"The purpose of life is not to be happy. 

It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference, that you have lived, and lived well."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am the daughter of Julian & Polly Dodge, both from Islesboro, Maine. My Mom taught at Governor Anderson School in Belfast (now Waterfall Arts) for 29 years and my Dad was a mechanic at C.A. Paul & Son, Chrysler/Plymouth/Dodge dealership on Washington Street for 30+ years. He finished his career at Kallis Ford on outer Main Street.


After Graduating from Belfast Area High School with High Honors, I attended

University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I obtained a Bachelor of Music Education with Distinction, and began my 30 year Music teaching career in the former Flanders Bay Community School District, instructing students at all levels of instrumental and vocal music. I retired in 2010.

I now happily live in my family home, in Belfast, where I grew up!

I have been plastering and painting my 100 year old home inside and out since retiring - a labor of love! I am a lifelong member of the First Baptist Church of Belfast which is an American Baptist church.


My brother, David, and his wife Tisha live in Massachusetts, David is an Electrical Engineer working at the Mitre Corporation. Tisha, is a math interventionist at a public school. My nephew, Derek Julian,  graduated from UCONN with a degree in biomedical engineering and is working at Phillips.  My niece, Jessica Pauline, Graduated from UNHand is working in Hospitality.

In addition to my political activities, I belong to a dance group where I line & swing dance often. I belong to the Waldo County YMCA, I enjoy swimming, cross country and water skiing and do card crafting!


Homeless Advocacy through Unitarian Universalist Church - Belfast

Waldo County Triad Newsletter Folding Team

MaineALLCare Legislative Advocate

Waldo County Democrats

Aging Well In Waldo County Board Member

Maine Education Association Retired

Waldo Education Association Retired

First Baptist Church Member

Chamber of Commerce - Volunteer & Cruise Ship Greeter


Waldo County Triad – Board Member, Past Vice Chair

Maine Education Association Retired - Legislative Committee

Aging Well In Waldo County -  Former Steering Committee Chair 

Waldo County Education Association Retired – President

Maine Education Association - Government Relations Committee,  19 years

Thanks But No Tank - Activist 2012-2013

Choir and Worship Team, First Baptist Church

Maine Education Association Retired​​

• Recording Secretary

• Information Coordinator

• Policy Committee

Jan Dodge seeks reelection to help Mainers affected by coronavirus

By Kendra Caruso | Sep 17, 2020

BELFAST — House District 97 incumbent Jan Dodge (D-Belfast) said she still gets goosebumps when she drives around the Augusta rotary on her way to the State House. She hopes to keep her seat in the upcoming Nov. 3 election against Republican challenger Bill Elliott.

Dodge ran for her first term two years ago because she said some important local voices were not being considered, including teachers, which was her profession before retiring. It was a learning curve for her when she started her first term as a representative but she quickly learned the importance of relationships among House members.


The years under Gov. LePage’s administrations, she said, were difficult and she is proud of being part of the progress since he left office. She hopes to continue that progress, though she thinks many of the issues to be considered moving forward will be coronavirus related.

She said the Maine Legislature should reconvene now to address coronavirus issues and is disappointed that it has become an issue among members of the House who she said are not holding true to their oath as elected officials.


Police funding

Dodge does not believe in defunding the police but said she wants to look at increasing law enforcement training and incorporating counseling services for situations that do not require physical force or a weapon. She said many officers are not trained for the circumstances they are dealing with. She recognizes social injustices toward Black minorities and said she will continue to fight for racial and social justice.


Strengthening Maine’s economy

Dodge said because the state’s economy was booming before the pandemic, it will help recovery after the coronavirus shutdowns. A big part of strengthening the economy will be through retraining programs that will become available. The situation with the coronavirus is still in an unknown state, she said, so it is difficult to create an economic recovery plan.


“I can’t imagine that folks aren't going to understand that we have to do some pushing to get things rocking and rolling again,” she said.

The state will have to continue to support people through social programs until households have recovered from the economic outfall because of the pandemic, she said. She has received many phone calls from constituents who said they need relief because of COVID-19.


Local sales tax option

She was disheartened to find that there is not much support in the House for a localized sales tax option to offset municipal service costs, she said.


But she is satisfied that after fighting in the Legislature, revenue sharing was increased, she said. It is important to her because it eases the financial burden on municipalities that positively impacts taxpayers indirectly.


Climate change policies

The Green New Deal is a positive start to addressing climate change issues, Dodge said. She believes the state needs to be bold and to make impactful decisions now. She gives credit to Maine citizens for being forward-thinking on the issue.

She wants to see the state invest in clean energy and research into how to store the energy harnessed through solar and wind, she said. She hopes Maine will become a leader in the movement.

“I believe that citizens have acknowledged for the most part the importance of the actions that we take,” she said. “And I have faith that we’re going to follow the Dirigo and Maine is going to be a leader.”


Women’s reproductive rights

The option to have an abortion is a decision only a woman and her doctor should discuss, she said. She believes abortion is personal choice women make for various reasons and there should be no legislation prohibiting the option.

Guns and mass shootings


As a descendant of a hunter who owns guns, Dodge respects owning firearms as part of American culture but believes there should be more control over weapon sales in the U.S.

She is disappointed in the direction the country has gone in marrying gun rights to issues in a way that is unproductive. For example, she does not believe guns should be put in schools as a response to mass shootings.


Improving education

As a member of the Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and previous educator herself, she said education is not properly funded and teachers are taking on responsibility beyond their scope.

She said colleges need to put more tuition dollars into their institutions but does not know how the state would fund free college tuition. She wants to work harder to figure out how to make college and vocational training more affordable.



Broadband is one area she believes it is important for the state to fund, she said. It is unacceptable that broadband is still not a statewide option. She believes if the state wants to attract workers and remain competitive, it needs better broadband options.

She said she is happy the referendum for funding to bring broadband up the I-95 corridor passed but it needs to be extended throughout the state.


“I mean we’ve been batting this around for way too long,” she said. “This is one of these problems where, solve it, just fix it. Do what needs to happen, please and thank you …. We should not have allowed ourselves to get so far behind.”


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