I am writing to support the election of Erin Herbig to represent Waldo County (District 11) in the Maine Senate.

Rep. Herbig grew up in Belfast and has witnessed so many of her peers being tempted to leave this area and not return. As a senator, she will work hard to bring opportunities back home.

As a lifelong educator presently serving as coordinator of Literacy Volunteers and the WorkReady program at Belfast Adult Education, I interact daily with many local residents whose lives would benefit from Erin’s efforts to expand reliable high-speed internet areas of rural Maine, including Waldo County; bring a community college center to Waldo County; and support working families through access to affordable child care, health care and paid family leave.

Herbig’s outreach to Belfast Adult Education to strengthen training partnerships between adult education, vocational programs, and Waldo County employers has given me hope that the needs I see are being addressed.

In particular, I am heartened to know that my legislator recognizes the urgent need for apprenticeship programs that connect training to local jobs, foster aspirations, and provide better prospects for a decent livelihood.

A vote for Erin is a vote for those who are the most vulnerable and voiceless, giving them an experienced, dedicated leader who can create real change for the common good.

Denise Pendleton

Belfast

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