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.
We tracked more than 60 bills this year in the Maine Legislature, which adjourned July 19. QUICK ACTION: Read about the good bills we helped pass and the bad bills we helped defeat in our Legislature Roundup Wrap-Up!
2021 has been a record-breaking year for legislation targeting transgender people in the U.S., with more than 100 anti-trans bills in 33 states as of mid-April. Although measures did pass in some states, three anti-trans bills introduced in Maine were defeated in the Legislature, with the last bill dying July 19. QUICK ACTION: Our new Guide for Trans Allies cuts through the spin from supporters of anti-trans legislation and offers tips to help you be a better ally.
Latest news: The For the People Act gets a vote in the Senate. And while other states have passed strict voter suppression laws, Maine is passing bills to make voting easier and more secure. We have more on that and a run-down of the latest legislative victories. Read SUM’s latest newsletter to get caught up on our current actions!
Legislators will hold a public hearing Tuesday, May 4 on legislation to restore tribal sovereignty to the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians. UPDATE: LD 1626 has been held over until January. Read on more details and what you can do to keep momentum going!
Maine passed the nation’s first ban on Indian-themed mascots in all public schools two years ago. Despite this progress, the upcoming Super Bowl match-up featuring the Kansas City “Chiefs” is a stark reminder that much work remains to retire Indian-themed mascots from all schools and sports teams. 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.
An early adjournment due to COVID-19 meant that many bills we were tracking in the second session of the 129th Maine Legislature were left on the table, eventually dying when efforts to reconvene for a special session were unsuccessful. Our Legislature Roundup will reconvene with the Legislature in January 2021, with dozens of bills to track in the coming session. For now, see what passed in 2020 and what was left behind.
We’re tracking the most concerning nominees to lifetime judicial appointments, in partnership with other progressive groups. Justin Walker, a nominee to the DC Court of Appeals, opposes the ACA, unions, and civil rights and is the latest in a long line of extremist, unqualified nominees.
QUICK ACTION: Learn more about Walker’s extremist record and tell Collins and King to vote NO on his confirmation.
The Trump administration has proposed a new rule that would allow faith-based organizations that receive certain types of federal funding to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals, women, people of color, and non-Christians without losing taxpayer dollars.
QUICK ACTION: Submit a public comment opposing the rule by midnight THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19.
The Trump administration has issued a proposed rule change that would cut food assistance to 3.1 million people—including 44,000 Mainers—and eliminate school meals for 500,000 children. QUICK ACTION: Submit a public comment opposing the rule change by September 23 and tell your MoCs to protect vulnerable Mainers.
More than a dozen groups around Maine took part in the Lights for Liberty vigil on July 12, a national protest of Trump’s inhumane immigration policies and his internment camps for immigrant families. Hundreds turned out in 12 towns around the state, joining thousands of others in more than 700 cities around the U.S. ACTION: See the image galleries below from the Maine vigils, volunteer at one of Maine’s immigrant advocacy organizations, and tell your members of Congress to take action.