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Creating and Sustaining Vibrant Local Economies in Maine

Maine Local Economies invites you to attend their 2014 Creating and Sustaining Vibrant Local Economies in Maine Conference. If you are involved in or concerned about ANY aspect of local economies or the harms the global economy is inflicting on Maine, its people, and its environment, we urge you to attend. This includes buy-local campaigns, cooperatives, transition town members, people of faith, union members, the overworked, workers not represented by unions, time bank members, sustainable economy advocates, those without homes or paying jobs, environmentalists, small business development supporters, local foods/local manufacturing advocates, those opposing excessive corporate influence, living wage supporters, anti-poverty activists, immigrants/new Mainers, clean air, water, and soil advocates, new business financiers, worker rights and safety advocates, AND ANYONE WHO WANTS MAINE TO HAVE A MORE ROBUST, LOCALLY BASED ECONOMY.
Why a day to promote Local Economies?

Maine’s economy is struggling. Workers put in more hours for less pay and benefits. Unemployment is high. The wealth gap between rich and poor is growing larger. Big corporations and multi-nationals are leaving the state or threatening to do so. Our environment is being compromised in the name of “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Some costs for things like health care are skyrocketing, while some goods are cheap because they are made by exploited workers in other countries. The global economy we are told is inevitable is not working. We need a new economy.

Local economies can bring us the prosperity and economic success that we are struggling to achieve. Some of the many reasons why locally based businesses and economies are better:

*Wages and benefits are higher

*More money stays in the community

*Businesses are more stable

*Greater support for local community activities and events

*Reduces transportation costs and fossil fuel use

*Poverty is reduced and more tax money can go for education, health, etc.

*Greater commitment to environmental stewardship

*Enables more young people to stay in the state

*Greater opportunities for immigrants to Maine to stay and prosper

*Fresher, healthier food

*Reduces tax subsidies that can be used for other community needs

*Creates commitment to and investment in the local community.

Schedule for the Day

(This agenda is flexible and may be changed during the day or before)

9:30 AM: Brief Introductions

9:45: Ice breaker/community building (to find out what local economies interests/groups are attending)

10:30: Break

10:45: Graphically describe what the local economy movement in Maine looks like so far, what might be missing from it, how different groups working on an aspect of local economies can work together, and what a more vibrant local economy movement in the future would look like.

12 noon: Lunch—simple catered lunch (or bring your own)

1:30 PM: Small (focus) groups meet by interest area (food, transportation, etc.) or by region or by problem to describe how to move toward our vision for the future

2:15: Come back with short reports

2:30: Long break (networking)

3:00: Action steps—describe things needed to complete the vision, to fill in gaps, to strengthen the Local Economies movement, and what people can do in the short and long term

3:45: Sum up the day, review immediate action steps being planned, and evaluation


Resources for Organizing and Social Change - ROSC
Time Initiative of Maine – T.I.ME
Women, Work, and Community, U/Maine at Augusta
Cooperative Maine
Food for Maine’s Future
Maine Rural Partners
Slow Money Maine
Bureau of Labor Education/Univ. of Maine
Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine
Belfast Transition and Community Exchange
Clark Mountain Community Land Trust
Institute for Local Self Reliance
Maine People’s Alliance
Maine Small Business Coalition
Cooperative Fund of New England


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  • Scott V.
    Western Hills Events,
    Event Host

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