Making Democracy Work


The Democracy Forum

Beginning in 2004 and every four years since, the League of Women Voters - Downeast in cooperation with WERU FM has produced and sponsored a series of radio programs on topics in participatory democracy called the Democracy Forum.

Beginning in 2017, just because there's so much to talk about, we are continuing the conversation for the first time into a non-election year. Look for us beginning January 20, 2017.

This year, broadcasts may be heard live from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on the third Friday of the month. Listen live at WERU Community Radio, 89.9 FM Blue Hill, 99.9 FM Bangor, streaming live on the web at WERU FM.

Here is information about programs in 2017. Programs from the 2016, 2012, and 2008 archives are also available online.

We welcome volunteers who are interested in planning and producing the programs. This great project has taught us so much and made friends of our colleagues. For more information, contact us at

Public Conversations

In January, 2017, the League of Women Voters - Downeast launched a 10-month series of public conversations on topics from Maine's 2016 Initiatives, and "fake" news, to issues facing the "Two Maines," and global trade.

Meetings will feature remarks by experts and time for participants to interact with each other the audience. Each topic will first be discussed on the League's Democracy Forum radio program, which airs at 10:00 a.m., the third Friday of the month on WERU-FM Community Radio, 89.9 FM Blue Hill, 99.9 FM Bangor. The public conversation will follow on Wednesday evening the next week.

State Sen. Brian Langley (R-Hancock County) (left), political columnist Jill Goldthwait and State Rep. Louie Luchini (D-Ellsworth) spoke to a gathering organized by the League of Women Voters Feb. 22 on the pitfalls of citizens' referendums. Photo by Jacqueline Weaver for the Ellsworth American

Stephen Fay (center), managing editor of The Ellsworth American, and Earl Brechlin (right), editor of the Mount Desert Islander, listen as Joshua Roiland, assistant professor of communications and journalism at the University of Maine, makes a point during a forum on fake news held at Pat's Pizza in Ellsworth on April 26. Photo by Steve Fuller for the Ellsworth American.

Here is information about programs in 2017.

Check the Calendar for upcoming events near you.

Book Group

Our book group meets monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month. We've read a lot of great books about democracy, politics, and American history. You're welcome to join us. Visit the calendar for the upcoming selection and details.

Election 2016

We sponsored a round of important election year activities.

  • Candidate Forums. As we do each election cycle, we are sponsored candidate forums in this October. Visit the calendar for details. In case you missed the October 18th event in Ellsworth, you can see the video on YouTube.

Candidates for District 7 Senate, Moira O'Neill (left) and Brian Langley, join League member, Ann Luther, at the Bar Harbor Candidates Forum October 17th, moderated by Earl Brechlin and co-sponsored by the YWCA MDI and the MDIslander.

  • Beers, Tears, and Cheers. Not sure whether to laugh or cry? You should have been there November 18. We got together with about 40 friends and neighbors to discuss what just happened in the the election and what it means for the upcoming legislative year. Amy Fried and Jill Goldthwait were our special guests.

Amy Fried and Jill Goldthwait get the conversation going at Airline Brewing Company.

Join Us

Including communities in Hancock County.

Check the Calendar for upcoming events near you.


Looking for a place to get engaged? Join the League of Women Voters - Downeast? Join online with a credit card here.


PO Box 1394
Ellsworth, ME 04605
207-622-0256, ext. 4