Grayson Lookner is a long time activist and community organizer in Maine, who has also worked in the healthcare field as an EMT and behavioral health professional. He understands the challenges young people are facing in today's economy. In tough times, we need dynamic leadership who has been on the front lines of some of the most defining issues of our time, from healthcare, to housing, to climate change, to voting rights. Grayson brings that experience to the table.
Grayson has worked on campaigns to bring vital democratic reforms to Maine like strengthening the Maine Clean Elections Act, and implementing Ranked Choice Voting. He has also worked nationally on presidential races, and internationally on progressive campaigns. This experience has shown him what is and isn't working around the globe, and how Maine can improve. Grayson's guiding mantra is "think globally, act locally," and he will bring visionary leadership to Augusta to prepare for the challenges this State will face in the coming years.
Having grown up in Camden in the restaurant industry, Grayson understands the importance of tourism to Maine, but has also seen how Maine has become a more difficult place for working people to live year round. In Portland, there is a crisis of housing and homelessness. Around the state, there is a lack of economic opportunity for young people to stay in their communities. Grayson will work to address these issues through investment in affordable housing, and in climate mitigation infrastructure and renewable energy projects.
Grayson is also a published columist, and has been published in numerous Newspapers around the state including the Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily News, The Rockland Free Press, and The Maine Beacon.
Maine will face many challenges in the coming years, from rising seas, to an aging workforce, to alleviating the opioid epidemic--but there is also a bright future here. Maine is leading the country in vital democratic reforms that help keep people engaged in their communities and their government. We will be seeing an influx of people from around the country and around the world in coming years, who will need to build lives in this great state.
Grayson Lookner has the vision to bring this state further.
If this pandemic shows anything, it is the importance of education for an informed public. People who have a basic understanding of biology know how dangerous viruses are, and how they are spread. Grayson will fight for better conditions for teachers, and fight any cuts to education by increasing revenue sharing from the state to towns.
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed how inadequate our profit-driven healthcare system truly is in the face of a public health emergency. Grayson believes in a single-payer, universal healthcare system in which every person can get treatment regardless of their ability to pay. The state should be paying for free or low-cost COVID19 testing throughout Maine as the economy opens back up.
Housing is a human right, and Maine is the 9th least affordable state in which to rent. Portland is the epicenter of the crisis in housing and homelessness. Grayson supports building more public housing, reining in online short term rentals to only owner occupied units, and enacting stronger protections for tenants in order to keep a roof over the head of everyone who calls Maine home.
Maine has a bright future in renewable energy, particularly in offshore wind. Through public investment in needed sea-level rise and climate change mitigation infrastructure, we can bring thousands of good paying jobs to the state in the New Green Economy. Additionally, the cannabis industry is bringing many young people to the state, and we can bring back paper production to the state using the by-products of the cannabis industry.
The use of deadly force and violence should be the last resort in policing, not the first. Grayson supports calls to demilitarize the police, and direct funding from police departments into programs that effectively prevent crime, like housing, healthcare, jobs, and education.
Low-lying coastal communities need to be preparing NOW for the reality of sea level rise through investment in climate mitigation infrastructure, and building renewable energy projects like offshore wind. Maine can be a leader in the coming Green Economy if we act now.
Citizens deserve to know how their online data is being used, and companies that abuse that data need to be held accountable. Grayson also supports Internet Neutrality by preventing Internet Service Providers from creating a multi-tiered internet.
There was a time in Maine that a person could travel anywhere in the State by train. There is no reason why this still can't be the case. Grayson will work to bring back trains and to strengthen public transit around the state. This will also benefit rural Maine by helping to integrate the economic centers of Maine with the more remote areas.
The core issue in our political system continues to be the influence of billionaires on our elected officials. I am a proud clean elections candidate who will work to expand the Maine Clean Elections Act to cover local and federal level races, so that anyone can run for public office regardless of their connections to the wealthy and powerful.