Monday April 10 is the National Day of Action for Immigrant Justice. If you want to throw in your two cents about this controversial issue, head down to Monument Square in Portland on Monday at noon for a peaceful rally to support immigrant rights. The Portland protest is organized by the Maine Civil Liberties Union; the national day of protests (which includes 30 cities in the US) is sponsored by the National Capitol Immigration Coalition (NCIC).
Owens, who is considered by some to be a possible nominee for President or Vice
President in 2008 or 2012, helped pass the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) as a constitutional amendment in Colorado.
Spring has sprung and area activists are kicking into gear. Here are some events coming up that may or may not change the world:
FEELING CHATTY: On Thursday, April 6 at 6:30 pm, CitizenSalon will host Democratic US Senate candidates Jean Hay Bright and Eric Mehnert, both of whom have designs on Olympia Snowe's spot in Washington.
Portland Greens announced today which two members will run for city council in their bid to weaken the Dems' control over the city's primary governing body (see last edition's "Portland's Greens Go for the Council" by yours truly). Kevin Donoghue, the 27-year-old co-chair of the Portland Green Independent Committee and a student at USM's Muskie School of Public Service, will challenge incumbent Will Gorham, who has lately generated a lot of free press by advocating for fewer bars in the Old Port.
The Maine Senate voted unanimously today to enact a bill requiring the Maine State Retirement System to divest its holdings from the Darfur region in Sudan. The retirement system has invested about $50 million of its $9 billion portfolio in Sudan. The bill only needs to be signed by the Governor to become law. The Gov has already announced his intention to sign the bill.
A company of child actors will perform a play about the Iraq War at the Alumni Theater at the University of Maine at Farmington from April 13 through April 15. The play, "Songbird," was written by Farmington playwright Jayne Decker. It is about a soldier in the Iraq War and the impact the war has on his family in the US.
The kid cast will play adult American soldiers in Iraq and Iraqi children.
A hastily called rally in Monument Square today protested a political tactic in Washington DC that has senators racing against the clock to finalize a proposal for "comprehensive immigration reform," lest a draconian and simplistic solution be enacted in its stead.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) has said he will open debate on the Senate floor as early as tomorrow, whether or not the Senate Judiciary Committee completes its work.
LD 1758, the bill which would require Maine's retirement system to give up its holdings in war-torn Sudan, is well on its way to becoming a law. The bill passed both the House and Senate earlier this week and is awaiting enactment and a signature from the governor, who has already pledged his support. The east African country Sudan has been crippled by a twenty year civil war and three years of genocide in the Darfur region.
Governor John Baldacci scored points with Maine international labor advocates this week when he withdrew Maine from the procurement sections of two US trade agreements, the Panama free trade agreement and the Andean free trade agreement (which involves Columbia, Peru, and Equador). The withdrawal means Maine will not benefit from purchasing deals established under the agreements, but will also not be bound by the rules of the agreements, which could force states to purchase from companies with poor labor standards.
Bar Lola, a new restaurant which will take over the space at 100 Congress on Munjoy Hill, is the brainchild of people involved with One Fifty Ate, the bread/sandwich/natural foods eatery in South Portland which has generated a loyal following since it opened in 2002.
Bar Lola is owned by Stella and Guy Hernandez. Stella is a waitress at One Fifty, Guy is a partner there, and Josh Potoki, a co-founder of One Fifty Ate and a former chef at Street & Co.