Maine Islands Coalition
2010 Annual Report
The Maine Islands Coalition (MIC) was officially formed in March of 2004 to represent and advocate for the concerns and interests of the fourteen year-round Maine Coast Island communities. Each IslandŐs municipal governing body or primary civic organization sends an elected or appointed representative to the quarterly meetings in Rockland.
At each four-hour meeting we address a keynote topic, usually vetted in a panel format, as well as ensuring time slots for other year-round island issues either of the moment or of on-going concern. We have been fortunate to have island-district state legislators attend each meeting and have been successful in securing well-versed in-state panelists from each topical area.
At our first quarterly 2010 meeting in March, our Keynote Topic was off-shore wind power. Our guest panelist was George LaPointe, MaineŐs Commissioner of Marine Resources; he spoke to fishermenŐs interests in siting ocean wind power infrastructure. And while there, he joined House Speaker Hannah Pingree (from North Haven) in talking to a range of lobstering issues.
In June, our focus was completely on the Island schools. While each year-round islandŐs representative updated the Coalition on their particular school, there were in depth presentations on the Islesboro School, which daily imports students from the mainland, and (by Skype) from Monhegan, where there were only two students but major community support.
In August we discussed strategies for reaching out to and cultivating relationships with the legislative candidates contesting seats in the November elections. Two legislators who have attended most of our MIC meetings since our formation, Hannah Pingree and Dennis Damon, have held very high leadership posts in the legislature and been very influential on behalf of the islands – but are term-limited out. We hope to be able to identify new leadership in Augusta which will listen to islandersŐ issues and concerns and address them!
In November, we acknowledged the four newly elected legislators (out of thirteen) who represent the year round islands and focused directly on strategies for developing working relationships with them for the long-term benefit of our communities.
Please contact Donna Damon and Beverly Johnson for further information about what goes on at the MIC and what Chebeague Island issues they should be bringing to the MIC Meetings. Anyone is most welcome to attend the meetings; the 2011 dates have yet to be set but are usually the first or second Fridays of February, May, August, and November.