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. Bobby Carroll is our sound engineer.
Please scroll down below to see program descriptions and to gain access to the most recent shows (last five weeks) that have been archived.
August 19. Our guest is Heather Spaulding, the Deputy Director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. The show will focus on the policy work of the organization and the bills that it has supported during the 130th legislative session. Heather will also talk about the 50th anniversary of MOFGA and the upcoming Common Ground Fair which will be held on September 24-26.
August 12. Our guest is Julia Brown, the advocacy and outreach director at the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Maine. The show will focus on the advocacy work of the organization at both the federal and state level. She will talk about the Biden’s administration’s immigration policy agenda, where it stands on DACA and the Temporary Protected Status Program and what ILAP is supporting at the state level.
August 5. Our guest is Senator Joe Baldacci who represents District 9 (Bangor and Hermon) in the Maine State Senate. He will talk about why he decided to run for office and what he has been able to accomplish so far during the 130th legislative session. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Joint State and Local Government Committee and has sponsored /co-sponsored over 18 different bills some of which have been passed into law this year.
July 29. Our guests are James Myall, a policy analyst at the Maine Center for Economic Policy and Allina Diaz, a mother of three and recent college graduate from Warren, ME. The show will focus on the new federal tax credit for children. James will talk about why the federal government has finally realized there is a need to provide assistance and why it will have a major impact here in Maine. Allina will talk about it as a mother and how it will effect her family going forward. They will also outline what can be done here in Maine and nationally to insure that the benefit will become part of our national policy going forward.
July 22. Our guests are Maine State Representative Maggie O’Neil (Saco) and Cole Cochrane, a Saco High School student who is a member of Maine Youth for Climate Justice. They will talk about the effort to convince the state legislature to pass the first in the nation law which Governor Janet Mills has signed. It requires the Maine State Retirement System to divest its shares of stock in fossil fuels by 2016. They will also talk about the effort to lower the voting age down to sixteen years of age and other efforts to reduce pollution in the state.
July 15. Our guest is Lisa Dilorio, an experienced educator, curriculum designer, and facilitator who has taught in innovative schools around the world, including South Africa and Slovakia. The show is a followup to a recent program which focused on Critical Race Theory. Lisa will talk about the recent controversy in Gardiner and who stands to lose when educators are silenced from covering race in their classes and why both white, black, and brown students will benefit from knowing about systematic racism and how it effects all of us.
July 8. Our guests are Kimberly Cook, a former Portland City Councilor and Carolyn Silvius who are members of Small Shelters Portland. They will talk about their organization’s effort to collect enough signatures to derail the City of Portland’s effort to build a 200-bed shelter and service center on Riverside Street. This citizen initiative would limit homeless shelters in the city to 50 beds.
July 1. Our guest is John Brautigam, a former lawmaker and assistant attorney general. He now serves as the head of Maine Power For Maine People, an advocacy group promoting consumer-owned power. The show will focus on the effort to establish a consumer owned power utility that would purchase the assets of Central Maine Power and Versant Power.
June 24, Our guest is Patrick MacRoy, the Deputy Director, Defend Our Health which is a Maine-based nonprofit organization that works to create a world where all people are thriving, with equal access to safe food and drinking water. The show will focus on the agency’s effort to pass legislation to stop states and municipalities from using toxic biosolids or sewage sludge as fertilizer on farm fields, where it contaminates food and feed crops with PFAS and other toxic chemicals. He will also talk about the current efforts to ban the use of PFAS in cosmetic products sold in Maine and all across the nation.
June 17. Our guest is Dr. Larissa Malone, an Assistant Professor of Undergraduate Teacher Education at the University of Southern Maine. The show will focus on Critical Race Theory. What it is and the ongoing controversy whether it should be taught in public schools and colleges today.
June 10. Our guest is Grayson Lookner who is serving his first term in the Maine House of Representative es (District #37). As a member of the Criminal Justice Committee he has introduced several bills. The show will focus on LD1585 which would create clear boundaries on how the government can use facial recognition technology and how law enforcement officials can use the technology in investigations. We will also talk another bill LD 1668 that he has sponsored which if passed will shut down Long Creek Youth Prison in South Portland.
June 3. Our guest is Maulian Dana, the Penobscot Nation Ambassador. Our show will focus on the ongoing effort to reinstate Wabanaki Nation sovereignty in Maine. The Maine Legislature has once again kick the can down the road so to speak on LD 2094. The passage of this act would implant the recommendations of the task force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act which were proposed last year.
May 27. Our guest is Kate Sykes, a community organizer with People First Portland which is a grassroots effort to establish a Peoples First Charter Commission in Portland. The show will focus on the City Charter Commission election which is taking place on June 8. Portland voters will be ask to choose nine members of the commission which includes five district seats and four-at-large seats. Kate will talk about what’s at stake regarding the charter commission election and the candidates that PFP is supporting.
May 20. Our guests are Skyle Gosselin, who was previously incarcerated at Long Creek Youth Prison and is currently a community organizer at Maine Youth Justice and Kasandra Tach, a Portland student. Skyle will first talk about her experiences at Long Creek and why she believes it should be shut down. Kasandra also testified at the legislative hearing last week on why LD1668 should pass. She will talk about why she supports this resolve to Develop a Plan To Close the Long Creek Youth Development Center by 2023 and Redirect Funding to Community Integration Services for Adjudicated Youth.
May 13. Our guests are James Myall, Policy Analyst at the Maine Center for Economic Policy and Greg Payne, the Director of the Maine Housing Coalition. They will outline the current housing problems in the U.S. as well as in Maine and will talk about legislative proposals which deal with a range of housing issues that are currently bring discussed by 130th Maine State Legislature.
April 29. Our guest are Peter Cole, Andrew Sandweiss and Joseph Leonard who are members of the Maine Rail Group. They will talk about the current effort to get the Maine State Legislature to pass LD227 which would provide $300,000 to hire a consultancy which would conduct a feasibility study to determine whether passenger rail should be restored from Brunswick to Augusta, Waterville and Bangor. The study for this 100 mile corridor would be the first step in a multi-year process to obtain federal funds to help underwrite the cost of construction and to purchase equipment to start up the service.
April 22. Our guest is Gia Drew, the Program Director at Equality Maine. Gia oversees all Equality Maine’s education, rural outreach, and youth programming, as well as supporting the agency’s advocacy work. The Program tonight will focus on LD 926 “an Act to Ban Biological males from participating in Women’s sports. We will also talk about the latest law passed in Arkansas which prohibits doctors and other medical professionals from providing gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy to youth under eighteen years of age.
April 15. Our guest is Aviva Chomsky, a professor of history and coordinator of Latin American Studies at the Salem State University in Massachusetts. She will talk about her new book Central America’s Forgotten History: Revolution, Violence and the Roots of Migration. She will also provide a critique of President Biden’s Immigration Plan for Central America.
April 8. Our guest is Sonja Birthisel who is the director of the Wilson Center and a faculty associate with the University of Maine School of Forest Resources, Ecology and Environmental Sciences Program. She will talk about the No Coal No Gas Coalition which is working to shut down the Merrimack Coal fired power station which is located in Bow, New Hampshire.
April 1. Our guest is Representative Charlotte Warren who is the Chair of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee in the Maine State Legislature. She will talk about the bills that she has introduced in the 130th legislative session and what she hopes can be accomplished this year especially regarding reducing funding for the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and redirecting that money to community based substance use disorder treatment and recovery services and the bill to end the Maine Information Analysis Center. She will also share her ideas regarding what should be done with the Long Creek youth prison in South Portland.
March 25. Our guest is Jonathan Carter, Director, Forest Ecology Network.
He will talk about what he calls the “Dirty Energy Corridor, Canada’s Tar Sands Project East” He will point out why CMP’s Clean Energy Corridor is a “fraud” and the importance of the upcoming citizen initiative which has been certified and will be on the state’s ballot November 2nd.
March 18. Our guest is Sarah Alexander who is the Executive Director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardners Association. She will talk about the 2021 MOFGA/Russell Libby Agricultural Scholarship program, the effort to establish a healthy soil program and plans for this year’s Common Ground Fair which is taking the third weekend in September.
March 10. Our guest is Dr.Carly Heaton, who is a strong advocate of health care reform and evidenced-based primary care. She is a member of the Maine All Care Board of Directors and will talk about how universal health care would support racial equity and justice here in the state of Maine.
March 3. Our guest is Kathy Kilrain del Rio who the Director of Campaigns and Health Care Advocacy at Maine Equal Justice. She will talk about the history of the organization and the work that it has been doing over the years to promote equal justice in areas that affect peoples’ lives in Maine such as housing, transportation, childcare, food and income income security access to adequate health care and higher education and training.
February 25. Our guest will feature Peter McLaughlin and Shannon Wade who are members of People First Portland. They will talk about the upcoming effort to change Portland’s City Charter. The show will focus on the proposed Portland Charter Commission, what structural changes can and should be made and how listeners can get involved in the effort.
February 18. Our guests are Debby Irving, a racial justice educator and author of Waking Up White and Claudia Fox Tree (Arawak/Yurumein). They will talk about how U.S. racism begins with the story of indigenous peoples and why there is a need to understand this history and the current impacts of it offers a powerful context for racism in the U.S. today.
February 11. Our guest is Amy Eschoo, Program Manager, 350 Maine. The show will focus on Maine’s State Legislature as well as the new administration in Washington, D.C. climate agenda and how Mainers can help mitigate the effects of climate change.
February 4. Our guest is James Myall, an Economic Policy Analyst at the Maine Center Economic Policy who has recently issued a report – State of Working Maine 2020: Race Equity Means Better Job Opportunities for Workers. He will highlight some of the findings in the report regarding how persistent discrimination remains a barrier to employment for people of color.
January 28, 2021. Our guest is Dr. David Vine, a professor at American University who will talk about his latest book which was recently published entitled The United States of War: A global History of America’s Endless Conflicts, From Columbus to the Islamic State. The book is “a brilliant tour de force and a sweeping introspection, dissection, and condemnation of U.S. war-making and the myriad ways that U.S. military bases splayed around the world grease the wheels of the war machine.”
January 21. 2021. Our guest is Seth Levy, an experienced trial attorney who is a strong advocate for his clients. He has not followed the traditional path of a lawyer, but has looked beyond the courtroom to find ways in the legal system to improve the lives of his clients and also the larger community. In addition to sitting on the Co-Occurring Disorders and Veterans Court, he has been a vocal proponent of restorative justice, not just for juveniles, but for adults as well.
January 14, 2021. Our guest is Vicky Elson, Creative Director of NuclearBan.U.S., a partner of The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for its work on the Nuclear Ban Treaty. Over 50 nations have already signed the treaty which will go into effect on January 22, 2021. The Treaty makes it illegal to: develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess, stockpile, transfer, receive, use, or even threaten to use nuclear weapons or explosive nuclear devices. The show will focus on the significance of the treaty and its potential economic and legal affects on the nine nuclear weapon states.
January 7, 2021. Our guest is Joey Brunelle, a progressive activist, who recently testified before the Portland City Council’s Racial Equity Committee regarding the City’s police department request to obtain video footage from within and outside the existing Preble Street Resource Center. The show will focus on what he believes should be done regarding the homeless in the city and his thoughts on what the new city council should be doing going forward in the new year.
December 24 / 31. Our shows highlighted music appropriate for Xmas Eve and New Year’s eve.
December 17. Our guest is Mark Swann who is the executive director of Preble Street. The show will focus on the current work that the organization is doing to help the poor and homeless in Portland as well as the plan to open up more shelter space in the city’s center. We will also talk about what hopefully can be done elsewhere in the state to help the poor and homeless.
December 10. Our guest is Margaret Brownlee who is the Maine College of Arts Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer. She is also the Vice Chair of the newly createdSouth Portland Human Rights Commission. The show will focus on the work that she does at MECA and at the South Portland Human Rights Commission which is the first HRC established by a city or community in Maine.
December 3. Our guests are Tony Donovan and Paul Weiss who are members of the Maine Rail Tra0Coalition. Paul is also a member of there Maine Rail Group. The show will focus on why passenger rail must be expanded in the state inorder to combat climate change as well as to promote greater economic opportunity
November 26. Our guest is Representative Ryan Fecteau who has just been elected to serve as the new Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives for the upcoming 130th Legislative session. We will talk about why he has chosen to serve as in this capacity and what he hopes can be accomplished in the 130th Legislative Session.
November 19. Our guests are Em Burnett and Kate Sykes who are members of People First Portland. The show will focus on the four referendum initiatives which were on Portland’s City Ballot on November 3rd that voters passed. They will talk about how they were able to succeed even though their opponents raised over $640,000 compared to $24,000 that their organization was able to raise and their next steps going forward to insure that the Portland City Council implements these proposals.
November 12. Our guest is Representative Michael Brennan who has been re-elected to the Maine State Legislative. He is a former Portland mayor and has served on the Joint House Education and Cultural Affairs Committee during the 129th legislation session. The show will focus on what he believes can be done to help solve Portland’s homeless problem and the work that he hopes the Education Committee can accomplish during the 130th legislative session.
November 5. Our guest is Gina Capra, Executive Director, Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine. The show will focus on the work of her organization as well as the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault which provides supportive services to survivors of sexual assault and educates children and adults about sexual violence in Southern Maine.
October 29. Our guest is Natasha Irving, the progressive Democratic District Attorney for Waldo, Knox, Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties. The show will focus on her efforts to reform the prosecutorial approach to people who cycle through the “revolving door of court, jail and prison.” She will talk about the use of deferred dispositions, elimination of cash bail and the need for “an intensive drug treatment court”which is envisioned in LD 1073.
October 22. Our guest is John Thibodeau, a Counselor in Portland, Maine who serves on the Board of Directors of Equity in Portland Schools. The show will focus on the work of the organization regarding its on-going efforts to reduce inequities- the race and class opportunity gap in Portland schools.
October 15. Our guest is John Brautigam, a former lawmaker and assistant attorney general. He now serves as the head of the Maine Power for Maine People, an advocacy organization promoting consumer-owned electric power. The show will focus on the ballot question which will hopefully appear on the State ballot next Spring. If passed, it would create a not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric utility called the Maine Power Delivery Authority which would replace the two investor-owned utilities known as Central Maine Power and Versant (Power).
October 8.. Our guest is Anya Fetcher, the State Director, Environment Maine. She will talk about why Climate Change is happening and what can be done about it at the national, state and local level. She will also provide ideas on what listeners can do besides sending emails to state legislators such as changing eating habits, using public transportation, purchasing fuel efficient cars /electric cars, installing heat pumps, composting, etc.
October 1.. Our guest is Lado Ladoka, a member of the Immigrant Housing Coalition who wrote a report entitled 40 B which outlines steps that Maine can take to create a housing policy that will be consistent and increase funding for affordable housing to spur economic growth and give Mainers access to equal opportunity to live where they desire.
September 24.. Our guest is April Fournier, a 15 year resident of East Deering who is running for a City Wide seat on the Portland, Maine City Council. April is a member of the Dine’ (Navajo) Nation and has been an advocate for indigenous rights throughout her adult life. She is an education and social services professional who currently serves on the Portland Police Citizen Review Subcommittee and is a alumna of the Maine Emerge Program. She co-founded the first all-Indigenous roller derby team, comprising more than 20 tribal nations and has worked internationally to support diversity, equity and inclusion in sports.
September 17.. Our guest is Kate Sykes, a community organizer with People First Portland, a grassroots effort spearheaded by the Southern Maine Democratic Socialists of America which has put five ballot referenda on the city’s November ballot. Kate is also running for the Portland City Council District Five Seat which is currently occupied by Kimberly Cook who is not running for re-election. Kate will talk about why she has tossed her hat into the ring, what she hopes can be accomplished if elected and if time she will also talk about the ballot initiative,
September 10. Our guest is George Lakey who is an author and activist who will talk about the Transition Inetegrity Project which focused on what could happen if President Trump refuses to accept his loss at the polls this coming November. We will talk about their findings and what citizens can do to insure that there is a peaceful transition if President Trump doesn’t win and refuses to leave the office.
September 3. Our guest is Steven Biel, a founding member of Progressive Portland. The show will focus on what Progressive Portland has been doing recently, the recent vote to create a charter commission and the People Portland First efforts to get their 5 initiatives on the ballot this Fall.
August 27. Our guest is Sandra Howard who is a registered Maine Guide and the Director of SAY No to New England Clean Energy Connect project proposed by CMP and Hydro Quebec. The show will focus on why her organization and the Natural Resource Council of Maine are still opposed to CMP’s project and what still can be done given the recent Maine State Supreme Court decision to deny voters their right to vote on the project on November 3.
August 20. Our guest is Michael Kebede, Policy Counsel, Maine ACLU. The show will highlight his thoughts on what can be done to promote greater racial equity in Portland and in Maine. He has been recently selected to serve as one of the three members that the Portland City Council has chosen to serve on the Charter Commission which will begin meeting sometime early next year.
August 13. Our guests tonight are Kate Kessler, a 5th grade teacher at the Lyseth Elementary School in Portland; Chris Sutherland, a Spanish teacher at the Greeley Middle School in Cumberland; Pam Wagner, the head of the Social Studies Department at Brunswick High School and Bobby Carrol who is a high school teacher in Portland. They will talk about their concerns regarding the Covid 19 crisis and the opening of public schools next month.
August 6,2020. Our air time was donated to Portland’s High Schools to conduct their graduation ceremony over WMPG.
July 30, 2020 Our guest tonight is Sarah Alexander, Executive Director, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. Sarah will talk about how MOFGA and organic farmers are dealing with the economic impacts of the Covid 19 crisis, what they are doing to combat systemic racism and the organization’s plans for a virtual Common Ground Fair this coming Fall.
July 23, 2020 Our guest tonight is Chris Busby, the editor in chief of the Mainer which is published monthly and is available for free at many locations in Portland and in other communities across the state. The show will focus on Maine politics, the recent primary results and what is happening politically in Portland in regards to the vote to establish a new Charter Commission, Clean Election Campaign and the People First Portland’s campaign tp pass five referendum initiatives that may be on the ballot this Fall.
July 16, 2020. Our guest tonight is Representative Victoria Morales who represents the residents of South Portland in the Maine State Legislature. Victoria will talk about how she first got involved in juvenile justice issues – co-founding the Maine Juvenile Court and her current work serving as a member of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee in the state legislature. She has introduced LD 1648 – an act which clarifies the right to counsel for juveniles and improves due process for juveniles. She also supports the effort to ultimately close down Long Creek Correctional Center in South Portland by developing 2 -4 small, secure therapeutic residences in southern and central Maine that would offer courts alternative, less jail-like options.
July 9, 2020. Our guest tonight are Dr. William Darity, co-author of From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century which was recently published and Dr. Maureen Elgersman Lee who is the author of Black Bangor: African Americans in a Maine Community, 1880-1950. The show will focus on how racism and discrimination has choked economic opportunity for African Americans at nearly every turn and why economic reparations are needed for descendants of slavery in the U.S.
July 2,2020. Our guest tonight is Betsy Sweet who is running as one of three Democratic senatorial candidates on the ballot that Maine Citizens can vote for via absentee ballot or on Maine Democratic Party Primary Election Day, July 14. Betsy will talk about why she believes she is the best candidate who can beat Senator Susan Collins and what she hopes can be accomplished if elected.
June 25, 2020. Our guests tonight are Maria Testa and April Fournier who are members of Portland’s Police Citizen Review Subcommittee which is charged with reviewing complaints against Portland police officers. They will talk about the work that the committee currently is able to do and share their ideas regarding how it could become more effective going forward.