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Making a Difference: a Guide to Civic Engagement in Maine

Supporting MCCE (Maine Citizens for Clean Elections)

 

Maine Citizens for Clean Elections is more than just a nonprofit; it is also a community made up of many volunteers and ordinary citizens who work to make sure our government works for the people and not just moneyed interests.

Join our Rapid Response Team, which gets regular updates about the pressing issues facing MCCE and the people of Maine. The Rapid Response Team receives information on:

     - Contacting your lawmakers around key bills

     - Writing letters to the editor

     - Encouraging candidates to use Clean ElectionsYou can join here:

There are many issues that MCCE works on that citizens can help with either directly or indirectly. Here are some of the following ways in which MCCE and its volunteers can interact with the state government here in Maine:

     - Lobby for continued support of the Clean Elections Fund

     - Support campaign finance reform

     - Push for the implementation of Ranked Choice Voting

Some of the ways in which MCCE and its volunteers can assist in these efforts are to:

     - Travel to Augusta to show support in the Maine State House and/or provide testimony

     - Call constituents and/or representatives

     - Attend fundraisers or other volunteer events

But MCCE aims to encourage citizens to continue civic engagement in all spheres and strengthen our democratic process by bridging the gap between representatives and those who are represented. This page is a citizen’s toolbox on how to do more and make a political difference in Maine.

 

Following Politics

 

At MCCE, we believe that representative democracy is an organic process. Citizens can do so much more than simply vote once every few years. Politics functions best when the people remain engaged and involved in government and demand accountability from their politicians.

But people have lives outside of politics, and it is sometimes hard to remain up to date and educated on all the issues. A few good news sources are the Bangor Daily News and Mainepublic.org.

 

The Lawmaking Process

 

Following the news is one way to find out more about how government is functioning in Maine, but there are also a number of resources that allow you to get to the heart of government: laws and the legislative process itself. Thankfully, there is readily available information both on Maine's laws and legal resources and on how Maine state legislators work and how the legislative process progresses. More generally, there is plenty of information to be found online about the Maine State Legislature and Legislative Session.

You can look up information on bills and track them. You can even search bills and see roll calls (who voted for what),

Check out MCCE's Testimony Archive additional testimony before the Joint Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs on proposals related to the Maine Clean Elections Act and other campaign finance law. Testifying in committee is a great, direct way to have your voice be heard in the legislative process.

 

Contacting Your Legislator

 

Contacting your legislator is a great way to impact the legislative process and get involved in local government. A call or email can help hold legislators accountable and push them to consider the opinions of their constituents, especially in a small and tightly-knit state such as Maine.

- Calls typically are far more effective and harder to ignore for legislators than emails are. For calls:

- Introduce yourself, say where you’re from, and make it clear that you are a constituent

- Stick to the point and keep it brief, but provide a few details

- Be ready to voice your opinions on the relevant issue

- If addressing a bill, have the name and number ready

The Maine Women’s lobby has more good advice on effective lobbying and contacting your legislator here.

 

Find your Legislator:

The following pages provide the contact information of Maine state representatives and include tools to help you find your legislator:

Maine Senate: https://legislature.maine.gov/senate-home-page/128th-senators

Maine House of Representatives: https://legislature.maine.gov/house/

Maine Governor: http://www.maine.gov/governor/lepage/citizen_services/ideas-suggestions.shtml

 

Additional Voter/Citizen Info:

 

There are a few additional sources of information that voters should be aware about.

This page provides information on voter rights, eligibility, and how to register to vote in the state of Maine.

The League of Women Voters produces a voter information guide ahead of each election.


Share Your Story

Money in politics affects each of us in different ways. Whether you are a small business owner who can't afford to compete with corporate lobbyists, a farmer concerned about climate change, or a parent who wants to take dangerous chemicals out of toys, you need your voice to be heard in Augusta and Washington. Share your story, and your reason for supporting Clean Elections! Write a letter to your local paper, or share on social media with the hashtag #CleanElectionSupporter. Make your voice heard.