SUM’s Latest Newsletter: For the People Act gets a vote and updates on voting access and other legislative victories in Maine

June 21, 2021

More than a dozen states have passed voter suppression laws, underscoring the importance of passing the federal For the People Act (H.R.1/S.1). The bill would reverse voter suppression laws in states across the country and expand voting access with no-excuse absentee voting, same-day voter registration, automatic voter registration, early voting, and vote-by-mail. It would also end partisan gerrymandering, require dark money groups to disclose donors, and increase elections security. The House passed the measure in March and the Senate could vote as early as TUESDAY. While many states have passed bills to restrict voting access, Maine has gone in the opposite direction, passing a number of bills this session that make voting easier and more secure, including two that passed just last week. See our update below for details. 

Photo credit: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll/AP

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June 2021

June 21: For the People Act gets a vote in the Senate and legislative victories on voting access and more in Maine.

April 2021

April 25, 2021: Support Tribal sovereignty and check in on the Legislature. Expanding dental care, banning no-knock warrants, blocking the “school-to-prison” pipeline, limiting corporate influence in politics, and preventing evictions, and “stand your ground” legislation (which we oppose!).

April 22, 2021: Earth Day Every Day: 51 easy ways to love the planet. In honor of the 51st Earth Day, we’ve developed a list of 51 tips like these to help you live lighter on the planet. 

April 12, 2021: Health care, support for people in recovery, and an innovative housing bill. Health care in Maine can be summed up in one word: expensive. This week, we highlight a bill package to address that issue.

April 5, 2021: A closer look at voter suppression and voting access. This week’s newsletter focuses on voter suppression efforts nationwide and legislation in Maine to protect and expand voting access.

March 2021

March 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility. Transgender people are under attack around the world, including in the U.S. and Maine, where state legislators are introducing bills that target transgender youth and adults. What can you do to support transgender people here in Maine and elsewhere? Start here, in this special newsletter extra.

March 29: Voter suppression, legislative update, and top events. Georgia’s new vote suppression law is brazen, anti-democratic, and the first of more to come from Republican-controlled state legislatures. Learn more about the bill and federal legislation that would protect people’s right to vote and advance free and fair elections; the latest news from the Maine Legislature; and find this week’s top events.

March 17: Attacks on Asian Americans, transgender allies training, and legislative updates. A forum on the experience of Asian American youth in Maine amid increasing racist attacks; an update on our allies training with MaineTransNet; passage of the first of the bills in our tracker; an update on HR 1 and HR 4; and an environmental rights amendment, expanding ranked choice voting, funding for emergency shelters and other legislative updates. 

March 2: Housing assistance, COVID relief, the Equality Act, and more: Bills to address the 20,000-person waiting list for housing vouchers in Maine; the passing of COVID relief–without support from Rep. Jared Golden; one week until the special election for Maine Senate District 14; the passage of the Equality Act by the House, and the announcement by Sen. Susan Collins that she won’t sponsor it; and updates on the Maine Legislature. 

February 2021

Feb. 22: Postpartum care, a special election, Equality Act and COVID relief: Bills to extend postpartum coverage and provide health insurance to 10,000 uninsured children in Maine; support for the federal Equality Act and Biden’s COVID relief package; an update on the Melville Fuller statue in Augusta; and the countdown to the March 9 special election for Maine Senate District 14.

Feb. 15: Keeping a Maine Senate seat, this week in Augusta & more: Maine senators vote to convict Trump of inciting insurrection; special election March 9 for Maine Senate District 14; and bills to create a COVID-19 patient bill of rights, promote racial justice, and transportation access for Maine seniors.

Feb. 8: Impeachment, Melville Fuller, Legislature Roundup: The latest on Trump’s impeachment, a push to move the statue of Melville Fuller away from the Kennebec County Courthouse, and bills on LGBTQ+ equality, voting access, ranked-choice voting, transportation assistance for Maine seniors, and more.

Feb. 1: A step toward racial justice and a COVID-19 relief update: The first of the bills we’re tracking in the Legislature Roundup have public hearings and an update on the COVID relief package.

January 2021

Jan. 17: Maine Capitol Police, Senate Trial, and legislative advocacy: The Maine Capitol Police chief is under investigation, Trump has been impeached, and the Maine Legislature is holding the first public hearings of the session. 

Jan. 7: Support Trump’s Immediate Removal from Office: Wednesday afternoon, as a joint session of Congress got underway to count electoral college votes and certify the election of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, a mob of Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol, overpowered Capitol Police, and forced their way inside, ransacking and looting Congressional offices and the Senate chamber. See our statement and call to action.

Jan. 1: Goodbye 2020. Hello 2021. 🎇: 2020 could best be described as a dumpster fire. And it was. But it was also a year of resilience, persistence, and steely determination.