Even as workers in this city struggle to pay for food, renters are pushed out of their homes, neighborhoods are turned into playgrounds for tourists and rising sea levels threaten our coast, some are fighting tooth and nail to preserve the status quo.

Former City Councilor Nick Mavodones, one of the leaders of Enough is Enough, speaks Aug. 24 at the launch of the ballot question committee, formed to campaign against every referendum on the Portland ballot Nov. 8. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

This was illustrated by an old boys’ club, flush with some outside money, forming a ballot question committee named Enough is Enough.

Despite launching its opposition campaign from the parking lot of a restaurant leading the fight against raising wages for its workers, Enough is Enough hasn’t come out just against the citizen initiative that will raise the minimum wage for 20,000 of our lowest-income workers (Question D).

Members of Enough is Enough are opposing every item on the ballot simply because it puts the decisions to the people, rather than to their ally in the mayor’s office. (Did they also oppose legalizing gay marriage in 2012 or basic LGBTQ+ protections in 2005?) That includes our initiative to create over 300 units of housing by limiting non-owner occupied short-term rentals to 1 percent of the rental housing market (Question B) and another that will protect tenants from rent gouging landlords (Question C).

This ballot question committee is also opposing the charter amendments put forward by the elected Charter Commission, falsely painting those ballot items as having been drafted by our organization. While Maine Democratic Socialists of America members have voted to support the charter initiatives, we had as much say in the drafting process as the Chamber of Commerce. It’s clear that Enough is Enough is banking on voters being completely uninformed on election day.

The absurdity of the claim that voters should blindly reject any and all ballot initiatives exposes this group for what it actually is – a front for landlords, big business and Chamber of Commerce lobbyists who refuse to accept that the people of the city are tired of them putting profit over people, tired of them cutting backroom deals in the darkness of City Hall that no one finds out about until it is too late.


Enough is enough, indeed.

Along with opposing the fundamental democratic concept of the referendum, one of its website’s four pages is dedicated entirely to red-baiting Maine DSA, the organization leading the charge to pass these initiatives.

In reality, Maine DSA is a locally powered organization with hundreds of members. We’ve volunteered our time to fight for progressive policies in Portland like paid sick leave, minimum-wage hikes, rent control, clean elections and abolishing the position of city manager. The reason for our success – despite the deep pockets of the people who like to think they own the city– is that our issues are of the people, by the people, and for the people. And they always will be.

It should also be noted that Enough is Enough, which is fronted by former Mayor Nick Mavodones, is working with a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, Cornerstone Government Affairs, which lobbies for the fossil fuel industry, Big Pharma and multinational business groups. Matt Marks, who works for Cornerstone and is another of their spokespeople, has lobbied for the Associated General Contractors of Maine. We believe Associated General Contractors to be one of the most anti-worker lobbying organizations in America. We are not surprised by Enough is Enough’s ties to this group.

While Enough is Enough deems voter-led democracy too radical for Portland, our organization is founded on the power of democracy.

We know that the people who live here are smart enough to know how to make their own choices about how we solve the housing, wage and environmental crises slowly engulfing our city.

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