Joy gets to interview her most requested guest, Zak Ringelstein, a Maine public school teacher running for the U.S. Senate. Having had the opportunity to see political and corporate leaders through his work in education policy, Zak understands how little the citizens’ interests are represented at the highest levels of power. This will be the first election with ranked choice voting, which was implemented in Maine through activism and popular support, despite the obstructions of elected state officials.
Naturally, Zak’s platform focuses on strengthening public schools, especially in disadvantaged areas, and includes support for pre-K education. He sees public education and Medicare for All as the cornerstones of the American Dream. In addition, Zak’s concerns include campaign finance, climate change, immigration, the cost of prescription drugs. With much of Maine being rural, availability of medical care, jobs, and opioid addiction are high priorities for him.
Zak’s activism has had its costs (watch the video to find out), but it has been profoundly meaningful, and it even impressed Joy! Activism also gave Zak the honor of meeting John Lewis, whose advice was to stay hopeful, something Zak is able to do through the progressive movement.