Our Values

 
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
-- Robert F. Kennedy
 

Lincoln County Democrats take these words of RFK to heart, confident in the belief that each of us can make a difference. Democrats are the people’s party – all the people “Working Together for all of us” and our mission is to build a brighter future for all Mainers, leaving no one behind.

“Maine Democrats believe in serving the people in Maine by promoting strong sustainable communities, fairness and opportunity for all, and investment in Maine’s future. Economic opportunity and security, universal access to quality education and healthcare, good government, fair taxes, safety and national security, human rights, environmental protection, and international cooperation are the policies and principles for which we have long fought and will continue to fight.” (2010 Maine Democratic Platform)

Frances Perkins half-length signing document - photograph from LOC

Frances Perkins

We take great local pride in national heroine Frances Perkins - a woman of remarkable character and accomplishments who had roots in Newcastle, Maine and remembered with great fondness visiting her grandmother at the family homestead there. Frances Perkins had an extraordinary commitment to civic responsibility, public service, and social justice. To learn more about her, visit the Frances Perkins Center in Damariscotta or go to http://francesperkinscenter.org/

She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1902 and a Master’s Degree in Sociology from Columbia University in 1910. At Mt. Holyoke, her History Professor, Anna May Soule, required her students to visit the local factories and write of the working conditions there. Frances later said that opened her mind to the idea that poverty was not merely caused by liquor or laziness, the prevailing view at the time. She supported herself by teaching and volunteered at settlement houses. She spent time at the famous Hull House in Chicago. There she began to realize that Labor needed to organize to earn a decent wage so that they could take care of themselves and not need the charity of those running settlement houses.

Intelligent, observant, resourceful, and steadfast to her beliefs, Frances Perkins accomplished much as a social worker and Commissioner of Labor in New York State. In 1911, she witnessed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire where 146 people, mostly young immigrant women, were trapped in the burning building and died because the exits were locked. At a time when corruption and corporate influence were rampant, she managed to get a maximum work week for women and implementation of workplace safety and building fire safety standards that set the model for the rest of the country and the world.

Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Frances Perkins as the first woman to serve as a Cabinet member in 1933. She was secretary of labor from 1933-1945. A position in which she pushed for, and got, legislation on a minimum wage, a maximum work week, unemployment compensation, the abolition of child labor, and a public works program. She co-drafted the Social Security Act and succeeded in gaining its passage into law. She also co-drafted the Fair Labor Standards Act. She continued to work under the Truman administration as civil service commissioner, resigning in 1953. Her later years were occupied with teaching at Cornell University.