Last Thursday, Sept. 25, Democratic candidate for Maine Governor and current U.S. Congressman Mike Michaud visited the Preble Street Resource Center and Oxford Street Homeless Shelter in Portland, Maine to take a tour; meet patrons, volunteers, and staff; and field a range of on the spot questions from a diverse audience of marginalized Mainers.
The event was put on by the Homeless Voices for Justice, a group that operates primarily out of the shelter in an effort to empower marginalized people and create awareness for their struggles within the community at large.
Surprisingly (and disappointingly), I did not see any other people from “the media” there to cover the event.
So I found a table to lean against near the podium and pulled out my video camera (which occasionally functions as a telephone as well). Unfortunately I was unable to get every single question asked on video, but I was able to get most of them.
I’ve included seventeen videos below, two of them account for Michaud’s opening and closing remarks, and fifteen are questions from the audience.
Many of the folks who got up and spoke did not take it easy on Michaud, and I was impressed with their courage to stand up to such a powerful man and voice their concerns.
Above each segment I’ve paraphrased the question being asked or the general point being made.
“What have you done in Congress to help expand healthcare?”:
“What will you do to improve the housing voucher process?”:
“How will your approach to dealing with drug addiction differ from LePage’s?”:
“What will you do to offer more help to homeless and displaced women?”:
“How do I know that in the future you’ll vote with your conscience based on your voting record in Congress on gay rights issues?”
“What can you do to stop DHHS services from being moved from downtown Portland to the airport?”:
“What will you do about immigrants?”:
“What will you do to help rehabilitate criminals rather than just punishing them?”:
“What sort of legislation would you propose regarding background checks on gun sales?”:
“How will you help advance civil liberties for homeless people?”:
“How will you help victims of sex trafficking and sexual abuse?”:
“How do you feel about the possibility of designated open space for the homeless and expanded programs for general assistance?”:
“How do you plan to boost agriculture and fishing, and would your administration be open to buying and investing in U.S. treasury notes?”:
“Summarize your beliefs on the need for basic human rights for all?”:
“Will you promise to get rid of that junk store manager (LePage)?”:
Closing remarks by Michaud- “Make sure your voices are heard, that will make a difference.”: