Policy Insights Talk: 2023

Our Talk features one speaker and highlights their lived experience and expertise on center stage.

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.

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

More Policy Insights events are in the works. Sign up for our newsletter and you'll be the first to know!

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