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Why Local? Forum: Together, we will ensure Portland's independence

Portland Buy Local

Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

Why Local? Forum: Together, we will ensure Portland's...

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Forum Participant 167 Tickets 3d 15h 23m Free  

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Event Details

Our community, like many others, is struggling with an influx of national and multinational corporations displacing local businesses and the consequences of rapidly rising rents. To address these struggles, Portland Buy Local is hosting a forum on September 28th, from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, at USM Hannaford Hall.   

The goal of the forum is to combat these struggles as a community, through the input of city and community leaders. In collaboration with our expert guest speakers, Portland Buy Local is committed to moving forward with policy that will support Portland’s local economy. We will collectively decide how we want our city to grow.

For more information regarding sponsorship and customization, please contact Jenn Thompson at or (207) 899-7885.


Lynn Tillotson
President + CEO
Visit Portland

IMG_1670A Saco native, Lynn started her hospitality career in 1988 at the Orlando World Center Marriott, a 2,000 room, 250,000 square-foot convention center property, where she spent 14 years.  In 2002, she returned home to Maine with her husband Chris, a lieutenant at the Portland Fire Department, and their daughter of one year. After working countless hours in the hotel industry, the idea of predictable schedule with a young child was enticing, it was then that she joined Visit Portland (formerly the Convention & Visitors Bureau).  Promoting Maine as a year-round destination was the perfect fit for her since she and her family enjoy the beach, hiking, fishing, skiing, camping, and dining out.

Lynn was promoted to President + CEO of Visit Portland in 2013 after working 11 years in various roles within the organization including Director of Tourism Marketing.

Lynn holds board positions with The Maine Sports Commission, Cruise Portland Maine, The Maine Tourism Association, Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, and the USM Hospitality Advisory Board. Lynn is also the regional representative for the Maine Office of Tourism’s Regional Advisory Committee and currently sits on the Mayor’s Economic Development Work Plan Committee for the City of Portland.

She currently resides in Saco with her husband, two daughters, and their dog Fenway...all enjoying the Maine lifestyle!

Jeff Levine, AICP
Planning & Urban Development Department, Portland

IMG_1672Jeff Levine, AICP, has been involved with land use planning on the local and regional level for 20 years. Before coming to Portland, he was the Director of Planning & Community Development for Brookline, MA, where he managed the completion of the town's award-winning Comprehensive Plan and a public realm plan for the Route 9 corridor into Boston. Previously, he worked as the Director of Transportation & Long Range Planning for the City of Somerville, MA, and as a regional planner for the Cape Cod Commission. A New England native, he has been involved in a number of land use transformations, including the redevelopment of the Assembly Square district in Somerville; planning for the introduction of a new light rail transit line in Somerville; redevelopment of John Kennedy’s boyhood church into a mixed-income housing development in Brookline; and the redevelopment of the Bayside district in Portland. Jeff has also been involved in Metropolitan Planning Organizations in Boston, on Cape Cod, and in Portland. Jeff is an adjunct faculty member at the Muskie School of Public Service, and was previously an adjunct at Tufts University, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and at the APA Planning Leadership Institute. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Minnesota and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.

Stacy Mitchell, Co-director
Institute for Local Self-Reliance

IMG_1671Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that  strengthen local economies and independent businesses. She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and has authored or co-authored several influential reports, including Amazon’s Stranglehold and Monopoly Power and the Decline of Small Business.  Stacy has advised many cities on planning and economic policy, and has presented her research at national conferences, including events organized by the American Planning Association, National Main Street Center, and National League of Cities.  She also works closely with many small business groups and coordinates the Advocates for Independent Business, a national coalition. She lives on Munjoy Hill.

AnMarie Rodgers, Senior Policy Advisor
San Francisco Planning Department

IMG_1669AnMarie Rodgers is the Senior Policy Advisor of the San Francisco Planning Department, overseeing both the legislative and communication groups.  Her work, in partnership with elected officials, has been pivotal to making housing policy more just and expansive; recent improvements include more retention of existing units and enabling the addition of accessory dwelling units. This year her efforts were focused on securing the passage of HOME-SF, a housing plan that can create up to 15,000 units including 5000 permanently affordable.  AnMarie  has initiated and shepherded new city laws for formula retail (aka “chain stores”), green landscaping, urban agriculture and bird-safe buildings, winning a US Congressional Commendation for her work on community planning. Her capstone community plans are Market & Octavia and Glen Park.  She specializes in facilitating urban planning processes that honor multiple voices through deep collaboration.  She is proud to say she has been at SF Planning for over 18 years, helping make the City vibrant and livable for beings great and small.


Olivia LaVecchia, Research associate
Institute for Local Self-Reliance

IMG_1700Olivia LaVecchia is a research associate with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, where her work focuses on building awareness and support for public policy tools that strengthen locally owned businesses and that check concentrated economic power. She lives in Portland.

Our Sponsors


Casco Bay Frames & GalleryDobra TeaSummer Feet CyclingTeel Law OfficeNomadsBayside Bowl  City of Portland Monaghan Woodworks gorham savvy

Have questions about Why Local? Forum: Together, we will ensure Portland's independence? Contact Portland Buy Local

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When & Where

USM's Hannaford Hall (Auditorium)
Abromson Community Education Center
88 Bedford Street
Portland, ME 04101

Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

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Portland Buy Local

PIBCA’s mission is to support locally owned, independent businesses in Portland, to maintain our unique community character, provide continuing opportunities for entrepreneurs, build community economic strength, and prevent the displacement of community-based businesses by national and global chains.

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Why Local? Forum: Together, we will ensure Portland's independence
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