Making Democracy Work


About our local League in the greater Portland area

2019 Events

The "Can We?" Project Student Presentation

Thursday, March 28, 2019 5:30-7:30 pm

Green Room, Performing Arts Center at Waynflete School

Storer Street (between Danforth and Spring), Portland ME

The "Can We?" Project is an experiment in revitalizing democracy that engages young people in civic discourse and takes direct aim at bridging the deepest societal divides through dialogue and curiosity. Building on the school's history of valuing diversity as a condition of excellence--including its particular commitment to Portland's resettled refugee communities--the "Can We?" Project recruited 29 high school students with diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and political viewpoints from six equally diverse public schools and Waynflete. We delivered a multi-faceted program over a four-month period designed to cultivate the participants' empathy, to train them to bridge differences through honest conversation, to challenge them to propose solutions to pressing and politically contentious issues in Maine, and finally, to present their ideas to gubernatorial candidates last spring in an interactive forum. Because of its success, past participants and adult program creators are now working to replicate the model in other parts of the country. You will hear from several students and adults who were directly involved and who are excited to present their work to the League of Women Voters.

2018 Events

Whine & Wine! Election Debrief Party

League fun and respectful discourse with a local Democrat, Republican, and Independent

Panelists at LWV Portland Area Whine and Wine post-election sessionLWVPA members and friends enjoyed a lively discussion on November 14th at our 3rd bi-annual post-election Whine and Wine event held this year at PelotonLabs. The panelists, Marpheen Chann (Democrat), Barbara Harvey (Republican), and Dick Woodbury (Independent), shared their views on how the recent elections are likely to affect the next session of the Maine State Legislature. They addressed questions from the audience on topics such as civility in political discussions, the potential for expansion of ranked choice voting to the election of state officials, legislative priorities for their parties, the role of citizen initiatives in the legislative process, automatic voter registration, and ways of achieving more gender balance among elected representatives. It was a delight to hear the panelists offer thoughtful answers to the audience's questions in an atmosphere where all views were respected and differences among the panelists were discussed in a civil manner.

Audience at LWV Portland Area 2018 Whine and Wine post-election session

Marpheen Chann, Democrat, left in top photo

Marpheen Chann, a Digital Strategy Consultant and Board Member of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, is a gay, first-generation Asian-American who was born into a Cambodian refugee family and adopted by an evangelical, white working class family. He is a Portland, Maine-based thinker, writer, and speaker on LGBTQ+ and immigrants' rights, social justice and equality. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Southern Maine and a law degree from the University of Maine School of Law. Chann ran for Portland City Council in 2017. (website here)

Barbara Harvey, Republican, middle in photo

Barbara Campbell Harvey of Portland was elected as Secretary of the Maine Republican Party in 2015 and unanimously re-elected in 2017. In addition to her vast experience with Republican political organizations across Maine, Ms. Harvey also has served in a variety of positions for well-known organizations such as the Maine Education Loan Authority Board, LearningWorks, First Radio Parish Church of America, and Friends of the Blaine House. Ms. Harvey received her Master's Degree in political science at Northeastern and lives in Portland, Maine. (website here)

Dick Woodbury, Independent, right in photo

Dick Woodbury, an economist and politician, served as an unenrolled (or Independent) State Senator from Maine's 11th District, beginning in 2010. Before that, he served three terms (2002 – 2008) in the Maine House of Representatives. He has been a visiting scholar with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and written extensively on tax reform in Maine. In 2014, Woodbury and others introduced a Maine citizen's initiative to replace the state's plurality voting system with a ranked choice voting one.

Cumberland County DA Candidates' Forum

LWV/ACLU Cumberland County DA Candidates Forum Sept. 27, 2018
Voters listen intently to candidates during LWV Maine/ACLU Maine Cumberland County DA Candidates' Forum at the Westbrook Community Center, September 27, 2018

Join the Portland Area League

Join us!

  • We proudly operate as a nonpartisan, fact-based source of information for voters.
  • We study together to educate ourselves prior to taking action.
  • We appreciate being part of a national organization but want to work locally.
  • We love increasing the number of registered voters.
  • We advocate for policies that improve our democracy.
  • We honor and continue the important history of the League of Women Voters.

We have a great schedule ahead for 2018-2019! LWVPA loves question! Contact Barbara or Peg

Action on Priority Issues

League Testimony on noncitizen voting.

Open Board Meetings

2018-2019 Board Meetings are held from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on the first or second Monday of most months. Meetings are open to all League members and held at LWVME/MCCE's second floor conference room, 565 Congress St., Portland.

Monday, January 7, 2019, 9-11 a.m.
Monday, March 4, 2019, 9-11 a.m.
Monday, April 8, 2019, 9-11 a.m.

Annual Meeting
Thursday, May 9, 2019, 5:30-8:00 p.m., 190 Middle Rd., Presumpscot Room, Falmouth, ME 04105.

2018-2019 Newsletters
Read our April 2019 Newsletter
Read our March 2019 Newsletter
Read our February 2019 Newsletter
Read our January 2019 Newsletter
Read our December 2018 Newsletter
Read our November 2018 Newsletter
Read our October 2018 Newsletter
Read our Fall 2018 Newsletter
Read our Summer 2018 Newsletter
Read our May 2018 Newsletter
Read our April 2018 Newsletter
Read our March 2018 Newsletter
Read our February 2018 Newsletter
Read our January 2018 Newsletter

2016-2017 Newsletters Newsletters from the archive.

Volunteer Opportunities

Here's your chance to get involved in exciting projects with the Portland Area League. These ongoing efforts are vital to creating an engaged community - and they're fun.

Portland League Contact Info

Portland Area League of Women Voters

PO Box 7904
Portland, ME 04112
207-622-0256, ext. 3

Join the League

LWVPA Who's Who

Co-presidents - Peg Balano and Barbara Kaufman
Secretary - Carol Carpenter
Treasurer - Polly Ward
  • Beth Basham
  • Elaine DiGiovanni
  • Valerie Kelly
  • Kim Rich
  • Gail Roller

The Emily Farley Fund

The Emily Farley Fund, part of the Maine Community Foundation, honors the work and memory of the indomitable Emily Farley and financially supports programming of an educational nature. Emily was finance chair of the LWV Portland Area for many years as well as a dedicated board member and President.

Learn more about the Emily Farley Fund