Poor People’s Campaign Maine Rally in Augusta

KVO, community faith organizations and other area partners were among the many groups represented and individuals in Maine’s state capital on Monday, standing in solidarity as part of nationwide  Thousands across the nation gathered at dozens of state houses with hundreds arrested across the country, including 22 in Augusta, standing up for truth & justice.

From the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival  Facebook page:

“We have begun our 40 day season of sustained, nonviolent moral fusion direct action! Don’t miss a moment of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival’s first week! All of the events will livestream to the Campaign’s FB page.” #PoorPeoplesCampaign

Via Moral Movement Maine:

Nonviolent moral fusion direct action underway!

We are here at the State House in Augusta for the launch of Maine’s participation in thePoor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. In 40 states and Washington DC, folks are gathering to confront the interconnected evils of systemic poverty, systemic racism, the war economy, and ecological devastation. Follow Poor People’s Campaign Maine, and join the movement!
#poorpeoplescampaign #PPCMaine #MoralMaine #40daysofaction

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Above are photos of Mainers coming together at the State Capital and Blaine House on May 14th as part of the national movement. Several people spoke to the crowd before gathering for a peaceful protest at the Governor’s Mansion. Some quotes:

“A government that would allow its children and its disabled people to starve is an immoral government.” – Carolyn Silvius, Homeless Voices for Justice

“A great nation is one that embraces all of its people and truly cares for those who are disadvantaged. We need a “moral revival” to restore real American values that are grounded in unity, compassion and healing as a society. “Peter Wohl, Buddhist monk

“Poverty and racism must end, until we unite and become a force, the rich will continue to get richer. Three families have more money than the entire lower 50% of people in the United States, that is not right, it is not moral. Where there is one person suffering, we all are suffering.”Diane Dicranian, Quaker

Celebrating Our 2018 MICAH Nominees!

From KVO Facebook event:

Join us in honoring local heroes from the Kennebec Valley who are recognized as a Ministry In Community Action Honoree (MICAH). These honorees will be people active not only in their own organizations, but who have made a difference in the broader community.

Our MICAH Awards Ceremony and Dinner will feature a delicious dinner and local comedian Gary Crocker. Local community support and profiles of each MICAH honoree will be featured in our event program booklet.

Tickets price:*
$30 per individual
$25 per table of eight.

*Ticket purchase is REQUIRED for this event. Tickets can either be purchased prior or at the door.

For more information, please contact us at kennebecvalleyorg@gmail.com

KVO urges Medicaid Expansion law implentation at ‘Health Care Now! State of the State’ Rally

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From the event Facebook page: “Just three months ago the people of Maine voted overwhelmingly to expand access to Medicaid for 70,000 Maine families. Gov. LePage and his legislative allies are already working to delay implementation and weaken the law.

Come show Gov. LePage and legislators that the people of Maine are watching and that we won’t accept any more delays or attempts to weaken the new Medicaid expansion law. All Mainers need health care, now!”

As illustrated by the photos above, a large crowd of supporters gathered Tuesday evening to speak to the press outside in the cold, then went inside the State House as to urge legislators to work on implementation immediately.

KVO members and other Mainers for HealthCare coalition partners spoke with a large number of legislators on hand for Governor LePage’s final State of the State address. While many lawmakers are on board, the governor continues to oppose implementation. So stay tuned!

KVO at Large Rally in Waterville to Support Haitian Immigrant Held by ICE

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A rally in support of Lexius Saint Martin and his family was held today in Waterville, bringing dozens of supporters, with estimates of as many as 100 in attendance braving the cold.

From MainePublic:

Many of those in attendance say they are outraged at the thought of breaking up a family.

“It helps nobody, and it victimizes the family and the kids, and it’s just horrific,” said Andi Parkinson of Monmouth.

Saint Martin immigrated from Haiti to Maine as a child with his family. He had one previous brush with the law over a decade ago, but has completely turned his life around and is now a home and business owner. He is now married and he and his wife have 2 toddler sons and their third child, a daughter, on the way. He was taken into custody on January 2 and is currently in New Hampshire, awaiting his fate.

From the Facebook event:

Lexius Saint Martin, a Haitian refugee living in Waterville with his family, is facing imminent deportation. Losing him would devastate his wife and children, who are US citizens and native Mainers.

Join us to rally in support of the Saint Martin family, to urge Maine’s congressional delegation to take action, and to call for fair immigration reform.

    This event is supported by:

ACLU of Maine
Aspire For Humanity Initiatives
Capital Area New Mainers Project
Colby Feminist Alliance
Colby Students Organized for Black and Latinx Unity
Families First Community Center
First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church
Gateway Community Services of Maine
Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
In Her Presence
Maine Equal Justice Partners
Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services
Maine March for Racial Justice Organizers
Maine People’s Alliance
Maine Women’s Lobby
Moral Movement Maine
New England Arab American Organization
New Mainers Tenants’ Association
Oak Institute for Human Rights
Somali Community Center of Maine
Suit Up Maine
Welcoming Immigrants Network

… as well as Kennebec Valley Organization and many area clergy, who joined in urging Maine’s Congressional delegation to support this young Maine family and work to reunite them soon.

KVO at 2017 Common Ground Fair

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Common Ground Fair, a “celebration of rural life”, is hosted annually in Unity by Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association (MOFGA), and has long been a favorite event of mine every third weekend in September. Our state is fortunate to have the opportunity to bring together so many people regarding sustainability, agricultural, environmental and social justice concerns.

Every year there are new offerings and expansion of the simple ideas of coming together for the good of many. Whether one chooses to take one of the trains from either Unity or Thorndike to the Fair, take a tractor, bike, walk or drive, the experience is well worth the trip and the ever present crowds. There are exhibits, merchants, a huge farmers’ market, now 3 “Social and Political Tents”, and all kinds of livestock. The opportunities to learn are endless and it is truly worth a trip every September.

Mainers for HealthCare Kick off “YES ON 2” Campaign

Mainers for Health Care, the coalition that supporting a “Yes” vote on Question 2, officially launched the campaign to expand health care to 70,000 Mainers at events in Bangor and Lewiston.

The following video was recorded by KVO at the launch in Lewiston.

“Question 2 will make Maine’s health care system fairer and strengthen the state’s economy,” said Robyn Merrill, the executive director of Maine Equal Justice Partners and co-chair of the Mainers for Health Care steering committee. “A ‘Yes’ vote will provide health insurance to 70,000 Mainers while also helping hospitals and clinics, particularly in rural parts of the state.”

KVO has endorsed Question 2 and has partnered with the Mainers for Health Care campaign, with community events planned for later this fall in Kennebec County.