Dear Friends,

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are grateful for all the hard work MaineShare members have done over the past year (and much longer). Many have worked to increase voter engagement and all have been elevating the critical issues impacting our state. By organizing year-round, many of our members ensure that more voices from more corners of the state are choosing our leaders and are included when those leaders are making decisions that affect us all. Through their efforts, newly elected and re-elected officials are better equipped to craft equitable and sound policies that will benefit us all.

In this newsletter, we offer you the good works of some of our member groups that exemplify the organizing, advocating, and educating referenced above. We hope you will add them to your list of things for which you are grateful!
 & show your gratitude for all of our 40+ member groups with one gift
Tools for Organizing, Advocating, and Educating
League of Women Voters of Maine (LWVME) releases a teaser report from the election

For the first time, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections and it’s partner, the League of Women Voters of Maine, deployed volunteer election observers to provide real time reports from 162 polling locations. This included an organized effort of 103 volunteers across all of Maine’s 16 counties. Volunteers observed the time voters waited in line to cast their ballots, COVID precautions, and any irregularities at the polls. Overall, the observers reported that the election in Maine concluded without any major incidents. The LWVME will publish a more in-depth analysis in the coming weeks, however a teaser report is available here.
ROSC posts a collection of resources for mutual aid and organizing during COVID-19

Resources for Organizing & Social Change (ROSC) has provided tools to advocates & organizers for decades. They have recently posted this collection of resources which outlines “campaigns and tools being used by people who are trying to create cultural shifts [during COVID-19] that will push us toward a more equitable world.”
MECEP: Maine’s unequal pandemic recession and recovery

The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP), has just released a report, “Maine’s Unequal Pandemic Recession & Recovery” which highlights that while Maine’s economy is slowly recovering, it is not coming equally for all Mainers. It warns, “State lawmakers need to be aware of those being left behind,” target aid accordingly, and not “accept a false sense of security by indicators that show recovery for some, but not all.” This is just one example of the important research & analysis MECEP provides to policy makers throughout the year.
Maine Initiatives announces recipients of 2020 Grants for Change

Maine Initiatives just announced the 20 grassroots organizations selected for their 2020 Grants for Change program. “These grantees are transforming our state by tirelessly organizing and advocating for justice. They are dismantling systems and structures built on racism and racialized oppression. And they are centering Black, Brown, Latinx, and Indigenous leadership.”
Events & Opportunities
MAAE and partner, Arts are Basic Coalition (ABC) announces Arts Educations Advocacy “Day” Feb. 17-28

This year's Virtual Advocacy "Day" will be a full week-and-a-half of important events and meetings. Maine arts students will also have an opportunity to advocate directly with their legislators in small groups. Our new ABC Student Leadership Group (SLG) has been hard at work on an initiative to form the teams of students who will be representing their schools on Advocacy Day.

On December 6th at 7:00pm, there will be a zoom meeting with the SLG about forming a team. The ABC and Student Leadership Group are reaching out to teachers asking them to encourage one or two enthusiastic arts students at their school to attend the meeting.
 
You can help! If you're a high school or middle school arts educator but not a member of your ABC arts organization, you can contact Melissa Birkhold, MAAE Advocacy Coordinator, at melissa.birkhold.maae@gmail.com to start the process.

If you are looking to learn more about the racial justice work happening in Maine, you'll definitely want to check this series out!
  • First session - "Decarceration": December 1 | 5:30-7:00pm
  • Second session - "Housing Justice": December 8 | 5:30-7:00pm
  • Third session - "Health Equity": December 16 | 5:30-7:00pm

Sierra Club is looking for volunteers!

Do you have a favorite hike that you would like to show others? Are you interested in helping to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels? Do you enjoy writing and want to use your skill to educate others on environmental issues? Would you like to see your environmental goal come to fruition? Consider volunteering with Sierra Club Maine! As a grassroots organization, we rely on the passion and talent of volunteers to achieve our mission to explore, enjoy, and protect Maine. 

We will be hosting webinars on December 3rd at 12pm and December 7th at 4pm. Join us to learn more about who we are and ways you can get involved! Register today by clicking on one of the dates above.
Volunteer at NVME!

New Ventures Maine is gearing up for a busy tax season and are hoping to get a head start in recruiting volunteers.

Good News from Our Members
GLSEN gifts rainbow masks to diversity clubs’ advisors in appreciation of their hard work

Thanks to the unrestricted MaineShare workplace giving funds, GLSEN has been able to thank school GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance or other-named diversity clubs) advisors for their extra hard work during the pandemic by sending them rainbow face masks this fall.
 
We are also holding all our GSA monthly regional meetings virtually, making it easier for schools from far away to attend, participate in an informative program, share ideas and concerns, and foster a needed sense of community in this time of social distancing.

The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) is pleased to announce the Maine Women's Fund as the 2020 recipients of the Grantmaker of the Year Award for the Public Sector. Check out the video and post here!
Here’s their E-blast on the announcement of their new name.

Join them on Dec. 8th for a fast-moving virtual event with stories and people who inspire, emceed by News Center Maine’s Vivien Leigh, recognized for her award-winning environmental health reporting.
 & Help us support the work of these Advocators, Educators, and Organizers.
Thank you!
This is just a small sampling of the critical work MaineShare members do to build a better Maine. Please join us in supporting and learning from the great work of ALL our member groups.

Best regards,
Brenda Peluso, Interim Director
On behalf of the The Board of MaineShare
MaineShare | 207-622-0105| giving@maineshare.org | www.maineshare.org