The Perkins-Mitchell Dinner will be held Friday, December 4th, 5:30-9:30 p.m. at the Landing at Pine Point in Scarborough. The renamed dinner 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. Buy tickets now!
“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 Maine Democratic Party’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 Maine Democratic Party. “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 of Newcastle was the woman behind the New Deal, out of which the Democratic Party was reborn. When asked by newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt to serve as his Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins made a list of her conditions for accepting the job on the back of an envelope: a minimum wage; a 40-hour work week; unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation; the abolition of child labor; Social Security. In FDR’s first 100 Days, Perkins was tasked with establishing the Civilian Conservation Corps and secured federal funding for the Nation Industrial Recovery Act to put Americans back to work. In 1935 the Social Security Act was signed into law, and in 1938 the Fair Labor Standard Act established a minimum wage, the 40-hour work week, and banned child labor. Learn more at Francesperkinscenter.org
Sen. George Mitchell’s living legacy is that of a great American statesman and international peacemaker. As a Senator, in the heat of the Iran-Contra hearings, Mitchel famously reminded all of America that “Although He is regularly asked to do so, God does not take sides in American politics.” Born and raised in Waterville, Mitchell is a man so highly regarded and respected on the national and global stage, the was elected to Senate Majority Leader, asked by President Clinton to serve on the United States Supreme Court, appointed, tasked with brokering peace in Northern Ireland, and appointed Special Envoy for the Middle East by President Obama. He also established the Mitchell Institute, which provides scholarships to remove financial barriers for young Mainers to attend Maine colleges. More about his career at https://library.bowdoin.edu/