“That really is our work – to make sure that the movement is everywhere … in hospitals and healthcare, in schools, in our workplaces, in our churches. That’s what’s going to really accelerate the pace of the change that we seek. That is the beauty and the burden, in some ways, of a movement like this: there’s so much to be done, and it always feels like there’s not enough time to do any of it.” -Alicia Garza, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter speaking in an interview in The Guardian
ALICIA GARZA TO BE MWPC SUMMIT KEYNOTE SPEAKER
The Maine Women’s Summit on Economic Security is taking place on October 11, 2017. We’re excited to announce that Alicia Garza will be our Keynote Speaker! Alicia Garza is one of the co-creators of #BlackLivesMatter—a movement working for the validity of Black life and to end state-sanctioned violence against Black people. She is also the special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States.
Save the date so you don’t miss her remarks and a whole day filled with a vision for a better world, stronger policies, advocacy skills, organizing ideas, and personal stories. We’ll be sharing more details soon. Ticket sales will open in August.
Maine Women‘s Summit on Economic Security
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Augusta Civic Center
ATTACK ON ABORTION RIGHTS DEFEATED
Thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators about LD 327, the dangerous fetal personhood bill that we worked to defeat this year. Last Thursday, this bill that would have granted “heirs and an estate” to a fetus died in non-concurrence after a vote in the MaineSenate.
Bills like LD 327 are part of a national effort by anti-abortion advocates to chip away at abortion rights by passing “personhood” legislation. They wanted to create confusion in Maine law, which already has clear protections for pregnant women. While the Maine legislature has continued to protect women’s access to safe, legal abortion, this fight was closer than ever before. LD 327 went through a series of votes and was passed in the Maine Senate along party lines, but will not become law because the Maine House defeated it several times.
We are grateful to all the legislators who voted to protect the reproductive rights of Maine women.
THE FIGHT FOR EQUAL PAY CONTINUES
Today was Black Women Equal Pay Day—the day when the earnings of black women finally catch up with the previous year’s earnings of their white male counterparts. Because the wage gap for Black women is so large—they only earn 63 cents for every dollar made by white men—it takes 19 months to earn what white men make in 12 months. This piece by Carol Joyner of the Labor Project for Working Families in partnership with FV@W delves into many of the reasons for this inequity: The Wage Gap Persists for a Reason.
Unfortunately, a bill sponsored by Sen. Cathy Breen (D-Falmouth) that would have helped address pay inequality failed after the legislature sustained the Governor’s veto. LD 1259 was a common-sense solution to address the pay gap and wage discrimination. It would have prevented employers from seeking information about a prospective employee’s past salary before offering employment. When companies use prior pay to determine an employee’s current wages, pay discrimination of the past follows employees into their next jobs. Sen. Breen has stated that she will continue to fight pay inequality—and so will the Maine Women’sLobby.
To learn more about the wage gap in Maine, check out this fact sheet we shared while working on LD 1259: Fact Sheet.
MWL WORKS TO STOP DANGEROUS NEW CHILD CARE RULES PROPOSED BY DHHS
When the Legislature was in session last Thursday, the Health and Human Services Committee met to discuss new licensing rules for family child care providers. The committee met in response to a petition signed by more than 130 parents and child care providers as part of an application for review submitted by the Maine Women’sLobby (MWL), the Maine Children’s Alliance (MCA), the Family Child Care Association of Maine (FCCAM), and theMaine Association for the Education of Young Children (MaineAEYC).
Tara Williams, executive director for MaineAEYC, said about the rules, “Our organizations, along with many parents and child care providers, believe a legislative review of the proposed rules is necessary because the proposed changes could lower the quality of care forMaine children, affecting their safety and well-being.”
MWL’s executive director Eliza Townsend also highlighted that the proposed rules would, “take away parental rights. Parents would lose the right to visit their child care provider at any time during the day or their right to be informed of licensing deficiencies. Parents cannot have peace of mind when they are working or going to school if they don’t have these basic rights.”
Read more about the HHS committee meeting and the application process in these posts on our website: HHS Committee to Address Calls for Legislative Review of Proposed Family Child Care Rules and HHS Committee Meets, But Legislative Review of Harmful New Licensing Rules for Family Child Care Providers Still Needed, and in this BDN story: Concerned groups force MaineLegislature to scrutinize DHHS child care rules.
THE ACA SURVIVES REPEAL EFFORT FOR NOW
We are grateful to all the Senators who stood against the latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act—and especially to both of Maine‘s Senators for voting no. The latest version of a repeal would have caused 16 million people to lose coverage and increased premiums by 20%. To thank Senator Collins for her vote, call 202-224-2523. And to thank Senator King, call 202-224-5344.
There are many media stories about this latest repeal effort and what may happen next so we won’t go into all the details here. For now, the Affordable Care Act remains the law and that is good news women in Maineand across the country.
Here’s more about the vote and what was at stake:Collins, McCain, Murkowski vote to kill ‘skinny’ Obamacare repeal, ACA Repeal: What’s at Stake forWomen’s Health Coverage, and Why an attack on Medicaid is an attack on Maine’s people.
Free Film Screening & Forum
Tuesday, August 22
6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Maine Irish Heritage Center
34 Gray Street, Portland
Join us for a free screening of She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry followed by a post-film discussion. She’s Beautiful resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1971. Learn more here:bit.ly/2tYMbcT.
Women‘s Equality Day
Saturday, August 26
7:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Join us at the Portland Farmers’ Market in Deering Oaks Park from 7 AM to 12 PM, and the Portland Fine Craft Show on Congress Street from 12:30 PM to 4 PM to register to vote and learn more about how you can get involved with the Maine Women‘s Lobby. Contact Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207.622.0851 x5 to volunteer.
If you have an idea for an event to engage women in your area, Victoria would love to connect with you, too.
CONNECT WITH US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
News travels fast so be sure to like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram. You can help spread the word about the Maine Women’s Lobby by inviting your friends to connect with us on social media as well.
And if you know someone who cares about making sure women can live free from violence and discrimination, with access to health care, and with real economic security, pass along this newsletter and let them know they can subscribe for future news and action alerts at bit.ly/MWLsubscribe.
SUPPORT OUR WORK
We’re able to advocate for the issues you care about because of the support of our members. A monthly donation of $10 or more makes a continuing impact throughout the year. A gift of any size makes a difference. Please consider making a donation online at bit.ly/MWLdonate. Or mail your contribution to MaineWomen’s Lobby, 124 Sewall Street, Augusta, ME 04330.
Thank you for all your do to make a better future forMaine women and girls!