WALTER “ED” HILL

Occupation: Disabled

Walter “Ed” Hill

Education: Lewiston High School, University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College

Family: Married with children

Political experience: Lewiston Democratic Committee chairman, 2007-09; Maine Democratic Committee, 2008-11; Lewiston School Committee; Community Development Block Grant board; redistricting board; county budget

Q: Why do you think you’re the most qualified, or best candidate for this seat?

A: I truly have been honored to represent and serve all of the citizens of Lewiston on the School Committee, act as our Legislative Liaison, and save us $5 million in school funding in the process. I was elected vice chairman by  Planning Board peers, none of which were members of my political party. I also worked as a member on the redistricting, energy and CDBG committees. While on Planning and CDBG committees, we focused like a laser beam on these issues. We hired new code enforcement officers and took down more condemned buildings than at any other time. With the baby boomers retiring, the silver surge, we will need multiples of care and housing for our elders. I am very proud of the small role I have played trying to fill these needs. Woodlands Memory Care and Hartley block are just a few examples how we will take care of our loved ones. I have owned and run businesses in Lewiston since I was 18, at one point earning the J.W. Marriott President’s Award, and understand what local business owners require to succeed in this unique market. I also understand how to effectively and efficiently work with city, state and local officials to realize the maximum potential for our entrepreneurs. I defended our neighborhood polling locations in both cities when misguided penny pinchers tried to consolidate the entire city to one polling location, and defended our citizens on many other local issues.

Q: Please name three issues that you believe are critical to Lewiston’s future, and how you would address them.

A: We have enormous challenges in Lewiston. I would like to simplify our mission and focus on practical solutions to our shortcomings. Our poor and struggling families need our help now. We have the oldest housing in the country. We must clean up lead in Lewiston’s homes with federal grant money and improve our kids’ health. Affordable housing for all should not be a partisan issue. We must focus on increasing our high school graduation rates and improving students’ grades so that we can attract businesses to our great city. We need to work closely with businesses and public/private partnerships to train our kids to be our workforce of the future. I have a vision for our city that’s vibrant, working, and safe. I envisioned a revitalized Bates Mill and fought to save it for our prosperity. It is imperative that we retain the most gifted and innovative teachers for our wonderful kids so that they have the best chance to fulfill their dreams. We must strengthen accountability in city government, from the administrator to the janitor, and everyone in between.

I believe the top issues we face include housing, education and taxes. That is why I served on the School Committee and worked toward getting a new school and meeting better standards. While on the CDBG committee, I worked on the Comprehensive Plan to meet the most pressing needs of our citizens. On the budget and planning committees, I fought to control spending while trying to also build our tax base so that we could stop being so dependent on residential taxpayers. Our seniors and working families cannot afford the tax burden they are presently facing.

I believe solutions come through actions, not rhetoric. I have dedicated much of my life to taking action to make this city better. I am very humbled by the trust other local leaders put in me to serve many positions that best embody the spirit of our community. It would be an honor after a lifetime of service to be trusted with the awesome responsibility to serve as a councilman for the city where I was born and that I love.

Q: What do you like about the city budget passed this year, and what don’t you like?

A: Did not answer.

 

SAFIYA KHALID

Occupation: Community coordinator at GCSMaine

Safiya Khalid

Education: University of Southern Maine, Class of 2018, Lewiston High School, Class of 2014

Family: Single

Political experience: Member of the library Board of Trustees, member of the Maine Democratic Executive Committee, member of the Maine Democratic State Committee, vice chairwoman of the Lewiston Democratic Party.

Q: Why do you think you’re the most qualified, or best candidate for this seat?

A: I am the most qualified candidate for this seat due to my passion, dedication and ambition to serve the residents of Lewiston. I want to build a vibrant community for all residents, especially our young folks, so they can live and work in our city. We need to work with all sides, and find common ground to work and serve the residents of Lewiston. Our city faces many challenges like any other city, and we have issues that continue to impact us all. These issues may affect us all differently so the solution is to communicate and understand one another.

Lewiston needs a fresh perspective, a voice that will advocate for all residents from young or old for immigrants and lifelong Mainers. Our city government needs to be reflective of our community, if not, we will continue to have residents that feel invisible because they are not represented. I will be a city councilor for everyone.

Q: Please name three issues that you believe are critical to Lewiston’s future, and how you would address them.

A: We continue to battle lead contamination in our homes, where families continue to be affected. People deserve to live in safe and decent affordable housing and that means working with landlords, and state and local government to meet the needs of our residents.

It’s time to invest in 21st century infrastructure to grow our local economy. We need to support locally owned small businesses and encourage new businesses to start in Lewiston. The hardworking people of Lewiston are the backbone of our economy and we need to help them realize their potential.

We need to create programs and services to bring community involvement and parent engagement into our schools. We can’t accomplish our goals and bring Lewiston to its potential if we’re not investing in the next generation. Lewiston’s future depends on providing a great education for every student. Our dedicated students and teachers need support in the real world.

Q: What do you like about the city budget passed this year, and what don’t you like?

A: I supported this year’s city budget, and I’m glad our City Council funded our essential city services. In the future, we should do more to invest in upgrading our infrastructure and providing our schools with the resources they need to thrive.

The investments the city makes today will pay off in the long run, and 20 years from now we can either be looking back to our growth or continue to complain about the same problems we are facing today.


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