PPEAT Meeting Minutes: May 10, 2022

Public Policy and Environmental Action Team Minutes

May 10, 2022

6-7 PM

Facilitator: Sarah Braik 

Minutes: Sarah Braik

Present: Sarah Braik, Sam Allen, Barbara Ryland, John Hennessy, Liz Parsons, Mary Linneman, Ruth Roemer

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 (Charles): Maya Angelou – “Just Do Right” v2

  1. Announcements
    1. Charles is running for State Representative in Portland
      1. www.charlesforportland.com
    2. We have been asked by the vestry to complete safe church training
      1. Instructions for completing Safe Church Training
  2. Diocesan and legislative updates (John Hennessy)
    1. LD 1626 died on the appropriations table due to a technicality, but LD 906 has been signed into law. The work session was contentious and filled with “dog whistles.” LD 585 also passed into law. This will result in millions of dollars in economic development for the tribes. The Episcopal Diocese was wholeheartedly involved in advocating for it, and legislators are very aware of it. $1.2 billion surplus-more than half will be going to taxpayers: $1700 to the average family. Estimated disbursal is the first or second week of June. The federal bill LR 6707 sponsored by Jaren Golden and co-sponsored by Chellie Pingree. However it is not likely to pass as the Governor is opposed. Collins is opposed and King is likely to. We should thank Chellie Pingree. The Maine Democratic Convention will be held this weekend. The Natural Resources Committee is reviewing it. We are asking PPEAT members to write a letter in support of the bill using these talking points and send it to the committee using this form. John explained his understanding of the Governor’s objections to LD 1626-there are 4 areas she thought would hurt the tribes in terms of their ability to manage their lands. 
      1. Governor Mills’ letter to legislators and tribal chiefs
      2. Diocesan Resolution in support of LD 1626
      3. Testimony from the Maine Council of Churches
      4. Bishop Brown’s testimony in support of LD 1626
    2. John is teaching Advocacy 101 at Bexley Seabury for the 2nd time.
    3. Emergency Executive Council will meet tomorrow to decide whether General Convention will happen.
    4. MEPPN – 130th – 2nd Session
  3. Supreme Court’s impending decision on abortion rights
    1. What kind of an impact could we have? Vote the right people into office. Protect abortion rights in Maine. States rights are becoming more and more powerful, and the role of the federal government is becoming less significant. 
  4. Ongoing matters 
    1. Earth Day worship debrief (Barbara)
      1. The service went well. Many stayed in their seats to listen to Kevin play.
      2. Volunteer planting Saturday May 21 9-1 Baxter Pines, meet at the entrance on Leland Street Portland-all tools are provided. Shambaugh@portlandparkconservancy.org FMI. Barbara will ask the marketing/communications team to make sure parishioners are informed of the change.
      3. Shana Rose to speak with us June 14 about her work around climate anxiety
    2. Earthkeeper for the Cathedral
      1. Season of Creation Sep. 1-Oct 4-five Sundays with special readings and worship components. The guide will be ready later this month. The theme is Listen to the Voice of Creation. Next month we will assemble a team to work on this with Eleanor.
      2. Bishop’s letter on climate justice
      3. Diocesan Climate Justice Council letter
      4. Episcopal Covenant to Care of Creation
      5. Sarah will propose to the vestry that PPEAT take on the Earthkeeper Role. Sarah will be the point person.
  5. New matters
    1. St. Luke’s Ministry Welcome/Sign-up Fair June 5 after church – we’ll need a photograph for a newsletter Linda Carleton is putting together. We also need to provide coffee hour goodies at our table. Sarah will ask Linda if this might be outdoors? 
    2. African American Communities and Climate Change (Mary)
      1. Mary briefly reviewed this document and asked if PPEAT would be interested in partnering with Becoming Beloved Community on informing the parish on the inequitable impact on marginalized communities and future projects. We decided we would very much like to. Mary will be the liaison between the two committees and she will write up an announcement about this topic and include the link to the above flier. She will find out which Sunday would be best, and we will also hand out paper fliers.
    3. Voter registration/encouragement
      1. Resources/Ideas
        1. St. E’s and Food Pantry voter registration
        2. Encourage parishioners to vote, as well as others in Portland
        3. Make sure people are aware of voting resources
        4. Providing transportation to the polls for those who don’t vote absentee
        5. Mary has a contact with League of Women Voters and she will be in touch with her
        6. The Environmental Voter Project is already conducting phone banks to low propensity environmental voters in key states. We urge our members to participate in these. 
    4. One Climate Future
      1. Liz told us that One Climate Future is not as active as it could be as it is severely underfunded, particularly the position of sustainability coordinator. She suggested that constituents of Councilors  Zarro, Rodriguez and Pelletier should contact them and ask that Sustainability Coordinator Troy Moon’s position be fully funded. Contact Liz FMI. 
  6. Action items
    1. Each active PPEAT member will complete Safe Church Training
    2. Write a letter of support for LR 6707, and thank Rep. Pingree for co-sponsoring it
    3. Participate in Environmental Voter Project phone banking
    4. Constituents of Councilors Zarro, Rodriguez and Pelletier will contact them to ask for full funding for the sustainability coordinator position
    5. Barbara will make sure the parish is informed of the change in location of the volunteer planting
    6. Mary will compose an announcement re: African American Communities and Climate Change and decide upon the appropriate Sunday and organize printing and handing out fliers
    7. Mary will contact the League of Women Voters
    8. Sarah will contact Linda Carleton re: alternative plans for the ministry fair
    9. Sarah will inform Anna Maria that PPEAT would like to take on the Earthkeeper role
  7. Next meeting Tuesday June 14, 2022, 6-7 PM
    1. Shana Rose will be our guest, and we will appoint teams to participate in Season of Creation and to develop our Covenant of Creation Care commitments in collaboration with the vestry.

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