STATEMENT: Legislature takes action on racial inequality in Maine

Mario Moretto

AUGUSTA, Maine — James Myall, policy analyst at Maine Center for Economic Policy, released the following statement following the enactment Tuesday of LD 777, “An Act To Establish the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations,” sponsored by Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross of Portland.

“Maine’s economic, health, education, and criminal justice systems work better for white Mainers than for Mainers of color.

“This Commission is a sensible first step in examining the causes of racial inequality, and to start identifying solutions to create an economy in which communities of color have an equal chance to get ahead.

“By enacting this bill, the Legislature has shown that Maine is serious about reducing racial inequality. This Commission will provide a home for the state’s efforts to understand the ways that policy decisions affect different racial and ethnic groups differently and would provide a venue for Maine begin to address centuries of historical wrongs.”

BACKGROUND: To learn more about racial inequality in Maine, see MECEP’s June 2019 fact sheet. To learn more about the Permanent Commission, see Myall’s June 2019 blog post.