As much as residents love it, Lewiston continues its slide off the banks of the Androscoggin River. With a 21.4% poverty rate (source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2018), a school system rated second-worst in the state (MEA District Scores, 2017-18), festering violent and petty crime, a thriving drug trade and its numerous ripple effects, a pitted, patched infrastructure and a city government acting in concert with nonprofit organizations to funnel centrally-located land to subsidized housing developers, the time for residents to wake up and rise up is long overdue.

Genuine revitalization and growth — which are not part of the poverty industrial complex that has gained a near-monopoly here through backroom dealing — requires bold, new leadership that will not dodge tough issues or cave in to special interest groups.

The candidate for mayor who has the clear vision, grit and unapologetic resolve to set right what has gone wrong is Tim Lajoie.

Maura Murphy, Lewiston

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