Eliza Townsend

Executive director at the Maine Women’s Lobby and Maine Women’s Policy Center

Eliza Townsend, a Maine native, leads the only statewide organization working on the full range of issues affecting women and their families. “I want Maine to be a place where everyone can succeed, but we’ve got work to do to make that a reality,” says Townsend, executive director at the Maine Women’s Lobby and Maine Women’s Policy Center. “So many issues have a disproportionate or unique impact on women, and it’s vital that we have a voice when the policies that affect our lives are being made.” Maine Women’s Lobby recently worked with the Southern Maine Workers’ Center and other organizations to help raise the minimum wage in Portland to $10.10 per hour. Townsend is also proud of her organizations for twice convening the Maine Women’s Summit on Economic Security to identify the issues that keep women from meeting their full potential. They also published a policy guide to help lawmakers and others understand issues affecting women. To improve Maine’s economy, the state needs to ensure that the majority of its people have the tools to succeed, she says. “Let’s invest in education, paid family leave, quality child care. Let’s make sure everyone has access to healthcare and can earn a paid day off when they’re sick,” she says. “That’s how we’ll build a twenty-first century economy.”

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