Meeting Minutes, May 8, 2017

Equal Rights Maine Meeting Minutes of 5.8.17

Attending: Sue Snider, Sherry Streeter, Linda Nelson, Lyn Mayewski, Janet Pease, Nancy Hathaway, Julie Wang, Grace Gregor, Margo Entwisle, Posie Cowan and Nancy Murdock

Our meeting was held in the Howard Room at the Blue Hill Library from 3:30 – 5:00

Progress since last meeting:

The Equal means Equal screening at the Alamo on May 4th gave us a chance to show this important documentary to our friends and to invite new friends to hear about our work at Equal Rights Maine. About 80 people came, chatted before the film, and stayed on after the film for a discussion. We will be working on future showings of the film, in particular, at the Blue Hill Library.

Maine State ERA:

We planned to send out a CALL TO ACTION email for the House vote on May 11th, pulling together the contacts we have been working on for the past few months.

(Note at this writing: the vote on May 11th was a narrow pass, 78 - 65, along party lines. Next, the Senate on Tuesday, May 16th.)

The Website and Facebook page: Website and FB visits are sharply increasing as contacts are made. Sherry reminded FB users to invite friends to 'like our posts'. Visually active posts get far more visits: photographs, film clips, links to mainstream media.

Networking and Advocacy reports:

The group meeting with Rep. Ralph Chapman (D) brought back his advice on contacting our legislators: keep the message short, make phone calls more than emails, get to the party heads and many more legislative details. It was very helpful.

The Poliquin meeting with staff at the end of April was positive. Susan Snider is following up with providing to them our detailed analysis of why the XIV Amendment doesn't prohibit sex discrimination, the primary question our group was asked. We will be holding a brief workshop during the next meeting to discuss the XIVth.

The Sen. Langley meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 10 in Augusta during Women's Day.

Going Live:

We had our first OpEd published in the Bangor Daily News "We can do this one thing to guarantee the protection of women's rights" (their title) and it became a well-visited FB post, too. We will be working on more Letters and OpEd's.

Our outreach letters have resulted in an uptick in website and FB visits and we want to use those contacts (particularly those in Maine) as we begin to send out CALLS TO ACTION. Since we have a group list growing, for people who have signed up for this kind of email, names can be easily added to that list (if the receiver agrees) and sent with the group. Just let me know who to add.

What's Next:

May 10th Women's Day at the State House: the group planned to carpool to Augusta, attend the discussions, carry banners at the ralley, speak to legislators.

Thanks to Janet Pease, a visiting reporter from the Ellsworth American arrived at 4:45 to interview the group for an article on the ERA. We gave him an earfull!

Next Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 30th at 2:30 in the Howard Room at the Blue Hill Library

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