Community Voices for Change

On Tue from 11:30 am EST to 12:00 pm EST


Community Voices for Change is a talk show highlighting the work of individuals and organizations working to enhance the greater good of communities. Producer and Host Richard Rudolph begins each show with music from Sam Cooke’s Ain’t That Good News Album -“A Change is Gonna Come”. The show is also based on the writings of Howard Zinn and other writers who believe if we can get organized “Small acts” multiplied by hundreds, thousands of people we can transform our communities, the state and even possibly the world.  Our sound engineer is Dennis Kirkpatrick.

Please scroll down below to see program descriptions and to gain access to the most recent shows (last five weeks) that have been archived.

September 19, 2023. 11:30 – 12 noon.   Our guest is Representative Christopher Kessler who represents District 121 in the Maine State Legislature.  He will talk about how he first got involved in tenant organizing and the bills that he has introduce which been passed over the past few years.  He will also talk about his ideas regarding what can be done to solve the current lack of affordable housing in the state.

September 12, 2023, 11:30 – 12 noon Our guest was Kate Sykes who is a clean election candidate running for Portland’s District 5 seat.  She talked about why she has thrown her hat in the ring so to speak and what she hopes can be done to resolve a number of issues facing folks living in the city including the homeless problem and the lack of affordable housing in the city.

September 5, 2023  11:30 -12 noon.  Our guest was Carrie N. Baker who is a professor in the program for tje study of women and gender at Smith College.   She talked about an op-ed that she recently wrote entitled ” Why we need leaders to stand up to anti-abortion extremists” which focused on the  long standing problem of anti-abortion violence and intimidation against reproductive health advocates.  

August 29, 2023.  11:30 -12 noon. Our guest Sarah Alexander who is the Executive Director of the Maine Organic Farmer and Gardeners Association talked about the legislative issues that MOFGA supported  in the Maine State Legislature this year.  She also briefly described some the new attractions at the upcoming Common Ground Fair which will be held on September 23-25 in Unity, Maine 

August 22. 2023.  Our guest was Ira Helfand who is the past president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.  He is also a member of the international steering group for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.  The show focused on why it is past time to pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear armed states to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

Augus 15, 2023.  11:30 – 12 noon.  Our guest today was Matt Eric who is the director of the new Charles A. Contras Labor Center which has just been established at the University of Southern <aine.  The show focused on what the new community labor education center hopes to do to help build the labor movement for the working class here in Maine.

August 9, 2023.  Our guest was Al Cleveland who is the campaign manager for Our Power, the citizen initiative to establish a consumer owned utility company in Maine.  He talked about the effort underway and what listeners can do to help insure that the ballot intiative will be successful this coming November.

August 2, 2023.   11:30 -12 noon.   Our guest will be Andy O’Brien, Communication Director at the Maine AFL-CIO. The show will focus on several recent  labor issues that have been addressed by the Maine Legislative and the Governor.  We will talk about LD 398 which would have made farm laborers in the state eligible to be covered under the state’s minimum wage law;  Maine Offshore Wind Bill which passed after labor deal and the recent effort of coffee employees who went on strike  after forming a union.  

July 25, 2023.    Our guest was  Ethan Stripling, a former mayor  of Portland, Maine who also served as a Democratic Senator in the Maine State Legislative for several terms.  The show focused on Portland City’s ballot initiative process- what it is and why some folks would like to weaken it or get rid of it altogether.  Last year, Portland voters overwhelmingly rejected a proposed change in the city’s rent control ordinance that would have eliminated the 5% cap on rent increases landords are allowed to take when an apartment turns over.  The Mayor recently led an effort which would have given the city council the ability to repeal a voter approved law just 18 months after it was passed.  Fortunately the City Council voted 6-3 against the proposed changes to the city’s ballot initiative rules.

July 18, 2023.  Our guest was Cole Cochrane who is the co-founder of Maine Youth Action and serves as its policy director.  He talked about the organization’s mission and it goals. The mission is to fight for bold, equitable and intersectional climate policy in Maine at both the state and municipal level through youth voice, power and action.  The organization recognizes the need for fundamental reform of our economic system and champions the Green New Deal and all that enables it.  It addresses the reality that humans are not creating climate change or environmental issues: corporations are.  The organization also recognizes the climate crisis  is intrinsically linked to every other issue and that we we must work with other movements.

July 11, 2023.  Our guest was Chloe Maxmin, the author of Dirt Road Rival and is a former member of the Maine State Legislature.  She is now involved in creating a new organization called Dirt Road Organizing.   She talked about how this new organization is different from other organizations that are training new leaders in Rural America.   It will provide concrete tools and strategies at the state and local levels to support organizers, state legislators, and aspiring leaders who are working towards an equitable and just democracy in rural America.  Our fights, she maintains,  include free and fair voting, accessible and affordable healthcare, the right to choose what happens to our bodies, racial justice and transportation access.

June 27, 2023.  Our guest was  Representative Cheryl Goleck who is serving her first term in the Maine State Legislature.  She is a member of the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee and the newly formed Joint Select Committee on Housing.  She talked about  why she decided to run for a legislative seat and what she hopes to accomplish going forward.  She talked about how being born into generational poverty and enduring  years as a homeless teen and  living in poverty for more than half of her life before finding her way to success has led her to serve in  the Legislature.   She has introduced a number of bills during the 131st Legislative session including LD 1720 – An Act to Establish the Maine Rental Assistance and Guarantee Program and LD 150 – a Resolve, Directing the Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services to Study Placing Child Care Facilities in Secondary Schools.


The show will focus on recent efforts to ban books from school libraries in Maine as well as across the country.  She will talk about why these attacks are not only an a assault on individuals, but also an assault on public education which is the cornerstone of our democracy and what individuals and parents can do to support schools and school librarians who may come under attack.

January 17.  Our guest was Lauren McCauley who is the editor in chief  of the Maine Beacon which is a daily electronic newspaper published by the Maine Peoples Alliance.  Lauren  talked about the importance of movement journalism, how it is different  and some of the problems and difficulties that are encountered in Maine and elsewhere in the U.S.  She  also talked about the benefits and down sides of this type of work and why college / university students should consider this type of work.

January 11.  Our guest was Dr. Sonja Birthisel who is a lecturer at the University of Maine’s Ecology and Environmental Sciences Department.  She is also the director of the Wilson Center, a progressive multi-faith  organization on  the UMaine campus and was recently elected to serve on the Orono Town Council.  She described  how she has become a climate activist and first got involved in a protest effort to shut down the Merrimack coal-fire power station in New Hampshire and has been recently elected to serve on a 12 member coordinating council – ISO- New England which provides recommendations regarding future financial commitments to energy generators three years in advance to ensure the grid has extra energy during peak demand to avoid outages.

January 4.  Our guest was Bruce Sleeper, who is the new president of TrainRiders Northeast.  He has served as the organization’s legal counsel since its very beginnings in the late 1980’s. He recently testified before the Rail Use Advisory Committee which was established by the Maine State Legislature to consider what should be done with the state owned St.  Lawrence Rail Line.  He  talked about why we should be opposed to any effort to remove rail, ballast,signals and other infrastructure on this line as well as the “Lower Road” from Brunswick to Augusta for a proposed walking/ bicycle path.  

December 28.  Our guest was Ethan Stripling, the former mayor of Portland who has also served in the Maine State Senate.  The show focused on Ethan ‘s thoughts regarding the recent municipal election results that have been achieved and what he believes our city leaders need to do in the coming new year.  He stated the Mayor and City Council need to robustly enforce and fund what was passed.  His list included meaningful civilian oversight of the police department, stronger rent control and tenant protections and municipal clean elections and the independent ethics panel to ensure our leaders are operating on the up and up and to give the public confidence that backroom deal are not occurring.