Maine House District 94 candidate Vicki Doudera, a Democrat, said she will work to create new jobs, ensure Mainers get the health care they need, protect the environment, create sustainable businesses, increase affordable housing and provide for veterans, if elected this November.

She has lived in Maine for 32 years, and has owned three local businesses and volunteered in the community. She has driven an ambulance for the Camden First Aid Association, and served as president of Mid-Coast Habitat for Humanity for five years.

She currently sells real estate for Camden Real Estate Co., and is the writer of a murder mystery series and the book "Moving to Maine."

Doudera is running for the House seat representing Camden, Islesboro and Rockport because she loves the state of Maine, and loves living here, she said. She wants to help the state and give back through public service.

For Doudera, giving back involves getting Maine's economy moving by creating innovative jobs, and supporting sustainable businesses while protecting the environment. Creating more affordable housing is an important goal for her, as is making sure veterans get the care and support they have earned.

To address the "huge workforce shortage," she called for a number of actions. She supports flexible worker training, in particular to prepare workers "for the innovative businesses that I hope to support down the line."

Doudera also called for putting out the "welcome mat out for people from all over the place," stating that any challenges due to language or cultural differences can be overcome.

She said she believes in measures to encourage young Mainers to stay in the state, including addressing student debt. She said Mainers shoulder a high rate of student debt compared with the rest of the nation.

In addressing state taxes, Doudera said the focus should  be on helping working Mainers. She supports a recent vote in the state Legislature to conform to the federal tax code. She said this would help make it easier for businesses to file their taxes and would provide some relief for low-income and middle-class Mainers.

Doudera supports getting Medicaid expansion off and running. She said implementing Medicaid expansion would be a huge step in helping 70,000 Mainers. She said that  60 percent of voters supported this at the polls. She added that it is unfortunate that the governor is holding this up, because many Mainers, whom she notes "are our friends and neighbors," are "falling through the cracks and they need our help."

She calls opioid addiction Maine's biggest health problem, and knows it "has hit a lot of Mainer's really hard." This includes her own family, which has lost a 28-year-old young man and father of two, her brother's nephew, to opioid addiction.

Doudera called for treating addiction as a disease. She emphasized the importance of removing the stigma of addiction and the view that it is a moral failing. She said she supports increasing treatment options and opportunities and providing more mental health care for people. She cited Vermont's Hub and Spoke program as a successful model.

To increase gun and school safety in Maine, Doudera supports red flag gun safety laws. This spring, there was an opportunity to pass a very strict red flag safety law, she said. The bill that passed is a "watered-down version," she said, noting that her opponent, incumbent independent Owen Casas, voted for that version.

She supports the stricter red flag gun safety law, "as did our representatives in Rockland and in Thomaston. … We're always saying it's not about the guns, it's about mental health." She called for beefing up those red flag laws "so we're alerted when people with mental health issues, and have guns, need us to intervene."

To increase school safety, she supports the use of trained resource officers, and measures such as making people check in when they enter a school. She does not support arming teachers, stating the majority of teachers do not support that, either.

Doudera said citizen's initiatives should be upheld and acted on by the Legislature when they are passed by voters.

"Three years ago, we voted for more affordable housing for seniors, and 10,000 seniors are waiting for those affordable housing units," she said.

She understands that citizen initiatives are not always "crafted exactly the way they need to be." She said the Legislature should inform Mainers if "there's a reason a citizen initiative can't go forward," so citizens won't end up feeling like their votes are being ignored.

"I'm out there knocking on doors and people are feeling like they are disenfranchised and like their votes don't matter," she said.

Her communication style is based on a belief "in civil discourse and in compromise," she said.

Through 15 years of selling real estate, she has learned that "If you can't deal with people who think a little differently than you and maybe are on the other side, then you cannot make a deal."

She will listen when people have questions or issues they want to talk about. "We won't always agree on everything, but we listen and we respect each other's opinions," she said.

Doudera said she would do everything she can to communicate with the public to help keep people informed about what is going on in Augusta. That communication would include emailing newsletters and providing information to the local media, she said.