What’s Up at MUUSAN?

MUUSAN members at the State House before the MaineCare expansion hearing.
From left to right: Priscilla Jenkins, Trudy Ferland, Rev. Margaret Beckman, Dale McCormick, and Janet Reid.

Health care is in the spotlight at the Statehouse and Maine UU State Advocacy Network (MUUSAN) is there. Some 400 persons attended a January 8 rally organized by the Maine People’s Alliance to demonstrate support for accepting federal funds to expand MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program. Twelve MUUSANers attended the rally and met with legislators—a strong and visible presence at the Statehouse.

One week later, on January 15, at the hearing on LD 1578, the expansion bill, MUUSAN worked with Cover ME Now to provide a faith-based perspective. Rev. Carie Johnsen of UU Community Church of Augusta delivered testimony on behalf of MUUSAN, and we also presented letters of support and signatures from several UU congregations.

Laura Harper, speaker at our meeting, with Kent Price and David Wilcock.

At our January 18 meeting, we heard from Laura Harper, of MooseRidge Associates, a progressive lobbying firm working with Cover ME Now on the MaineCare expansion bill. In light of the very close vote on a similar bill at the close of the last legislative session—the effort to over-ride the Governor’s veto failed by as few as 2 or 3 votes—a strong effort is being made to pass LD 1578 with a veto-proof margin.

A particular focus is on Republican legislators. This is one of those occasions in which every vote counts!  If your Senator or Representative is a Republican and has not dug in his or her heels on this issue, get in touch; if you can arrange a meeting, it will be possible to provide you information that will help you make a persuasive case. 

Also, consider writing a letter to the editor urging support for accepting federal funds to expand MaineCare. Six MUUSANers already have written such letters, and it’s well known that the Letters page is one of the most read in our papers.

And if your legislator favors LD 1578, thank them for their support!

Web-Site Design
Work is continuing on developing an effective Web site for the organization.  Those interested and experienced in Web site design are invited to attend a meeting on January 30 with Lindy Gifford (Mid-Coast Fellowship), Trudy Ferland (First Universalist, Pittsfield), and John Adams, who designed the Mid-Coast Fellowship’s site.  3 pm, Thursday, January 30, at the UU Community Church, Augusta.

Our organizational plans include Liaisons with most UU congregations in Maine—folks who are members of, say Social Justice Committees or who otherwise are knowledgeable about their congregations and who share our appreciation of cooperative action on a statewide basis.  Are you a liaison, or would you like to be?  Come talk about what’s involved and how you can help: March 8, 10 am – 12 pm for a regular MUUSAN meeting, to which all are invited, and 12 pm -2-pm for liaisons, at Community Church, Augusta.

Connecting with the Denomination
Are you planning to attend April's Northern New England District meeting or General Assembly, in Providence in June? Look for MUUSAN's information table at both. Think about volunteering to act as one of our spokespersons.

Share Your Talents?
If you are a fabric ARTIST searching for that next project, please consider creating a banner for MUUSAN.  If MUUSAN had a banner, we would be able to participate in the GA Banner Parade and that artistic interpretation of our logo would join hundreds of other banners displayed during GA.  Our banner could be used to identify ourselves at district meetings, rallies, and other gatherings. 

Mass Moral March
In light of the memories stirred by Martin Luther King, Jr, Day, you may want to consider taking part in the Mass Moral March in North Carolina—Saturday, February 8, in Raleigh.  This may well be remembered as the March on Washington of our time.  UUA President Peter Morales will represent all UU’s there and we are sure he’d be delighted to have a big UU crowd to support him.  For more info:

North Carolina was perhaps the most progressive Southern state, but it has slipped badly, weakening women’s rights, suppressing the vote, disenfranchising potential voters of color, and more.If at all possible, join your voice to the swelling thousands who will march in Raleigh on February 8.

Save the date:
Climate Solutions Expo
One day for the climate
From private action to public policy
Be part of the solutions

Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 9am to 5pm
Augusta Civic Center

Expo free and open to the public!
Register at
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