PPEAT Meeting Minutes: March 8, 2022

Public Policy and Environmental Action Team Minutes

March 8, 2022

6-7 PM

Facilitator: Charles Skold

Minutes: Sarah Braik 

Present: Kathy Coughlan, Ralph Cordes, Sarah Braik, John Hennessy, Dick Farnsworth, Charles Skold, Liz Parsons, Sam Allen, Mary Linnemann, Barbara Ryland, Connie Bingham 

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. 

Reflection Psalm 24:1-6 

  • Earth is not ours to trash 
  • EcoBible-God gave us responsibility to care for the Earth as long as we took care of it responsibly
  • God gave us everything we need on Earth, which is a source of hope
  • Native Americans say that we belong to the land, it does not belong to us 
  • Muslim perspective-we don’t own anything – it all belongs to God and we need to be responsible for how we treat it. 
  • This psalm is also a territory acknowledgment.


  1. Announcements
    1. 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)
    1. Tribal legislation 
      1. The Episcopal Forum had 181 viewers, 1600 LD 1626 testimonies submitted by the date of the hearing, oral testimony 108 for, 1 against, 3 neither for nor against, We had 14 signatures on our joint testimony. This most likely broke a record.
      2. The Diocese could not appear on the sign-on letter to the Governor as in addition to LD 1626 and LD 906, which we do support, it included LD 585, which includes gambling, as ECUSA is opposed to gambling. 1626 is the most important bill that needs to pass and 585 is the Governor’s compromise bill. There is a movement in the wider church to evolve on this issue. Last discussion was in 2000. This will probably happen but not without a fight. Especially as there are two states with a lot of gambling and horrific negative consequences. John suggested we contact our General Convention deputation to support a resolution to reverse course on the Church’s stance on gaming as a fairness issue if our faith is leading us in that direction. We then decided to invite a few of the Maine deputies to join us for our May or June meeting. 
      3. Dick will reformat the PPEAT testimony for LD 1626 as a letter to the Governor and mail it to her in a hand-addressed envelope ASAP. Charles will email the letter to Dick. The 1626 vote will be Thursday; John is anticipating that it will be designated  “ought to pass”. 
      4. What you can do
        1. Attend March 9 lobby day and if you can’t, call your state legislators: Senate 1-800-423-6900; House 1-800-423-2900
        2. Watch an interview with Ambassador Maulian Dana by reporter Colin Woodward, who has written lengthy articles about LD1626 in the Portland Press Herald.
        3. Governor Mills has said she reads hand-written letters. 210 State St, Augusta, ME 04333 Tell her that there is no substitute for LD1626. If you voted for her, remind her.
        4. Thank Ben Chipman and  Mike Sylvester for their voting records of 100% on Wabanaki-related issues. Ask them to do anything they can to help, including voting to override a veto of LD 1626.
        5. Adapt your testimony to a letter to the editor (How to for LTE)
        6. Watch a video of the Feb 15 hearing anytime…very moving, including tears from legislators.
        7. Watch Forum Restoring Wabanaki Tribal Sovereignty: sponsored by Maine Episcopal Diocese, on YouTube or as a podcast
    2. John reported that $1.2 billion unanticipated excess revenue-half to taxpayers probably September. 
    3. MEPPN – 130th – 2nd Session
  3. Ongoing matters 
    1. Flier revision
      1. March 8 draft
      2. We agreed to change state legislation to local, state and federal legislation
      3. We’ll put it on the website and include a link in the E-pistle, with a short write up.
      4. Charles asked for us to respond via email ASAP with any additional suggestions especially re: outside resources are there others that would work better? It  needs to be ready by April 3 so we can have it at our ministry of the month table.
    2. Bridging the Two Maines update 
      1. no update
    3. Earth Day worship 
      1. Barbara, Kathy, Ruth and Linda Carleton met with Eleanor -made some progress, we can do the whole service, Several WTB people will be helping. Kathy and Ruth will not be there in April. Need people to read, POP, etc Sunday April 24 Mary, Sam, and Sarah offered to read and do prayers of the people. Mary will attend the next planning meeting Friday the 18th at 4 PM-Kathy will send details to Mary. 
    4. Diocesan Climate Justice Council 
      1. No update
    5. Affordable housing 
      1. Ruth’s notes on affordable housing webinar
      2. Rep. Chris Kessler will be at our April meeting. Dick will talk with Ryan Fecteau to get details about the zoning controversy. Dick will facilitate and he asked us to send him our particular housing issues/questions. Rep. Kessler is also a proponent of the co-op electricity initiative. Here is Rep. Ryan’s testimony on the housing bill http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getTestimonyDoc.asp?id=10008092. Mary will tell Chris we will give him half an hour at the beginning of the meeting following the preliminaries.
    6. PURPLE (Mary) TABLE
    7. April coffee hour display-need volunteers to host the table after the 10 AM service Sundays April 3 Sam/Sarah and 24 Connie/Mary. Sarah will create the display and handouts. 
    8. FYI: Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition
      1. Petition to ban solitary confinement
  4. New matters
    1. Are there ways for PPEAT to work more closely with our outreach ministries in terms of advocacy/systems change so that fewer people will actually need these services? TABLED
  5. Action items
    1. Call your state legislators the morning of April 9
      1. Senate 1-800-423-6900
      2. House 1-800-423-2900
    2. Dick will reformat the PPEAT testimony for LD 1626 as a letter to the Governor and mail it to her in a hand-addressed envelope ASAP. Charles will email the letter to Dick.
    3. Review the March 8 PPEAT flier draft and get your suggestions to Charles ASAP at skold.charles@gmail.com. Are there other outside resources you think would work better?
    4. View the  PURPLE trailer if you have not already done so
    5. Mary, Sam, and Sarah offered to read and do prayers of the people at the Earth Day service on April 24.
    6. Barbara, Kathy, Ruth and Mary will attend the Friday March 18 4 PM Earth Day service planning meeting. 
    7. Mary will tell Chris Kessler we are scheduling our discussion with him for half an hour towards the beginning of the April meeting.
    8. Dick will moderate the discussion.
    9. Send any housing questions for Chris Kessler to Dick at omc@maine.rr.com.
    10. Sam and Sarah will host our ministry of the month table on Sunday April 3 and Connie and Mary April 24.
  6. Next meeting Tuesday April 12, 2022, 6-7 PM

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