This week’s issue is that last before the November 3rd elections in Lewiston. In order to inform the members of the student population who plan to vote, we have compiled a set of candidate profiles for all mayoral candidates and city councilor candidates for wards one and three (which contain Bates College). All candidates were contacted via email or phone and presented with the sameset of questions. Information included in these profiles comes directly from the candidates themselves, from their campaign sites, campaign materials, previous interviews or comments from the October 5th forum. Note that Mayor Macdonald did respond to requests for an interview, but was scheduled after deadline.

Isobel Moiles ’11

Current Occupation:

“My current occupation is a Legislative Aide in the Maine House Majority Office.”

Why is she running?

“My reasoning was simple: why not? I first moved to Lewiston from Maine’s midcoast when I came to attend Bates College. After I graduated, I lived in different parts of the state for a while, but coming back to Lewiston felt like coming home. I love living here and I want to do my part to contribute to the exciting changes taking place in this city. There are many different ways to be involved in the community, but for me, being at the table where strategic plans are developed, budget decisions are made, city services are evaluated and the most critical local issues of our time are discussed is where I want to be.”

What are her big issues?

“Ward 3 contains so many different aspects of what makes Lewiston an exciting, challenging and interesting place: a portion of the Bates campus and neighboring residential streets, downtown apartments, a strip of Lisbon Street that includes my favorite restaurants, and Mill No. 5 along the riverfront. The Ward is a good sampling of Lewiston with a mixture of economic circumstances, and lots of potential. As in all of Lewiston, there are a lot of people who are struggling, but there are also a lot of success stories and thriving businesses. Continuing to bring economic development to the city is the most important issue in my district and in Lewiston as a whole.”

Jim Lysen

Current occupation:

Local Chairman “Fair Wage for Maine” campaign, Former Executive Director of Community Clinical Services and Lewiston City planner.

Why is he running?

“I love this community and strongly believe it deserves better, and that I can help make that happen,” Jim Lysen said in a campaign flyer. Lysen retired on December 31st of 2014 after 45 years of public service. Since then, he declared his candidacy for City Council in hopes of continuing to work with the community. Lysen has lived in Ward 1 for 31 years and has been an active community member. In the coming term, Lysen wants to embrace changes to Lewiston and work for a more equitable and diverse city.

What are his big issues?

Lysen’s campaign focuses on the revitalization of Lewiston. On his list of main tenants on campaign material is “We must treat all people with dignity and respect and invite them to participate in the revitalization of our community, utilizing their special gifts and talents in this process.” He believes in an open and transparent government that allows citizens to have a voice, and that the entire community must work together. Additionally, he advocates for job training programs, better education that is geared towards the future, additional non-tax revenue options, better affordable housing and infrastructure repairs and improvements. According to Lysen, “…our most important priority should be assuring that all our residents, at all ages, have the opportunity to access quality education and job training programs that will both strengthen our community and make it culturally richer, as well as help provide the basis for the workforce Lewiston needs to succeed.” Additionally, Lysen advocates for the end of slum-like conditions in downtown affordable housing as it produces unsafe conditions, urban blight and discourages investment and redevelopment.

What sets him apart?

Lysen has had a long career serving the public. He knows the city of Lewiston as both a resident and an activist. Throughout his life, he has been an active member of the community through initiatives such as the Maine People’s Alliance and as a founder of The Visible Community. Lysen is part of a coalition of City Council candidates who plan to help Mayoral Candidate Ben Chin with a collective vision for the future of Lewiston. Additionally, Lysen is active in state politics through the Fair Wage campaign.

Leslie Dubois

Current occupation:

Michael L. Dubois, P.A., Attorney at Law – Legal Assistant/Office Manager, Notary Public, Vice President Androscoggin Republicans.

Why is she running?

Leslie Dubois grew up with the understanding that politics were not to be discussed and that her opinion didn’t matter. She eventually became active in politics due to a combination of political education from the Tea Party and a dissatisfaction with the current system. Early on, the Tea Party taught her the difference between the parties. Dubois aligned herself with the Republicans due to her small government ideology and the orientation of liberty and justice. Dubois describes her political view as similar to the Convention of States, a group that lobbies for states rights and checks on federal power. As a result of these meetings, she began to speak up about the issues within Lewiston that she felt passionate about. Two years ago, friends and acquaintances began to encourage her to run for Ward 1 City Council. This year, she is running for re-election.

What are her big issues?

Dubois describes her goals as “balancing the wants and the needs with an emphasis on the needs.” These needs, according to her campaign flyer are as follows: improving recreational opportunities, such as parks and the riverwalk, improving the school system, keeping citizens safe from crime and arson, minimizing the tax burden created by social welfare, minimizing ineffective social spending and an opposition to “pay to throw” trash bags. She believes that the City of Lewiston is spending too much money on non-essentials at the expense of essentials. She aims to continue the revival of downtown by selling or developing empty plots of land. This would increase the usability of Lisbon Street and hopefully lower crime. In the school system, she wants to increase teachers’ salaries and create smaller classroom sizes. Ideally, all money spent would be for the betterment of the students. She believes that the city should not pay for social welfare. Instead, asylum seekers should be allowed to work instead of being given General Assistance funding. Other housing projects such as St. Laurent should be 100% privately funded with minimal city help. Dubois believes that these programs should exist. “I believe in Ben Chin’s ideas [regarding social welfare], especially solar power, but the city should not pay 100%,” Dubois said in an interview with The Student.

What sets her apart?

Dubois has a small government message. She believes that the government should fund only essential and that taxpayers should pay only as much as they absolutely need to.