As the 2010 election cycle shifts into high gear, one issue is front and center: the need to get Maine and America’s unemployed back to work. MECEP has taken a leadership role in framing the debate and in providing factual arguments for action at both the state and federal levels.
On February 4th MECEP released a new report which estimated that cuts proposed to the state budget for health care and education would result in the loss of 7,000 to 10,000 jobs. The response from the Maine media was impressive with front page stories in the Portland Press Herald and the Central Maine Newspapers and an extensive report on MPBN. Rep. Anne Perry, House Chair of the Legislature’s Health & Human Services Committee, cited the MECEP study in a February 9th “op ed” in the Portland Press Herald asserting that MECEP’s projected job losses “would only keep Maine in a longer, deeper recession.” (Brunswick) Times Record columnist Doug Rooks wrote “The reason the MECEP report is so important is that it frames the choices differently than has been done so far.”
On February 9th MECEP Executive Director Christopher “Kit” St. John joined Maine House Speaker Hannah Pingree, Maine Senate President Elizabeth Mitchell, other legislators, business people and health care and education advocates for a State House press conference calling on Senators Snowe and Collins to fight for immediate passage of a new jobs bill pending in the U.S. Senate. Kit stressed the need for federal fiscal relief for Maine and other states struggling to provide health care and education services to their citizens. Video of Kit’s press conference statement is available on YouTube.
And finally, MECEP made its own contribution to job creation this week, hiring me as its new Communications Director. I look forward to doing my best to support MECEP’s efforts to ensure economic and social justice for all Maine families.