By Rep. Melissa Walsh Innes
March 15, 2012
I have spent the last four years as Yarmouth’s State Representative to Augusta and feel highly honored to have had this privilege. I have made the decision to step down from my legislative seat this year and explore new options for myself, as well as spend more time with my family. I am also looking forward to spending more time IN my community, which has so many wonderful people that I don’t see very often.. As great as being a legislator is in Maine, it involves a large commitment of time and energy, and this feels like the right time for me to make this transition.
The political process is fascinating up close, from campaigning and shaking thousands of hands on Election Day, to passing legislation that makes a difference in people’s lives. I have been fortunate to have met hundreds of interesting legislators from across the state, from different parties and backgrounds and sometimes very different opinions on what is best for the state. I’ve learned how to write effective policy, how to advocate, and how important it is for citizens to participate in the legislative process.
Now that Maine has quickly plunged into the campaign season, I look forward to encouraging and supporting others to enter public service. There are so many opportunities to serve our community, and it’s also a great way to expand your circle of friends and colleagues.
Many members of the Yarmouth community, both adults and children, have joined me up in Augusta to participate in the legislative process, whether as a youth “Honorable Page” in the House Chamber or testifying for a bill in front of a legislative committee. I have also had the pleasure of participating in Yarmouth High School’s Career Exploration program, and brought students to work with me in Augusta. I’d like to think that they found the experience interesting and that they might now feel a little more familiar with how things work in our state capital.
I will continue to remain available for people who are interested in learning how to have a greater voice in policy decisions in Maine, as I plan to remain active myself in this area. Many policy decisions affect our everyday lives, including our schools, municipal funding, roads, etc. If everyone speaks up just a little bit, and some of us join our voices together at times, we will remain a powerful community. Thank you for allowing me to serve.