Whether you’re a news junkie, curious citizen, policy wonk, expert on all things legislative, journalist or avid blogger, MECEP webinars and conferences are a chance to learn, engage, and take action in the fight for economic justice.

MECEP Policy Insights events and webinars

Our Talk features one speaker and highlights their lived experience and expertise on center stage. Is there someone you’d like to see onstage at our next Talk? Let us know!

We are thrilled to announce the inaugural MECEP Policy Insights Talk will feature a conversation with Chris Smalls, the founder and president of the Amazon Labor Union, an independent, democratic, worker-led labor union at Amazon in Staten Island and the founder of The Congress of Essential Workers, a nationwide collective of essential workers and allies fighting for better working conditions, better wages, and a better world.

Workers are the engines of the economy. Their labor, skills, and contributions make the economy run, and they have been the driving force digging us out of a global health and economic crisis. More than ever before, Maine workers recognize their own value — and want employers to recognize it too. But even as Maine workers come together to demand their value is recognized, many companies continue to engage in anti-union behavior and make it difficult for them to exercise their democratic, legally protected rights to bargain collectively.

At a FREE in-person event at 6 pm on Wednesday, September 20 at USM in Portland, we’ll hear from Chris about the importance of worker power, the experience of organizing Amazon, and what can be done at the state level to support labor organizers.

Moderated by Taifa Smith Butler, president of Demos and former president & CEO of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. Taifa has more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, public policy research and data analysis in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors and is a respected voice on economic and racial justice.

What: A conversation with Chris Smalls — part of MECEP’s ongoing Policy Insights events offering year-round opportunities to learn about economic justice. Casual reception to follow.When: Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 6 pmWhere: Hannaford Hall, University of Southern Maine, Portland

ASL & live captions provided. The parking garage behind the Abromson Center has marked accessible parking spots on every floor closest to the building. Those in a wheelchair use the same entrance to the building as everyone else and can use the elevator to get to the first floor, where Hannaford Hall is located. Hannaford Hall itself is also fully accessible.

Click here to register.

Thank you to our sponsors:

  • A. Philip Randolph Institute
  • Maine AFL-CIO
  • Consumers for Affordable Health Care
  • EqualityMaine
  • Frances Perkins Center
  • Institute for Local Self-Reliance
  • Maine Small Business Coalition
  • Maine Education Association
  • Maine Equal Justice
  • Maine People’s Alliance
  • Maine Women’s Lobby
  • New Ventures Maine
  • Scontras Labor Center
  • UMaine Bureau of Labor Education

Our ongoing Lunch & Learns are shorter Zoom webinars offering an inside look into ongoing policy fights. Held on weekdays at noon and never longer than an hour, we’re able to offer these bite-sized events more regularly than our Conference or Talk. Check back for more details on the next Lunch & Learn!

Our Conference brings speakers from multiple organizations and backgrounds together to tackle the big policy issues facing Maine’s families, communities, and economy. Check back for more details on the next conference!

Past events

This virtual Lunch & Learn covers what paid leave will mean for workers, the history of efforts to enact paid leave, what it takes to support and pass good public policy, and next steps in rolling out paid leave in Maine.

Watch here.

This virtual Lunch & Learn provides an update on legislation that would bring fairness and accountability to the corporate tax code, ensure Mainers have access to affordable child care and paid family leave, and build a budget that helps families who need it most.

Watch here.

MECEP’s 2023 Policy Insights Conference covered: 

  • Impacts of corporate consolidation on workers, small businesses, rising costs, and racial equity  
  • Tactics used by corporations to exploit loopholes 
  • Examining effectiveness of tax giveaways to corporations 
  • Policy solutions to help Maine level the playing field 
Watch here.

This virtual Lunch & Learn explores solutions and actions policymakers and the public can pursue during the 131st legislative session to advance economic justice in Maine.

Watch here.

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