Barb Burt, longtime progressive Democratic activist will be honored at the Frances Perkins Award Virtual Celebration on May 1. (Contributed photo)

DAMARISCOTTA – Barbara “Barb” Burt, longtime Democratic political activist, will be honored by the Lincoln County Democratic Committee with the biennial Frances Perkins Award at a virtual celebration on Sunday, May 1 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. 

“Barb’s brilliant leadership, her careful cultivation of an enthusiastic volunteer base, and her innovative strategies surrounding person-to-person outreach during LCDC’s campaign efforts in 2018 and 2020 are what put Democrats over the top in races across our county,” said Chris Johnson, chairperson of LCDC. “We are thrilled to recognize Barb’s many significant contributions, bringing people together to advance the Democratic cause and especially our successes over the past four years.” 

The biennial award recognizes a Lincoln County Democrat whose actions exemplify the continuing legacy of Frances Perkins, the first woman in U.S. history to serve as a secretary on a president’s cabinet. Perkins’ parents hailed from Lincoln County and she spent her childhood summers on her grandmother’s farm in Newcastle. Appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Secretary of Labor Perkins was the lead advocate of the New Deal for Social Security, the 40-hour work week, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance, as well as for laws regulating child labor. Lincoln County Democrats share her values rooted in the needs of working people.

“During my 32 years of living in Maine, I was inspired by the tradition of women’s leadership here, ranging from Secretary Perkins and Senator Margaret Chase Smith to the women who lead in Maine today, including U.S. Rep. Pingree and Gov. Mills,” said Burt. “It has been an honor to work on their behalf and in support of the fine women currently representing Lincoln County in the Maine Legislature: Holly Stover, Lydia Crafts, and Chloe Maxmin. Of course, I recognize that this award comes to me thanks to the dedication and passion for democratic values of the hundreds of people who volunteer with the Lincoln County Democrats. This award truly belongs to all of them.” 

Burt’s name will be familiar to Lincoln County residents – and to others across Maine and in other states — in several contexts. Most recently, she worked as the executive producer of “Maine Challenge,” a bi-weekly 30-minute video program hosted by Betsy Sweet that illuminates issues and causes of interest to Maine people and is shown on community TV stations across Maine. 

She was the first executive director for Newcastle’s Frances Perkins Center [not associated with LCDC’s Frances Perkins Award]. In that capacity, she worked closely with its board to establish funding and develop a strategic vision that not only celebrates Perkins but carries on her mission of social justice and economic security through programming and outreach. 

Burt also served as vice president and director of the Election Reform Program at the voter advocacy organization Common Cause and as online communications director for Pingree’s successful 2008 campaign.

“We hope the many folks who worked with and for this ‘Dem-Dynamo’ during the crucial 2020 election cycle will join us in some capacity for an evening that will be all about Barb — a person whose modesty is only excelled by her creativity and organizing abilities,” said Geoff Bates, LCDC’s fundraising leader. “We’ll have music, friends, Democratic leaders, and, hopefully, some surprises during a Zoom event that will deliver well-deserved kudos to a woman we all appreciate and respect.”

Friends and associates of Burt will have the chance to communicate personal messages and their best wishes through the purchase of on-line congratulatory advertisements that will be shared during the event. The ad program will be accessible during the reservation process.

Reservations are now open and donations in honor of Burt, for those who are unable to attend the event, may be made at Full details can be found online at Questions should be directed to Bates at 207-644-8776 or via email at 

Funds raised through this and other initiatives support LCDC’s  work in Lincoln County. Its grassroots mission is to organize volunteers and communicate with voters in support of candidates who believe in the Democratic ideals and principles of government by, of, and for all the people.

The Lincoln County Democratic Committee promotes the ideals, principles, and philosophy we share as Democrats. The nomination and election of candidates who advocate these ideals and principles ensure an effective, democratic government of and for all the people.