2023 Achievements

At Maine People’s Alliance, we believe in a world where everyone has what they need and contributes what they can, and no one is left behind.

In 2023 we made some exciting leaps toward this vision. This year, MPA members worked to win so many things: a paid family and medical leave system for Maine, expansion of Maine’s Child Tax Credit, an increase in legislator pay (making it easier for people with low incomes to run and serve), and new investments in childcare, affordable housing and addressing climate change—and more.

MPA Member Spring 2023 Retreat
MPA Member Spring 2023 Retreat
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Gina Morin at the Peoples Action March in DC June 2023
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MPA leader Jim with Rep. Cheryl Golek showing support for expanding Maine's CTC
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MPA housing organizer Nyawal with MPA intern Erin at the CPD march in Philadelphia - July 2023
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Summer 2023 intern crew after orientation
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MPA staffers Nyawal, Mohamed, and Selecca at the CPD march in Philadelphia - July 2023
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MPA leader Nevaeh at the Recovery Rally in Rumford
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MPA leader Ed Fallon lobbied Rep. Ben Collings about his priorities for the biannual budget
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MPA leader Gina Morin speaks with their representative, Adam Lee, about expanding overtime protection
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Rep. Mana Abdi speaks with Androscoggin County MPA members

    Paid Family & Medical Leave

    We won! After working with allies to collect 80,000+ ballot signatures for paid family and medical leave in 2022, we decided to try one more time for a legislative win in 2023. We organized workers, parents, and caregivers statewide, and together with the Maine Women’s Lobby and allies at the Maine Paid Leave Coalition we got the word out in Augusta, in the media, and in the state’s influential small business community. With the help of some tireless legislative champions, we succeeded in getting a strong paid family and medical leave bill to the governor’s desk, and on June 29th, Gov. Janet Mills announced her intent to sign the bill, citing our referendum campaign as a key reason for her decision. In 2024, we are working to ensure that Maine’s program works for all of us.

    Climate Action &
    Corporate Accountability

    MPA supported passage of several important bills into law in 2023 to increase access to green jobs for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) workers in Maine, encourage offshore wind development, and prohibit utilities from spending ratepayer money on politics and lobbying. Working with the Maine Frontline Climate Formation, we also organized a job fair for dozens of BIPOC job seekers to learn more about careers in Maine’s growing clear energy sector. After our historic decades-long lawsuit victory last year against one of the worst polluters in Maine history, cleanup of Penobscot River mercury pollution finally began in 2023.

    Affordable Housing
    & Tenant Rights

    In 2023, MPA worked for the successful passage of important housing bills that have added notice requirements for rent increases, limits on rental application fees, protections against retaliatory evictions, and more. Outside of the statehouse, MPA members also engaged in local campaigns in South Portland (which passed a rent increase cap) and Portland (where voters successfully defeated a landlord-initiated referendum to roll back rent control).

    Healthcare

    As part of the national Care Over Cost campaign, MPA members shared their stories of unfair claims denial by private insurers and took part in an action at the Maine Aetna offices. They also organized around the lack of oversight for Medicare Advantage plans that results in billions of dollars in extra payments to insurance corporations while not translating into guaranteed better coverage for patients, and met with Maine’s members of Congress to ensure that all Medicare enrollees have access to the affordable healthcare they need.

    Expanding Maine's Child Tax Credit

    One of our top legislative priorities this year was to expand Maine’s Child Tax Credit (CTC)—and we did it! We worked in coalition with Maine Equal Justice, the Maine Center for Economic Policy, and others to pass LD 1544, making the CTC fully refundable, and then to index it to inflation in the state budget. These changes mean that the families who need the CTC the most—those whose incomes are too low for them to pay taxes—will finally have access.

    Maine's Budget

    We worked throughout the legislative session to push for a state budget that invests in the infrastructure and programs Maine families and communities need to thrive—instead of giving away tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. This work included organizing a Fund our Future rally at the statehouse to call on lawmakers to approve and fund legislation that would address Maine’s affordable housing crisis, lift families out of poverty, ensure low-income immigrants can access health care, and establish paid family and medical leave for workers. Among other activities, we also penned op-eds, recruited Mainers to testify at public hearings, and organized local constituent meetings. 

    Tax Fairness

    At the state level, we worked throughout the legislative session to push for a state budget that invests in the infrastructure and programs Maine families and communities need to thrive—instead of giving away tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy. This work included organizing a rally calling on lawmakers to approve and fund legislation that would address Maine’s affordable housing crisis, lift families out of poverty, ensure low-income immigrants can access health care, and establish paid family and medical leave for workers. At the federal level, we worked to spotlight Congressional Republican budget proposals that would benefit corporations and the mega-rich through media releases and events. In the spring, we worked to mobilize Mainers angry about Republican hostage-taking over the federal debt limit. This work included media releases and connecting MPA members with reporters for national news coverage, a social media campaign, constituent calls to Maine’s Congressional Delegation, and organizing public events.

    Childcare

    MPA members worked hard to support the successful passage of LD 1726, which will invest around $60 million in the next two years to improve the state’s childcare system. The resources will help double the childcare worker stipend and expand parental eligibility for childcare subsidies. LD 1726 also establishes the Child Care Task Force to make recommendations for better childcare in Maine and, by 2030, to implement a program to achieve affordable childcare.

    Immigrant Rights

    A bill from MPA research director and state Sen. Mike Tipping to fund an immigrant welcome center in Bangor was an important legislative win for immigrant rights this year. MPA members were also part of a coalition campaign to expand Medicaid to all Mainers, regardless of immigration status (a campaign we have not yet won). We also worked to advance national immigration reform through meetings with Rep. Chellie Pingree, and staff from Sen. Angus King and Rep. Jared Golden’s offices, and through participation in the Fair Immigration Reform Movement.

    Drug Policy Reform, Harm Reduction, & Justice Transformation

    This year we organized volunteer lobby days, mobilized constituent contacts to lawmakers, and generated letters to the editor to advocate for bills that would shift resources from criminalization and incarceration of people who use drugs to support recovery and harm reduction services. These efforts revolved around two major bills:  LD1975, which would decriminalize drug possession, and LD 1364, which would allow cities and towns in Maine to open harm reduction health centers. Though we fell short of a victory on harm reduction centers, the bill to decriminalize drug use was carried over and will be considered in 2024.

    Democracy

    We worked hard this session to increase legislator pay with LD 1155, with the goal of making it easier for people with low income and less flexible schedules to serve — and we won a near doubling in legislator salaries!

    Tribal Sovereignty

    As a member of the Wabanaki Alliance, we worked to advance tribal rights and sovereignty in the Maine legislature. LD 2007, which aims to modernize the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act and advance self-determination for Wabanaki Nations, was carried over to 2024. We also supported the campaign to pass Question 6 (to re-add sections in Maine's original constitution that were omitted from official printed copies) on the statewide ballot in November. That referendum question passed with a resounding 73% win!

    MPA’s News Website: 
    MaineBeacon.com

    At MaineBeacon.com, which reaches tens of thousands of engaged readers each month, our reporting staff continues to break news stories, elevate grassroots voices, hold electeds accountable, expose the hidden actions of bad actors, and advance a progressive vision for Maine’s future.

    Can you help us keep winning in 2024 by making a contribution today?

    We count on grassroots donations to power our work each year. In addition to paying our staff and resourcing our campaigns, we are counting on members like you to help us raise the money for some important investments this coming year, including:

    • Purchasing a new database than can better track the hundreds of thousands of contacts we have with Mainers each year;
    • Launching a new deep canvass on climate change and renewable energy;
    • Deepening our organizing in rural communities, especially through the work of our new faith community organizer who is building a statewide multi-faith network of faith leaders and congregations committed to advancing social change;
    • Expanding our affordable housing work, which includes a new community organizer who will be organizing tenants to fight for their rights; and
    • Running a training program for members of MPA and allied organizations (in Maine and nationally) to learn the skills necessary to keep building a strong movement for change.
    Make a Donation

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    Here’s why this kind of support is so important:

    • We are an organization of thousands of everyday people fighting for justice. We don’t want to be funded by a handful of wealthy donors--we want to be funded by members like you;
    • Monthly donations by thousands of members add up fast (100 more people giving just $10/month means $12,000 for MPA’s work next year); and
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