Public Policy and Environmental Action Team Minutes
February 8, 2022
Facilitator: Sarah Braik
Minutes: Charles Skold
Present: Barbara Ryland, Ralph Cordes, Sarah Braik, Ben Shambaugh, Mary Linneman, Ruth Roemer, John Hennessy, Charles Skold, Kathy Coughlin, Sam Allen
The Cathedral of St. Luke sits on unceded Wabanaki territory. We acknowledge that we have benefitted from the exploitation and subjugation of those whom our forebears failed to understand and honor.
We also acknowledge the legacy of colonization embedded within the technology, structures, and ways of thinking we use every day, leaving significant carbon footprints and contributing to changing climates that disproportionately affect indigenous people worldwide.
Let us acknowledge all this, and take collective responsibility to make good use of our meeting time, and to work towards dismantling the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism, to preserve lands and waters for future generations, and to support indigenous sovereignty.
Not once—not when I toppled, rigid, a
5’7″ pine felled,
stiff as a board, a five and a half foot
plank, 16 x 32,
and not while I wallowed on the rug among
his oxygen tubes and my cane and his 8
wheelchair wheels, and not when I sat by his
hospice bed, chirping I’m fine!,
and not the next day, when the brilliant violet
and black slash-slathered in my easy-life skin,
or days later when the purple turned yellow and the
blue green—never once when I
said No pain, Nothing broken,
did I feel lucky, did I measure the force of the
blow, the floor speeding up like a heavy-weight’s
smash to my cheek and eyebrow, not until
today, did I begin to feel
grateful for my good fortune—no concussion, no
fracture—as if I expected to be able to be
struck by the earth, a wrecking ball,
and not feel it—
as when someone on the other side of the world,
or the city, is struck in my name, I do not feel it.
- a) Stay on at 7 for a testimony-writing party in support of LD 1626
- i) https://wabanakialliance.com/ld1626-testimony-guide/
- b) Forum on Restoring Sovereignty to the Wabanaki
- i) The Racial Justice Council and Committee on Indian Relations of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine invite you, on February 20 at 2:00 pm, to a public forum in support of “An Act Implementing the Recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act” (LD 1626).
- ii) Maulian Dana, Ambassador of the Penobscot Nation, will be the keynote speaker. Bishop Thomas Brown will offer the opening prayer. The forum will take place via a Zoom Webinar, hosted by Christ Church, Gardiner.
iii) If passed, the bill will restore to the Wabanaki tribes their inherent sovereignty over the territories in which they reside. Maine is the only state in the nation which blocks such sovereignty. (Learn more about sovereignty here in this document from the Committee on Indian Relations.)
- iv) CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE FORUM ON FEB. 20 c) Braver Angels Depolarization workshops held on Saturdays in March at 2 PM (ET): March 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th.
2) Diocesan and legislative updates (John Hennessy)
- a) Tribal legislation LD 1626
- i) Public hearing 2/15 @ 9 am
- ii) https://wabanakialliance.com/ld1626-testimony-guide/
iii) Tool for taking action on LD 1626
- b) LD 906 An Act to Provide Passamaquoddy Tribal Members Access to Clean Drinking Water (JUD)
- i) Public hearing 2/17 @ 9 am along with
(1) LD 585 An Act To Restore to the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe the Authority To Exercise Jurisdiction under the Federal Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010,
(2) LD 1907 An Act To Review State Lands and Waterways That Have Sacred, Traditional or Other Significance to the Wabanaki Tribes, and
(3) LD 1665 An Act To Amend AN ACT to Implement the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Concerning Land Acquisition and Criminal Jurisdiction.
(4) The Wabanaki Alliance supports LDs 1626, 906, 585, and 1907. The organization opposes LD 1665.
- c) The big push is for 1626 now, though 906 is also very important
- d) MEPPN – 130th – 2nd Session
3) Ongoing matters
- a) Flier revision (Charles and Ralph)
- i) Have gotten some responses and will send out an updated draft
- ii) Still accepting input
- b) Bridging the Two Maines update (Sarah)
- i) Attend the Braver Angels workshops (item 1c)
- c) Earth Day worship (Kathy and Ruth)
- i) Sunday April 24th, 2022
- ii) Dean has given the green light for Earth Day Sunday
iii) PPEAT will be involved with planning the service
- iv) Kathy will talk with Dean and Eleanor more and send us an update for what is needed from PPEAT members to help plan the service
- d) Diocesan Climate Justice Council (Barbara).
- e) Shall we host a showing of PURPLE, a new short documentary that tells the story of everyday Americans with opposing viewpoints addressing their differences head-on? i) Filmed in a swing region in rural Wisconsin and Iowa, PURPLE models a rare
conversation that uplifts and inspires even while going toward the heat of passionate political differences. We have been invited to screen with the congregation as a tool to build greater empathy, critical thinking, and civic skills and dispositions. Resetting the Table provides a Discussion Guide, social media toolkit, and support materials for free.
- ii) Mary looked at the 5-minute compilation from the 22-minute film. The conversation in the film was very successful, but in order to do something similar we would need a skilled trained facilitator. They provide facilitator training, The presentation would be an hour and twenty minutes including the 22-minute film. We would need to have a
plan to follow up with a specific action plan, and it would be a lot of work. It would require a real commitment.
iii) Maybe a longer-term goal?
- iv) PPEAT Members will view the short film and decide if we want to commit to putting on this kind of event. We’ll resume this discussion next month.
4) New matters
- a) Shall we invite Sen. King to meet with us again to discuss voting rights? A member has suggested we ask him about “legislation restoring the two articles in the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court struck down in 2013. Have read elsewhere that there are 16 still serving Senators (including Collins) who reauthorized the Act in 2003. So—if a simple, straightforward bill like that came before the current Senate perhaps it might pass???”
- i) It’s possible that Sen. King may be available for next March’s meeting! b) Shall we advocate for affordable housing in Portland?
- c) Eleanor had to move out because someone is buying up rental properties in the West End to turn them into airbnbs. There are other housing issues too, making Portland increasingly inaccessible for low and middle income renters or buyers. Many units are vacant much of the year. We’d need to find out who is working on these issues and what has been done already. We’d also need a small team to do the initial research. i) An Act To Increase Affordable Housing and Reduce Property Taxes through an Impact Fee on Vacant Residences
- ii) Rep. Chris Kessler in South Portland has a bill about affordable housing (1) Mary will invite Rep. Kessler for our April meeting
5) Planning for the coming year
- a) Voter registration and turnout
- i) https://civicholidays.org/
- ii) Episcopal Election Activators
- b) Other
- i) April coffee hour display
(1) Sarah will contact parishioner Mary Brighthaupt about a possible poster display for PPEAT
- ii) Following up on the idea for facilitating conversations across Maine’s north/south divide
iii) Supporting the Diocesan Climate Justice Council
- iv) Season of Creation
- v) St. Luke’s Earthkeeper
(1) Liaison role between Climate Justice Council and each parish
(a) We’re not sure how this role will be chosen-a letter will be sent soon from the Diocesan Climate Justice Council clarifying this.
(2) Letter from the Bishop is still in development
- vi) Continuing to inform and support the congregation in taking environmental action on both personal and community/state/national levels, especially around climate change (1) Sam Allen has scheduled some En-ROADS presentations for the congregation on Feb 17th and 24 Stay tuned for more details in the E-Pistle.
(a) Sam will promote PPEAT in his presentation
6) Action items
- a) Next meeting Tuesday March 8, 2022, 6-7 PM
- i) May have guest Sen. Angus King
- b) Other Action Items
- i) Charles and Ralph will send out an updated draft on the Environmental Justice flier (1) Members are welcome to send suggestions
- ii) Kathy will talk with Barbara and Ruth more and send us an update for what is needed from PPEAT members to help plan the Earth Day Sunday service April 24 iii) PPEAT Members view the short film Purple and decide if we want to commit to putting on this kind of event
- iv) Submit written testimony for Tribal Sovereignty LD 1626
- v) John Hennessy will confirm if Sen. King can join our March meeting! vi) Mary will invite Rep. Chris Kessler for our April meeting
vii)Sarah will contact parishioner Mary Brighthaupt about a possible poster display for PPEAT