Maine State Building & Construction Trades Council

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Maine State Building & Construction Trades Council Endorses in Portland
Trade Group Makes Selections in At-Large, District 4 and District 5 Races

PORTLAND, MAINE, October 17, 2017 - The Maine State Building & Construction Trades Council (MSBCTC), representing 16 labor unions and 5,000 working men and women across the state, has voted to endorse three candidates for Portland City Council. The decision came after months of candidate interviews and vetting, focusing on how individuals on the elected body would best represent - and take bold action for - working men and women and their families.

In the At-Large race, the MSBCTC felt that the candidate that demonstrates a combination of integrity, a commitment to workers’ values and a track record of building coalitions for tangible results is Bree LaCasse. As a Councilor, Ms. LaCasse’s ability to form consensus while at the same time speak truth to power will be an invaluable asset to city government. While the MSBCTC appreciated her opponents’ record of support for labor’s issues as well as the enthusiasm to address the issues associated with Portland’s rapid growth, Ms. LaCasse’s willingness to cut through the noise in City Hall via a firm commitment to action when approaching issues impacting working men and women was key to her gaining the MSBCTC’s endorsement.

In the District 4 race, the MSBCTC has chosen to support Councilor Justin Costa in his re-election campaign. Mr. Costa has shown to be a thoughtful voice on the Council, and the MSBCTC looks forward to continuing to work with him to further the cause of working men and women across the city. While Mr. Costa’s opponent has demonstrated an eagerness to learn, coupled with an energy towards positive change, Mr. Costa’s institutional knowledge and commitment to progressive values rose to the top.

Marpheen Chann was the choice of the MSBCTC to carry the banner for workers’ values in the District 5 race. Mr. Chann’s background, intellectual curiosity and ability to frame issues in a way that empowers Portlanders will be a welcome voice on the Council. While Mr. Chann’s opponents would both undoubtedly bring positive attributes to City Hall, the MSBCTC felt that Mr. Chann is the candidate that who will consistently fight for those whose voices often go unheard in city government.      

When it comes to advancing issues such as ensuring those who build Portland are paid a living wage and have training and apprenticeship opportunities that pave the way to the middle class, Ms. LaCasse, Mr. Costa and Mr. Chann have demonstrated, in firm commitment and deed, that we can and must do more to support those who build our city.

John Napolitano, MSBCTC President and Business Manager for the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, Local 716 stated, “We’ve been fighting for years so that workers have both a say and a stake in Portland’s growth. While we’ve made strides, progress in ensuring workers get a fair shake has often been paralysed by politics and general inaction. It’s time we make a commitment to our middle class, and Bree, Justin and Marpheen are the allies who can make that happen.”

“It’s past time for excuses and half steps,” said Robert Burr, Vice President of the MSBCTC and Business Representative for the International Association of Operating Engineers, Local 4. “Our endorsing this slate of candidates shows that we’re ready for Portland to take action on workers’ issues, and take action now.”