Paige Brown, a Green Party candidate for District 97, is looking to win a first term as a state representative who can focus on environmental issues.

Brown grew up in Maine and comes from a long line of environmentalists. Her grandfather was proactive in implementing the Clean Water Act in Maine while serving in the legislature alongside Senator Edmund Muskie. She studied Classical Literature and Environmental Ethics. Because of her background, advocating for the environment is a driving force for Brown.

She is part of a collective effort to provide a new facility for the homeless in Waldo County. It is an issue, and Brown feels it has gone relatively unaddressed. Illuminating illiteracy as well as hunger awareness in Waldo County, and dredging in Penobscot Bay, are a few of the many concerns Brown has that are pertinent to the district.

Why are you running for office?

I’ve long been frustrated by government, and I believe a shift in consciousness in politics needs to be made, and there must be more of a focus on environmental issues.

What is the greatest challenge facing the state of Maine?

The economy. By building wind turbines, public transit, solar and renewable energy, we can create jobs by saving the planet, and take on the twin crises of economy and environment.

In an online poll, our readers repeatedly raised concerns that lawmakers spend too much time fighting along political party lines and cannot seem to cooperate across party lines to get the business of the state done. Can you describe an issue in which you disagree with your political party? Can you describe a situation or an issue in which you would be willing to compromise or work with members of the other party?

This question is framed as being either for a Democrat or a Republican. Since I am neither, I have the unique opportunity to bring fresh perspective to Augusta. I recognize that the arguing across party lines is nothing short of counterproductive, offensive to the constituency, and also prohibits important issues from being addressed and therefore solved in the manner that’s best for humankind. I would concede it dishonorable and of poor character to stand as a Green Independent whilst going against my party’s core values. However, I am willing to compromise if it means making progress towards a shared goal.

Many argue that cuts in state aid to education, roads, revenue sharing for towns and other areas have shifted more tax burden onto local property tax payers. What do you see as the reason for increases in local property taxes? What would you do as a candidate to address the property tax burden?

We cannot cut our way to prosperity. Both Democrats and Republicans have been shifting the tax burden to property and sales taxes — which disproportionally affect low and middle-income people. True progressive taxation policy would have more income tax brackets than just three, and we would not tax grocery clerks at the same rate as millionaires. We must reduce the property tax burden by bringing back revenue sharing for the towns and making sure lower income areas can maintain their schools, roads, police and fire departments.

What is your position on expanding health care for the uninsured? How should that be addressed?

Expanding Medicaid is a big first step to bringing Maine into compliance for the Affordable Care Act. Ultimately, as a Green, the goal is to have single payer insurance. Healthcare is a human right.

What, if anything, would you change about welfare programs in the state of Maine?
 Would you favor raising the minimum wage? To what level?

The minimum wage needs to be a living wage. If the minimum wage were higher, welfare enrollment would shrink.

What policies would you favor to encourage business and job growth?

Investing in public transit, solar, building/reconstructing public infrastructure for clean energy.

How do we balance the needs of the business community with the need for labor and environmental protections and taxes to fund public services?

As I previously stated, we can save the environment and save the economy in one fell swoop.

Editor's note: Brown chose not to provide a photo to publish with the questionnaire.