I typically avoid politics, and have never considered being involved in a political campaign before. But a friend recently encouraged me to do my part and research candidates for this year’s local election season. Anne “Pinny” Beebe-Center, candidate for Maine State Senate District 12, stood out like a light to me, as I am drawn to people by what I “see” in their hearts.

We can all agree that a person’s words, actions, and achievements are an excellent measure of the standing of their hearts. Pinny’s time serving on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee led to her work with those suffering from substance abuse disorders, and those struggling to re-enter society after being discharged from prison. Her efforts to understand and look for solutions shows her to be a person of extraordinary compassion for people who are otherwise often judged harshly by society.

Pinny founded the Knox County Homeless Coalition, which provides a variety of invaluable services to yet another demographic which is often “looked down upon,” or is perhaps too disturbing for many of us to look at all. Pinny chose to look. She chose to take action and work hard to find solutions. Her efforts resulted in the founding of the Knox County Homeless Coalition and, subsequently, the opening of the Hospitality House in Rockport on Old County Road, where many homeless families receive lifesaving support and shelter.

What kind of person do you want to be your voice in our local government? I know I want someone I can be proud of, someone I can brag about. I want someone who speaks and acts from their heart with courage, compassion, and with dedication to the downtrodden as well as the more fortunate ones among us.

Melissa Parkerton

North Haven