House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross talks about being a Black person in Maine, housing crisis

“Our branch of government, the Legislature, is the voice of the people.”
A photo of Rachel Talbot Ross during a podcast interview with overlayed text reading Rachel Talbot Ross and featuring the logo of the Amjambo Africa newsroom.
House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross during an interview with Amjambo Africa.

Earlier this week, Amjambo Africa released an in-depth video interview with Maine’s Speaker of the House Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross.

Jean Hakuzimana, a reporter for Amjambo Africa, spoke with Speaker Talbot Ross about a number of topics including growing up Black in Maine, priority bills this legislative session, Maine’s housing crisis, bridging the chasm between the African American and African immigrant communities, and Tribal sovereignty.


Amjambo Africa is a print and digital publication that serves new immigrants to Maine. This video is republished with permission.

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Georges Budagu Makoko

Georges Budagu Makoko is the founder of the nonprofit organization Ladder to the Moon Network and the publisher of Amjambo Africa, a multilingual news organization based in Portland. He was born in Democratic Republic of Congo and moved to Rwanda in 1994, where he graduated from National University of Rwanda in Business Administration. In 2002, he moved to the United States, where he received asylum. He is the author of "Ladder to the Moon: Journey from the Congo to America," about his life story. Budagu speaks six languages, including English, French, and Swahili. He was a senior property manager with Avesta Housing in Maine for 15 years. In 2019, he and a group of friends started Serenity Residential Care, a social and human services organization.
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