CONTEMPORARY MOVEMENTS IN MAINE
Portland, Maine is the latest community to explore the possibility of extending local voting rights in all municipal elections to legal permanent residents. Portland has nearly 5,000 foreign-born residents, or 7.6% of the population. Spearheaded by Portland School Committee Member Stephen Spring, the Portland movement is in its very early days.
The Portland School Committee is continuing to discuss petitioning the city council to follow a process similar to that of Cambridge and Amherst, Massachusetts.
September 11, 2004. Letter to the Editor from Gustavo Caldas in the Portland Press-Herald
September 10. Maine Public Radio airs story on movement on Maine Things Considered
September 8. First neighborhood presentation (Flyer in MS Word) at the West End Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. There is a large immigrant population in this very progressive part of the city.
Portland’s political weekly newspaper, The Forecaster runs article on movement.
July-August, 2004. A white paper on immigrant voting rights is mailed to all of Portland’s nine city councilors. Dialog begins with at least two city councilors showing interest. The idea is sent to the city attorney to look over and the mayor establishes a committee to look into it.
Later in August, a small article in the Portland Press Herald notes that the very active Portland chapter of the Maine Green Independent Party unanimously endorsed extending the vote in municipal elections to permanent residents at a monthly meeting.
The following day, the Portland Press Herald publishes a Letter to the Editor from School Board member Stephen Spring.
Click HERE for the history of noncitizen residents voting in Maine.
Click HERE for more on relevant Maine legislation.
Stephen Spring. “Taxation without Representation: Voting Rights for Immigrants.” (ClickHERE for Microsoft Word Version)