Saturday, March 26, 2011


Dear Governor Le Page,

This afternoon, after attending the press conference against your proposed removal of the mural at the Labor Department, I decided to learn more about our Maine Executive branch Departments. Anyone can do this by going to: 
My research revealed that the Executive Branch has 17 Departments, not one!
Of these, three deal directly with Business and Labor in Maine: Agriculture, Economic and Community Development, and Labor. Four others deal directly with other Maine resources and employment: Conservation, Environmental Protection, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and Marine Resources.

Each Department has its own purpose. The purpose of the Department of Labor is Labor!

The Department of Labor's purpose is stated on the site as:
"Committed to Serving Maine Workers and Businesses
  • Assisting individuals, families and communities when jobs are lost;
  • Helping people prepare for and find jobs;
  • Protecting workers on the job; and
  • Researching and analyzing employment data to support job growth

It's subheadings are Jobs and Training, Unemployment, Disability Services, Workplace Safety, Labor Laws, Labor Statistics, and Workforce Development.

This is exactly what the Department of Labor Mural is about! It is about the last 100 years of efforts by Maine workers to achieve workplace safety and rights! It is historically accurate and artistically beautiful. It belongs at the Department of Labor!

And, we also have a wonderful Department of Economic Development!

The Department of Economic and Community Development covers: Business Development!

The site begins: "Maine Means Business

I quote: "It is dedicated to helping companies in Maine grow and prosper. Our goal is to create an energetic business climate that will expand Maine's economy, attract new businesses and create jobs and prosperity for our citizens.
Economic and community development is defined as the process of enhancing labor, capital and technology to improve the economy and our global competitiveness.
DECD is the umbrella organization for business development, community development, tourism & film, innovation, and international trade for the state of Maine. The department is dedicated to positioning Maine for growth in a global economy, while maintaining the quality of life that Maine is known for. We do this through investments focused on our natural and intellectual assets and with accountability for how these investments are serving the citizens of Maine.
Economic development in Maine must be realized through increased productivity and competitiveness. We face challenges such as changing demographics, increasing energy costs and the diversification of our economy from one reliant on traditional natural resource and manufacturing-based industries to a knowledge-based economy where all sectors embrace innovation as a competitive advantage."

If the Department of Economic Development would like a mural celebrating its history, please commission one! I'm sure there are many artists who would like to be chosen to be employed creating one.
And guess what? We also have a Department of Agriculture!

"The purpose of the Agriculture Department, also called the Department of Agriculture and Business development is as follow:

Business Development Technical Assistance

The Division staff are available to assist individual agricultural businesses with help based on the knowledge and experience of various staff members. Currently we handle issues regarding irrigation, cranberry production, new crop development, labor, business planning, and market development and promotion. If our staff cannot help you, we will certainly help you find the resource person you may need.
Business Resource Directory
We can help you find information on agricultural subjects through our various contacts and directories. The Division maintains a list of farmers interested in promotional activities, agricultural associations, agencies that regulate or support agriculture, and various other subjects. The Department has developed a directory of cooperatives, various lists of farmers by commodity produced, and is working on a labor regulations directory.
Ag Business Planning Assistance
Need to expand, consolidate, or just better plan for your existing business? Do you need a business plan to go to the bank? The Division supports business plan development through the use of scholarships for farmers to take business planning courses. The Division can also give grants to farmers to complete a business plan if they are seeking a loan through our loan program.

If the Department of Agriculture would like to have a mural in their Department celebrating Agriculture, I hope they commission one! There are many artists looking for employment who would enjoy creating one.

The same goes for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Department of Conservation, and the Department of Maine Resources. They all deserve murals celebrating the wonderful work they do. 
Don't remove murals, create murals!


Joan Braun. Weld, Maine
newly informed Maine citizen, thanks to Governor Le Page and his website.

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