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As long as Mitch McConnell wields the power, he controls exactly how cooperative the Senate will be. President Elect Biden still has time to change that.

In his Saturday night victory speech, President-Elect Joe Biden announced his desire to cooperate with Congress and called on both Democrats and Republicans to cooperate together with him. It’s an important goal, considering Congress has been unable to find consensus on any much-needed pandemic relief since April. However, just like every major bill passed by the House of Representatives in the last two years, this call for cooperation is likely to fall flat at the feet of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. As long as McConnell wields the power in the Senate, he controls exactly how much cooperation the Senate will show our new President. If McConnell wants to play hardball, as he did in the final two years of Obama’s second term, there’s nothing to stop him from refusing to let even a single bill cross the President’s desk. …


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Local youth asking Portland voters to keep the climate crisis in mind, March 3, 2020

Remember last year when Portland declared a climate emergency? It was a profound step in Maine’s movement for climate justice, and it followed the tremendous effort made by thousands of middle and high school students going on a “climate strike” to demand that the city take action. It may feel like a distant past, but the climate emergency remains as critical as ever — and there’s a lot more action we need to take if we’re going to achieve the important goal of carbon-neutral by 2030.

As it goes, not all of our public servants remember the urgency with which our youth demanded action. At a recent Planning Board meeting, I asked whether Portland’s declaration of a climate emergency would impact how they evaluate a British company’s proposal to build a new “cold storage” facility on our waterfront. In response, they said that last year’s climate declaration was “aspirational,” but that it carried no regulatory burden — meaning climate impact would not factor into their analysis at all. …


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You can request your absentee ballot online at CharlesForPortland.com/Vote

Originally published June 5, 2020 in the West End News (see original here)

As someone running for State Representative in Portland, I believe in the democratic power of people choosing their own representatives. That means I want every eligible Mainer to vote in the upcoming July 14 Primary Election, regardless of who they choose. However, coronavirus is making it harder for many people to vote. Last month I sent a letter to the Governor and Secretary of State with recommendations for making our elections safer and more accessible during this pandemic. As always, our democracy only works when we keep working to improve it. …


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Protesters gather at Portland City Hall on May 31st, 2020

Hi friends,

Before going to bed tonight, I wanted to write a message of encouragement and solidarity with the ongoing protests — across our country and here in Portland — precipitated by the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The violence that took away George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many other innocent Black lives is, sadly, a longstanding menace in our country. Our history of slavery, lynching, segregation, mass incarceration, and police brutality shows that racism has always been violent — and deadly. I join with all who are grieving tonight and all who long for justice tomorrow.

We have much work ahead to make “justice for all” a reality in our country and our state. From closing Long Creek, to promoting Tribal sovereignty, to investigating police surveillance — we have already heard the demands of Justice here in Maine. This week, we are undoubtedly hearing more. Black Lives Matter. This, too, is a demand. …


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“Sunday Dinner” over Zoom

Originally published April 3, 2020, in the West End News. Read it here.

We’re living in a strange time of self-isolation. Our favorite bars and hangout spots are closed. Public events are cancelled. Even our usual get-togethers with friends have been put on pause. “Social-distancing” is a lonely sport, for sure. But just because we’re apart doesn’t mean we’re alone. Our human desire to reach out is stronger than ever, and our communal response to this crisis shows just how inseparably connected we are. …


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Leaders from Hillsong Church and Bethel Music visit Trump on December 7, 2019

This week, an assortment of well-known evangelical musicians and pastors visited Trump at the White House. Photos and videos of Brian Houston, Kari Jobe, Sean Feucht, and others worshiping at the White House and posing for Oval Office photo-ops sent shockwaves through Christian Twitter. While Trump’s cultivation of evangelical support is nothing new, this meeting was notable for featuring a younger, hipper crew of evangelical leaders from industry powerhouses like Hillsong Church and Bethel Music. Evangelicals across America recognize these names from their Sunday service playlists, but aren’t used to seeing them on the White House guest list.

That these leaders said “yes” to Trump’s invitation serves as a sharp reminder that American evangelicals by and large continue to support President Trump. But it also re-highlights just how paradoxical that alignment feels to many. Why is it, again, that evangelicals fell for a potty-mouthed philandering Reality-TV star with a disregard for Christian virtues (like patience or kindness)? …


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State Sen. Erica Smith is running for U.S. Senate in North Carolina

Erica Smith can do anything.

Back in college, Erica’s sorority sisters called her the “Renaissance Woman” for her ability to excel in whatever she tried. Since then, she has more than lived up to the name by reinventing herself multiple times throughout her varied career.

Among other things, Erica Smith has designed high-speed trains and high-tech space stations as an engineer with Boeing, reviewed new inventions as an Examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, instructed high school math and science as a teacher with North Carolina public schools, served as a local Christian minister, won Legislator-of-the-Year as a three-term State Senator, and raised four boys — and now she’s running for U.S. …


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New Hampshire Democrats cheer for Elizabeth Warren. 09/07/19

The stadium is packed. The air is abuzz with anticipation. The candidate takes the stage and the crowd goes wild. At the mention of the campaign’s signature proposal, the crowd bursts into a furious chant repeating a simple phrase over and over again. The candidate stands there smiling, soaking in the acclaim.

It could be a typical scene at a Trump campaign rally. But this crowd isn’t wearing red MAGA hats, they’re decked out in mint green Persist t-shirts and matching feather boas. …


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My views on sexuality have changed — but the damage they did remains.

I am sitting by a pool with my boyfriend.

I am sitting by a pool with my boyfriend.

Three years ago I could never have imagined writing that sentence.

Josh Harris has last week announced his divorce, recanted his former teachings, and apologized to LGBTQ+ people for his harmful views.

Tomorrow, I’m going to see my Best Friend from college. We are going to talk about Harris, no doubt; he has already texted me an article about it.

I’ve been loosely following the Harris saga ever since his initial “I’m sorry” on Twitter in 2016. Were those two words the first drops of water that eventually broke the dam? What is it about apologies that make them so powerful?


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He Qi, “Holy Spirit Coming” 2013

Homily delivered on the first Sunday of Pentecost, at King’s Chapel in Boston, Massachusetts, June 9, 2019.

Acts 2:1–21 “In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh…

When the Spirit shows up we become a new people.

That’s what we learn from today’s reading in Acts.

When the Spirit shows up we become a new people.

That’s what we celebrate at Pentecost, on our liturgical calendar, the seventh Sunday after Easter. But this year Pentecost also falls on Pride Weekend here in Boston.

And so, since it is Pride, and since this church is graciously adorned with the multicolored rainbow flags outside, calling out like a beacon of hope to all those who pass by, I hope you will allow me to spend this homily considering what Pentecost and Pride have to do with one another. …

About

Charles Skold

Millennial & bi in Portland, Maine. Thinking about politics & believing in justice. @CharlesSkold

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