2018 Year End Newsletter

Happy Holidays!!

Thank you for supporting our work this year! You have helped our community feel more welcome and able to call Maine their HOME. On behalf of the Board we wish you and your families happy holidays and a wonderful 2019!

With gratitude,
Mufalo Chitam
Executive Director

Movement Building
Voice for Immigrants
MIRC Core Values
 Mission MomentMIRC continues to implement its mission through advocacy, information sharing, and collaboration. We have been a leader in lifting up the voices of New Mainers on laws and policies that affect their lives. 
 Latinx Family Wellness and RecreationMaria is an immigrant herself, a Latinx woman of color from Peru who came from and currently lives in poverty. She understands deeply the experiences of the latino families and mostly the undocumented Latinx adults and children with whom she builds community. Whether it is driving someone to an appointment at DHS to provide translation and emotional support, or bringing families to a day at the beach, Maria is always seeking and responding to this community’s input. MIRC needs to increase the recruitment of organizations and projects like Latinx Family Wellness and Recreation to help empower and build capacity of underserved communities in Maine. 
 Help us increase our work to support Maria’s work
and more unreached communities like hers! #WEAREMAINE

New Coalition Members

Enhancing lives and Strengthening Maine Immigrants!!
MIRC envisions more community outreach to the Latinx, Asian, Caribbean, and European communities in Maine. A warm welcome to our new 2018 coalition members: Welcoming the Stranger; Ladder to the Moon NetworkAspire For Humanity InitiativesSouthern Maine Community CollegeSudanese RootsEducation is not a CrimeMaine Citizens for Clean Elections/League of Women VotersCapital Area New Mainers ProjectLatinx Family Wellness and Recreation.

Families Belong Together Rally 2018!

On June 30, MIRC co-sponsored and spoke at the nationwide Families Belong Together Day of Action Rally in Portland, Maine. 2,000 people gathered to stand against family separation, called for family reunification, and an end to detentions.

  • In May, MIRC organized a New Mainers workshop at the Maine Democratic Convention and attended the Maine Poor People’s Campaign forum on “Racism and Militarism”, where a diverse panel of immigrants discussed civic engagement and community integration.

Proposed ‘Public Charge’ Rule

Public Charge rule comment period ended on Monday, December 10, 2018. To date we have over 216,000 comments submitted nationwide and about 450 from Maine. We had a successful stakeholders meeting concerning the rule with congressional staff and 33 service-provider organizations on October 25. Additionally, 20 immigrant community members were able to meet on December 14, with Senator Angus King to discuss the impact of public charge and share their personal stories. Lastly, under the leadership of ILAP, 25 outreach sessions were conducted to educate Mainers on the Public Charge rule. 

  • Maine Equal Justice Partners (MEJP) with the support of MIRC coalition members endorsed the Mainers for Health Care Campaigntoexpand Medicaid coverage for low-income Mainers. Ultimately, Maine made history by becoming the first state in the nation to approve expanding Medicaid coverage, via referendum, to an additional 70,000 Mainers who lack affordable access to care. MEJP and MIRC members are educating individuals in the community who may be eligible for expanded MaineCare.

A Year in Review:

Our Advocacy Driven Accomplishments!!

With support from our funders and donors MIRC was able to raise over 135k in its first year as a stand-alone 501c3 creating baseline stability for the organization. It grew in size and power to 57 members located throughout the state.

MIRC facilitated a strong public voice and inter-organizational collaborations. Traffic increased on our social media platforms with over 200+ emails shared on MIRC listserv with 190+ subscribers, 2000+Facebook and 360+ Twitter followers with 3K Post Reach.

During 2018 Legislative Session we worked together in defeating and/or tabling the following bills which, if passed, would have capitalized on anti-immigrant sentiment: LD 1833: LD1819 (LR2656); LD 1740; LD1873. We helped another bill (LD1492) pass, but it was not funded.

Board member Randi Greenwald and I attended the National Immigrant Integration Conference in Virginia earlier this month. 1,277 leaders from across the country and beyond gathered for three powerful days of learning and strategizing to create a welcoming and inclusive democracy for all. One of my many takeaways from the conference was that as a coalition serving immigrants we need to diversify our membership to serve unreached communities in Maine.

In the fall we met with community activists’ and worked to create an immigrant call center on election day to help our community get to the polls. Additionally, we were able to have over 100 immigrants, from more than six communities, receive invitations to Governor-elect Janet Mills’ inauguration ceremony and celebration on January 2, 2019.