This Week in Maine
June 12, 2020
Maine Dems Updates — Legislative Spotlight — Grassroots Update — Other News
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This Week in 200 Words
In MDP Updates, the Maine Democratic Party adopted a resolution this week condemning police brutality and systemic racism, and calling for action to end these systems of oppression. Following Donald Trump’s visit to our state to use Maine’s frontline workers for a photo op, we’re continuing our Virtual Week of Action to fight back and get him out of office. We need your help getting five friends to commit to vote this week. Join Team Joe, Maine State Treasurer Henry Beck and civil rights attorney Mary Bonauto for a virtual LGBTQ+ Brunch & Policy discussion this Saturday, June 13 at 11:00 AM to celebrate Pride Month. Learn more about the three candidates running for the US Senate Democratic Primary, Speaker Sara Gideon, Bre Kidman, and Betsy Sweet, and request your absentee ballot now for the July 14 election now. The state needs a new generation of Mainers to step up and staff the polls this year. Maine Clean Elections candidates need your help with a $5 contribution that can be made safely online from the comfort of your home. Maine State House and Senate candidates are looking for volunteers to help make check-in calls to senior citizens. And, the deadline to submit a petition to propose an amendment to the MDP Charter or Platform is June 15 at 5:00 PM.
In this week’s Legislative Spotlight, Gov. Mills unveiled the “Keep Maine Healthy” plan. Gov. Mills also announced vast expansion of COVID-19 testing. And, Rep. Craig Hickman shared his story at a Black Lives Matter protest in Augusta.
In Grassroots Updates, we spoke with Mairead Cahill, MDP’s new Operations Director.
In Other News, while Susan Collins stayed in DC to fundraise, Trump forced Maine’s essential workers to throw out desperately needed medical supplies. A bipartisan US House group pushed the Senate to pass Rep. Golden’s small business legislation. And, Rep. Pingree cosponsored the most significant police reform package in generations.
Maine Dems Updates
MDP Resolution on Police Brutality.
In the wake of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the protests here in our state and nationwide sparked by those injustices at the hands of law enforcement, the Maine Democratic Party adopted a resolution this week condemning police brutality and systemic racism and calling for action to end these systems of oppression. We acknowledge that this resolution is a first measure in our efforts to support the fight against injustice and the communities who have been doing this work for generations. Click here to read the full text of the resolution.
Virtual Week of Action.
Donald Trump visited our state last week for a thinly disguised campaign rally. This week, we’re doing our part to make sure he doesn’t get to use Maine’s essential frontline workers again for a photo op the best way we know how: getting him out of office. The best way to do that is by making phone calls to Maine voters. There’s still time to join our Week Of Action! You can plug in and help whenever you have time by making calls to Maine voters from the comfort of your own home. Having one-on-one conversations with voters encourages them to support candidates who are serious about trying to fix things, and boosts voter engagement. We’re hosting remote trainings all week to ensure that you have the opportunity to help beat Donald Trump, defeat Susan Collins and Flip the Senate, and elect Democrats up and down the ballot!
Commit to Vote Campaign.
There’s another important action you can take to make sure Democrats win in November: Commit to Vote, and then multiply your impact by getting others in your network to do the same! The primary date has been changed to July 14th, and the safest way to participate is by voting absentee. We’re making phone calls, sending emails, and writing texts, but that alone isn’t enough. That’s why it’s so important that we gather as much information now as we can. That’s why, after you Commit to Vote, you have a chance to share your opinions about candidates in your district. But in order to make up for the lack of in-person door-knocking, we need to get our Commit To Vote card distributed as widely as we can. Real grassroots support is how we win, and that starts with you.
Can we count on you to get five friends to commit to vote this week? A reminder to vote is especially powerful when it comes from a friend!
LGBTQ+ Brunch and Policy Discussion with Henry Beck and Mary Bonauto.
SATURDAY, June 13, at 11:00AM: Join Team Joe, Maine State Treasurer Henry Beck and civil rights attorney Mary Bonauto for a virtual LGBTQ+ Brunch & Policy discussion to celebrate Pride Month. Biden for President LGBTQ+ Vote Director Reggie Greer will also join the call to discuss the campaign’s Out for Biden initiative as well as Vice President Biden’s plan to advance LGBTQ+ equality in America and around the world. Make sure to submit your questions to the Google form contained in the confirmation email by 9:00 PM Friday!
Maine’s July 14 Primary.
Originally scheduled for June 9, but delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis, Maine’s July 14 primary is about choosing our nominees for US Senate, US House, State Legislature, and other local offices. To learn more about the July 14 Primary, information about how to register, where and when to vote, and anything else you might be wondering about how to exercise your fundamental right to participate in our democracy, visit www.voteinmaine.com. And to learn more about our three US Senate candidates competing in the Democratic Primary, Speaker Sara Gideon, Bre Kidman, and Betsy Sweet — one of whom will defeat Susan Collins this November — visit our website by clicking here.
Work the Polls for Maine.
COVID-19 will push many voters to cast ballots by mail, but offering in-person voting is still critical. But 6 in 10 of Maine’s poll workers are over 60—our neighbors most at risk for COVID-19. Towns are having trouble recruiting poll workers and need your help!
Sign up here to work the polls and share with your friends! All registered Maine voters are needed, regardless of party membership or county of residence.
Help Maine Clean Elections Candidates.
Did you know you can donate to your State House and Senate candidates safely from the comfort of your home without having to meet them in-person? Donations through the Clean Elections portal will go to help qualified and committed Democrats unlock additional public funding for their campaigns.
Volunteer to Check-in with Senior Citizens.
Maine State Senate and House candidates are looking for volunteers to help make check-in calls to senior citizens in Maine who may be the most at-risk in this public health crisis, and connect them to resources they might need.
Want to help make check-in calls to senior citizens? Click here to sign up with State Senate candidates and Click here to sign up to make calls with State House candidates!
MDP Platform & Charter Amendment Process.
Any Democrat can start a petition for an amendment to the MDP Platform or Charter by enrolling in our online petition system and collecting 25 signatures from delegates and alternates who checked in to vote in remote elections May 29-31. The deadline to submit a petition is June 15 at 5:00 PM. State delegates who checked in to vote for candidates the weekend of May 29-31 will be eligible to vote for proposed amendments to the MDP Platform and Charter on July 18 and 19, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day, using the same online ballot system. Click here to read more about the platform and charter amendment process.
Want to submit a charter or platform amendment? Click here to enroll in our online petition system.
Maine’s Legislative leaders and Gov. Mills are hard at work responding to this public health crisis, even despite the difficult but necessary decision to adjourn the Legislative Session early.
Gov. Mills unveiled the “Keep Maine Healthy” plan.
- This week, after two months of a 14-day quarantine for out of state visitors, Governor Mills announced “Keep Maine Healthy,” a new, alternative plan aiming to protect the health of Maine people and visitors while allowing the opportunity for tourists to visit Maine and support Maine small businesses during the summer months.
- The plan rests on three cornerstones: 1) having visitors certify that they have received a recent negative COVID-19 test to stay in lodging establishments, such as hotels, as an alternative to quarantine; 2) increasing symptom checks at places where visitors tend to go; and 3) supporting community promotion of COVID-19 prevention best practices and public health education.
- “Many Maine people are fearful that more visitors will increase the spread of the virus while many small businesses are fearful that a lack of visitors will force them to permanently close their doors,” said Gov. Mills. “It is my hope that by creating layers of protection to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus this plan will protect public health, establish Maine as a safe place to visit, and allow tourists to come to Maine to support our small businesses.”
Gov. Mills announced a vast expansion of COVID-19 testing.
- The Mills Administration announced this week that it will quadruple COVID-19 testing capacity at the State lab, develop testing sites throughout Maine, and allow more people in Maine with elevated risk of exposure to get tested for the virus. The new testing capacity will come online in July.
- The plan calls for DHHS to build on its existing partnership with IDEXX Laboratories to create a new mobile lab to expand testing capacity. This added capacity will allow for “swab and send” locations to be opened across the state, ensuring that 90% of Maine residents can be tested within 30 minutes of where they live.
- “This expanded testing capacity represents another breakthrough for Maine in the fight against COVID-19,” said Gov. Mills. “This expansion, along with new swab and send sites, is an important step forward in allowing more people across Maine to get tested and stay healthy.”
Rep. Craig Hickman shared his story at a Black Lives Matter protest in Augusta.
- Rep. Craig Hickman spoke to a large crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters outside the State House in Augusta on Sunday.
- “It took the brutal, public lynching of a Black man under the knee of police officers for the entire nation and people around the world to gather together to finally say Black lives matter,” said Hickman. “I did not know George Floyd, but I am George Floyd.”
- Rep. Hickman spoke about his own experience with police brutality as a college student in Boston, and encouraged his audience, especially young people, to continue to fight racism and police brutality.
- Click here to watch the full video of Rep. Hickman’s speech.
Use the above suggested language to help supplement your letters to the editor! As a refresher, here are some best practices for writing a LTE.
Even during this uncertain time, the MDP is hard at work talking to voters, and we want to continue giving you a peek inside our work to make sure we’re reaching as many people as possible. This week, we spoke to Mairead Cahill, the Maine Democratic Party’s new Operations Director! Here’s what she said:
What are you most excited for about your new job?
I’m excited to be back in New England, where I grew up, and help flip a US Senate seat to give us a Democratic majority.
What do you think makes organizing so important in 2020?
Voters are really eager to get involved this year. I think organizing is the best way to tap into that eagerness and channel it into action so we can see real change in our communities.
What has been the best part of your first week on the job?
Though I’ve only met the team via video calls, everyone is so kind and hardworking. I’m lucky to be a part of a team that wants to make a meaningful impact.
While Susan Collins stayed in DC to fundraise, Trump forced Maine’s essential workers to throw out desperately needed medical supplies.
- Donald Trump traveled to Maine last Friday to tour Puritan Medical Products, a facility that makes medical swabs used for coronavirus testing.
- After his visit, a news report revealed that all the swabs manufactured during his visit would have to be tossed.
- The news adds to the growing evidence that Trump’s visit to Maine was merely a thinly disguised political rally. However, despite condemnations from state leaders and Maine’s two largest newspapers’ editorial boards, Susan Collins stayed silent, spending the day of Trump’s visit holding a high dollar fundraiser benefiting his campaign.
A bipartisan US House group pushed the Senate to pass Rep. Golden’s small business legislation.
- This week, Rep. Jared Golden and a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Small Business Committee called on the Senate to pass the Small Business Development Centers Improvement Act.
- The bill, introduced and passed through the House by Golden last year with a large bipartisan majority, would bring the services of small business development centers (SBDCs) to more small businesses by reauthorizing the program, expanding available funding for the centers, and allowing SBDCs to market and promote their services.
- “Tens of thousands of small businesses across the country are in serious need of trustworthy, experienced business counseling and advice to help them adapt to an economy in recession and continue to hire workers,” said Rep. Golden. “Today, we’re calling on our colleagues in the Senate to take action for small businesses in their states and pass this common-sense legislation to reauthorize and expand the SBDC program.”
Rep. Pingree cosponsored the most significant police reform package in generations.
- Amid nationwide protests of police brutality toward Black Americans, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree announced her co-sponsorship of the bicameral Justice in Policing Act of 2020, a sweeping package of police reform legislation.
- Among many provisions, the package focuses on strengthening legal mechanisms for holding police accountable, improving nationwide transparency about police misconduct, updating police training and practices to account for current systemic injustices, and making lynching a federal crime.
- “Unchecked racial bias and the well-documented use of force against Black Americans is a scourge on our country, and the lack of accountability from police departments is both outrageous and unacceptable,” said Rep. Pingree. “If lawmakers can decry racial injustice on social media and say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ they must join us in supporting this historic bill to protect the lives of Black Americans from police brutality.”
- Click here to read the full list of provisions in the bill.
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