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Monday, September 21, 2015

Portland Greens announce endorsements of candidates, referenda

Portland Greens announce endorsements of candidates, referenda.
PORTLAND- The Portland chapter of the Maine Green Independent Party met on September 16 and endorsed six candidates for local office, all of whom are registered Green Independent voters. The gathered Greens also voted to endorse Yes votes on the two citywide initiatives as well as the statewide efforts to restore the Maine Clean Elections Act.

For City Council, Tom MacMillan of Deering Avenue was endorsed for mayor. He has served the Greens as chair of the local committee for three years. During that time, he lead the successful marijuana legalization ordinance to passage in 2013, was a key organizer for the Friends of Congress Square Park as they passed the Parks initiative in June 2014 and currently serves on the steering committee of Portlanders for a Living Wage, a group initiated by the Greens as a broad coalition of those supporting a $15 Living Wage.

Rob Korobkin of Fessenden Street was endorsed to replace outgoing city councilor David Marshall for District 2. Korobkin, who has the endorsement of Marshall, is a computer programmer by profession. He is promoting a vision of Portland that is inclusive to all people with housing that is affordable and wages that are livable.

Dave Foster of Deane Street garnered the at-large endorsement. Foster is a Maine native, veteran of the Air Force and works in marketing at the Great Lost Bear restaurant. He supports municipal broadband as a means of sustainable growth for Portland. The Greens share Foster’s vision of a technologically connected future for Portland with free public wifi.

School Board endorsements include Josephine Okot of Dartmouth Street. Josephine is originally from South Sudan and grew up in Portland. Josephine is a social worker and parent of two children attending Portland Public Schools. Running on an anti-bullying platform in 2011, she received 42% of the vote.

Paul Okot of Illsley Street, the nominated candidate for School Board At Large, runs a small business which provides translation services to area companies. He is a graduate of Waynflete School and Bates College. Paul, like his sister Josephine, was born in South Sudan and moved to Portland when he was seven. He supports limiting mandatory standardized testing and expanding financial literacy education.

The Greens endorsed incumbent Brackett Street resident Holly Seeliger for District 2 School Board. Seeliger was first elected in 2012 and has spent her three years on the board promoting healthy and local food in the school district as well as standing against cuts to teachers and ed techs. Holly is running unopposed for her second term.

The Greens have endorsed a Yes vote on two citywide initiatives and one statewide question.

The Greens urge all voters to vote yes on An Ordinance Toward a Living Wage, which was initiated by the committee. No one should work hard and live in poverty. The ordinance, which allows for a ‘phase-in’ time for small businesses, will promote prosperity for all in the richest economy in the world. The Greens urge voters to ignore the lies and propaganda coming from big businesses and their representatives and vote ‘yes’ on city question one this November 3.

The Greens support a ‘yes’ vote on city question two, also known as the Soul of Portland initiative. The initiative will protect vital public views from being privatized by developers. Greens believe that natural resources, such as views, belong to the common society, not the wealthy few who can pay for them. “Greens support protecting the commons from privatization, therefore we support the efforts of the Soul of Portland in promoting responsible development, strengthening the zoning process and protecting the scenic views which in part make our city a wonderful place to live and visit.” said chair Tom MacMillan

Lastly, the Greens support passage of the ‘Clean Elections Initiative’ on the statewide ballot. Question One will lead to increase transparency of our electoral processes and allow candidates without access to unlimited funding from corporations, such as the Greens, to compete for elected office. “Maine has been a national leader in the fight to get money out of politics and we enthusiastically support Question 1. The Green Party has lead efforts to restore the voice of citizens over big money since our party’s inception.” said Asher Platts, Portland Green and two-time Clean Election candidate for State Senate.

City Council:
City Council:
District 2- Rob Korobkin  (
Mayor- Tom MacMillan (

School Board:
District 1- Josephine Okot (
District 2- Holly Seeliger (
At-Large: Paul Okot

Yes for An Ordinance Toward a Living Wage
Yes for the Scenic Viewpoint Protection Ordinance (aka Save the Soul of Portland)
Yes for the Clean Elections Initiative

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