To mark the beginning of Women’s History Month, Maine Democratic Party Vice Chair Bev Uhlenhake released the following statement:
“Today marks the beginning of Women’s History Month, but every month, we are called to recognize the countless women, both known and unknown, who have moved our state forward. They refused to accept the status quo and made Maine better for it.
“For too long, the contributions of women have been left out of the historical record.
This has been particularly true for Black, Indigenous, women of color, and trans women, whose contributions have been dismissed, if not outright dismantled.
“Nevertheless, women have persisted. They have fought on battlefields and in courtrooms, cured diseases and developed technology, advanced human rights and been elected to public office.
“Here in Maine, we have our first female governor, Janet Mills, who has well and ably led our state through an unprecedented pandemic, guiding Maine to some of the best public health and economic results in the country. With her relentless focus on public health, affordable healthcare, first class education, and economic recovery, Maine is in good hands.
“In the Maine Legislature, women occupy nearly 44% of the 186 seats and are in some of the highest leadership positions: Senate Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Mattie Daughtry, House Majority Leader Michelle Dunphy and Assistant House Majority Leader Rachel Talbot Ross.
"During this time of crisis, the women leading the Maine Legislature are working tirelessly to expand health care rights, advocate for working Mainers, support climate solutions and fight racial, gender and socioeconomic inequities exacerbated by the pandemic. In addition, the Legislature's Appropriations Committee is chaired by Sen. Cathy Breen and Rep. Teresa Pierce, two women who are working relentlessly to ensure that Maine's budget is lifting up families, municipalities and livelihoods and accelerating our economic recovery. This year, too, Maine has its first woman as Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows, a fierce proponent of voting rights and strengthening democracy.
“And in the United States Congress, we have Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, the first woman ever elected to represent Maine's first Congressional district. Congresswoman Pingress has improved food systems, strengthened federal support for Maine’s farmers and fishermen, championed civil rights, and worked to mitigate the climate crisis as recently elected Chair of the House Appropriations Interior and Environment subcommittee. Throughout the pandemic, she has fought to put money in the pockets of Mainers who are in crisis and crush the virus by providing federal funding to improve testing and vaccine distribution.“
“This Women’s History Month, we celebrate the courageous women who live among us and the courageous women who came before us. Because of them, today is more just than yesterday. And we recommit to making tomorrow more just than today.”