I wrote last week about the League of Young Voters' Launch Maine contest. More than 170 ballots were cast at the party last Friday night; ArtVan, which brings art therapy and inspirational projects to youth in low-income neighborhoods around Southern and Midcoast Maine, was the winner of the $500 grand prize. Congrats!
There are only a few days left to vote for a finalist in the League of Young Voters's Launch Maine competition.
The contest, which aims to both spur and highlight community involvement among young Mainers, will award $500+ to the winning youth-led project. Although $500 isn't a ton of money (finalists do have the chance to earn more at the April 6th party/winner announcement), Launch Maine has garnered a ton of interest, with more than 30 teams submitting their projects, which address topics such as home weatherization, kids and the arts, organic smoothies, physical activity and health, and alternative transportation.
Last month, Jeff wrote about a local campaign to give non-citizens (but legal immigrants) the right to vote in Portland. The proposal is controversial and engenders some pretty hateful speech. The Portland Charter Commission ultimately passed on including it in the city's charter on their own volition, but a group of residents, led by the League of Young Voters, took out a petition on Monday to amend the city's charter to include voting rights for legal immigrants
As we reported last week, the Maine League of Young Voters has a new director, Will Everitt. I sat down with him at the League's office yesterday morning.
Non-profits everywhere had a hard time raising money in 2009, and the League was no different. Everitt, whose background is in fundraising and development (he led such efforts at the Toxic Actions Center and Friends of Casco Bay), is charged with righting this ship, first and foremost.
Will Everitt, former development director for Friends of Casco Bay, is the new Maine State Director for the League of Young Voters (Harris Parnell, who used to hold the position, now works for Maine Initiatives). In his introductory email, Everitt points out that 2010 will be a big year for state and local politics: we've got a gubernatorial race and a Portland Charter Commission vote in the cards, as well as continued focus on jobs and energy efficiency.
The Maine Department of Transportation is planning how to make traffic (car, bike, and foot, presumably) flow more safely and smoothly at Exit 7, off 295. But several groups, including the League of Young Voters, the Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation, and the Franklin Reclamation Authority, are expressing disappointment that the most recent MDOT plan does not include a scheme to connect Franklin with Back Cove for pedestrians.
There's not much to say about yesterday's primary that hasn't been said already. Here are the city's numbers.
Some other odds and ends:
-- I caught a thought-provoking (and perhaps prescient) quotation on the AsMaineGoes forum: "I hope Charlie can turn all those Cote votes into his votes."
-- Also, I was entertained by this PPH Ethan Strimling quotation, given his rabid anti-Pingree rhetoric during the campaign: "She will be a great standard-bearer for us."
When Portland's city councilors passed the $185 million 2008-09 budget on Monday evening, they saved the Reiche branch of the Public Library (at least for now), but slashed 10 of the city's polling places. This will save approximately $15,000. The cuts will NOT affect voters on June 10 (the upcoming primary election), but the impact may be felt in November.