In Clinton, where I live, Democrats and Republicans are equally split by voter number, yet independent voters overshadow their number by 50 percent. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the Maine Green Independent Party of Clinton will hold a caucus at Town Hall.
The voter register will be there beginning at 5 p.m. to register any voter wishing to participate in the caucus.
I urge all independents to register as a Maine Green Independent so their political muscle is not wasted and their voice will be heard.
We hear a lot these days about Maine’s economic problems: not enough job growth, not enough young people, the decline in farming, fishery problems and so forth.
There is merit in all of this but it is only part of the story. After all, if the sought after economic improvement is to take place there has to be positive reasons for it to occur.
To be sure we are bombarded with suggestions. Nestle wants to privatize our water. We need an oil pipeline. A bunch of ugly high rises in Bayside will revive Portland. We should turn Washington County into a tax fee zone. And so forth.
I’ve seen this before. Among the stories I covered, back in 1957, was about one of the first major urban renewal projects in America, in Southwest Washington where over 20,000 residents and businesses were forcibly removed. . Some 80% of the businesses never went back into operation.
The design was hailed by planners and liberals; a 1955 report for the District was titled No Slums in Ten Years. Not everyone was so sanguine, however. In a 1959 report of the National Conference of Catholic Charities, the Rt. Rev. Msg. John O'Grady said, "It is sad. It is not urban renewal; it is a means of making a few people rich. Instead of improving housing conditions, it is shifting people around from one slum to another."
Will 2014 be the year minimum wage workers finally get a much-needed raise?
While it is generally unwise to put much stock in blanket campaign promises at the start of an election year, the Democratic Party insists raising the minimum wage will be its top focus going into the 2014 midterm election.
The New York Timesreported last week Democrats hope to enact legislation first proposed by President Obama in last year's State of the Union address which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 by 2015. (The national minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour. Here in Maine, it is a quarter higher at $7.50)
Meanwhile, activists and fast-food workers in a number of cities are pushing for a $15 an hour minimum wage, spurred on by a series of nationwide strikes by workers at Wendy's, McDonald's, and Walmart.
Who: Municipal, District, and County Party Committees
When: Reports are due by 11:59PM on January 15th, 2014 for the Reporting Period of July 1st, 2013--December 31st, 2013
There is a new campaign finance reporting system. Please contact the Maine Ethics Commission at 207-287-4179 to recieve a new user code and password.
Do You Have to File? Only committees that have raised more than $1,500, or spent more than $1,500 during the reporting period, or previously filed a July Semiannual, are required to file. If the committee has not raised or spent more than $1,500 during the reporting period, you do not need to do anything.
Please contact the Ethics Commission Staff with any questions at 207-287-4179
Maine Greens Lead initiative to End Corporate Personhood
Augusta, Maine - Members of the Maine Green Independent Party represented the majority of the six signers on the citizens initiative to order the Legislature to call on a Constitutional Convention, with the purpose to overturn the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision and end corporate personhood. Green Independents Jacqui Deveneau, Philip Worden, Bruce Gagnon, and Portland City Councilor David Marshall were four of the six signatories on the citizens initiative filed with the Office of the Secretary of State this afternoon.
If the group is successful in collecting around 60,000 valid signatures from Maine residents and a majority of voters support the referendum, then the Legislature will be ordered to file for a Constitutional Convention for the United States. The purpose is to amend the US Constitution to clarify that corporations are subservient to the people and money is not free speech.
“The Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission prevents Congress from enacting laws that limit spending on elections,” said Councilor David Marshall. “The Court threw out the McCain-Feingold Act, a bipartisan law that limited spending on elections, on the basis that corporations are people and money is free speech. Now corporations are free to spend without limits to influence elections. The people have only one route to correct this mistake of the Supreme Court and that is to amend the US Constitution. I’m excited to be part of this dedicated group of Mainers working to change history.”
The petitioners gather under the name of We The People Maine with Naomi Cohen as the organizer, Councilor Marshall, Deveneau, Gagnon, Worden, and State of Maine Senator Edward Youngblood (Republican Senate District 31, Hancock and Penobscot Counties). Petitions will be made available after review by the Secretary of State.
The Portland City Council passed a resolution on January 18, 2012 calling on the State Legislature and Congress to move to amend the Constitution in order to overturn Citizens United vs. FEC.
Are you currently a registered member of the Maine Green Independent Party?
Why do you wish to hold this position?
There are a number of reasons why I wish to serve on the City Council. My biggest motivation for running was my frustration with the current Council's lack of responsiveness to the wishes and needs of Portlanders, particularly in regards to our homeless, marginalized, and immigrant communities. Improving opportunities and quality of life for all of Portland's citizens should be the utmost focus for our Councilors. The focus seems to be too much on attracting new people, talent and business from away when it should be on cultivating what we already have and providing more opportunities for current Portlanders to advance their careers, improve their livelihoods, and raise well supported families.
Why do you feel you are qualified to run?
I feel that I have certain abilities and skills which have helped me thus far in the campaign, particularly when it comes to inter-personal communication and public speaking, but I don't think one needs to be especially talented or accomplished to be a viable City Councilor. I feel that my qualifications lie in my love for Portland, my understanding of the social and economic issues that divide our city, and my steadfast conviction that great communities are built from the bottom up not the top down. I feel that my values are reflective of a life lived in Portland and that hopefully my candidacy (and possible Councilorship) will help to enourage more people like me to run in future elections.
What is the most important issue you feel needs to be addressed?
We need to address housing from all angles. Our "affordable" housing is too expensive, we have too many current and planned luxury apartment and condo developments which further gentrify Portland and drive the "market rate" up higher