She has served on the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation for several years, driven by its quest to reverse the loss of jobs and the decline in population, especially school population, and motivated by the people who live and work here tirelessly to ensure a better future.
In her professional life, Margarita served as the Assistant Vice President for Corporate and Foundation Relations at Purdue University and, earlier in her career, as a public school teacher.
The daughter of a career naval officer, she lived with her family all along the Eastern seaboard from Key West, Florida to Newport, Rhode Island. Visits to Maine over decades led her and her husband, John, to move here. They purchased their home in Greenville in 2006 and have lived here permanently since their retirement. They have six children, two of whom live in Maine, and ten grandchildren.
Economic Development is key. Strengthening the partnerships among businesses, government and nonprofit organizations is paramount to expanding the economic development and potential of our rural region particularly in the areas of education, health, access to information and communication technology, and transportation. We must together address long-term investment in the public good and policies that support entrepreneurship and small businesses.
Polls taken at town festivals throughout Piscataquis County last summer confirm that healthcare is the number one issue facing our county residents. Many residents shared that they don’t have insurance or they worry that their children won’t have insurance. The corona virus crisis has shown how critical it is for people to have healthcare coverage. Working with Governor Mills and the legislature to ensure access to affordable healthcare for all is essential.
Quality education not only makes a difference in the lives of individuals, but it is the foundation of our democracy. As a former public school teacher whose children all went to public schools, I am well aware of the challenges schools face. But if we think about the people who made a difference in our lives, it almost always includes the teachers and coaches who sparked our curiosity and inspired us to work hard and to never give up. I support efforts to reach the 55% mark in state funding for K-12 schools and to make vocational training and college education more affordable.
The announcement last September that nearly 3 billion birds or 29% of the bird population in North America have vanished since 1970 shocked Maine and the country. Birds are indeed canaries in the coal mine or indicators of the health of our environment. Residents of Piscataquis County, home to Peaks-Kenny at Sebec Lake, Lily Bay on the shores of magnificent Moosehead Lake, Baxter State Park and some of the wildest parts of the Appalachian Trail, know that everyone must be active in local, state, and national efforts NOW to provide a sustainable future for our environment.