Attending: Posie, Jean, Susan, Linda, Leda Beth, Sally and Nancy
We began our meeting with a debriefing of the September 12th Equal Rights Maine Retreat. Everyone seemed pleased with the facilitation by Martha Jordan. There was consensus that we had come away from the morning with a greater cohesion as a group and a clearer understanding of our purpose and the committees, both in the work described and who would be doing what.
We then reviewed the two recent Equal Means Equal screenings (Stonington and Blue Hill), at which we had about 30-40 attendees each. From them we have added 25 names to our Contacts List. Our experiment for the second screening, where we stopped the film after an hour for a Q&A break, and then resumed for those who wanted to stay, seemed like a good move. There was agreement that we would do something like this at future screenings, so that the Q&A and presentation of our group's work came before complete exhaustion from the documentary's 93 minutes. We had ONE attendee plus Grace Gregor, who gave excellent feedback on our presentation, as requested. She suggested a less detailed and more visual presentation – a PowerPoint kind of talk with titles and graphics to strengthen our message. This seems like an excellent direction to take for future presentations.
We then went through our committee reports:
1) Networking & Contacts Data Base (Susan & Robin)
Contacts data base: Robin and Susan are now managing the ERMaine Followers email list, which we use for Calls to Action and for future Newsletter mailings (see below). Those of us with personal email contacts who we think would want to be added to this list should give those names and emails to Susan and Robin to make it easier to put out the word. Gaining 'followers' is key to our advocacy, so bring in all the names we can to add to our numbers. We now have a list of 80. How many can we have by year's end?? 125? More?
2) Network Building (Posie, Sherry, Linda, Susan)
The Networking Log, found on the Member's Portal of the website (MaryRichards101) will be managed by this Network Building committee. All visitors to the Log can edit it from the website. It is our shared record of whom we have contacted, with notes. In most cases, those contacts can also be added to the Contacts List. Since this is the core of our work, and there are so many possible groups and individuals to contact, we will be looking for more volunteers from the steering committee to be ERMaine contacts.
3) Advocacy with Legislators (Sally, Linda, Leda Beth)
We are hoping to make at least initial contact with the staff of each of the following in the next two months.
Collins (Robin, Linda volunteered to be a second)
King (Janet, Nancy, Sherry)
Susan will contact State Sen. Eloise Vitelli to ‘debrief’ on last session’s amendment process and learn what we can do in anticipation of the 2018 legislative session. We are looking for ways to meet with Republican state leaders as well, to learn what the objections have been and might be to a Maine equal rights amendment.
4) Publicity (Robin & Lyn)
Communications to ERAMaine group (newsletter, bulletin). Nancy will be working with Lyn and Jean on our new Newsletter format.
5) Facebook & Website (Nancy, Sherry, Jean). This committee will be working on updating photographs on the website and FB page as well as increasing the frequency of posts. Jean suggested adding a series of personal stories to the website, making the equality issue more specific.
6) Education (Susan, Nancy, Leda Beth)
Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7th from 10-12 at the BH Library.