Sen. George Mitchell, photo by Ramona du HouxThe Maine Democratic Party (MDP) is pleased to announce the new name of its annual fall dinner. The Perkins-Mitchell Dinner will be held on Friday, December 4th at the Landing at Pine Point in Scarborough and will recognize two great Democratic leaders: Frances Perkins and Senator George Mitchell. Sen. Mitchell and Tomlin Perkins Coggeshall, the grandson of Frances Perkins, will both be in attendance.
“I am honored to be recognized by Maine Democrats and to share this unique tribute with Frances Perkins,” said Sen. George Mitchell.“My work in politics has always been driven by my love of Maine and making our state a better place for all. Our work continues as we look to increase economic opportunity, reduce poverty and build a better future for our children. I look forward to celebrating the Maine Democratic Party’s continued commitment to these ideals today.”
“The new name of the MDP's annual dinner is an honor for the legacy of my grandmother, Frances Perkins,” said Coggeshall. “To have her recognized in this way and to be paired with Senator George Mitchell is a fitting choice for Maine Democrats. Both of these Democratic leaders with Maine roots fought for social justice and economic security for the working men and women of our country. Their careers took different paths, but they strived for the same goals, ‘the best possible life,’ as my grandmother put it, ‘for all.”
After soliciting responses from the public, the Maine Democratic Party’s Executive Committee selected the public’s top pick, the Perkins-Mitchell dinner, as the new name of the fall fundraising dinner. More than 500 people submitted their votes. The Maine Democratic Party moved to change the name of its annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to better reflect the modern day values of the Party and its members.
“We couldn’t be more proud to honor the legacies of Frances Perkins and Senator George Mitchell at our fall gathering,” said Phil Bartlett, Chair of the MDP. “Perkins and Mitchell are the standard-bearers of the values we represent today. Perkins was a pioneer who fought for workers’ rights and economic opportunity for all, while Mitchell carved his niche as a peacemaker and dedicated public servant to the people of Maine. We look forward to celebrating their thoughtful leadership and unique contributions to our state and Party.”
Frances Perkins served as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of Labor from 1933-1945 and was the first female Cabinet member. She was the principal architect of the New Deal, the Social Security Act, and the Fair Labor Standard Act. She considered her family’s home in Newcastle, which she regularly returned to throughout her life, a place of respite. Perkins is buried just a short distance away from the home. [Francesperkinscenter.org]
Sen. George Mitchell represented Maine in the U.S. Senate from 1980-1996, serving as Senate Majority Leader from 1988 until his retirement. Mitchell’s legacy is defined by his performance during the Iran-Contra hearings, leadership on universal health care, and negotiation of the Good Friday Agreement to achieve peace in Northern Ireland. Additionally, the Mitchell Institute provides scholarships to remove the financial barriers for Maine students to attend Maine colleges. [https://library.bowdoin.edu/]