Eliza Townsend is the Executive Director of the Maine Women’s Lobby. She represented part of Portland in the Maine House of Representatives for 8 years, then moved into the non-profit sector when she became the first Executive Director of the Maine League of Conservation Voters & Maine Conservation Voters Education Fund. During Eliza’s tenure, the Conservation Voters convened the Environmental Priorities Coalition, comprising two-dozen diverse groups that agree to and advocate for a common legislative agenda. Eliza left the Conservation Voters when she joined the Maine Department of Conservation, where she served first as Deputy Commissioner and later Commissioner. She joined MWL in 2011.
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Kathy joined the staff of the Maine Women’s Lobby in 2012, and oversees program, outreach, fundraising, and communications efforts. She has organized three iterations of the Maine Women’s Summit on Economic Security, developed training materials and programs for advocates and partner organizations, helped coordinate press conferences and rallies on key issues affecting women in Maine, co-chairs the Alliance for Maine Women, and helps engage the public, the media, and elected leaders on issues involving violence, discrimination, health care, and economic security. She represents MWL at the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and supports its ongoing communication efforts on a wide range of issues impacting the immigrant community.
Kathy serves on the board of Emerge Maine and is a 2010 graduate of the program. She has been a part of many leadership and training programs such as the Sigma Class of the ICL Leadership Intensive. Additionally, she has volunteered on several ballot initiative campaigns, including the effort to reinstate same-day voter registration. She was a trainer for the Speakers Bureau for Marriage Equality in 2012 and served as the team leader for the York County team. Kathy is passionate about making feminist organizations and advocacy inclusive for all women and raising up the voices of the most vulnerable in our work toward a truly equitable future.
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Community Organizer & Program Assistant
Jennifer Sorkin joined the Maine Women’s Policy Center in the fall of 2017. Prior to joining MWPC, Jennifer worked for over 15 years in special education and childcare. She has lived much of her adult life as a working poor, queer, single parent struggling to stay above the poverty line. Her lived experience helps to inform her work today.
Jennifer has a background in organizing with the Southern Maine Worker’s Center on both their Health Care is a Human Right and Work With Dignity committees. She also volunteers with Portland Outright working to support incarcerated and formerly incarcerated LGBTQ+ youth in Maine. She has also been involved with Cosecha Maine, a movement that is “fighting for permanent protection, dignity, and respect for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States”. In addition to these things Jennifer has most recently been engaged with anti-racist organizing to work against the rise of hate groups in Maine.
Jennifer brings a Human Rights Principles approach to all that she does in her personal and professional life. She believes strongly that when we come together to support the needs of women of color, poor women, women with different abilities, indigenous women, and queer and trans women we inevitably lift up and liberate all women.
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Sarah Nichols, Bangor-native and former Graphic Design and Events Coordinator at St. Joseph Healthcare in Bangor is the newest addition to the Maine Women’s Lobby team. In addition to her role as our Administrative Assistant, Sarah serves in many leadership positions in the Bangor community. Sarah is a Bangor City Councilor, sits on the board of Emerge Maine and works as a consultant for the Mabel Wadsworth Center. Concurrently, Sarah is continuing her education to prepare for a career in teaching. “I felt that this would be a good fit because the mission of the Lobby and Policy Center fit with my values, and working for an organization that you love makes it exciting to come to work each day. I am truly happy to be here.”