If you’ve visited our website, you know that the Alliance for Maine is a, “non-partisan, community-based effort to educate Mainers about our economic challenges and the need for a plan to repair and grow our economy.”
While that description may sound like any number of initiatives that have been launched in recent years, the Alliance for Maine aims to be something different.
First, when we say, “non-partisan, community-based,” we mean it. We are not aligned with a political party and we don’t adhere to any party platform. Our members are both Democrats and Republicans, and we agree that the political process in Maine is broken. There’s too much short-term thinking and self-interest motivating what happens in Augusta. Our legislative sessions focus on narrow “asks” and how Maine can divvy up a shrinking pie among political interest groups.
Second, we are truly trying to “educate Mainers about our economic challenges.” We get it – there’s a fair amount of “bad news” that we need to accept about Maine’s shrinking workforce and the fact that our job base has shifted from good-paying foundational jobs to lower-wage service sector jobs. But we can’t fix the problem until we understand it – and we are trying to build understanding with research, data, words, pictures, videos, talk shows, cartoons and anything else we can use.
Third, we are pushing for a solution that may sound easy – develop a plan. But it is foreign to our current way of doing business in Maine. All stakeholders, politicians and community leaders should agree that Maine should have a long-term economic develop plan focused on growing good-paying jobs for Maine. There should be no argument that unless we have a plan, we are simply bouncing from one strategy to the next with no way to gauge their effectiveness – because we never had a clear objective in the first place!
And yet, we know that there will be very little support for working on anything that can’t be held up as a “win” in the next election. Plans are boring. They don’t play well on election mailers. And yet, it is essential if Maine is going to take control of its economic future.
Alliance for Maine