Ah, these fresh moments of the new year, when our hopes and resolutions are unsullied by the rough ravages of time, politics, and the Maine winter. It's the season to speak our dreams aloud, before reality turns them into intangible ephemera. We asked a completely random group of local luminaries a very open-ended question: What do you hope to see in the new year? Here are some of their answers.
State Senator, District 8 (Portland)
I would like to see all Mainers take the lessons of 2009 and remember them for 2010; we must plan for the future, care for those around us, and speak up when things do not seem right. Health, friends, and family are what truly matter.
Public Awareness and Policy Coordinator, Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence
For my community, I hope to see us continue to learn from one another and support each other in the fight toward full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Mainers. No one can vote away our commitment to each other.
Co-owner, Longfellow Books
I am hoping that people begin to truly live locally. To eat and read and drink what is in their 'hood and not lust after what is out of town or out of season or beyond the village walls.
2010 is ripe for interdisciplinary collaboration amongst artists in Portland, and throughout Maine. We're already seeing our communities step up in hard economic times and support each other through coalitions — now we just need to make the next step and creatively collaborate across Maine. Definitely shared space and exhibits. Collaborative work spaces/sessions. Shared ideas and resources. Jelly is starting it — I want some next-level stuff.
State Representative, District 118 (Portland)
New financing for weatherization to keep more Maine homes tight, warm, and comfortable (repayment made with property taxes out of energy savings); a smarter energy grid efficiently powered with more clean energy; fresh and local farmers' market every day of the week; that Maine kids impress upon their elders not to pass on a warming planet, military engagements, and debts; plenty of opportunities to hear great Maine acts like the Leftovers, Emilia Dahlin, Darien Brahms, Cambiata, Jason Spooner, and Bill McHenry.
City Councilor, District 2 (West End)
For our arts/music scene I hope to see the continued revitalization of the Arts District with the reopening of the State Theatre. For our city, I hope to see investments in energy efficiency, public transit, and housing.
Executive Director, SPACE Gallery
I would love to see more food growing in public spaces — edible decoratives, herbs, fruit trees, you name it. I'd also like to see more temporary public art installations.
President and CEO, Maine Medical Center
My wish is for every Mainer to have access to affordable, high-quality health care. There's no substitute for good health, and today's advances in medical knowledge and technology should be available to each and every person.