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
NAACP 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.

KVO Attends Rally for Racial Justice in Portland

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KVO and member groups drove down to Payson Park in Portland’s Back Bay to stand in solidarity with hundreds of others against racism.

From the “Oppose White Supremacy: Coming Together For Racial Justice” Facebook event page:

“What a beautiful day to gather! And what a beautiful, powerful demonstration in Boston yesterday, where more than 40,000 people standing up for racial justice dwarfed the handful of white supremacists and neo-Nazis demonstrating in the Boston Common.

While the “Free Speech” protesters yesterday were small in number, we know the reach of white supremacy goes wide and deep. We hope today’s gathering in Maine can be another powerful demonstration in opposition to white supremacy; a moment of reckoning about the history and present-day reality of racism in our state and nation; and reflect a collective commitment to liberation. This is an opportunity to face the truths of our past, and our present, and to step towards our future.”

Below are the groups who co-sponsored the gathering:

NAACP Maine, Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund, Maine Women’s Lobby, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine, Congregation Beth El of Bangor, Temple Beth El of Portland, Equality Maine, Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Democratic Party, Greater Portland Greens, Somali Bantu Association, Mainers for Accountable Leadership, Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services, Maine Equal Justice Partners, Maine Consumers for Affordable Health Care, Kennebec Valley Organization, Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America, Maine Episcopal Network for Justice, March Forth, Maine Initiatives, Maine Small Business Coalition, Maine State Nurses Association, New Mainers PAC, Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine, Prevention. Action. Change, Suit Up Maine, USM Socialists, First Parish Portland, USM Women & Gender Studies Program, USM Chapter of the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine, Bend the Arc Greater Portland, Progressive Portland, Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, Somali Community Center of Maine, Southern Maine Industrial Workers of the World, Preble Street, Peace Action Maine, Maine Conservation Voters, Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition, New England Arab American Organization, and Community Financial Literacy, Greater Portland SURJ, Vajra Dakini Nunnery, Sierra Club Maine, Maine Veterans for Peace, New Mainers Tenants’ Association, Maine Votes, Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network, Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church, Catholic Charities Maine