The Progressive Portland 2017 Scorecard

VoteEthan Strimling 94%Pious Ali 88%Brian Batson 82%Spencer Thibodeau 76%David Brenerman 76%Justin Costa 71%Jill Duson 65%Nick Mavodones 65%Belinda Ray 53%Fake
General Assistance for Asylum-Seekers.Progressive Vote = YES The council voted to continue providing aid to asylum-seekers who had been excluded by LePage administration policy changes. General assistance covers basic needs, including rent, food, and other essential services. | Motion passed 9-0, December 19, 2016 green-markgreen-markgreen-markProgressive voteProgressive voteProgressive voteProgressive voteProgressive voteProgressive vote
$64 million bond to repair Longfellow, Lyseth, Presumpscot, & Reiche Elementary Schools. Progressive Vote = YES The 4-school bond fell one vote short of the 7-vote supermajority needed to pass the council and advance to the voters without a competing option. | Motion failed 6-3, March 20, 2017 Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive vote
Fee Increase for Non-Owner-Occupied AirBnB Units.Progressive Vote = YES While debating a first-ever ordinance regulating short-term rentals, the council considered an amendment by Councilor Brian Batson to increase registration fees for non-owner-occupied units by 50 percent. | Motion failed 4-5, March 27, 2017Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive vote
AirBnB Regulation.Progressive Vote = YES Amid Portland’s tight housing market and affordability crisis, the council capped the number of short-term rental units allowed in the city and required hosts to register and pay a fee. | Motion passed 8-1, March 27, 2017 Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteOpposed progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive vote
Thames Street Extension.Progressive Vote: NO Last year, the city council voted to sell a plot of city-owned waterfront land to a private developer (58 Fore Street) for $400,000—less than half the appraised value. This year, the council voted to allocate $1.4 million of taxpayer money to build a road to that same piece of property. | Motion passed, 8-1, April 5, 2017Cast progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive vote
$24 Million One-School Bond to Repair Only Lyseth Elementary School.Progressive Vote: NO While debating the 4-school bond, Councilor Belinda Ray offered an amendment opposed by the PTOs of all four elementary schools and Protect Our Neighborhood Schools to reduce the bond to $24 million and fully renovate only Lyseth Elementary School. Had this amendment passed, the 4-school bond would have been dead. | Motion failed 2-7, April 24, 2017Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive vote
Final School Bond Compromise.Progressive Vote = YES After weeks of negotiation, the council passed a historic compromise allowing Portland voters to vote on the 4-school bond, with a 2-school competing option cutting out Reiche and Longfellow also placed on the ballot. | Motion passed 8-1, April 24, 2017Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteOpposed progressive vote
100% Clean Energy by 2040.Progressive Vote = YES Councilor Spencer Thibodeau proposed a resolution backed by the Sierra Club’s Climate Action Team, setting a goal of powering 100 percent of city operations with clean energy by 2040. | Motion passed: 9-0, May 1, 2017Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive vote
Locate Homeless Shelter Within 2.75 Miles of Downtown.Progressive Vote = YES Those who work with homeless people stress that people need connections to normalcy, not isolation, to escape homelessness. The council considered an amendment to rule out industrial parks and the remote outskirts of the I-95 corridor as options for future homeless shelters. | Motion failed: 1-8, June 5, 2017Cast progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteAbsentOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive vote
Strengthen Clean Energy Goals in Comprehensive Plan.Progressive Vote = YES The comprehensive plan is a legally binding document setting priorities for Portland’s development. The council considered two amendments to strengthen the climate and clean energy provisions in the comprehensive plan. | Motions passed 7-1, June 5, 2017Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteAbsentCast progressive voteOpposed progressive vote
Put Rent Stabilization on the November Ballot.Progressive Vote = YES After an error by Portland’s city clerk threatened to delay ballot questions on rent stabilization and zoning, the council corrected the error to ensure both questions would appear on the November ballot. | Motion passed 9-0, September 6, 2017Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive vote
Zoning Incentives for Affordable Housing Developments.Progressive Vote = YES Backed by Avesta Housing and the Portland Housing Authority, the amendments relaxed setback rules and density and height restrictions for affordable housing developments known as Planned Residential Use Developments. | Motion passed 8-1, September 6, 2017Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteOpposed progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive vote
Join Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturers.Progressive Vote = YES In 2016, 376 Mainers died of drug overdoses, including 42 in Portland. The national lawsuit against manufacturers of opioids would, if successful, hold drug companies accountable for fraudulent marketing and bring new resources to the city to fight the epidemic. | Motion passed 9-0, September 18, 2017Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive vote
LED Lights in City Street Lamps.Progressive Vote = YES The council voted to approve $8.5 million for efficient LED street lights, which over time will save the city money while reducing energy use and pollution. | Motion passed 8-0, October 16, 2017AbsentCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive vote
Targeted Tax Relief for Low-Income Seniors.Progressive Vote = YES Proposed by Mayor Ethan Strimling, the Portland Senior Tax Equity Program provides property tax rebates to nearly 900 low-income seniors. | Motion passed 8-0, November 20, 2017Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteAbsentCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive vote
Prevailing Wage Requirement for Taxpayer-Subsidized Projects.Progressive Vote = YES Backed by the Maine State Building & Construction Trades Council and introduced by Mayor Ethan Strimling, the prevailing wage amendment requires that contractors receiving a TIF subsidy pay no less than the wage paid to most workers in the field in the area. | Motion passed 8-0, November 20, 2017Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive voteCast progressive vote
Apprenticeship Requirement for Taxpayer-Subsidized Projects.Progressive Vote = YES Apprenticeship programs are proven to be effective in growing the pool of skilled labor and helping young workers gain a path to the middle class. Backed by the Maine State Building & Construction Trades Council and introduced by Mayor Ethan Strimling, the amendment would have required contractors receiving a TIF subsidy to participate in an apprenticeship program. | Motion failed 3-5, November 20, 2017 Cast progressive voteCast progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteCast progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive voteOpposed progressive vote

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
Duckfat
Asia West
Bard Coffee
Figgy’s Takeout
Dale Rand Printing
One Longfellow Square
Black Cat Coffee
El Rayo Taqueria
Tandem Coffee Roasters
Central Provisions
OTTO
Duckfat
Mainely Ski & Ride
Allspeed Cyclery & Snow
Miyake Restaurant
Dinky Dogs
Aurora Provisions
Dharma Imports
Nosh
Slab
Rhum
Big J’s
Tipo
Local Sprouts
Arcadia National Bar
Siempre Mas
Plumb & True Pilates
Simply Scandinavian Foods
Find
Étaín Boutique
Springboard Pilates
Fleetwood House Bed and Breakfast
Bridge Gallery
Spiral Tree Yoga and Wellness Studio
Cat Bates Jewelry & Accessories
Dean’s Sweets
COPE LAW FIRM
Dextrous Creative
Comcord Properties
Maine Yoga Kids
Radiant Beginnings, LLC
Ashley Flowers Yoga
Nomads
Rapport
Lachman architects and planners
Zootility Tools
the-ink-spot
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
2J’s
Root Therapy
ReisingWorks
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.
Yellahoose

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: https://progressiveportland.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Scorecard_final2.pdf.

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.