Advocacy at CEI
Over the years, CEI has devoted increasing amounts of time and resources to appropriations policies that would retain, restore, and expand resources for the community development industry. In the mid-1980s, CEI joined with peers to advocate for federal programs important to community development. This coalition, led by Rapoza Associates of Washington, DC, has been responsible for legislative initiatives and continuation of funding amounting to well over $1 billion for the CDC/CDFI field.
On the state level, CEI has regularly advocated for resources such as the popular Regional Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund managed by the Finance Authority of Maine, and for funding for child care facility and microenterprise development.
Maine has been fortunate to have important leadership in Congress. Maine Senators Edmund Muskie, George Mitchell, and William Cohen played essential roles in advocating for various projects and legislation put forward by CEI and other CDCs. Recently, Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, together with Congressmen Tom Allen and Michael Michaud, and former Congressman John Baldacci, now governor of Maine, have united on many of the progressive community development legislative initiatives that we have advanced, including economic assistance for women entrepreneurs.