Alliance

On Lobby Day, February 12th, more than a hundred MPA members gathered in the hall of flags to participate in the official launch of the ‘Fair Tax Towns’ campaign. Members joined mayors and town officials in calling for legislators to reject the deep cuts in Governor LePage’s biennial budget in favor of revenue generated by making Maine’s tax system more fair.

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The 126th Legislative session has barely begun, but Maine People’s Alliance Citizen Lobby Teams are already making an impact in our state’s capitol.  Over two dozen members representing all six regional chapters have been active in just the first two weeks of the session.  The Maine People’s Alliance is the only group in the state with a constant citizen lobbying presence in Augusta, making their presence known in halls which would otherwise be filled only with paid lobbyists.  This is one of MPA’s most powerful and effective tools for moving an agenda forward – when a member shares their p

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Last year saw major setbacks in the fight to keep corporate money out of Maine politics. The Republican controlled legislature, in the face of Supreme Court rulings like Citizens United, chose to gut Maine’s Clean Elections laws rather than reform them. Consequently, during the election, Maine saw record spending from large outside groups on both state and federal races.

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In 2011, after months of debate over the need to raise the debt ceiling and the appropriate size of the federal budget, Congress passed a temporary budget with a built-in “fiscal cliff” set to kick in at the end of 2012. This political creation was meant to spur Congress to action by enacting deep, across-the-board cuts to many domestic spending programs, including the military budget. The logic was that, since these cuts were so unsavory to both parties, they would be forced to cooperate and compromise to find a solution.

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The Maine People's Alliance will continue to work on comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 and is supporting the “Keeping Families Together” campaign to call for comprehensive immigration reform at the national level.  The campaign was kicked off with renewed hope after Obama won a second term by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), a coalition of the largest and most powerful grassroots immigrant rights organizations in the country. FIRM represents hundreds of thousands of immigrant families in more than 30 states.

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From Bangor to Scarborough to Boothbay to Waterville and hundreds of other Maine towns, candidates won on Election Day this past November who stood up and spoke out for the everyday Maine values of community and fairness and focused their campaigns on improving the lives on Maine people. They showed the strength of their convictions and Maine voters responded.

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The end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 has seen a great deal of activity by MPA and the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine in our work to protect Maine citizens from toxic chemicals. The Alliance is building momentum off of  its successful presentation to the Maine Board of Environmental Protection in September to petition for the banning of baby food, formula and toddler food  packaging containing the toxic chemical BPA (bisphenol-A). 

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The Obama Administration is quietly indicating its intent to change the way federal trade agreements are approved and speed up trade deals, but at the risk of hurting businesses here in Maine. Officials are signaling the possibility of introducing new legislation that would give the White House so called “fast-track” trade negotiating authority.

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