Saturday, November 12, 2011

OneMaine

Those of you who know me personally or have read enough of my writing know that I am nothing if not fiercely independent.  That means that not only do I not always vote for one party in elections, it also means that I strongly support maintaining my right to be independent, not affiliated with any political party; therefore, not having pressure from my chosen party to go along with something I disagree with.
Sometimes I find it important to vote for Independents to make a point, although usually I vote for Independents because I believe in what they stand for, and always support issues that make it easier for independents to get involved in politics or make it easier for all of us to vote, such as open primaries.
Aside from voting for an Independent, it can often be difficult for an independent like myself to find organizations to support who stand for the same things.  Well, there is an organization now here in Maine called OneMaine, founded and chaired by Eliot Cutler, who you'll remember I wrote about and supported during his run for Governor last year (very nearly winning and becoming our third Independent Governor).  He founded this organization to attempt to bring under one roof all the people in Maine who are of like mind about having less partisanship and more cooperation in our politics for the benefit of the people of Maine.  From the OneMaine website:
OneMaine provides a rallying point for people who think for themselves, who believe that our politics need to be more effective and less partisan, and who care less about parties and more about common interests and shared purpose. We are not a political party, but rather a big tent in which Mainers of all stripes – Democrats, Republicans, Greens and unenrolled, independent voters – can collaborate, share ideas and move Maine forward.
Mr. Cutler helped establish this organization following last year's gubernatorial election to try to take advantage of the independent momentum of that campaign and to provide a place for disparate people with a common goal of the best interests of Mainers.
I would encourage you to support OneMaine (you can start at the link above or like them on Facebook) or to look for like organizations if you live outside of Maine.  There are many of you out there like myself who have always been independent and have looked for a place to get involved without joining a party.  Now you have that place.
The other day I sent an email to OneMaine asking if they'd be so kind as to give me a progress update on OneMaine that I could share with you.  Kaitlin LaCasse, the media relations director, was gracious enough to get right back to me with the following:
"So far, the response to OneMaine has been fantastic. When we launched in Bangor a few months ago, over 75 people attended to learn more about OneMaine and to have a conversation about how to best move the organization forward. Since then, we've held events all around the state, and the enthusiasm for OneMaine continues to amaze me. At our Portland event (where there were over 100 people!), an older gentleman came up to me after and said, "thank you, I've been yearning for something like this." The best part is that the man hadn't ever connected with us before - he had read about the event in the paper and decided to come check it out! So, OneMaine continues to grow and mature and we're excited about the potential."
 Thank you!
 Kaitlin
 Cross-posted at Inside Zebster

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