CIVIL RIGHTS, SOCIAL JUSTICE & EQUALITY 

Here are our Calls to Action, Guides, and Explainers on issues related to civil rights, social justice, and racial, gender, LGBTQ, and economic equality. Interested in helping us track legislation and policy on this topic at the state or federal level? Take action with us.

MAINE LEGISLATURE ROUNDUP: This week in Augusta

Here’s our Legislature Roundup for the week of April 22, where you’ll find details on public hearings and work sessions on bills to ban single-use plastic bags, create a green new deal in Maine, reduce gun-related suicides, and domestic violence, create paid family and medical leave, and expand access to dental care. You’ll also find information on upcoming votes on a ban on conversion therapy, a bill to protect children against preventable diseases, and a bill to block all Indian-themed mascots at public schools in Maine. QUICK ACTION: Review this week’s public hearings, submit testimony on bills that matter to you, and tell your legislators how you’d like them to vote.

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How to Talk About Indian-Themed Mascots

Thanks to many years of outreach to Maine schools by tribal leaders, Maine’s LAST Indian-themed mascot has finally been retired. Know of a school in another state facing a similar issue? In collaboration with representatives from the Penobscot Nation, we’ve compiled the most common arguments made by those who want to keep these offensive mascots, with suggestions for ways to respond.

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PROTECT TITLE IX: Oppose Protection Rollbacks for Student Survivors

The Trump administration has issued new Title IX regulations that would make it harder for students who are sexually assaulted to report the assaults. More than 100,000 comments were submitted during the public comment period on the rule, with the vast majority in opposition. QUICK ACTION: Stay tuned for updates and ask Reps. Pingree and Golden to support 3 bills in the House that protect Title IX.

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CASE REVIEW: Kavanaugh on the Issues

A number of legal challenges are headed for the Supreme Court, the outcomes of which will affect the health, civil rights, environment, and economic stability of Mainers. Leaders of SUM and several advocacy groups met with Maine’s senators’ judicial advisers during Senate recess on Kavanaugh’s record on the issues.
Read our report on these cases and Kavanaugh’s relevant history.

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SUPPORT OUR TROOPS: Block Trump’s Transgender Ban

With four federal courts blocking his discriminatory ban on trans troops, Trump recently issued a new, but similarly flawed order reportedly drafted by LGBTQ opponent Mike Pence. 
QUICK ACTION: Speak out in support of ALL our troops, and ask King, Pingree, and Poliquin to support the bipartisan bills that would prevent Trump’s ban from taking effect with this easy tool!

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ADA ACCESSIBILITY ROLLBACKS: Protect the Americans with Disabilities Act

A bill that would roll back accessibility rules required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed the House last week–with Rep. Poliquin voting YES–and is headed to the Senate.
QUICK ACTION: Call Poliquin to protest his vote and call Sens. Collins and King and tell them to oppose any attempt to bring the bill for a vote.

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WOMEN’S MARCH 2.0: Join Events in Maine on Jan. 20-21

The Women’s March galvanized millions around the world to rise up and speak out.
QUICK ACTION: Gather your friends to celebrate the one-year anniversary on Jan 20 in Augusta, Bangor, Bar Harbor, Gouldsboro, and Brunswick and Jan 21 in Kingfield and Portland. Can’t make one of these events? Host your own Women’s March House Party or participate in the online Disability March.

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HOLD DEVOS ACCOUNTABLE: Oppose Discrimination in Education

In a recent budget hearing in the House of Representatives, Betsy DeVos indicated that she would not be opposed to allowing schools that engage in discrimination to receive federal funding. Contact Betsy DeVos, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, and your Members of Congress to let them know that this is unacceptable and that taxpayer money should never be given to schools that discriminate against any group of students or staff.

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Speed Dial Congress

Sen. Angus King, Jr. (I):
(202) 224-5344
Sen. Susan Collins (R):
(202) 224-2523
Chellie Pingree (D):
(202) 225-6116
Rep. Jared Golden (D):
(202) 225-6306

For full contact info, including numbers for district offices in Maine, visit our Civic Dashboard.

Speed Dial Maine Legislature

Maine House:
1-800-423-2900 
Maine Senate:
1-800-423-6900
TTY: Use Maine Relay 711

Leave a message for your legislators with your name, town, legislator’s name, bill number, and how you’d like her/him to vote.

Find your legislators on our CIVIC DASHBOARD.