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  • Attorney Joseph Baldacci Esq. in renown book - Trademark Who’s Who Honors Edition

     
     Article and photo by Ramona du Houx
         Joseph M. Baldacci has been selected for inclusion in the forthcoming Trademark Who’s Who Honors Edition for demonstrating dedication, leadership and professional excellence.
     
        “His compassion and expertise set the standard in the industry. He has truly dedicated himself to his profession. There is humility and personal touch he adds to his relationship with everyone he does business with, more than the value of his service it’s his way of treating everyone like an extended member of his own family that people remember the most. As a talented disciplined professional he has maintained a proven track record of quality service, driven by his desire to succeed,” stated Amber Rogers, of Trademark.
     
         “I am very honored. I have been practicing law here in my hometown for 25 years and I have been fortunate to represent literally thousands of Maine people—and even a few from away,” said the former Bangor Mayor Joseph M. Baldacci, who currently serves on the Bangor City Council.
     
         According to Trademark, during the vetting process it was noted along with his exceptional reputation that he has also maintained a positive peer rating.
     
         “His years of service along with his level of expertise and several other factors also contributed to his inclusion. He prides himself on honesty and integrity. He is the kind of professional admired by colleagues and peers alike. His kindness and willingness to always help others and find solutions to most questions is both exemplary and honorable. He has made his mark on his professionals an expert and will become part of history as one of the top professionals in his field,” stated Rogers.
     
         The Law Offices of Joseph M. Baldacci, Esq, have been serving Maine People Since 1991.
     
         Joe’s website, baldaccilaw.com states: “With 25 years of experience, we proudly serve clients across the state of Maine from our offices in Bangor. We are client-oriented and successful in a wide range of legal areas. When you enlist our services, you will receive our excellent legal knowledge, our exemplary customer service, our relentless dedication, and our professional integrity. We can get results for you!”
     
    About Trademark Who’s Who
     
        With expert members representing every major industry, Trademark Who’s Who is the trusted resource and historic tool that facilitates the creation of new business relationships in all areas of business. Following the same tradition of the now more that 100 years old concept, Trademark Who’s Who prides itself on preserving the stories of each member as each of them deserve his and her own place in history. The talented professionals profiled in the historic registry share such virtues as determination, courage, patience and discipline. It is not the characteristics which set them apart from the rest of us, but their extremely high degree of accomplishment. Now more than ever these people serve as an example, each of these extraordinary people documented in this book offer tangible evidence of the value of hard work, goal setting and passion.
        
         Trademark Who’s Who membership provides these hardworking men and women with certified and validated third-party endorsement of their accomplishments, and serves as a way to spend the word about themselves through a trusted network of individuals brought together by the same common morals, values, and dedication. The historic preservation of one’s family legacy and personal achievements is also a driving force in the success of this publication. Such a well-researched and verified source ensures this tool to act as a bridge forging long lasting new business relationships. 
  • Jackson Laboratory sees benefit in raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour




     The Jackson Laboratory has announced a major adjustment in its wage scales for close to 43 percent of its workforce. Nearly 800 employees will benefit from the raise. 

    With the exception of employees in their first six months of training, the lowest wage for full-time workers will now be $15 per hour. The total increase in payroll is expected to be $3.8 million annually.

     Affected employees come from nearly 60 towns around eastern Maine and Waldo County. They are frontline staff working in animal care and positions supporting the laboratory’s research, administration and operations. The average starting salary in many of the affected jobs had been between $10 and $11 per hour.

    “Jackson Laboratory has long recognized that employees are its greatest asset and is proud to be a leader in recognizing and rewarding hourly workers,” stated Chief Operating Officer Charles Hewitt. “This increase in wage scales rewards their improved productivity and increased contribution to the laboratory’s success. It reflects the laboratory’s understanding of the importance of these roles and both the board’s and management’s on-going commitment to reward the entire laboratory workforce fairly and appropriately.”

    According to Hewitt the laboratory is hoping that the increase in its wage scales will help ensure employee retention as well as assist in attracting and hiring committed new employees as the laboratory grows and prospers. Many other facilities across the US have put this model into motion, realizing retention is a huge benefit to company growth and having a stable happy workforce increases productivity.

    The ripple effect in communities where the labs employees live will palpably help local economies. “Business are recognizing that raising wages is in fact good for business,” said the Former Bangor Mayor and current Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

    The Jackson Laboratory received many grants funded by voter-approved bonds during the Baldacci administration, which allowed the non-profit research laboratory to expand and increase their research and development. After the initial Maine grants, federal awards followed.

    This November Mainers will be given a chance to increase the state’s minimum wage. The Mainers for Fair Wages citizens’ initiative would raise Maine’s minimum wage to $9 in 2017 and then by $1 a year until it reaches $12 by 2020. After that it would increase at the same rate as the cost of living. The initiative would also incrementally raise the tipped minimum wage, until it matches the minimum wage for all other workers by 2024.

    Maine’s current minimum wage is $7.50 compared to the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Governor John E. Baldacci was the last governor to increase it.

    The Economic Policy Institute estimates that gradually increasing the wage to $12 per hour would give over 120,000 Maine workers—more than a fifth of the state’s workforce—a raise.    

    Jackson Laboratory plans to shift all of its East Coast mouse production operations to the former Lowe’s building in Ellsworth by 2018. It is expected the Ellsworth facility will employ 230 workers, and three-quarters of those will be new hires with the rest relocating from working in Bar Harbor.

  • Nobody Should be Working Full-Time and Still Live in Poverty

    Editorial by Mark Eves, the Maine Speaker of the House

    On Wednesday, May 11, I’m looking forward to joining the Baldacci family as they host a spaghetti supper in support of raising the minimum wage. The dinner, at $5 per person, will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Cony High School, 60 Pierce Drive, in Augusta.

    The dinner is focused on why raising the minimum wage is so important for our state, and I want to take a minute to share why I’ll be supporting the minimum wage referendum on this year’s ballot.

    Like so many Mainers, my wife and I worry about how to make ends meet. We worry how we’ll balance our car payments and grocery bills with the hopes of sending our three kids to college and whether we’ll actually be able to care for our parents as they get older.

    And just like our neighbors, we’re willing to work hard to make up the gaps. Mainers don’t want things handed to us. We just want providing for our families and saving for our kids’ future to be a little less difficult.

    No Mainer should be working full time and still live in poverty.

    Yet that’s the reality for too many families that depend on a minimum wage salary.

    Despite rising costs for basic needs, our state’s minimum wage has remained at $7.50 an hour since 2009.

    Maine’s economic future depends on the strength of our workforce, the ability of our families to invest in their children, and the success of our businesses.

    Raising the minimum wage in Maine is a critically important and long overdue move, both for families struggling to get by on low wages and our lagging economy. By putting money back into the pockets of Mainers who will spend it in their communities we can jump start our businesses, help reduce poverty, and begin to keep pace with other states who continue to get ahead.

    In November voters will decide on a referendum that would raise Maine’s minimum wage from $7.50 to $9 an hour in 2017 and then a dollar a year until it reaches $12 an hour in 2020. Further increases would be tied to the cost of living, and the current subminimum wage for employees such as restaurant workers who receive tips would be phased out over a longer period of time.

    Almost 100,000 full-time workers in Maine would directly benefit from an increase in Maine’s minimum wage. Overall, 29 percent of all workers in our state would see an increase. And, more than 52,000 Maine children would benefit from one or both parents getting a raise.

    I’ve heard countless stories from Mainers, including parents like Katie Logue of Auburn, who work full time at low-wage jobs and struggle to afford the basic necessities that they need to provide for their families. Katie had to rely on food assistance and was even homeless despite working full time at a convenience store for $8 an hour.

    Beyond ensuring people like Katie are finally paid what they are worth, it’s the right thing to do to make sure every Mainer can bring a paycheck home that makes it possible to provide for their family.

    Raising the minimum wage is also the smart thing to do for Maine’s businesses statewide.

    Hundreds of business owners, such as Adam Lee, chairman of Lee Auto Malls, have already come out in support of raising Maine’s minimum wage.

    Adam was right when he said, “When working Mainers make a decent living, they spend that extra money in our communities. It is good for the whole economy, including my business. In the last year and a half, Lee Auto Mall has raised our starting wage from $9 to $10 and six months ago we raised it to $11 per hour. It is good for our employees and it is the right thing to do.”

    Maine desperately needs this economic growth at a time when our businesses continue to struggle with regional, national and international competition.

    This legislative session we raised wages for law enforcement officers serving on the front lines and mental health and direct-care workers who take care of our most vulnerable.

    Hard-working Maine families also deserve a raise.

    Raising Maine’s minimum wage is the right thing to do for our families, our businesses, and our economy.

    By Mark Eves, the Maine Speaker of the House

  • Bangor City Councilman Joe Baldacci's official statement declaring his run for Congress

    On 29, July, 2015 Bangor City Councilman Joe Baldacci declared he will be running for Congress. photo by Ramona du Houx
    The former Bangor mayor, Joe Baldacci faces former state senator Emily Cain in the Democratic primary. If he wins he will be debating US Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who defeated Cain in her previous attempted at the House seat.

    According to a Public Policy Polling survey covering more than 1,000 people in the district from April 16 to 19, the baseline question showed him “in a statistical dead heat” with Poliquin.

    This statement is from his website:

    Dear Fellow Mainers,

    Today, I officially filed to be your next Representative to Congress for the 2nd District of Maine. 


    These decisions are never easy. I am not a multi-millionaire, former Wall Street banker. I’m a small business owner and City Councilman who still needs to work to provide for my family as well as honor the commitments I have to the people of the city of Bangor.


    In making this decision I had to ask a lot of questions to myself, my family and the residents of the 2nd District. At the end of the day it came down to these two:


    1. "Are our political leaders truly representing the people and values that I was brought up with here in Maine?"

    AND

    2. "Do they know, care or ever lived the issues that all my neighbors, friends, and fellow citizens have been facing all of our lives?"

    Unfortunately the answer was a resounding “NO!"
    Our current leadership is more concerned with ideology, special interest, and Wall Street values than representing the people of the 2nd District. 

    Putting the over 100,000 seniors in our district in peril by trying to Privatize Social Security and Medicare, is not fighting for Maine values.

    Disrespecting the sacrifice of the almost 60,000 veterans of this district by blocking funding of the Veterans Administration, is not fighting for Maine values.

    Votes against fishermen, the environment, health care, and public schools, all of the things that can, and do make our home great, is not fighting for Maine values. 

    There has become a huge and disturbing gap between Maine’s performance in recent years and what I see as Maine’s unlimited potential. A Representative that fights for, recognizes and encourages the very best in all of us, should be a first step in helping turn the mindset of this state around. I will be that Representative for you.
    I am the only candidate who was born and lived his whole life in Maine. I am not a Wall Street Republican or a Washington Democrat. 

    I am a life-long Mainer who wants to go to Washington to make sure that all of us get a fair shake from our government; that people without wealth or power can be heard and helped, and that our government and our country can work for all of us.
  • Spaghetti dinner/minimum wage forum packed with supporters and enthusiasm

    Article and photos by Ramona du Houx

    Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci hosted his first spaghetti dinner/minimum wage forum on June 26th in Lewiston. He and guests addressed a packed room of over 150 people as attendees finished their spaghetti made from the famous Baldacci family’s recipe.

    Speakers addressed the economic situation faced by those earning a minimum wage — and the need for action. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is worth $2 less today than it was in 1968, when adjusted for inflation.

    Economist Garrett Martin of the Maine Center of Economic Policy analyzed how the economic situation coming out of the Great Recession has led to low-wage earners truly being left behind. He explained that a minimum wage raise would lift everyone up.

    “Don’t believe them when they tell you raising the wage costs jobs … It actually boosts the economy. The last time the federal government raised the minimum wage, over $5.5 billion more was spent,” said Martin. “And jobs were created.”

    Someone working 40 hours a week at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 would earn only $15,080 every year before taxes — $4,610 below the federal poverty level.

    “Today the minimum wage is lower in purchasing power than it was 45 years ago,” said former Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci. “It’s about giving people a hand — not a hand-out. The banks got bailed out, but the middle classes didn’t. We can’t balance governmental budgets, year after year, on the backs of the poor and the middle class.”

    Auburn State Rep. Gina Melargno (photo above) said only one of the eight minimum-wage-increase bills submitted by Democrats in the Legislature made it out of committee. And the State Senate Republicans killed that measure.

    “For lots of Republicans, their main priority is their businesses-corporation commitment. They don’t seem to understand that if we workers don’t have any money, we’re not going to be able to patronage these businesses,” said Melargno.

    But in the wider community of Maine the issue is bipartisan.

    “About 75 percent of our voting constituency wants a minimum-wage raise — and that includes voting Republicans,” said Melargno, whose proposed bill, An Act To Raise the Minimum Wage and Index It to the National Average Wage, became the template for the Maine People's Alliance statewide referendum to gradually increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour. The EPI estimates that gradually increasing the wage to $12 per hour would give over 120,000 Maine workers — more than a fifth of the state’s workforce — a raise.

    MPA members were at the dinner collecting signatures for the referendum’s petition. “This idea of taking it into our own hands is exciting,” added Melargno.

    Poet Tim Richardson, who attended the dinner, said he was trained as a machinist in the 1970s and always felt he’d be able to earn a living off that trade at a minimum wage. For back then, it was a livable wage. “Not anymore,” he said. “I think the economy would be better if people had more money in their pockets, so they could spend something locally. I’d like to see it at $15 per hour, more like it was in the 70’s, when people could make a living with a livable minimum. That’s gone. That’s a part of what's weakening us as a nation.”

    An Alliance for a Just Society estimates that $15.82 an hour would be a livable wage. Maine’s current minimum wage of $7.50 forces far too many families onto welfare rolls, and the need for federally subsidized health care.

    “I have been in the health-care industry for over 35 years, and I have seen study after study that has verified that for those in the vulnerable wage bracket, their health outcomes are not as favorable as those who have the means to seek high-quality health care. And that raises this issue of the minimum wage to more than an economic problem — it is also a health problem,” said Donato Tramuto, healthcare activist and entrepreneur.

    Economist Garrett Martin of the Maine Center of Economic Policy analyzed how the economic situation coming out of the Great Recession

    About $400 in proceeds from the dinner instantly turned into over $800, as Tramuto announced that his organization would graciously match the funds, which will be donated to New Beginnings of Lewiston. The local nonprofit helps 700 homeless young people and families in crisis work toward a brighter future every year.

    “Health care is a basic human right, and so is a minimum wage,” added Tramuto.

    The issue affects women workers more then men in Maine. According to former State Senator Eloise Vitelli, “One in seven people earning the minimum wage are women, in Maine.”

    That in turn impacts children. "Raising the minimum wage is critical to decreasing childhood poverty,” said Jim Wellehan, owner of Lamey-Wellehan Shoes.

    This spaghetti dinner was the first of a series that Baldacci will be hosting across the state to generate support and awareness for raising the minimum wage. There will be upcoming events in Bangor, Portland, Millinocket, and Presque Isle. Baldacci has already held a town forum in Bangor on the issue. Last February he proposed a Bangor ordinance that would incrementally increase the minimum wage in the city, beginning with $8.25 per hour in 2016 to $9 per hour in 2017 and advancing to $9.75 in 2018.

    For more information please visit raisemewage.com.

  • Minimum Wage and Middle Class issues to be discussed at Lewiston spaghetti dinner/forum

    By Ramona du Houx,  June 22, 2015
    Former Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci is hosting a spaghetti dinner/minimum wage forum on Friday June 26th at the Elks Lodge #371, 1675 Lisbon Street in Lewiston, from 5pm-7pm.

    “These spaghetti dinners have always been a great opportunity to bring the community together for a family dinner that encourages discussion and unity on important working class issues,” said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

    Maine businessman Jim Wellehan, healthcare activist and entrepreneur Donato Tramuto, Auburn State Rep. Gina Melargno, former state senator Eloise Vitelli, and former Lewiston Planning Director Jim Lysen will speak about raising the minimum wage in Maine.

    Speakers will address the dire economic situation faced by low income Mainers and the need for local and state level action to increase the minimum wage. According to the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute (EPI) the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is worth $2 less today than it was in 1968 when adjusted for inflation. The EPI study found a full-time worker would need to earn $11.06 an hour in 2011 to keep a family of four out of poverty.

    Someone working 40 hours a week at the federal minimum wage of $7.25, would earn $290 each week—or $15,080 every year—$4,610 below the federal poverty level.

    In Lewiston, according to the MIT living wage calculator, at today’s state minimum wage of $7.50 a single adult would have to work 53 hours per week simply to pay for basic sustenance.

    “Nobody working a 40 hour week should live in poverty,” said Councilor Baldacci. (photo below)

    State Rep. Gina Melargno will talk about her bill to raise the wage as well as other efforts lawmakers have made in Augusta towards this goal. “Maine workers find themselves working at least full time but still living in or near poverty, while having to care for their families at the same time,” said Rep. Melaragno, who submitted An Act To Raise the Minimum Wage and Index It to the National Average Wage. “They have seen the prices of everything go up except the price of their undervalued labor, and they are tired of being thrown a small token raise every five or six years. They want meaningful, lasting change.”

    Maine’s $7.50 minimum wage is currently $3 less than what MIT calculates it should be at $10.61 for a single adult. Christy Daggett’s, a researcher at the Maine Center of Economic Policy, estimates $15.82 would be a livable wage. Maine’s current minimum wage forces far too families onto welfare roles and the need for federally subsidized healthcare.

    “I have been in the health care industry for over 35 years and I have seen study after study that has verified that for those in the vulnerable wage bracket, their health outcomes are not as favorable as those who have the means to seek high quality healthcare. And that raises this issue of the minimum wage to more than an economic problem — it is also a health problem,” said Donato Tramuto. “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights — Article 25 —states very clearly that accessing medical care is a basic human right for every single person on this earth. And when one person is unable to access healthcare, we have violated that most basic human right.”

    According to MIT’s local wage calculator, at today’s minimum wage a single mother in Lewiston would have to work 138 hours per week just to survive without government assistance programs like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

    “Raising the minimum wage is critical to decreasing childhood poverty,” said Jim Wellehan, founder and owner of Lamey-Wellehan Shoes. “It isn’t right to allow working mothers and Maine’s people to work at today’s low minimum wage.”

    Jim Lysen, former Lewiston Planning Director, will speak on how people can get involved with the Maine Peoples Alliance’s petition drive to steadily increase the minimum wage to $12. Petitioners will be in attendance.

    The EPI estimates that gradually increasing the wage to $12 per hour would give over 120,000 Maine workers—more than a fifth of the state’s workforce—a raise.

    EPI calculates a $12 minimum wage would mean:

    • 60 percent of the workers who would be effected are women.

    • 85 percent are over the age of 20.

    • 75 percent work in service, sales, and office and administrative support occupations.

    • 75 percent work in: retail, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality.

    • 40,000 children have at least one parent who would get a raise from this change.

    In Lewiston-Auburn specifically, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a minimum wage increase would give an immediate raise to over 25% of the workforce

    “I hope this dinner, and other events that we lead across the state, will help generate a grassroots push for a statewide minimum wage increase,” said Councilor Baldacci.

    Last February Councilor Joe Baldacci proposed a local ordinance that would incrementally increase the minimum wage in the city, beginning with a bump to $8.25 per hour in 2016, advancing to $9 per hour in 2017 and going to $9.75 in 2018.

    This spaghetti dinner is part of a series that Councilor Baldacci will hosting across the state to generate support and awareness for raising the minimum wage as well as to give people information about the Maine Peoples Alliance’s minimum wage petition drive. There will be upcoming events in Bangor, Portland, Millinocket, and Presque Isle.

    Joe Baldacci has already held a town forum in Bangor, and spoke on the issue in Waldo County, and Washington County.

    For decades the Baldacci family ran an Italian restaurant in Bangor. Momma Baldacci’s became a meeting place known for its food, conversation, and community atmosphere.

    That led to the Baldacci’s hosting spaghetti dinners to raise money for local charities and support issues relevant to working families.

    All of the proceeds from this dinner will go to New Beginnings of Lewiston, a local nonprofit that “helps 700 homeless young people and families in crisis work toward a brighter future each year,” said New Beginnings Program Development Director Rachel Spencer-Reed. “Changes in income directly impact the young people we serve and their ability to secure and maintain housing. We are grateful that Joe is bringing this town hall event to Lewiston/Auburn. The proceeds from the dinner will be used to support the expansion of our Drop-In Center for homeless youth in Lewiston.”

    Read more please go: To Raise ME Wage

  • Bangor City Couniclor Baldacci to talk about Minimum Wage May 2nd and 3rd

    “Having a real and substantial conversation about raising the minimum wage is a part of a necessary discussion we need to have about raising people’s incomes in general,” said City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

    After a successful Minimum Wage Town Hall in Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci continues to inform the public about the advantages of raising the minimum wage in Maine, as it will help the lives and livelihoods of many citizens. It can help local businesses too, as more people will have funds to spend in local shops.

    The Councilor has proposed an increase for Bangor.

    The next two events where increasing the minimum wage will be discussed are:

    Washington County Democrats Meeting

    Saturday, May 2nd,

    30 Broadway, Machias.

    At 5:30pm

    Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci and Mike Tipping of the Maine’s People’s Alliance will talk about efforts to raise the minimum wage.

    • Dinner will be catered by Vazquez Mexican Takeout

    • Music will be performed by the Pink Capos

    The meeting will recognize someone who has made a difference in Washington County.

    Tickets are available at the door. Adults $15.00, Children under 12: $7.00

    and:

    Waldo County Democrats Meeting

    Sunday, May 3rd in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library,

    106 High St, Belfast.

    At:1pm

    Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci will talk about his efforts to raise the minimum wage.

    Also, Anna Kellar, from Maine Citizens For Clean Elections, talk about the campaign to strengthen the Clean Elections law.

    All WCDC meetings are open to the public, and everyone is welcome to attend.