This Week in Maine
June 25, 2020
Maine Dems Updates — Legislative Spotlight — Grassroots Update — Other News
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This Week in 200 Words
In MDP Updates, Friday at 11:00 AM, team Biden will host a roundtable featuring Senate President Troy Jackson and Rep. Anne Perry on protecting Mainers’ Healthcare. Thanks to everyone who tuned into our US Senate Primary Forum on Monday, and watch the recording on our Facebook or YouTube if you missed it. Making phone calls to voters from home is as easy as 1-2-3: Sign up – Attend a training – start calling. We need your help getting five friends to commit to vote this week. Request and return your absentee ballot for the July 14 Primary Election today! The state needs a new generation of Mainers to 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, 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.
In this week’s Legislative Spotlight, Gov. Mills announced that Maine will help towns and tribes qualify for COVID-19 disaster relief. The Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing to discuss Maine’s criminal justice and policing reform. And, Senate President Troy Jackson and Senator Ned Claxton will join a town hall Tuesday, June 30 on reducing prescription drug costs.
In Grassroots Updates, we spoke with Ann Kruger, a volunteer on our grassroots team in Bar Harbor.
In Other News, Republicans filed briefs in their lawsuit to strike down the ACA, made possible by Susan Collins. Top Democrats show solidarity with Bath Iron Works union amidst strike. And, Rep. Pingree asks House leadership to prioritize the clean energy workforce and to mitigate the climate crisis in the next recovery package.
Maine Dems Updates
One month since George Floyd’s Murder, What Are You Doing to Dismantle White Supremacy?
Today marks one month since the police murdered George Floyd. It also marks 104 days since the police murdered Breonna Taylor, and 13 days since the police murdered Rayshard Brooks. Millions of people across the nation, including thousands here in Maine, have taken to the streets to say Black Lives Matter. But this fight is not over, and we can’t stop now.
Now we want to hear from you: what are you doing to dismantle white supremacy in your community, and how are you going to stay in the fight?
Team Biden Roundtable on Protecting Mainers’ Healthcare.
FRIDAY JUNE 26TH, 11:00 AM: Join Team Joe, State Senator Troy Jackson and State Representative Anne Perry for a virtual roundtable on the need to protect Mainers’ access to health care during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Vice President Biden’s plan to protect and build on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Everyday Mainers will also discuss ways the ACA has helped save their lives.
Maine Dems US Senate Primary Forum.
Thanks to everyone who tuned into our US Senate Primary Forum, and to all three of our candidates–Speaker Sara Gideon, Bre Kidman, and Betsy Sweet–for participating! It was a great opportunity to hear their positions on many important issues impacting our state and the country. If you missed it, or want to watch it again, a full recording is available on our Facebook page or Youtube channel.
Make Phone Calls to Voters From Home.
Making phone calls to voters from home is as easy as 1-2-3: Sign up – Attend a training – start calling. It’s easy, fun, and helps advance our mission to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. Sign up today to help make sure every Democrat requests and returns their absentee ballot for the July 14 Primary Election!
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!
Maine’s July 14 Primary.
We’re less than three weeks away from Maine’s July 14 Primary, where we’ll have the chance to rank our preferences for US Senate nominees and other important primary elections on the local and state level. But did you know you can vote safely and easily right from your home? The best way to vote from home is by requesting your absentee ballot. Voting by absentee ballot might be new to you, so we understand you might have questions. Call or text the voter protection hotline at (207) 990-0788 anytime if you have any questions about anything related to voting in Maine, or 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.
Click here to request your absentee ballot for the July 14 Primary! And make sure to drop it in the mail with postage or return it directly to your town office.
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.
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.
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 announced that Maine will help towns and tribes qualify for COVID-19 disaster relief.
- On Monday, Gov. Janet Mills announced that the State of Maine will use $35 million of its coronavirus relief funds to help tribes and municipalities qualify for federal disaster relief in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
- The $35 million comes out of the funding Maine received from the CARES Act, and can be used by towns and tribes to meet the requirements to receive funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- “Municipalities across Maine are on the front line of battling COVID-19,” said Gov. Mills. “With this action, I hope state government can somewhat ease the financial burden that budget-crunched municipalities face as we continue to confront this pandemic together. I also hope the federal government will provide greater financial support and more flexibility in the use of federal funds so that the state may be able to be more helpful in the future.”
- Click here to read more about Gov. Mills’ announcement.
The Legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing to discuss Maine’s criminal justice and policing reform.
- The Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety met Wednesday to discuss Maine policies on policing and criminal justice reform.
- The Committee was joined by members of the Judiciary Committee, and received briefings from Attorney General Aaron Frey and Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck.
- Attorney General Frey and Commissioner Sauschuck provided information about the Maine Information and Analysis Center, training at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, and the collection of data on racial profiling, and took questions from members of both committees about their practices and policies.
Senate President Troy Jackson and Senator Ned Claxton will join a town hall Tuesday, June 30 on reducing prescription drug costs.
- Tuesday, June 30 at 2:00PM, Sen. Jackson and Sen. Claxton will take part in a town hall hosted by AARP Maine and Consumers for Affordable Health Care.
- The town hall will focus on efforts to help reduce prescription drug costs in Maine including improved price transparency in Maine, importation of certain prescription drugs from Canada, Maine’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board, and advocacy efforts at the federal level to control costs.
- Click here to RSVP for the online town hall.
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 doing everything we can to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. We have a volunteer team that is filled with energy and is making tons of calls to voters. This week, we checked in with Ann Kruger, a volunteer on our grassroots team in Bar Harbor:
What motivates you to volunteer for the Maine Dems?
I’ve volunteered on Democratic campaigns for decades. I learn a lot listening to other voters. I feel very fortunate to live in Maine. Volunteering is my way of ‘giving back’. I am really inspired by the folks at Hancock County Democrats and the Maine Dems field organizers.
What issues do you hear about the most while making calls? What’s the best recent conversation you’ve had on the phone with a Maine voter?
The calls I’ve been making are candidate surveys rather than issue surveys. And voters are all over the place. The best conversation I had was with a 95 year old woman who has voted in every election and always for the Democratic candidates; she was not just party line, she was really progressive.
What tips would you give who’s volunteering with the Maine Dems for the first time?
If someone is against your candidate or issue then just say thank you and be done – trying to persuade them just invites them to reinforce their negative opinion. If someone is leaning towards your candidate and is open to chatting, then you might ask them what they like – to get them to reinforce their positive opinion. Less is more, if you try to be too persuasive, then people might say yes just to get rid of you. Also, some people have very ‘interesting’ messages on their phones. Just keep going. Same goes for the rare nasty customer. Most people are polite. Some are even very appreciative.
Ann and the rest of the folks on the Maine Dems grassroots team need YOUR help. Sign up here to make phone calls for Democrats!
Republicans make their case in their lawsuit to strike down the ACA, made possible by Susan Collins.
- Today is the last day for the Trump administration and their Republican allies to file briefs in their case to strike down the Affordable Care Act which was sparked by Susan Collins’ vote for the 2017 GOP tax law. If the Supreme Court rules to strike down the ACA, coverage protections for hundreds of thousands of Mainers with preexisting conditions would be eliminated.
- As the coronavirus crisis continues to impact communities across the country, more Americans are relying on the ACA to get health care coverage following the loss of their jobs and employer-provided health insurance.
- A new analysis from the Center for American Progress estimates that if the Republican lawsuit is successful, nearly 100,000 Mainers could lose health coverage entirely if the ACA is overturned during the pandemic.
- While Collins has tried to distance herself from the lawsuit, she had full knowledge that her support for the GOP tax law would put the ACA in jeopardy. In 2012, she signed an amicus brief arguing that the ACA could not stand without the individual mandate and then went on to vote to repeal the individual mandate five years later.
Top Democrats show solidarity with Bath Iron Works union amidst strike.
- Since Local S6, the Bath Iron Works (BIW) workers’ union, began striking on Monday, several top state and national Democratic officials, included Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Jared Golden, have made statements in support of the strike, and have called on BIW management to present the workers with a fair deal.
- Vice President Biden: “Local S6 members work hard to ensure that our military have the tools they need to be successful. It’s up to us to make sure that those same workers have what they need to accomplish that for their own families…I urge the Bath Iron Works to come back to the table to make a fair offer to the hardworking men and women.”
- Rep. Golden: “People who understand labor unions know that they are not just about higher wages, better healthcare, and retirement benefits, although you deserve all three, but also about providing a voice for workers on the job. You deserve to have that voice heard, and BIW would benefit from listening to it…I am 100% in support of you on this picket line.”
Rep. Pingree asks House leadership to prioritize the clean energy workforce and to mitigate the climate crisis in the next recovery package.
- Rep. Chellie Pingree this week urged relief for the more than half-a-million workers in the clean energy sector who have been neglected in past COVID-19 response packages in a letter with her colleagues in the Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition to House leadership.
- The letter outlines specific pathways for Congress to sustain 3.4 million clean jobs ranging from construction and manufacturing to transportation and finance amid the national economic downturn and pandemic.
- “Relief and recovery legislation will shape our society for years to come. We must use these bills to build in a climate-smart way with the future in mind,” the letter reads.
- Read the full letter by clicking here.
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