“Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world.” -Sharon Salzberg
GET OUT OUR VOTE!
Election Day is just a week away—Tuesday, November 8th. It’s important for Maine women to make our voices heard by voting. Have you already voted? Do you have a plan to vote? We’re working hard to get more women to vote this year and we can use your help.
1st: Make sure you have a plan to vote. Will go to your town or city hall by Thursday, November 3rd to vote early? Do you have an absentee ballot you need to mail this week so that it arrives by Election Day? Do you know where you are going to vote on Election Day? If you need a ride or help caring for a loved one, do you have a plan for that? If your job has irregular hours or last minute scheduling changes, would it be better to vote early? When voters have a plan, they are more likely to vote.
2nd: Know what’s on the ballot. This year Mainers are voting for:
- 1 President of the United States
- 2 Representatives to the U.S. Congress
- 151 Maine Representatives
- 35 Maine Senators
- Local officials and issues in towns and cities across the state
We’re also deciding five proposed laws:
- Question 1: An Act To Legalize Marijuana
- Question 2: An Act To Establish The Fund to Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education
- Question 3: An Act To Require Background Checks for Gun Sales
- Question 4: An Act To Raise the Minimum Wage
- Question 5: An Act To Establish Ranked-choice Voting
And, we’re voting on one bond to fund transportation infrastructure.
For more information about the people and questions on the ballot, check out the League of Women Voter’s Easy-to-Read Voter Guide at http://lwvme.org/VoterGuide.
You can look up your polling place and see your sample ballots at http://www.maine.gov/portal/
See how candidates for the Maine House and Senate responded to the 2016 MWL Legislative Candidate Survey at wp.me/P7rPMT-Xm.
And learn more about voting in Maine at the MWPC Roadmap to Voting: bit.ly/mwlRoadmap16.
The Maine Women’s Lobby has endorsed Question 3, An Act To Require Background Checks for Gun Sales and Question 4, An Act To Raise the Minimum Wage.
Read more about why we’re voting Yes on 3 at Maine Women’s Lobby endorses Question 3 to protect victims of domestic violence and responsiblemaine.org. And learn why we’re voting Yes on 4 at No woman who works full time deserves to live in poverty. Raising minimum wage can help and fairwagemaine.com.
3rd: Talk to the women in your life about voting. Do they know what’s on the ballot? Do they know how to vote early? Share your plan and encourage others to make a plan, too. You can share the importance of voting by talking in person, on the phone, by email, or on social media.
4th: Help us urge young women to vote. We’re doing phone banks to talk with women ages 18-34 between now and Election Day to make sure they have the information they need to make their voices heard this year. If you live near Augusta, you could help make calls from our office. But no matter where you live, you can make calls from home through a virtual phone bank. If you’re interested, contact Victoria at email@example.com or 207.622.0851 x5 to learn more.
MEET JULIA UNDERWOOD
We’re excited to introduce you to Julia Underwood, our new Administrative Assistant. She brings a combination of project management skills and nonprofit experience to her work with the Maine Women’s Lobby and Maine Women’s Policy Center. Julia also serves in the Circle of Directors of Maine Inside Out. She lives in nearby Hallowell.
Welcome, Julia! We’re glad to have you as part of our team.
HELP EXPAND HEALTH CARE IN MAINE
Over the last few years, we’ve worked to increase access to health care in Maine by accepting federal funds to expand MaineCare under the Affordable Care Act. Nearly 70,000 Mainers still lack affordable health care because of Gov. LePage’s five vetoes.
That’s why we’re supporting a new citizen’s ballot initiative to require our state to accept federal funds to increase access to MaineCare. If the Legislature fails to take action this year, we want to take the decision to the people.
This effort is being led by our friends at Maine Equal Justice Partners. We’re proud to be one of their allies for this initiative. Most Maine people support expanding MaineCare and closing the coverage gap. It’s time for Maine people to be heard on this vital issue.
Help us collect 50,000 signatures in support of MaineCare Expansion this Election Day, Tuesday, November 8th. Use this link to sign up as a volunteer and choose the shift and locations that work best for you. Please feel free to share this link with your networks. To reach our goal, we’ll need hundreds of volunteers around the state to take a shift. Go to bit.ly/2eUV4cx to sign up or contact Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207.622.0851 x3 with any questions.
SCOTUS IS ALSO AT STAKE THIS ELECTION
The future of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance and the impact of this moment will be felt for generations. The Supreme Court makes decisions that affect every issue we care about—from abortion access to voting rights, from immigration reform to worker protections, from discrimination & civil rights to access to health care.
Right now, the Supreme Court is working with only eight justices because Republican leadership in the US Senate refuses to hold a hearing and vote on Pres. Obama’s nominee. But that vacancy isn’t the whole story. The average age of retirement from the Supreme Court has been 79. Justice Ginsburg is 83, Justice Kennedy is 80, Justice Breyer is 78. If Merrick Garland is not confirmed by January 20, 2017, the next president could nominate as many as FOUR Supreme Court justices.
To learn more about what’s at stake at the Supreme Court, check out scotustippingpoint.org. And if you missed Our Rights at Risk in Bangor last month, you can listen online at WERU: weru.org/station/archives/66. Click on the Oct. 19th episode of Maine Currents.
WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CHILD CARE IN MAINE
Last month we shared an article about the challenges parents face in accessing child care in America: Finding Good, Affordable Child Care Tough in Any U.S. State. We often hear from women in Maine about similar challenges they’re facing.
The Maine Women’s Policy Center and Maine Children’s Alliance are examining the obstacles that Maine families face when they are trying to use early childhood education programs or access quality, affordable child care. Your story can help us better understand the current challenges as well as possible solutions to make sure more families can access these vital programs. You can use this online form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/
SUPPORT A VISION FOR A BETTER FUTURE
Much of what we’ve heard from candidates at the state and federal level are their visions for the state and country. The Maine Women’s Lobby has a vision, too—a bold vision for Maine women and girls. We are working for a future where:
- women and children are safe from violence and sexual assault,
- we can freely choose whether or when to have children and be able to raise them in a safe and healthy environment,
- no women live in poverty,
- we all have access to a full range of health care, and
- Maine’s laws & policies treat women equally independent of systemic racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, or religious discrimination.
Your support will help make this vision become reality. You give a monthly donation of $5, $10, $16, or more a month. Or you can make a single donation of $35, $60, $100, or more. Go to bit.ly/MWLdonate to donate online. If you prefer to mail a check, you can send it to Maine Women’s Lobby at 124 Sewall Street, Augusta, ME 04330.
Be sure to like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. If you’ve noticed that our Facebook posts aren’t showing up as often as they used to, it may be because they’ve changed the way they determine which posts you see. There are two ways to help make sure you see our posts. 1) Go to our Page. Click on the Liked button and select “See First”. 2) Go to our Page. Click on the Liked button and select “All On” under Notifications.
To receive Action Alerts and E-news right in your inbox, be sure to subscribe at bit.ly/MWLsubscribe.
Thank you for joining us in making a better future for Maine women and girls!