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February 2015


MUUSAN members at the State House January 2015

Members representing 8 different congregations attended the Maine UU State Advocacy Network meeting on Saturday, Feb 7th.
 
After a brief business meeting, including discussion of a grant David Wilcox and Mary Ann Larson are writing and a vote to elect Cush Anthony to the steering committee, we broke into three issue groups.
 
Health Care: MUUSAN continues to partner with Cover Maine Now and Maine AllCare as the impact of not accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid is starting to hurt people and institutions.  MUUSAN will participate in the Cover Maine Now conference calls and we are learning more about the Health Care is a Human Right campaign.  The Ellsworth UU Church is hosting a weekend program Saturday, April 25th and Sunday, April 26th presented by Maine AllCare to raise public awareness for the need for universal health care.  The Allen Avenue UU Church developed a worship service focused on healthcare, which they are taking on the road to Ellsworth and other places. If you are interested in having them present a service at your church, contact Carol Larson at MUUSAN@augustauu.org. If your church is willing to host an information session on the benefits of expanding Medicaid or Health Care is a Human Right, contact MUUSAN@augustauu.org.  We will be watching for bills to be submitted to the legislature and will send an alert when there is action to take.
 
Strengthening Democracy: Members of MUUSAN collected signatures in a number of regions for ballot initiatives with our partners: Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (MCCE) and Ranked Choice Voting Maine (RCV Maine).   The MCCE question will be on the ballot in 2015 while RCV is waiting until 2016.  We can support both campaigns by organizing workshops, forums, and house parties to ensure grassroots understanding of the importance of these two initiatives.   The democracy group also discussed how the Trans Pacific Partnership spans both the democracy group and the climate group in its impact of big money control over our political system.  We plan to invite a speaker on Ranked Choice Voting for our next meeting. 
 
Climate Change: Chair Melanie Lanctot was unable to attend but sent this information:
 
1.The Natural Resources Council of Maine is gearing up for the new legislative session.  Their priorities include solar energy promotion and lakes protection. Bookmark NRCM’s Bill Tracking website to learn the status of bills affecting the environment. Their Citizen’s Action Day is April 7th, a great opportunity to speak directly to your legislators about matters of greatest concern to you.
 
2. Here is a video in which Robert Reich explains in 2.25 minutes why the Trans Pacific Partnership is a bad idea, not only for US workers but for the environment.
 
Members at the MUUSAN meeting discussed pipelines, TPP, Maine Interfaith Power and Light and the Standing on the Side of Love climate campaign.   The other UU organization focused on climate is Commit2Respond . Saturday Feb 14 is the Interfaith Power and Light National Day of Prayer for the climate.
 
How to help:
  • Organize educational speakers on MUUSAN topics at your congregation.  Contact muusan@augustauu.org for more info.
  • Write a letter to editor on faith based issues.
  • The Common Read in some of our congregations highlights the need for liberal churches to speak out.  Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square by Paul Rasor
 
Upcoming Events:
Next MUUSAN meeting 10:00 March 21st at the UU Community Church in Augusta.  All are welcome!
Annual Planning meeting 10:00 May 9th at the UU Community Church in Augusta.  
 
Manifesting Bipartisan Action on Climate Change in Congress through citizen engagement and faith-filled leadings.  Learn what FCNL and other faith traditions are doing in Washington DC to foster bipartisan recognition by Congress of the climate science and impacts and how you can get involved. A presentation and discussion with Jose Aguto Legislative  Secretary, Sustainable Energy and Environment, FCNL
 
Portland Friends Meetinghouse
1837 Forest Ave., Portland, Maine
NEW DATE:  February 15, 2015, 11:45 a.m.
 
Jose directs FCNL’s lobbying efforts to seek an Earth restored.  A major aspect of this work is on the Call to Conscience on Climate Disruption, a grassroots interfaith moral call for bipartisan action in Congress on climate change.  The Call is based on several premises:
  • Congress is essential to addressing the national and global challenges of climate disruption.
  • To solve a problem (climate change), Congress must first admit it has one. 
  • The only antidote to organized money is organized people.
  • A moral foundation is critical for the success of social movements like a sustainable future.
  • The exercise of our democratic rights is a path towards peaceful social change. 
We will provide soup and bread.  Feel free to bring your own lunch too.

Another opportunity:
Fossil Fuel Divestment for Maine’s Faith Communities
 
Friday, February 13, 10am
State House Welcome Center in Augusta
Our theme:  “Maine Divests for a Clean Energy Future!”  
 
We will share divestment success stories, release our Open Letter from People of Faith, and deliver divestment petition signatures to the Maine Public Employees Retirement System.  
You can sign the petition here:
http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/divest-the-maine-public-employees-retirement-system-from-fossil-fuels
 
Please consider reading the open letter in your worship service, or including a copy in your faith community’s bulletin during the weekend of February 13-15!
 
Here’s a link to the open letter and current list of signers: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19HTE6bc-w4hPEDjYkZF0DKm4wqJ6HVQSWFeJiSZDkxs/edit?usp=sharing 
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