The following e-newsletter is a joint communication from the Maine Women’s Policy Center and our sister organization, the Maine Women’s Lobby.
“I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.”
― Audre Lorde
THIS MONTH IN REVIEW
GIRLS’ DAY AT THE STATE HOUSE
On Friday, March 24, our sister organization, the Maine Women’s Policy Center, hosted the 21st Annual Girls’ Day at the State House. More than 112 eighth grade girls participated! They traveled from Eliot, Caribou, Fryeburg, Steuben, and many towns in between! They learned about women’s leadership in state government, advocacy, communication, and ways in which they can be leaders in their communities.
Girls’ Day is truly one of our favorite days of the year! It’s inspiring to see young women working in teams to stand up for issues that matter to them. Thank you to Charter Spectrum, Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, Sprague Memorial Foundation, The VIA Agency, Maine Education Association, the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein and all of the mentors and volunteers who made this day a possibility!
SUPREME COURT AT RISK
Judge Neil Gorsuch could be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice as early as Monday, April 3. Please use our phone system to connect with our senators and urge them to vote “NO” on Supreme Court nominee, Judge Gorsuch. Please call1-855-606-0296, listen to the prompt, and type in your zip code to be connected to the offices of Senator King and Senator Collins.
Judge Gorsuch has proven that he will not protect women’s reproductive rights and workers’ rights as evidenced by his decisions to restrict access to birth control and employee protections from discrimination. Need a recap on Judge Gorsuch’s past rulings that have negatively impacted the lives of women? Click here.
MAINE’S MINIMUM WAGE
No woman who works full time deserves to live in poverty. Raising the minimum wage can help.
Two-thirds of those earning the minimum wage in Maine are adult women. Additionally, nearly 72% of tipped workers in Maine are women. That’s why the Maine Women’s Lobby strongly supported increasing the minimum wage this past November―and Maine voters agreed.
Please join us and Mainers for Fair Wages on Wednesday, April 5 at 8:30 AM outside of room 208 in the Burton M. Cross Building to help us protect fair wages for Maine workers.
Mainers voted to increase the minimum wage, including increasing wages for tipped workers. Recently, bills that would compromise increasing the minimum wage have been introduced in our legislature and will be heard by the Labor Committee on April 5.
The median income for a Maine restaurant server is just $9.06 per hour. That’s a problem for the many thousands of Mainers struggling to provide for themselves and their families while the cost of groceries, housing, heat, electricity and transportation keeps climbing.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Opportunity for action: The Maine Women’s Lobby is looking to host monthly film screenings at local community establishments. If you are interested in having a monthly film screening in your community and know of an establishment that would be willing to participate in hosting the screening, please contact Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The People’s Filibuster hosted by Sierra Club of Maine and Progressive Portland ― Portland City Hall, 389 Congress Street, Portland ― Sunday, April 2 at 12 PM ― 2 PM
We are joining local organizations in standing up against Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Dress warmly! For more information, click here.
HOPE Festival 2017 hosted by Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine ― UMaine Fitness and Recreation Center, 22 Hilltop Road, Orono ― Saturday, April 8 at 11 AM ― 3 PM
The HOPE Festival is a day of celebration of all the important work local organizations have been doing throughout the year. The Festival hosts an organizational fair with over 50 groups who promote social justice, sustainability, and the arts, and features interactive programs for children and adults. For more information, click here.
Equal Pay Day University of Southern Maine, Woodbury Campus Center, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland ― April 11 at 12 PM ― 1 PM
Join the Maine Women’s Lobby as we recognize Equal Pay Day and review policies that are both helping and hurting women at work. For more information, click here.
Stand Against Racism 2017 hosted by YWCA of Central Maine ― YWCA of Central Maine, 130 East Avenue, Lewiston ― Sunday, April 30 at 12 PM ― 4 PM
Stand Against Racism will offer a keynote address from Portland activist, Hamdia Ahmed. Ahmed is a lifelong activist and has worked on behalf of the Adopt-A-Future program by the United Nations Association of the United States of America and the U.N. Refugee Agency, which works to provide resources to educate children in refugee camps.
Stand Against Racism will also include several powerful small-group workshops led by local students and activists, and feature the unveiling of a newly created mural by the Lewiston High School 21st Century Leaders in the YWCA gym! For more information, click here.
LUNAFEST hosted by the Maine Women’s Lobby ― May 6, more details to be announced soon
Enjoy short films that feature strong, complicated storylines that examine how a diverse range of issues impact women around the world!
Women’s Day at the State House hosted by the Alliance for Maine Women ― Augusta ― May 10, more details to be announced soon Save the date for this opportunity to connect with organizations that work on issues affecting the lives of Maine women and to talk with your legislators about the policies that matter to you. More details to be announced soon.
Maine Women’s Summit on Economic Security hosted by the Maine Women’s Lobby ― Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta―October 13
More details to be announced soon.
Find more events on our events calendar!
WE NEED YOUR STORIES TODAY!
This month, our very own Kathy Kilrain del Rio shared her personal paid leave story. She states, “If we didn’t have paid leave, I could not have afforded to take this time off.”
Many women and families struggle because they don’t have access to paid leave. Women who are pregnant, have recently given birth, or are adopting a child struggle financially if they take the time they need to care for a new child without a paycheck. Women who are trying to care for an aging spouse or parent, or need time off to heal from a personal illness, face similar financial challenges. The majority of workers don’t have access to paid leave through their workplaces. We’ll be looking to support legislation to address this problem in 2017. Your story is important and deserves to be heard. Share your story about the need for all workers to be able to access paid family and medical leave.
SUPPORT MAINE WOMEN AND GIRLS
We love our work, and we are able to achieve great things with your support! To make a donation to support our mission, visit our donation page. Another way to support our work is to become a Loyal Lobbyist by donating a monthly gift. Become a Loyal Lobbyist today!
If you prefer to make your gift through the mail, send your check to Maine Women’s Lobby, 124 Sewall Street, Augusta, ME 04330. If you have any questions, contact Sarah at 207-622-0851 x2.
News travels fast on our social media sites. Be sure to like our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Stay tuned for April’s Activist Update blog post dropping early next week!
Thank you for your continued support!
Eliza, Kathy, Danna, Sarah and Victoria