Our state and nation are at a crossroads. The deepening recession has eroded the financial standing and optimism of a majority of Americans, nearly two-thirds of whom say that they have been hurt by the downturn and that the country has slipped into long-term economic decline. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in recent weeks.
The state of Maine has to cut $140 million from its budget by June 30 and anticipates slashing another $800 million more in the next two years.
Education, health, and human services programs share the bulk of the state budget. As programs are put on the chopping block constituent groups will have to compete for the diminishing piece of the economic pie. It’s time to come together to demand that the federal government reconfigure its budget priorities and help states like Maine during this recession and beyond.
A majority of states in the nation are now in similar fiscal crisis at the very time that we are engaged in two wars costing taxpayers $14 billion per month.
Unless real and dramatic changes occur quickly, the divide between rich and poor will continue to grow. Maintaining tax breaks for the wealthy in addition to the Wall Street corporate bailouts indicate fiscal policy is moving in the wrong direction. Those in power must be held accountable.
The time has come to share the burden. The time has come to connect the dots.
This is the moment to begin mobilizing the public so that we the people can give vision and support to our elected officials so they can make transformative change possible.
We, the undersigned, are calling for a public town hall meeting in early March at USM in Portland that will allow the people to speak out about the issues that concern them.
Our recent election was a turning point and is full of possibilities. We must keep the momentum going so we can manifest our hopes and values. We must always remember that change comes from the people. By sharing our concerns from the heart we educate and inspire others and build community.
We are now inviting organizations throughout the state to join as co-sponsors for this Town Hall Meeting. Please let us know immediately if we can count on your support as we invite our Congressional delegation, the Governor, the State Senate President, and the Speaker of the House to come and listen to the public.
Please respond about co-sponsorship by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling 443-9502.
Thank you for your support.* Organizations listed for identification purposes only
· Peggy Akers, Portland, Nurse Practitioner
· American Friends Service Committee Maine
· Sue Andersen, Portland, Teacher
· John Eric Baugher, Cape Elizabeth, USM Department of Sociology
· John Branson, Portland, Attorney
· Sally Breen, Windham, Action Committee of Peace Action Maine
· Michael Brennan, Portland, Muskie Institute
· Ellen Brown, Belfast, LCSW
· Andy Burt, Damariscotta, Environmental & local foods activist
· Jack Bussell, Portland, Maine Veterans for Peace
· George Caffentzis, Portland, USM Department of Philosophy
· Jonathan Carter, Lexington Township, Forest Ecology Network
· Dr. Bill Clark, Woolwich, Physicians for a National Healthcare Plan
· Susan Cook, Bath, Psychologist
· Paul Cunningham, South Portland, Peace & justice activist
· Michael Cutting, Portland, WMPG’s “This Better Be Good”
· Morgen D'Arc, Portland, Cumberland County Green Independent Party
· Christine DeTroy, Brunswick, WILPF Maine Chapter
· Lynn Ellis, Brunswick, Maine Campaign for a U.S. Dept. of Peace & Nonviolence
· Jamilla El-Shafei, Kennebunk, Kennebunks Peace Department
· Food for Maine's Future
· Bruce Gagnon, Bath, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
· Debra Gordon, Freeport, Maine Campaign to Impeach
· Green Horizon Foundation
· Kate Harris, Belfast, Belfast Co-op
· Dud Hendrick, Deer Isle, Island Peace & Justice
· Eric Hooglund, Portland, Bates College Department of Politics
· Dexter Kamilewicz, Orr’s Island, Military Families Speak Out
· John Kaminski, Freeport, Attorney
· Peter Kellman, North Berwick, President, Southern Maine Labor Council
· Tamsin Kemos, Brunswick, Brunswick Area Obama Supporters
· Bob Lezer, Freeport, Maine Veterans for Peace
· Paul Manoff, Portland, University instructor
· Natasha Mayers, Whitefield, Union of Maine Visual Artists
· Kathleen McGee, Bowdoinham, Maine Toxics Action Coalition
· Midcoast Peace & Justice, Rockland
· Danny Muller, Portland, Peace Action Maine & Meg Perry Center
· Rev. Gerald Oleson, Bangor, Sunny Corner Fuel Assistance, Inc.
· Laura Price, Littleton, MGIP
· Jon Queally, Portland, Common Dreams
· Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine
· PSR Maine
· John Rensenbrink, Topsham, Maine Green Independent Party
· Judy Robbins, Sedgwick, Peninsula Peace & Justice
· Rachel Talbot Ross, Portland, NAACP Portland Branch
· Cullen Ryan, Portland, Community Housing of Maine
· Joan Saxe, Freeport, Environmental activist
· Shelley Schweizer, Portland, Maine Education Association
· Tina Smith, Portland Green Independent Party
· Robert Shetterly, Brooksville, Americans Who Tell the Truth
· Bill Slavick, Portland, Pax Christi Maine
· Wells Staley-Mays, Portland, Maine Haiti Solidarity
· Selma Sternlieb, Brunswick, PeaceWorks
· Bob St. Peter, Sedgwick, Farmer
· Tom Sturtevant, Winthrop, People for Peace
· Mary Beth Sullivan, Bath, Addams-Melman House
· Karen Wainberg, Bath, Cool Communities
· Bob Walter, Kennebunk, Kennebunks Peace Department
· Lynne Williams, Bar Harbor, Maine Chapter National Lawyers Guild
· Peter Woodruff, Arrowsic, BIW worker
· Donna Yellen, Portland, Homeless Voices for Justice