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Maine, the way life should be– that state motto rings true for many in Portland, Maine. The city's a foodie destination, a drive around the coast reveals the multitude of luxury apartments in development, and live music can be heard roaring from Thompson's Point each weekend. Quality housing, food, and entertainment is the way life should be for all residents. Yet the working class of Portland--many of whom work as servers in the city's bustling food industry-- who feel constrained by low wages, limited housing, and gentrification --know that's not the way life really is. The contrast in how the well-to-dos and the do-not-haves live in this state is increasingly stark post COVID-19. In return, nationwide debates over the minimum wage, the "quiet quitting" conspiracy, and wealth inequality have consumed residents of Portland who are struggling to afford to live in the city.


The City of Servers is a short investigative documentary that will follow four servers living in Portland (with varying political beliefs) and show how they live and pay for their lives on a tight monthly budget. The piece will also explore other perspectives on these debates via interviews with local restaurant owners, food truck owners, and Political Action Committee (PAC) members. Finally, the documentary will search for community-based solutions to these debates through a conversations with local politicians.

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