Chin announces detailed plan to boost Lewiston

Chin announces detailed plan to boost Lewiston

Calling it a program to “transform Lewiston’s reputation,” mayoral  candidate Ben Chin today released a plan for the city under his leadership. The announcement comes after Chin’s campaign conducted a survey of thousands of Lewiston residents to solicit their input and ideas.

“Some parts of our city’s bad reputation are unfounded. Others reflect the challenges we face as a working-class city, with a chronically high rate of poverty. Either way, we need more than a slogan to make things better,” said Chin. “These ideas will renew our city in a fundamental way, and my plan pays for them without asking a dollar more from homeowners in property taxes.”

Chin’s platform is based on four key initiatives: investment in a new resident-owned housing model, creation of a model economic development zone on Lisbon Street, establishment of an office of immigrant integration in City Hall, and a focus on development of solar energy jobs.

“Some people will love these ideas and some people won’t, but I’m determined to use this campaign to spark a substantive conversation about the future of our city,” said Chin. “I challenge all the other mayoral candidates to put forward their own plans so we can a real debate about issues that matter.”

Sources of funding for the initiatives include increased revenue sharing from the state, taking advantage of additional grant and bond funding available to Lewiston and increased code enforcement. Currently, the city’s library takes in more fines from overdue library books than are levied on negligent landlords.

“Ben’s plan to support businesses and to encourage more development on Lisbon Street is a key part of making Lewiston a better place to live,” said  said Allen Smith, owner of Forage Market, who hosted the press conference announcing the plan. “When downtown is a place we run into our friends, the whole city feels more welcoming and friendly, I see it happen every day in Forage Market.”

Photo via Emily Manter

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