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This week’s edition!

Governor’s Address: To the people of Maine, “Welcome Home”

On Wednesday night, standing with my grandchildren and my niece and with my hand raised above my heart, I swore to support the constitution of the United States and of our great state, and to faithfully discharge my duties as governor of the State of Maine.

It was the highest honor of my life to take the oath of office to become Maine’s 75th governor. I am so proud to have joined with thousands of you in reaffirming our shared love for our great state and our commitment to building a brighter future together.

There are many in this state who are “the unsung,” as poet Wes McNair has called them. They are the firefighters and teachers, the techies and hotel workers, the farmers and fishermen, the waiters and loggers, and the barbers and millworkers of our towns.

They are our friends, our neighbors. They are immigrants. Laborers. Veterans. People with disabilities. People from away. People we rely on every day. And many who rely on us. This governorship is about them, it is about you – the men and women of Maine.

Many days I awake to see the mist rising from the Sandy River as it steers its course to the Kennebec, the winter’s breath unveiling a new day in my hometown, a new day in this state. Then I hear the familiar sounds of chickadees, church chimes and Jake brakes. This is home in Maine. We are all in this together.

We all want Maine to have a beautiful environment, happy people, and prosperous communities. And though we all agree on the goal, we differ about how to get there. We are Republicans, Greens, Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, and many more besides. Our diversity is a virtue – one that we should harness to advance good public debate and good public policy.

We welcome the voices of newcomers as well to the public conversation – the young as well as the old, immigrants as well as Native Americans and people who have been here a while, people of color, people of different cultures, people of different orientations. All are important members of the Maine family.

Now our state must find its own common ground, expand our horizons, and become one Maine again. From the tree streets of Lewiston to the rolling fields of The County, from the Bold Coast to the Height of Land, from Cross Rock in Allagash to Portland’s Promenades, our people will once again find unity of purpose.

It is the bond we all share for our state, for our children longing for security, for newcomers seeking to belong, for those who feel left behind and who long for respect and dignity. One thing we all love is our great state. And when a family, a community, a state believe in each other, help each other, love each other, great things can happen.

Maine people have greatness within them. Maine is our home. We are connected by the rivers and the land, the forests and the mountains. We are connected by love. We are one Maine, undivided, one family, from Calais to Bethel, from York to Fort Kent.

So now we rise – like the mist over the Sandy River – to seek adventure, with hope in our hearts and love in our souls for the brand-new day. To you, the people of Maine, I say, welcome home. Welcome Home.

Thank you.

Janet Mills

Governor

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