Rep. Chapman joins Maine Green Independents
After unenrolling from the Democratic Party this spring, Maine State Rep. Ralph Chapman announced Thursday he has joined the Maine Green Independent Party, becoming the only Green state representative in Maine, and the first since John Eder finished his term in the 122nd Legislature in 2006.
In a letter announcing his enrollment with the Maine Greens, Chapman wrote, "I have joined the Maine Green Independent Party in order to highlight the democracy-diminishing effects of corporate funding influence on the statehouse party leadership of Maine's two largest political parties."
For Immediate Release
September 22, 2017
Maine Green Independent party
Sam Pfeifle, Green Press Committee Chair, 207-749-0298
The Greens, he notes, do not accept corporate donations, in contrast to the Democrats and Republicans. "I saw more clearly," Chapman said, "that even our state legislature is largely controlled by accountability to funding sources, not people. The Maine Green Independent Party offers an alternative. In essence, the Maine Green Independent Party is demonstrating, by its actions, how to behave as though the Citizens' United Supreme Court decision were overturned."
Chapman is in his fourth term serving District 133, which comprises Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine, Sedgwick and Surry. He sits on the Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.
With his wife, Rebecca Poole, Chapman has lived in the district for more than 25 years and raised their children there. His career has been in scientific research applied to energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency. He has worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Lab and Tufts University's Electro-Optics Technology Center. More recently, Chapman has worked with United Technologies Center, the regional public career and technical education secondary school in Bangor.
During his time in the Maine State Legislature, Chapman has focused efforts on bringing a scientific approach and data analysis capability to the legislative process, promoting job creation through innovation in local industry and encouraging citizen involvement in governmental processes.
The co-chairs of the Maine Green Independent Party, Riva O'Rourke of Surry and Jon Olsen of Jefferson, welcomed Chapman. Chapman, said Olsen, "has indicated that principles matter, and is acting honorably. We are eager to work with him. We hope that other legislators of either major party will consider following his lead and that new aspiring candidates will do so as well. Toxic political environments, like physical toxic environments must be decontaminated."
"We wish him all the best in the Maine House of Representatives as he strives to stand for people over profit," said O'Rourke.
Chapman was motivated to change party affiliation especially by the "indifference" toward the citizens of Maine shown by the Democrats and Republicans this past legislative session, when they overturned "parts or all of at least three, so far, of the four citizen-initiated and –enacted major pieces of legislation from last November."
In his statement, Chapman supported the citizen-enacted ranked choice voting method, and encouraged Maine's citizens to dive deeper into each party's leadership, vision, and platform.
"Only by increased awareness, and demands for accountability, will we be able to encourage our political system to be primarily responsive to the needs of our citizens," he said.
Ralph Chapman: 207-326-0899, [email protected]
Jon Olsen, Maine Green Independent Party Co-Chair, [email protected]
Riva O'Rourke, Maine Green Independent Party Co-Chair, [email protected]