History + Mission
Maine People’s Resource Center (MPRC) was founded in 1984 by leaders of Maine People’s Alliance (MPA), with whom we partner in advancing local, statewide and national campaigns for progressive social change.
Over the past nearly-four decades, MPRC has recruited and trained thousands of grassroots leaders, registered tens of thousands of new voters, and educated hundreds of thousands of Mainers about legislative and ballot initiatives and the importance of voting to make their voices heard.
Amy has worked with MPRC since 2001, when she joined as a Field Director overseeing regional door canvass efforts in Greater Portland. She went on to serve as MPRC’s Healthcare Community Organizer, then served for several years as Communications & Development Director, before becoming Associate Director in 2007, and joining Jesse as Co-Director in 2018. Amy has led a number of successful statewide legislative campaigns and in 2016 served as the Campaign Manager for the successful ballot initiative to increase Maine’s minimum wage. She has provided leadership to the growth of MPRC’s programs and staff, particularly in overseeing the growth of the organization’s communications department. Amy is a 2000 graduate of Bates College in Maine, with a degree in Economics (and a year of study at the London School of Economics). She lives in Freeport with her husband Marc, and two children Teague and Cooper.
Jesse has worked with MPRC since 1999, when he took a position as Field Director and oversaw regional door canvass efforts in Greater Bangor. He went on to become MPRC’s Environmental Community Organizer, and then served as Associate Director for several years, becoming Executive Director in 2006, a position he held until welcoming Amy Halsted as a Co-Director in 2017. During his tenure as Executive (and Co) Director of MPRC, Jesse has overseen significant growth of the organization’s programs and staff, and chaired multiple state and national coalitions. In 2015, his organizational leadership accomplishments positioned him to be one of 24 nationally-recognized leaders selected for participation in Rockwood Leadership Institute’s yearlong fellowship program. A native of Weld, Maine, Jesse graduated from the University of Vermont in 1998 with a degree in Environmental Studies and English. He lives in Bar Harbor with his wife Dory and two children Porter and Alden.
Ben has worked with MPRC since 2005, when he joined staff as a door-to-door canvasser. He went on to serve as a community organizer, during which time he staffed the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition and directed MPRC’s federal campaign work. He then became MPRC’s Political Engagement Director in 2010 and Deputy Director in 2018. He has served as an appointed member of the legislature’s taskforce reviewing independent contractor misclassification, and in his role on the Bias Based Profiling Advisory Committee he helped produce an unanimous report alongside law enforcement and civil rights organizations outlining Maine’s plan to address racial profiling. He has authored numerous policy and research papers, including the Maine Racial Justice Policy Guide and a white paper outlining a proposal for Universal Family Care. In 2018, he was honored as one of only 200 people nationwide who have been selected by Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives and American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center as best embodying abolitionist Frederick Douglass’s “legacy of social change.” Ben is a 2006 graduate of Bates College, and lives in Lewiston with his wife, Nicola, and two children, Anjali and Rajan.
Disclaimer: Maine People’s Resource Center is a non-profit organization, pursuant to section 501(3)(3) of the US Internal Revenue Code. As such, MPRC engages exclusively in permissible non-partisan, non-electioneering activities such as community organizing, public education, issue advocacy and research.