Archives for Solidarity Harvest

RadioActive 11/17/16

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Standing Rock Day of Solidarity Actions, the Minimum Wage Referendum Passes in Maine and the Annual Solidarity Harvest Efforts

Key Discussion Points:
1) Tuesday marked a day of national action in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux’s resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which is slated to carry Bakken shale oil through sacred grounds and underneath the Missouri River, a drinking water source for millions.
2) Numerous rallies took place across Maine, including over 65 people in Ellsworth and over 200 in Bangor. Today we hear from three Penobscot women who spoke at the Bangor rally before people marched to the federal building. A number of Wabananki tribal members and other Mainers have been or currently are at Standing Rock. On December 2nd another delegation will travel our with supplies.
3) On this past election day, 4 states voted to pass a minimum wage increase. In Maine, voters passed Question 4, approving a $12 an hour minimum wag by 2020. We speak with labor organizer Jack McKay about this and the annual Solidarity Harvest, a Thanksgiving effort focusing on laid off workers in the area, while examining systemic changes needed to increase food security in the state.

Dawn Neptune Adams, Penobcsot Nation, Sunlight Media Collective
June Sappiel, Penobscot Nation, Standing Rock Water Protector
Sherri Mitchell, Penobscot Nation, Indigenous Rights Attorney
Jack McKay, director of Food AND Medicine, president of Eastern Maine Labor Council

RadioActive 11/20/14

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Solidarity Harvest and comments on Faripoint Strike and Bucksport Mill Closure

Key Discussion Points:
a) This Thanksgiving marks the 12th annual Solidarity Harvest, a food distribution effort organized Food AND Medicine and the Eastern Maine Labor Council, in concert with union members, local farmers, laid off workers, the underemployed and other area organizations.
b) Solidarity Harvest distributes food for Thanksgiving time for laid off workers and others struggling in Maine, but it is also specifically designed to be a model of solidarity, rather then charity, an example of an organized community response to an often unjust economic system.
c) Jack Mckay also comments on the issues surrounding the Fairpoint workers strike and the closure of the Bucksport paper mill.

Guest: Jack McKay, director of Food AND Medicine and president of Eastern Maine Labor Council.

RadioActive 11/11/10

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Today we look at health insurance company Anthem’s lawsuit against the state of Maine for denying them a guaranteed profit margin. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court heard Anthem’s appeal yesterday.

Also,as Thanksgiving approaches, we look at the 8th annual Solidarity Harvest.

Yesterday, the Maine Judicial Court heard arguments in “Anthem Health of Maine, Inc. v. Superintendent of Insurance et al.” This is the second time health insurance giant, Anthem, has appealed a court ruling to uphold a decision made by Maine’s Superintendent of Insurance regarding a one year pause, in 2009, for Anthem’s request to a guaranteed profit margin of 3%. This would have seen individual policy holders hit with an 18% increase in their rate. Anthem holds 79% of the insurance market in Maine, around 400,000 policy holders. The rate change four individual health care insurance products affected 12,000 holders.

Last year company officials said, as reported in the Portland Press Herald, that the rate hike requested reflected the medical risks of doing business in Maine, as Maine has high rates of asthma, heart disease, diabetes, a high number of smokers, and a restrictive regulatory environment.

Anthem’s director of corporate communications, Chris Dugan, was unable to provide an interview for today’s program, but expressed interest in a future program. He said the crux of the suit and the appeal is to challenge whether the Superintendent of Insurance has the authority to rule as they did.

We were able to speak with an organizer with the Maine Peoples Alliance on this issue, Ryan Tipping-Spitz.

We spoke with Laura Binger, and organizer with Food and Medicine about the Food and Medicine and the Eastern Maine Labor Council 8th annual Solidarity Harvest. For more information. 989-5860 or