HOW DID THIS GROUP GET STARTED?

Suit Up Maine originated as a closed Facebook group that served as a regional offshoot of Pantsuit Nation shortly before the 2016 election. When Pantsuit Nation sought non-profit status, restricting chapters in the forms of action they could take, we ended our affiliation and changed our name to Suit Up Maine Action Network, to make it clear that we are an independent, action-oriented group. We later shortened our name to Suit Up Maine, or SUM.  Karin Leuthy and Kelli Whitlock Burton are SUM’s current co-leaders. They are joined by a talented team of administrators and working group leaders from all across Maine.

DOES SUM HAVE A MISSION STATEMENT?
Yes. Please see the About Us section on this site.
IS ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH SUM PAID?
No. We are an all-volunteer group of dedicated Maine constituents. While we occasionally recommend other nonprofits and organizations that we think are worthy of your financial support, we never solicit donations or funds for ourselves or for SUM.
IS SUM AFFILIATED WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY?
No, although many of our members would describe themselves as Democrats. We keep an open door to Mainers of all political stripes who stand in support of civil rights, social justice, environmental stewardship, a free press, constitutional checks and balances, and are committed to pushing back against a regressive agenda.  Here at SUM, we are beholden to issues, not political parties or candidates.
ARE ALL SUM MEMBERS MAINERS?
Our Working Groups and Member Forum are only for those who live in or are from Maine. If you don’t have a Maine connection, you are welcome to see and share what we do on this website or on our public Facebook page.
IS SUM COORDINATING WITH OTHER GROUPS?
Yes. In spring 2017, Suit Up Maine created The HUB, a forum for leaders of Maine’s many progressive grassroots groups. Now operating independently, it’s a place for leaders from all 16 counties to connect, collaborate, and help amplify our movement. Members of The HUB network with other leaders, share ideas and events, and brainstorm issues. It’s a pretty fantastic place! Our admin team also regularly coordinates with statewide and national organizations that are already doing great work, such as Indivisible, Action Together Network, ACLU, Natural Resources Defense Council, Planned Parenthood, Maine Equal Justice Partners, and Maine People’s Alliance, and many of our calls to action support their efforts. We encourage all of our team members to be involved in any groups that are active in their towns. If you are a leader of a grassroots group, or if there is a group or organization you think we should be connected to, please send us a message!
HOW ARE CALLS TO ACTION CREATED?

Our issue-based working groups spend the week discussing current issues, debating where action is most needed, and then researching and writing calls to action. Those action items are submitted to C2A Editor Karin Leuthy, who posts new items on our home page and public Facebook page each Monday. Our calls to action are then shared by social media and email to dozens of groups and thousands of individuals in Maine and far beyond. If there is an issue you’d like to see some action directed to, please email us at suitupmaine@gmail.com. Previous action items can be found in our Archive, via a keyword search, or on our working group pages:

Healthcare, Reproductive Rights & Disability Rights

Trump Administration & Federal Government

Environmental Issues

Prevention of Gun Violence & Violence Against Women

Education

Media & Free Speech

WHO DECIDES WHAT WORKING GROUPS ARE FORMED?
The first four working groups were determined by a poll of our members. Since then, we’ve added more, based on requests from members. Our current working groups are:
We are open to adding more working groups at any time, as long as there are motivated members who are willing to lead them and do the work of researching and writing action items. If you would like to join one of our working groups or have ideas for new ones, please email us at suitupmaine@gmail.com.
IS SUM CONSIDERING BECOMING A NONPROFIT OR FORMING A PAC?
We have discussed these possibilities on several occasions and have determined that, for now, avoiding formal organizational structures and financial regulations allows us more time and flexibility for action.