Community Voices for Change

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scroll down below to see program descriptions and to gain access to the most recent shows (last five weeks) that have been archived.

May 13, 2024.  11:30-Noon.  Our guest today was Thomas Harnett who is a former Mayor of Gardiner, Maine who has also served in the Maine Legislature from 2018-2023.  He has also recently served as a Legal Policy Advisor to Rachel Talbot Ross, the Maine Speaker of the House.  The show focused on Governor Janet Mills veto of several different farm bills which would have made farm workers eligible to earn the minimum wage which is currently $14.15 per hour in Maine.   Thomas talked about the impact that the Governor’s vetoes have had on farm laborers in the state and how farm workers are treated in the other New England States.

May 6, 2024.  11:30-Noon.  Our guests today were two women:  Linda Small and Mackenzie Kelley who were previously incarcerated in the Maine Prison System.  Linda is the founder and executive director of Reentry Sisters, a brand new reentry support organization specializing in a gender-responsive and trauma-informed approach for women, serving in Maine prisons and beyond. MacKenzie Kelly who is also a formerly incarcerated woman works at the Maine Prisoner Re-entry Center as a reentry specialist, peer support and recovery coach.  She is the program director for Reentry Sisters.  Both Linda and Mackenzie talked about the need for the new Reentry Sisters organization and what they believe can be achieved going forward.

April  29, 2024.  11:30-Noon.  Our guest was Wren Patton who is a member of the national DSA organization which has recently established an eco-socialist working group.  Its mission is to ensure that the transition to socialism in the U.S. is based on sound ecological principles, preserving the viability of the natural and human environments for future generations and other forms of life, while keeping in mind the historical and present inequities imposed by prior forms of society.  Wren also talked about how the DSA’s Green New Deal differs from other environmental campaigns that have been waged in the past as well as groups which are currently involved today.

April 22, 2024.  11:30-N00n.  Our guest was Kathy Leighton who is the executive director of the Restorative JusticeProject base in Belfast Maine.  The show focused on the agency’s effort to promote justice that is community based, repairs harms, and creates safety and  creates well-being for all.  The show also focused on the agency’s latest effort to establish a restorative justice program for drug offenders.  Natasha Irving the D.A. for Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties believes this new program has the potential to keep more of its graduates out of prison and in the community, which is one of the court’s overreaching goals.

April 15, 2024.  11:30 -Noon.  Our guest was James Myall who is a policy analyst at the Maine Center for Economic Policy.  He talked about an opinion piece which he has recently written entitled “Asylum seekers benefit Maine’s economy – lawmakers need to support them”.  He mentioned that a new major study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reveals that the cost to all levels of government providing support for asylum seekers  and refugees during the period of 2005-2019 was offset by the estimated tax revenue from these individuals.  He also mentioned there is evidence of benefits from immigration as well in the short run.

April 8, 2024.  11:30-Noon.  Our guest was Scott Buddy, who is the Director of Policy for the  Maine  Labor Climate Council.  He talked about LD2266, a bill that would grant a permit under the Natural Resources Protection Act for an offshore wind port that  would remove a coastal sandbar off of Sears Island.  He talked about the advantages of floating offshore wind turbines and mentioned that there are advantages for sighting the facility on Sara Island compared to Mack Point.  Regardless of which site is selected he assured listeners that Maine workers would benefit.

April 1, 2024.  11:30-Noon. Our guest was Wendy Allen who served as the Young Adult Diversion Program lead and Advocate Design lead for the Restorative Justice Institute of Maine.  She talked about the Young Adult Diversion Program which prover community based court diversion grounded in restorative practices in Cumberland and Androsoggin counties.  Unfortunately, the program has been canceled because of the lack of funds.

March 25, 2024,.  11:-30 – Noon.  Our guest was Daniel Czitron who is a professor emeritus of history on the Ford Foundation at Mount Holyoke College.  The show focused on a column that he has written which was published in the Northampton Gazette entitled  “Beyond the the Mideast Binary.”  We talked about how the American news media outlets and political figures have framed the ongoing conflict largely aa narrow binary choice.  Either one stands with Israel or supports the resistance, no mater the excesses and brutality on either side.  He argues that we need to educate ourselves beyond tje simple binary of Israel v. Hamas.

March 18, 2024.  11:30 – Noon.  Our guest was Kevin Van Meter who is a teaching fellow at the Charles A. condras Center for Labor and Community Education at the University of Southern Maine.  The show focused on why unions matter today and what he hopes to accomplish at the new center.  The discussion focused on a number of issues including what can be done to address the grotesque inequality in wealth which exist and the anti-labor bias of the political system in the U.S.

March 11, 2024. 11:30-Noon.  Our guest was Sam Lovejoy  an anti-nuclear activist who cut down a 500 ft weather tower in Montague, Mass in February 22, 1974.  Northeast Utilities was planning to build a nuclear power plant.  Sam action was an act of civil disobedience which led to the massive anti-nuclear movement in the 197o’s.  Sam voluntarily  turned himself in, was arrested and handed out a four page document explaining  why it was necessary to engage in a public act of disobedience.  A trial was held in the following year and the judge ultimately ended the trial on a technicality. 

March 4, 2024. 11:30 -Noon.  Our guest was Josie Phillips who is the state priorities Partnership Fellow at the Maine Center for Economic Policy.  She conducts research into Maine’s tax and budget system and economy.  We talked about her ideas regarding on how to secure housing for Mainers with low income and what’s wrong with Governor Janet Mills proposed supplementary budget.

February 26, 2024.  11:30 – Noon.  Our guest  was Craig Saddlemire who is a cooperative development organizer based in Lewiston, Maine.  He talked about Raise-Op which is a housing cooperative in Lewiston, Maine and how it could be a model to help solve the growing housing problem in Maine.  He described the mission and principles that support the mission and compared the cooperative model to shade space models and condominiums.

February 19, 2024.  11:30 – Noon. Our guest was Heather Spaulding,  the Deputy Director of the Maine organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.  The show focused on the advocacy work of the organization during the 131 Maine State Legislature.  She talked  about the current farm bill that expired  this past September and the priorities in the farm bill for organic agriculture.  She also talked about several bills that have been carried over to the 2nd session of the legislature including a bill that would provide farm workers the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining.

February 12,  2024. 11:30 – Noon.  Our guest was Liz Trice who is a member of Maine Cooperative Development Partners which is planning to build cooperative housing in Portland, Maine.  She talked about the advantages of cooperative housing and the Lambert Woods South Cooperative project which is located in Portland’s North Deering Neighborhood and how listeners can get more information about the process.    She encouraged folks who are interested in cooperative housing to contact her directly.  

February 5.  11:30 – Noon.  Our guest was Corrine Watson who is the CEO and founder of Tiny Homes of Maine.  She talked about the role that she played in convincing the Maine State Legislature to pass LD1981 which ensures that tiny homes can be built and sold in Maine reversing a previous mandate issued from the Secretary of State in June 2019 which  banned issuing titles and registrations for tiny homes.  She also talked about who is buying or building tiny homes in Maine and what are the advantages of buying or renting a tiny home.

January 29, 2024.  11:30 – Noon.  Our guest was Tim Mikulka who is a member of the Third Act.  He talked about the ongoing effort to stop the construction of new natural gas drilling sites in Louisiana  and the export of methane gas to countries in Europe and Asia. Several  members from the Third Act planned to participate in the demonstration that was to be held on February 5-6 at the U.S. Department of Energy’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

January 22, 2024.  11:30 – 12 noon.  Our guest was Andy O’Brien who is the communication director for the Maine AFL-CIO. The  show focused on what is happening in Maine regarding the labor movement.  The show focused on how the labor movement s different in Maine compared to other parts of the country.  It appears that young people are the driving the movement for organizing unions.  While union membership rates have fallen with the closure of big unionized companies such as the paper mills the union movement in Maine is still beating.

January 15, 2024.  11:30 – Noon.  Our guest was Michael Hillard, Professor of  Economics and Labor History who has recently retired from the University of Southern Maine.  The show focused on what has been happening to the labor movement over the past several decades.  He taught about what led to the decline win the labor movement since the 1970’s and what is going soon nationally today.  He also talked about the current status of the union movement and how growing economic inequality has  led to greater interest  unions.

January 8, 2024.  11:30 – 12 Noon.  Our guest today was Sam Boss..  He is the Maine AFL-CIO new Apprenticeship, Workforce & Equity Director.  He talked about what he hopes to accomplish as the director of his new program and the Union Academy Pre-Apprenticeship Program scheduled for January 15- February 16, 2024. The UCA is designed to prepare BIPOC individuals,  immigrants, women,  and other working class Mainers to graduate into a registered apprenticeship program as union carpenters, electricians, elevator constructors, iron workers, insulators, millwrights,plumers and pipe fitters and more,  He also talked about how the Maine AFL-CIO staff and community partners provide follow-up support to help graduates identify and apply for apprenticeships that align with their interests.

January 1, 2024. 11:30 -12 noon.  Our guest was  Nacole Palmer who is the executive director of the Maine Gun Safety Coalition.  The show focused on what she hopes can be accomplished  during the upcoming Maine Legislative session.  She  talked about the gun safety rally that will be held on January 3rd at the Maine State House and the various bills that her group is working on such as Background Checks, 72 hour waiting period, Red Flag Protection orders and assault weapon bans.  She also talked about the educational work of the organization.  It prove an opportunity for citizens to give back unwanted guns on an annual give back day.  It also provides free gun locks, and operates a pediatricians program to teach pediatric healthcare providers on how to best discuss gun safety storage with parents and guardians. It also provides info about how to safely store a gun and offers a community speakers program.

October 2, 2023.  11:30 – 12 noon.   Our guest will be Bruce Gagnon, Co-founder and Coordinator of Global Network Against Weapons and nuclear power in space. 

September 26,2023.  11:30 – 12 noon.   Our guest was John Sheirer, who writes a monthly column on current events for the Daily Hampshire Gazette and is an author of a number of books including his last novel “Stumbling Through Adulthood : Linked Stories” published by Janice Beale Books.   The show focused on his latest opinion piece entitled “Time for a functional Republican Party”,  his latest novel and what he is currently writing.

September 19, 2023. 11:30 – 12 noon.   Our guest was 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 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 Maine.  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 was 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 talked 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.




Cynthia Turcotte

Thank you so much for your programs honoring Betsy Parsons on November 3 and 11. Wonderful job paying tribute to a wonderful person!


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