Prior to moving to Maine in February of last year (yes, I moved in February- thank goodness it was a soft winter), I spent four lucky years travelling around the U.S. working with grassroots organizations to build their state and local organizing campaigns. I spent the majority of my time moving between New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and our great state of Maine. While, I had a deep respect for the struggles, and successes of organizers in each of these states, Maine was always an outlier. The activists and organizers in Maine were able to reach a level of discourse, collaboration and outcomes that few other states are able to reach. That’s one of the major reasons I chose to leave Brooklyn, DC, Chicago and other places in the dust and moved to Lewiston.
True to Maine, whenever I’ve tried to explain this phenomenon to folks living in the state, they often shrug and smile- very humbly. Perhaps that’s because we can never be satisfied by our social justice work. It can feel like there is always work left to be done. Or, perhaps we have not yet had many opportunities to observe just how strong and productive our community is in the face of real and immediate opposition that is on the attack. Read more »