Adopt the sensible plan
To the Editor:
I am writing regarding the upcoming Special Legislative session to deal with the Congressional Reapportionment Plan, well covered in a recent issue of your paper.
While the public has called for a moderate plan and the committee, on which I served, voted in favor of very moderate plan that moved only a small number of towns in Kennebec county impacting less than 20,000 people. The Republicans continue to say they will push to pass their radical plan to move 360,000 people or 25 percent of the population from one district to another. They may even ignore the law requiring two-thirds of the legislature to approve the plan. That is not a good sign for Maine people.
The Republican plan moves seven counties and 139 municipalities from one district to another. It also conveniently adds approximately 10,000 Republican voters to the Second Congressional District. Their plan is especially bad for our area. It puts Oxford and Androscoggin counties in the first Congressional District and splits Franklin County.
Since statehood, the tri-county region of Franklin, Oxford and Androscoggin have shared cultural and economic bonds. We are more culturally connected to the Franco-centric communities of northern Maine than we are to our cosmopolitan neighbors in Cumberland and York counties. Putting Lewiston and Portland in the same district puts two of the largest Maine cities in competition, and ultimately put Lewiston in Portland’s shadow.
Moreover, it breaks up communities that share the same interest, like the mill towns.
Four out five Maine people that came to testify at the public hearings on the proposals rejected a radical plan. More than 5,000 Maine people signed a petition rejecting a radical plan, and more than 200 Mainers sent e-mails to the commission asking us to endorse a reasonable plan.
I hope that Oxford County residents will contact their legislators and urge adoption of the sensible plan put forward by the Reapportionment Committee.