AUTHOR: Mike Desjardins

September 1 Panel: Portland’s Transforming Demographics: Racism, Diversity, & Inclusiveness

[ Watch the video of the entire event on Facebook ]

[ Download the Agenda here ]

It’s become commonplace to hear of fatal shootings, traffic stops or arrests gone array featuring black men and women.

Last month, when Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke in Portland, he attacked our immigrant community and specifically Somalis.

While these attacks galvanized solidarity in support of the community, systemic racism is very real in Portland, and our community has much work to end racism and reverse decades of injustice.

Join the Portland Democrats at a forum to discuss structural racism, what it’s like to be black in Portland, the stakes in this election for persons of color, and what we can all do to make Portland and Maine a more equal, inclusive, and safe community for all residents.

Our panel will be held at the Reiche School Cafetorium at 5:30pm. It will be moderated by University of Maine School of Law Dean Danielle Conway.


  • Rachel Talbot Ross, President of the Portland Branch of the NAACP
  • Reverend Kenneth Lewis, Green Memorial AME Zion Church
  • Kate Knox, Lawyer and Social Justice Advocate
  • Ekhlas Ahmed, teacher and facilitator at Seeds of Peace
  • Sean Alonzo Harris, Photographer
  • Samuel James, Writer and Musician

Readings Suggested by or Written by the Panelists:
An informal discussion of these readings will occur on Thursday, September 15th immediately following Dem Drinks at Novare Res.

August 4th Meeting: An Affordable Housing Panel Discussion

The affordable housing crisis is one of the biggest issues facing our city, so we’ve organized a panel discussion with local housing experts for our monthly meeting on August 4.

Want to learn more about the affordable housing situation in Portland? Want to hear what solutions are being pursued, and what solutions your neighbors are advocating?


  • Dee Clarke (Advocate with Homeless Voices for Justice)
  • Chris Kessler (Portland Tenants Union, founder of the South Portland Tenants Association)
  • Markos Miller (Community organizer, educator, property owner and small business owner engaged in issues related to sustainable housing and development, helped draft Portland’s first Inclusionary Housing policy)
  • Christian Milneil (Press Herald, Portland Housing Authority)
  • Claudette Ndayininahaze (Cultural Broker at The Opportunity Alliance)

Doors open just before 6pm at the State of Maine room in City Hall. After the meeting, we’ll go to a nearby bar for drinks and more discussion. Join us!

Can’t make the meeting? Don’t worry! This event will be recorded and published on Youtube, Facebook, and the Portland Dems website.