Moving Forward: The Future of Home Care in Maine
On November 6, more than 200,000 Mainers voted to provide universal home care for the elderly and disabled, a measure supported by Omidyar Network as part of our emerging work to reimagine capitalism. Despite an outstanding effort by the team on the ground – led by the Maine People’s Alliance and supported by Caring Across Generations – the measure did not pass. While we are disappointed that this groundbreaking ballot initiative was not successful, we stand firm in our support for innovative approaches to create high quality jobs in growth sectors and build a more effective safety net that is fit for twenty-first century challenges.
We are proud to have supported such a big and bold idea. It was the first of its kind, and while that’s part of why we believed it was worthwhile to support, it’s also part of what made it hard to succeed. New ideas can imply a lot of change and uncertainty, which is often challenging for voters to embrace. There is a leap of faith inherent in supporting something big and new. But there is also value in simply putting forth an idea and forcing debate: in tackling this important issue, the campaign made great strides in beginning a critical conversation around home care, care workers, and the responsibility of states to their citizens. Over 70 local organizations endorsed the measure, national media ranging from Mother Jones to PBS NewsHour joined the dialogue, and even some prominent voices who disagreed with the ballot measure acknowledged that addressing this issue is of crucial importance. We’re glad that the Maine People’s Alliance will take the lessons learned from the ballot campaign and continue to champion this issue with the new legislature. We hope the people of Maine can reach a consensus that works best for them. Change needs to start somewhere, and Question 1 is a good beginning.
As the dust settles, it’s clear that there is emerging consensus around the need to fundamentally reimagine how we create the good jobs of the future and recast our safety net. At Omidyar Network, we hope to continue supporting policy innovation in states that aims to tackle some of these big challenges, and we stand ready to support future bold ideas that move us closer to an economy that works for all.