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DrewChristopher Joy

Leadership Development Coordinator

Drew is a white, mixed-class, queer and trans* carpenter and organizer. After many years of “living away,” Drew moved back to their home state of Maine with a political commitment to multi-racial organizing in majority white, working-class communities, as part of a broad vision of movement building. In September 2012, Drew was introduced to the ...more Drew is a white, mixed-class, queer and trans* carpenter and organizer. After many years of “living away,” Drew moved back to their home state of Maine with a political commitment to multi-racial organizing in majority white, working-class communities, as part of a broad vision of movement building. In September 2012, Drew was introduced to the Southern Maine Workers’ Center and realized that they had found their new political home. Drew was politically raised in a combination of anti-racist DIY punk culture and people of color led organizations continuing a tradition of transformative community organizing. The overarching theme is activism rooted in love for our communities and a commitment to do what’s right with whatever you’ve got. In New Orleans Drew worked with residents organizing to regain access to their homes in public housing developments after Hurricane Katrina, primarily with the organization Survivors Village. Drew was formally trained as an organizer in San Francisco by the Catalyst Project and through a two year internship with POWER: People Organized to Win Employment Rights, which is now a part of Causa Justa::Just Cause. You can reach Drew at drew@maineworkers.org

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Sydney Avitia-Jaques

Political Education Organizer

Syd is a multiracial, Chicanx, non-binary, and mixed-class organizer. They studied Sociology at Bowdoin College, where they organized with housekeeping and facilities workers to win a living wage. They have been a union member and believe the Workers Center's transformative and universal approach to worker power is key to reinvigorating workers ...more Syd is a multiracial, Chicanx, non-binary, and mixed-class organizer. They studied Sociology at Bowdoin College, where they organized with housekeeping and facilities workers to win a living wage. They have been a union member and believe the Workers Center's transformative and universal approach to worker power is key to reinvigorating workers everywhere. Syd is a tenant in Portland and organizes with Maine People's Housing Coalition and Maine Renters United to end homelessness and reimagine tenant-controlled housing. For Syd, political education is the crucial moment in every organizing project when people realize that our individual struggles are connected-- and that we can create our own knowledge and solutions. You can reach Syd at sydney@maineworkers.org

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Lori Clark

Executive Director

Lori joined the Workers' Center team in June 2021 with a vision to build people power, tell a new story about workers in Maine and change what is politically possible across our state.  Lori cut her organizing teeth with Jane Addams Senior Caucus around issues of poverty, affordable housing and health care.  She has been a leader in many ...more Lori joined the Workers' Center team in June 2021 with a vision to build people power, tell a new story about workers in Maine and change what is politically possible across our state.  Lori cut her organizing teeth with Jane Addams Senior Caucus around issues of poverty, affordable housing and health care.  She has been a leader in many successful local, state and national campaigns throughout her 17 years of organizing.  Her commitment to building power in poor and working class communities has been a constant thread through her diverse work experience – whether that be while building deep authentic relationships with hundreds of people with disabilities and seniors, organizing with seniors in Chicago or advancing strategic campaigns securing historic policy wins for seniors.  Lori loves to be in nature, is a travel enthusiast and enjoys her loyal companion, a spunky dog named Maya. You can reach Lori at lori@maineworkers.org

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Stacey Tran

Work With Dignity Organizer

Stacey joined SMWC as the Work With Dignity Organizer in November 2021. She is the creator of Tender Table, a project celebrating Black and Brown community in Maine by connecting and honoring our identities, traditions, joy, resilience, and fight for collective liberation through storytelling and food. Stacey is passionate about building ...more Stacey joined SMWC as the Work With Dignity Organizer in November 2021. She is the creator of Tender Table, a project celebrating Black and Brown community in Maine by connecting and honoring our identities, traditions, joy, resilience, and fight for collective liberation through storytelling and food. Stacey is passionate about building relationships, listening to peoples’ stories, and imagining creative ways to take action to improve the conditions of our lives, which enrich and strengthen all of our communities. You can reach Stacey at stacey@maineworkers.org

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Ronny Flannery

Crisis to Care Organizer

Ronny is a mixed-race non-binary organizer of working class Vietnamese descent who grew up and lives in Lewiston, ME. They bring experience campaigning for the human rights to health and housing across Maine and California, and follow a transformative organizing practice that emphasizes relationship building beyond social differences and the ...more Ronny is a mixed-race non-binary organizer of working class Vietnamese descent who grew up and lives in Lewiston, ME. They bring experience campaigning for the human rights to health and housing across Maine and California, and follow a transformative organizing practice that emphasizes relationship building beyond social differences and the leadership development of those most impacted by structural violence. They studied English, Sociology, and Global Political Economy at the University of Maine at Farmington and the University of Kassel in central Germany. Ronny is also a board member of the Raise-Op Housing Cooperative. They see the interconnections between oppressive systems clearly, and believe an abundant world that meets our human needs is within our grasp. You can reach ronny at ronny@maineworkers.org

Sergio Cahueque

Board Co-Chair

Sergio got involved with the SMWC in the late fall of 2017, joining the HCHR committee, the Portland Organizing Committee, and eventually joining the HCHR-Leadership Committee. He was drawn by the transformative organizing approach to ensuring that all people have access to health care and a dignified job. Sergio is an immigrant that grew up in a ...more Sergio got involved with the SMWC in the late fall of 2017, joining the HCHR committee, the Portland Organizing Committee, and eventually joining the HCHR-Leadership Committee. He was drawn by the transformative organizing approach to ensuring that all people have access to health care and a dignified job. Sergio is an immigrant that grew up in a middle class family in Guatemala City. He is inspired by Latin American social and campesino movements. Sergio is a full-time organizer at the Environmental Health Strategy Center, fighting for the right of people to healthy lives.

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Heather Foran

Board Co-chair

Heather Foran is the Co-founder and facilitator of the The Field Academy and a long-timer server in Greater Portland area restaurants.

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Kirk Robbins

Board Of Directors

Having a long term interest in social justice issues, Kirk Robbins was drawn to the SMWC after doing a Health Care is a Human Right survey, and became part of the Political Education Committee after the Annual Meeting in the spring of 2016. Kirk also joined the Membership Committee this year. Growing up in poverty in central Maine and living below the poverty line his entire adult life has impacted his political outlook.

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Ali Mann

Board Of Directors

Ali joined the SMWC in 2008 and has been learning from its members and staff ever since. Ali comes to the organization from a background of class privilege, and is always asking how that identity can be enlisted to advance movements for Black, brown, indigenous and working class power. When she’s not thinking about the SMWC, she’s often ...more Ali joined the SMWC in 2008 and has been learning from its members and staff ever since. Ali comes to the organization from a background of class privilege, and is always asking how that identity can be enlisted to advance movements for Black, brown, indigenous and working class power. When she’s not thinking about the SMWC, she’s often dreaming about solidarity economies and the commons. She enjoys sewing stuff, biking, and serving as a jungle gym to her two young kids.

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Matt Beck

Board Of Directors

Matt is a union organizer for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. His work with labor and social justice movements has included dozens of issues and electoral campaigns, including the right to organize, fair trade, marriage equality, and voting rights. Matt is a representative from the Southern Maine Labor Council, and has been involved in SMWC for nearly a decade.

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Doug Born

Board Of Directors

Doug is a busy guy. He is a stagehand with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 114, Maine AFL-CIO delegate, President of the Southern Maine Labor Council, and a member of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign. Doug is a representative from the Southern Maine Labor Council.

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Victoria Rodriguez

Board Of Directors

Victoria was introduced to the SMWC in 2016 while working as an organizer with the Maine Women's Lobby. She was moved by the transformative, human rights-centered organizing efforts led by the SMWC community to expand health care across Maine. Victoria is especially interested in movements focused on improving public health and building power ...more Victoria was introduced to the SMWC in 2016 while working as an organizer with the Maine Women's Lobby. She was moved by the transformative, human rights-centered organizing efforts led by the SMWC community to expand health care across Maine. Victoria is especially interested in movements focused on improving public health and building power through electoral organizing. She joined the Board in 2020 and is a member of the Fundraising and Media Committees.

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Philippa Adam

Board Of Directors

Philippa is a white, queer, working class artist. They joined Work with Dignity's Earned Paid Sick Days campaign in early 2018, advocating for guaranteed paid sick time for all Maine workers and working with the Worker Support subcommittee during the early days of the Legal Clinic & Hotline. After EPSD disbanded, they worked with the Membership ...more Philippa is a white, queer, working class artist. They joined Work with Dignity's Earned Paid Sick Days campaign in early 2018, advocating for guaranteed paid sick time for all Maine workers and working with the Worker Support subcommittee during the early days of the Legal Clinic & Hotline. After EPSD disbanded, they worked with the Membership and Fundraising committees, and then took a break from SMWC to focus on organizing and establishing the Preble Street Workers United SEIU Local 1989 Union. Philippa is currently a full-time art education graduate student, and is excited to join the board and to start working with the Fundraising committee again, advocating for ways to expand our views of accessibilty and inclusivity; how to be anti-racist in a predominantly white region; developing a labor movement that is inclusive of unemployed, disabled, and homecare workers; and building community in a rural state during a global pandemic.

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MJ Lacourse

Board of Directors

MJ got involved with the Worker Center’s Political Education committee at the tail end of 2016 and was drawn in by the committees work on class and classism. MJ was born and raised in working class community and is passionate about building spaces, support, and power with working class people. MJ is currently on the board and the staff organizing committee.

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Kathy Kilrain del Rio

Board of Directors

Kathy Kilrain del Rio is passionate about making organizations, advocacy, and government inclusive for all people and raising up the voices of the people who are most impacted by injustice and inequitable policies in our work toward a truly equitable future. She began her career as an educator—teaching people of all ages from preschool to middle ...more Kathy Kilrain del Rio is passionate about making organizations, advocacy, and government inclusive for all people and raising up the voices of the people who are most impacted by injustice and inequitable policies in our work toward a truly equitable future. She began her career as an educator—teaching people of all ages from preschool to middle school classrooms to pre-GED and GED programs. Kathy made Maine her home in 2006, working to improve literacy and language skills of adult learners both in local literacy and adult education programs and through systemic work at a statewide organization. In 2012 she joined the staff of the Maine Women’s Lobby where she oversaw programs, outreach, fundraising, and communications efforts. Kathy organized three Maine Women’s Summits on Economic Security and helped engage activists, media, and policymakers on a range of issues impacting women’s lives. In 2018 she joined Maine Equal Justice where she currently works as Director of Campaigns and Healthcare Advocacy, fighting for expanded and improved access to affordable health care for all Mainers. Kathy is finishing up service on the board of Emerge Maine and also serves on the board of Mabel Wadsworth Center. She is recharged by reading, music, and having fun adventures with her family and dear friends.

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Teddy Burrage

Board of Directors

Teddy Burrage spent over 2 years as SMWC's Administrative Coordinator. As a local organizer, he's served on the steering committees of The League of Young Voters, Portland Racial Justice Congress, Pride Portland!, Black POWER, and is a 7 year member of Frannie Peabody Center's board of directors. Working towards social equity and racial justice in ...more Teddy Burrage spent over 2 years as SMWC's Administrative Coordinator. As a local organizer, he's served on the steering committees of The League of Young Voters, Portland Racial Justice Congress, Pride Portland!, Black POWER, and is a 7 year member of Frannie Peabody Center's board of directors. Working towards social equity and racial justice in Portland and around Maine has been his passion for more than 10 years. As a Black, queer person with a keen interest in public health, and working class roots, Teddy believes that health care is a human right and all workers deserve dignity and a seat at the table.

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Mia Dyson

Board Of Directors

Mia Dyson lives in Freeport Maine, where she raised her four children, and where she breeds Labrador Retrievers. Mia is a registered nurse; she works in Labor & Delivery at Maine Medical Center. Mia was very involved in the recent union organizing campaign at Maine Med, and is very very hopeful for a good outcome by early May! Mia is also an ...more Mia Dyson lives in Freeport Maine, where she raised her four children, and where she breeds Labrador Retrievers. Mia is a registered nurse; she works in Labor & Delivery at Maine Medical Center. Mia was very involved in the recent union organizing campaign at Maine Med, and is very very hopeful for a good outcome by early May! Mia is also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); she pastors a congregation (remotely these days) in Wales ME.  Mia loves to go birding, walks her dogs, bakes sourdough bread, reads, and writes poetry. She has been involved in several initiatives at SMWC, including the Political Economy study, the Healthcare is a Human Right committee, the Cantastoria project, and Karaoke fundraisers.  Mia has really enjoyed meeting the amazing people at SMWC, young and old alike!

Leighann Gillis

Board of Directors

I'm Leighann and I joined the Southern Maine Workers’ Center in 2018 through the Earned Paid Sick Days campaign. I am a Direct Support Professional and became a SMWC member to lift up other care workers in Maine. Care givers are one of the many groups of vulnerable workers the Worker's Center acknowledges, validates, and advocates for. I saw this ...more I'm Leighann and I joined the Southern Maine Workers’ Center in 2018 through the Earned Paid Sick Days campaign. I am a Direct Support Professional and became a SMWC member to lift up other care workers in Maine. Care givers are one of the many groups of vulnerable workers the Worker's Center acknowledges, validates, and advocates for. I saw this first hand through EPSD and through the opportunities the Worker's Center gave me to learn and grow, and in turn, share that knowledge and experience. The Southern Maine Workers’ Center is a very special organization filled with amazing people and I am very proud to be a member! I'm also a Leo, a cat parent of 2 spoiled little princes, a lover of all things spooky, I'm crafty and a handyperson, and I miss cooking for Worker's Center events!

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Barrett Littlefield

Board of Directors

I'm a lawyer at a Maine non-profit that advocates for the rights of persons with disabilities. Prior to becoming a lawyer, I worked as a caseworker at the Preble St. Resource Center, devoted to aiding people experiencing homelessness and poverty. I have engaged in community organizing in Maine, New York and New Orleans. I've been part of SMWC for over seven years, and a member of the board for the last five years.