo Speaks” event hosted by AARP and the Bangor Daily News this evening, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) outlined his vision of the five most serious long-term challenges facing the State of Maine.
Senator King’s list included: 1) The need for continued infrastructure improvements; 2) The impact of climate change on Maine’s inland and coast; 3) The necessity for the continued diversification of energy resources; 4) Ongoing support to help revitalize Maine’s forest economy; and 5) The need to expand Maine’s workforce in the face of changing demographics. In his remarks, Senator King also acknowledged that his list is not conclusive, and that there are many other issues facing the state, such as the opioid and heroin epidemic, but he concluded by saying that no problem the state faces is unsolvable if Maine leaders and its people work together in a thoughtful way.
“None of these problems are insurmountable. None of them are problems that haven’t been dealt with by other people, in other places, at other times – even here in the State of Maine,” Senator King said. “In fact, I believe we can find the seeds of salvation in them – the foundation of which is our most extraordinary and abiding strength: that Maine is simply and truly the best place in the world to live. And so in an age where people can now work where they live instead of having to live where they work, Maine wins – hands-down. What that means for us, then, is that we have to be deliberate and thoughtful in how we create the human, economic, cultural, and social infrastructure to enable that to happen.”
Following his remarks, Senator King participated in a question and answer session with members of the audience, which was moderated by Tony Ronzio of the Bangor Daily News. Dirigo Speaks is a new platform for Maine leaders and regional newsmakers to share opinions, ideas, and perspectives on what’s happening – and not happening – in Maine. The event was hosted by AARP in partnership with the Bangor Daily News at The Westin Portland Harborview Hotel in Portland.