LUKE JENSEN

Occupation: Public school suspension program coordinator

Luke Jensen

Education: Bachelor of Arts from Lynchburg College

Family: Single

Political experience: Lewiston School Committee

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

A: Having served on the School Committee for the last three years, I am ready to continue my service to the city as a city councilor. Regarding the School Committee, I currently serve as chairperson of the Facilities and the Administrative subcommittees. I am also a member of the Lewiston High School Expansion and Improvement Committee.

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

A: Poverty is the biggest issue, and that is resolved through enhancing our school system first and foremost, and also through enticing better-paying jobs to the area.

The second issue is that local taxes are way too high. Having worked on the school budget the last few cycles, it’s clear that the state education funding formula is unfair to service center districts, and districts that are growing in student numbers; Lewiston is both. Our schools need more funding, but our local property taxes are already too high. The state needs to pay more if it wants to dictate as many requirements, and so we need to advocate for a change in the funding formula. We really need to increase our tax base if we are ever going to reduce local taxes.

Lastly, another big issue in the city is crime. I live downtown, and I’m well aware of the bad things that occur. Our police are overworked and underappreciated. We need more officers on the streets, we need more clerks in the police station, we need more support from the District Attorney’s office, and we need to bring back the Hot Spots program. I’m not OK with this crime in my neighborhood, being done around children and the elderly, and I’m going to do everything in my power as a councilor to rid our city of those who want to bring us down.

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

A: I liked the additional money coming from the state through revenue-sharing. Lewiston is not treated fairly by the state government, and we deserve more of a share. Our roads need to be improved, and I wish the budget put more of an emphasis on those repairs.


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