Welcome to PICA!

Carasque Listening Project DelegationPICA (Power In Community Alliances) is a grassroots organization in Bangor, Maine. For the past 30 years we have been building grassroots community alliances that confront global problems of economic justice, human and worker rights and address the effects of the global economy on our own lives.

Our work is grounded in careful listening, telling and sharing stories. We are inspired and informed by our deep bonds of friendship and mutual solidarity with our Sister City of Carasque and the people of El Salvador.

Mark Your Calendars for PICA’s Annual Benefit Auction!

When: Saturday, October 19, from 3:00 pm – 6 pm
Where: The Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business, College Circle (at Husson University)

It’s hard to imagine that this year PICA will be celebrating over 30 years of holding our annual fundraising auction!!  Again this year, the PICA Auction will provide a wonderful opportunity to have fun, do some holiday shopping, and support great work for social justice in Maine and in El Salvador. The Annual PICA Auction raises money for our own work and to help support Bangor’s sister city of Carasque, El Salvador.

Local artisans, businesses and generous donors offer wonderful items including original artwork, sweatshop-free clothing, holiday wreaths, pottery, massage, books, yoga and dance lessons, carpentry, gift certificates for local restaurants and stores, flowers, food and more!

The Auction’s format includes both a silent and live auction, so there is something for everyone. No shopping experience offers so much variety in one place – with lots of fun, music, free food, lively conversation and our live auction led by Ken Bustard. So gather your friends and your holiday lists and join us for an exciting afternoon.

For more information, to volunteer to help, or to make donations please call Ellen at 207-947-4203, or email Ellen at elleng@pica.ws.

Bangor City Council Reaffirms Support for Diversity

On JuAffirm and Defend Bangor's Community Valuesne 12, 2017. The Bangor, Maine, City Council issued a Proclamation “Reaffirming Support For and the Value of Diversity.” The Council took this action on response to PICA’s petition to “Affirm and Defend Bangor’s Community Values,” which we presented at a City Council meeting on May 22.

The Proclamation reads in part:

WHEREAS, all people are entitled to be treated fairly and with respect regardless of race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, immigration status, age, disability, or sexual identity…

NOW THEREFORE I, Joseph M. Baldacci, Mayor of the City of Bangor, on behalf of the City Council do hereby proclaim that the City of Bangor shall remain vigilant against bigotry, continue to oppose discrimination in any form and to work to provide equality for all, celebrate our diversity, and actively rededicate ourselves to the principles of equality and justice…

  • You can read the full Proclamation here
  • You can read the text of PICA’s petition here

    Dennis and Proclamation
    PICA’s Dennis Chinoy with the City Council Proclamation

PICA thanks all of you who worked to make this happen. We would also like to thank the members of Bangor’s City Council and City staff for working with us in an open and collaborative process to make Bangor a better place for all of its residents and visitors.

 El Salvador Bans Metal Mining!

On March 29, 2017, El Salvador became the first country in the world to pass a comprehensive ban on metal mining within its borders. Read more…

Immigration Class Resources Now Available

On April 26, 2007 the Dignity For All committee presented a 3-hour class, “Who Is The Other,” addressing immigration issues with an emphasis on Central American. The class was offered through the Penobscot Valley Senior College. We are thinking of doing a longer, 6-session class in the Fall of 2017. Meanwhile, you can check out the handouts and presentations from the class here.

Trade in the Trump Era

Log pile, Ashland MEOne of President Trump’s first official acts was to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership (the TPP), but Trump did not kill the TPP. It was already dead when it was signed by President Obama last February. Congress could have ratified it by a simple majority vote at any time after that, but the votes were never there, thanks to years of work by millions of Americans to hold our elected representatives accountable. Trump took a staged “victory lap” when he put a stake into the heart of a treaty that was already dead and cold, but the victory was ours, not his.

We should celebrate, but this is no time to let down our guard. There are still plenty of pending trade agreements to worry about, starting with Trump’s promised renegotiation of NAFTA. Any new agreements that the Trump administration negotiates could well be worse than what we have now.

The good news: Activists in countries around the world have learned how to block bad treaties and advocate for fair trade agreements that put people and the environment above corporate profits. Together we can win!

You can keep up with developments by checking the Web sites of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign and the Citizens Trade Campaign.