The following Activist Update is a joint communication from the Maine Women’s Policy Center and our sister organization, the Maine Women’s Lobby.
“EVERY MOMENT IS AN ORGANIZING OPPORTUNITY, EVERY PERSON A POTENTIAL ACTIVIST, EVERY MINUTE A CHANCE TO CHANGE THE WORLD.” – Dolores Huerta
Welcome to Activist Update, your guide to activism in 2017. As we kick off the new year, one resolution many are making is to take action and become more of an activist. Whether you’re making resolutions or just looking for ways to make a difference, the Maine Women’s Lobby is here to help.
JANUARY’S MISSION…IF YOU SO CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT
Join us in checking the following items off your activist list!
- HIT THE REFRESH BUTTON The first regular session of the 128th Maine Legislature began on January 4th. It’s time to get acquainted with your new local representatives and their legislative calendar. Unsure of which legislative and congressional district you in and who is representing you in Washington, DC? Check it out!
- CONNECT WITH YOUR ELECTED LEADERS You can sign up for e-newsletters from Senator Angus King and Senator Susan Collins along with email updates from Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Congressman Bruce Poliquin, email updates from the Governor’s Office, and Maine government updates and citizen alerts.
- You can follow Senator King on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can reach him at (202) 224-5344.
- You can follow Senator Collins on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can reach her at (202) 224-2523.
- You can follow Congresswomen Pingree on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can reach her at (202) 225-6166.
- You can follow Congressman Poliquin on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can reach him at (202) 225-6306.
- You can follow Governor LePage on Twitter and Facebook.
- CHECK THE CABINET As we get closer to Inauguration Day, cabinet appointees are continuously being announced. Many appointees have proven to be in opposition of laws and policies that help support and protect women. Among the most recent and controversial appointees are Senator Jeff Sessions nominated for Attorney General and Andrew F. Puzder nominated for Labor Secretary. Senator Sessions is strongly anti-abortion, anti-immigration, an opponent of LGBTQ rights, has a history of being on the wrong side of racial issues, and is a climate change denier. Sessions’ nomination will most likely take place the week of January 9th. Puzder is an opponent of labor union organizing rights, a $15 minimum wage, paid sick days, and other important worker protections. Because six out of ten minimum wage earners and 72% of workers earning the subminimum tipped wage in Maine are women, labor rights and workplace policies are incredibly important in protecting the economic security of women. Puzder’s nomination hearing will most likely take place the week of January 16th. We’ll be asking for your help in contacting both Senator Collins and Senator King as these nomination hearings move forward. Action will need to be taken quickly.
SHARE YOUR STORY
The Maine Women’s Lobby is collecting stories from community members all across Maine regarding access to affordable, quality child care services as well as paid leave. You can share your personal experiences accessing child care services here and paid leave here, or you may contact Victoria Rodriguez directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FREE WEBINARS Join us for a one-hour webinar on January 11 at 7:00 PM or January 12 at 12:00 PM that will provide an overview of ways to get involved in policy-making in 2017. For more information and to RSVP, contact Victoria at email@example.com.
FILM + FORUM SERIES Throughout 2017, the Maine Women’s Lobby will be hosting monthly films that examine setbacks and celebrate successes in protecting women’s rights. Each film will be followed by facilitated discussions about how we can mobilize and band together to protect our freedoms.
January’s featured film: She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
Join us for this month’s film and forum at one (or more) of the following locations!
- Tuesday, January 17th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM, Woodfords Club (179 Woodford Street, Portland)
- Wednesday, January 18th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM, Bates College (2 Andrews Road, Lewiston, Room TBD)
WOMEN’S MARCH ON MAINE Join the Maine Women’s Lobby and fellow community members for the Women’s March on Maine at the Maine State House in Augusta on Saturday, January 21st from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. We will stand in solidarity to protect women’s rights and civil liberties. This is an inclusive march open to anyone who supports women’s rights, civil rights, and health and safety of all humans. For information on ride shares, click here.
WOMEN’S MARCH ON WASHINGTON Join your fellow Mainers and women from all across the country in Washington, DC for the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, January 21st at 10:00 AM. This is an inclusive march open to anyone who supports women’s rights, civil rights, and health and safety of all humans.
BOOKS WE’RE READING AND THINK YOU SHOULD TOO
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“In this personal, eloquently argues essay-adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now-and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.”
Make a monthly donation to the Maine Women’s Lobby or Maine Women’s Policy Center and receive a copy of We Should All be Feminists!
Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay
“A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.”
PODCASTS WE’RE HOOKED ON
Reproductive Left Frank, honest, and accurate information on sexual and reproductive health from local Maine experts. Reproductive Left, hosted by Abbie Strout of Mabel Wadsworth Women’s Health Center in Bangor, tackles a different topic each month that influences our sexual and reproductive health. Previous topics have included abortion stigma, the choice to be child-free, reproductive coercion, and sex-positive feminism. The show ends with “Ask Mabel” where Terry Marley-DeRosier, WHNP or Lindsay Piper, WHNP answer sexual and reproductive health questions.
Stuff Mom Never Told You Hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin, Stuff Mom Never Told You is the audio podcast from HowStuffWorks that gets down to the business of being women from every imaginable angle. There are over 300 episodes covering topics ranging from mansplaining to maternal mental health to the history of women in politics to dad bods!
Have a suggestion for the next Activist Update? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!