Shop at these 100+ local businesses that support our schools

These great Portland businesses have all come out in support of the $64 million bond to repair Longfellow, Lyseth, Presumpscot, and Reiche. We encourage you to show your appreciation by throwing them some business!

Rising Tide Brewing Company
Coffee By Design
Jet Video
Vena’s Fizz House
Think Tank Coworking
bonobo wood fire pizza
Asia West
Bard Coffee
Figgy’s Takeout
Dale Rand Printing
One Longfellow Square
Black Cat Coffee
El Rayo Taqueria
Tandem Coffee Roasters
Central Provisions
Mainely Ski & Ride
Allspeed Cyclery & Snow
Miyake Restaurant
Dinky Dogs
Aurora Provisions
Dharma Imports
Big J’s
Local Sprouts
Arcadia National Bar
Siempre Mas
Plumb & True Pilates
Simply Scandinavian Foods
Étaín Boutique
Springboard Pilates
Fleetwood House Bed and Breakfast
Bridge Gallery
Spiral Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio
Cat Bates Jewelry & Accessories
Dean’s Sweets
Dextrous Creative
Comcord Properties
Maine Yoga Kids
Radiant Beginnings, LLC
Ashley Flowers Yoga
Lachman architects and planners
Zootility Tools
Leticia Plate Illustration
Ayla Zeimer Psychotherapy
Behavioral Health Resources of Maine
Tye Newton Design
Christopher Jon DELOGU, self-employed translator
Joseph Huber, Self employed music teacher
Schwa Web Works
Rock ‘n Roll Babysitter
Root Therapy
Patricia Washburn, self employed technical writer
A Man of His Words e.t.c.
Lauren Sterling, Self Employed Consultant
Maine Virtual Tours
Matthew Alcorn LLC
Dirigo Consulting
Amy Partridge-Barber, LCSW, LLC
Resurgence Engineering and Preservation
Dana Berenson Photography
J. Hoffman – Teaching Artist
Jen Dean Photography
Wildwood Medicine
Jeanne Handy Designs
Longstocking Design
Oak Street Studios and Side x Side Inc.
Beth Ansheles Consulting
Elizabeth Moss Galleries
Keiter & Associates, P.A.
Counseling Referral Services
Depot Street Tap House
Apparatus Dance Theater
Steven Biel Strategies
Martha Fenton, Freelance writer
Katherine K Ryan, PhD, LLC
JD Norris Consulting, Engineering & Project Management
Pandora LaCasse Studio
The expressive arts and play therapy studio
Rogue Industries
Rocky Coast Family Acupuncture
Andrew Schmidt Law PLLC
Wealth Women & Soul
AdSpace Communications, Inc.
John Thibodeau, LCSW
Whipple | Callender Architects
Grommes Pulaski Consulting LLC
Ravenstat LLC
Pai Men Miyake
Buttrick Archaeology
Kids Movement Project
Kevin Moquin Architect
Minimo, Inc.
james l burns painting
Scipione Consulting
Back Cove Creative
Watership, Inc.
Wise Minds. Big Hearts.

Bad news for bees

Portland’s pesticide task force just rejected a ban on synthetic and bee-killing pesticides. We need to convince the city council to step up.

Monday night, the Portland Pesticide Task Force completed its work without even allowing a vote on a strong synthetic and bee-killing pesticide ban like South Portland has.[1]

Sadly, this is exactly what we expected. That’s because, believe it or not, the task force included four pesticide industry representatives and not a single doctor, nurse, or expert who practices organic land care.

Instead, the task force recommended a policy that would do literally nothing about pesticides in gardens, trees, shrubs, sidewalks, parks, or trails.[2] It would put pesticide industry representatives directly on the oversight committee charged with enforcing the ordinance and allow spraying anywhere in so-called “emergency” cases.[3] (What constitutes a weed emergency? Your guess is as good as ours.)

This plan falls far short of what’s needed to protect bees, our health, and Casco Bay. That’s why task force member Avery Yale Kamila voted no–but the fight is not over.

The next step is the City Council’s Sustainability Committee.

Will you email Sustainability Committee members Jill Duson and Belinda Ray and urge them to reject the weak task force plan and instead adopt South Portland’s organic land care ordinance?

Click here to send an email to Jill and Belinda.

South Portland and Ogunquit have already passed organic land care ordinances that restrict synthetic and bee-killing pesticides. Environmental, organic, and public health advocates–including MOFGA, Toxics Action Center, the Maine chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Peaks Island Council, Portland Protectors, and the Sierra Club–urged Portland to do the same.[4,5]

But because the task force was asked to agree on a “consensus policy,” the pesticide industry effectively had a veto over anything they didn’t like. According to task force member Avery Yale Kamila, one of the strongest voices on the task force was Deven Morrill, who works for Lucas Tree, a huge pesticides applicator in Maine, and is also the LePage-appointed chair of the Maine Board of Pesticides Control.[6]

You might be wondering, why are pesticide industry representatives with clear conflicts of interest even allowed to vote in a policy-making task force? That’s a good question. If Donald Trump or Paul LePage did something like that, Maine Democrats would be apoplectic.

Portland is better than this–but we can still fix it. In fact, Councilor Ray told Portland Protectors when she was running for election that she supported their position 100 percent.[7]

Will you email Sustainability Committee members Jill Duson and Belinda Ray and urge them to reject the weak task force plan and instead adopt South Portland’s organic land care ordinance?

Click here to send an email to Jill and Belinda.

–Bill, Karin, Marena, Michael, Pat, Steven and the rest of the Progressive Portland team

P.S. The reason we’re not urging you to contact Spencer Thibodeau, the chair of the Sustainability Committee, is because he has chosen to recuse himself due to conflicts of interest through his law firm.

Progressive Portland 2016 City Council Scorecard


Portland City Council Scorecard Finds Few Consistent Progressives

Portland, Maine—Contrary to Portland’s reputation as a bastion of liberalism, an analysis of 19 key roll call votes from Portland’s 2016 City Council session finds wide ideological splits and few consistent progressives.

“If Portland got to pick the president, we would have elected President Bernie in a landslide,” said Progressive Portland Steering Committee member Steven Biel. “So why do we have a city council that consistently votes for landlords over renters and handouts for wealthy developers?”

Progressive Portland’s scorecard found that the average city councilor voted on the progressive side of issues just 57 percent of the time. Only two members of the council voted progressive more than 75 percent of the time.

Mayor Ethan Strimling, who voted progressive 83 percent of the time, earned the highest score on the council.

Ed Suslovic, who voted progressive just 37 percent of the time and lost reelection to Councilor Brian Batson, had the lowest score on the council.

The scores for the rest of the council, in order from most to least progressive, were: Jon Hinck (78%), Spencer Thibodeau (67%), Justin Costa (56%), Jill Duson (56%), Belinda Ray (47%), David Brenerman (44%), and Nick Mavodones (42%).

“This is information the voters need to know, but the city doesn’t exactly make it easy to find,” said Steering Committee member Pat Washburn. “Often, the newspapers don’t report who voted for what either.”

Major issues considered during the 2016 City Council session included:

• India Street Health Clinic: After City Manager Jon Jennings proposed shutting down the India Street Health Clinic, the city council voted to restore funding for the needle exchange, HIV/STD testing and treatment services, and Free Clinic, but close the HIV Positive Health Care Clinic.

• Housing: Three votes were scored on issues affecting the housing crisis—leeway for no-fault evictions, banning discrimination against holders of Section 8 housing vouchers, and rezoning the Elks Lodge property for offices. Each time, the progressive position was defeated.

• Global warming: The city council voted to create a major solar development and to encourage energy efficiency by requiring reporting of energy usage. However, the council defeated a measure to incentivize green buildings.

• Tax breaks and sweetheart deals for corporations: Four times the council voted on whether to provide tax breaks and other benefits for corporations: reducing a fee increase for developers, exempting grandfathered developers from a fee increase, the no-strings-attached ImmuCell TIF, and the below-market Thames St. sale. All four times the progressive position was defeated.

• LGBT rights: The city council voted unanimously to remove transgender restrictions from the city health plan and to ban non-essential state-funded travel to states that discriminate against LGBT people.

Other votes included in the scorecard included raising the tobacco age to 21, fast-tracking a moratorium on marijuana retailers, protecting Ft. Sumner Park, and creation of the Office of Economic Opportunity for new Mainers and people of color.

Progressive Portland plans to follow up the release of the scorecard with a citywide mailing to educate voters on their councilors’ voting records.

To view the full scorecard and vote descriptions, click here:

OFFICIAL Progressive Portland Member Survey Results

The results of our first-ever member issue survey are here! Check them out.

Two weeks ago, Progressive Portland launched our first ever agenda-setting member survey, and the response we got was incredible.

More than 300 of you shared your opinions, ideas, and feedback. We’re now ready to share the results with you—and tell you how you can help get involved.

Here are the top issues that you, Progressive Portland’s members, want to focus on this year:

  1. Rebuilding our crumbling elementary schools. Given ten issues to pick from, 35% of you said that passing the school bond should be our #1 or #2 priority.
  2. Limiting the amount that landlords can raise rent each year. Nearly 29% of you picked rent stabilization as one of your top two issues.
  3. (Tie) Banning synthetic and bee-killing pesticides and stopping attempts to limit access to homeless shelters were tied for 3rd place with each listed as a top priority by 21% of you.

After the top four issues, the next highest priorities for Progressive Portland members were preventing further cuts at the India Street Health Clinic and requiring employers to provide paid sick days to their workers.

Also of interest in the survey is that Progressive Portland members are supportive of the job Ethan Strimling is doing as mayor. A little over half of respondents said they had no opinion, but among those who did, 75% approved of Mayor Strimling, while just 25% disapproved.

Meanwhile, Progressive Portland members are less satisfied with the job City Manager Jon Jennings is doing. Among those who expressed a view, just 37% approved of the city manager, while 63% disapproved.

Progressive Portland members are split almost exactly 50-50 in their opinion of the job the city council overall is doing.

Of course, we’re a non-partisan organization, and we will praise–or criticize–ANY public official when it’s deserved.