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Mobilize, Maine!

Here’s how to start facing the nightmare
By MAURA EWING  |  March 16, 2011

Feel like a doormat for politicians and policymakers? Put away your Moleskine, stop ranting with friends at the bar, and start to use enraging news stories as fuel for action. Hard-working organizers and activists in Maine are already doing the legwork. Here are a few upcoming events to find like-minded folks and become an active part of our democracy.

Combat 'Divide and Conquer'

March 22 @ 7 pm | King Middle School, 92 Deering Ave, Portland | contact Diane Russell @

Working to get varied interest groups to join forces to fight the widespread assault, Portland Democratic state representative Diane Russell is trying to "get people out of their silos" and presenting a show of united strength.

Talk to the Legislature

Attending — and speaking at — public legislative hearings (such as the March 22 @ 1 pm one to boost funding and service for commuter buses, or the March 25 @ 1 pm hearing on whether Maine should continue to regulate bisphenol-A) is an important way to make sure lawmakers hear your voice and your opinion. See the link for schedules and locations.

Social Action Programs at Allen Avenue UU

Second Wednesday of the month, through June | Potluck @ 6 pm, meeting @ 6:45 pm | 524 Allen Ave, Portland | call Jim Perley @ 207.797.7240

The Social Action Committee members seek to inform themselves, the church community, and the public about areas of social concerns and to find ways to improve our world by working toward peace and justice. Newcomers are always welcome! Subcommittees include: African American Interests, Allies of the Wabanaki, Ethical Eating, Green Earth, Habitat for Humanity, Healthcare Issues, Iraqi Refugee Support, and Peace Issues.

Host A Movie Screening: Food and Water Watch | e-mail Nisha Swinton @

Currently large-scale, out-of-state corporations extract water from Maine communities — which opponents say threatens our natural resources, health, and economic growth. Food and Water Watch is fighting to bring power back to the people, and let communities decide who will extract their town's water with their proposed bill, LD 1077. Join the movement by hosting your own movie screening party. FLOW, Tapped, Blue Gold, and The Water Front will move you, inspire you, and challenge you to get involved. Whether you're already a seasoned activist or are new to the issue, grab a few friends and a copy of one of these films from Nisha and you're off to a great start to make a difference.

Public Hearing: Anthem insurance-rate Hikes

March 22 @ 5 pm | Lee Community Hall, Wishcamper Center, USM, 34 Bedford St, Portland | contact Jennie Pirkl @ 207.797.0967 or

THE PROBLEM Maine's largest insurance provider plans to increase rates by more than 52 percent during the next three years (while the CEO of its parent company, Wellpoint, is making more than $13 million a year). THE UPSIDE Maine's State Bureau of Insurance has a good track record of responding to public testimony. If you're insured by Anthem, join the Maine's People Alliance to tell the Bureau how the hike will affect you. There will be webinars and trainings to help you prepare your testimony.

Rally: Bring Our War $$ Home

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Related: Bragdon vs. Trevorrow, Greens, District 120, Maine Democrats try to put the past behind them, Smoke Local, More more >
  Topics: News Features , King Middle School, Steve Burke, Diane Russell,  More more >
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  •   MOBILIZE, MAINE!  |  March 16, 2011
    Feel like a doormat for politicians and policymakers? Put away your Moleskine, stop ranting with friends at the bar, and start to use enraging news stories as fuel for action.
    On a Friday afternoon during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, drivers stuck in traffic on Washington Avenue may be listening to drive-time talk-radio hosts ranting about the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York City. But it's a fair bet none of them know they're actually driving right past Portland's first Afghan masjid.

 See all articles by: MAURA EWING

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