MAINE ALLCARE PORTLAND CHAPTER MEETING MINUTES draft
December 5, 2017, 7 PM
ALLEN AVENUE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
524 ALLEN AVENUE, PORTLAND
Members present: Dan Bryant, chair, Nancy Bogg, Diana (Dee) Cundy, Ed Cundy, Beth Franklin, Marilyn McWilliams, Ann Morrill, Robert Morrill, Delene Perley, Catherine Share
1 – Introductions
2 – Minutes of October 25, 2017, were approved, and lead to an animated, if extra-agenda discussion including the following:
- Ann suggested we (presumably Maine AllCare) determine gubernatorial and legislative candidates’ position on health care by asking them to answer 2 or 3 basic questions, similar to what the League of Women Voters does. Some thought PNHP might help with the kinds of questions, and Beth advised we might need advice on the propriety of this sort of political activity. The group sense was that we’d like the Board’s input.
- Delene suggested holding a candidates’ forum.
- Reference was made to the Messaging Retreat, and draft copies of the Mission Statement and Key Principles were passed out. Full discussion was deferred until the final report is available, but all agreed that we do need to know the core points we should be making, as well as the specific goals we’re asking people to support and donate toward.
- Beth emphasized that we are still in the base-building stage, but some worried that the poor attendance at screenings, and lack of young peoples’ involvement with chapters is due to the fact that we don’t yet have (and maybe can’t, as a 501[c]3 nonprofit) an exciting and specific focus, like a bill to support, or a referendum.
- We need some numbers—”This is what you’re paying now for health care, this is what you’d pay with single-payer.” Reference was made to the 2002 Mathematica study suggesting single-payer would be feasible for Maine ( https://www.healthcare-now.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Maine-Mathematica-2002.pdf).
- Members should all ask Senator King to cosponsor Senator Sanders’ “Medicare for All Act of 2017.”
3 – Board update (Nov 2) – Marilyn reported that budget and fundraising issues were paramount. With Bryan Funk’s guidance significant funds have been raised, and the Board is considering asking supporters (or at least chapter members) to commit to a small, recurring monthly donation. Catherine emphasized the huge financial challenge of our project, citing the efforts EqualityMaine had to make.
4 – Recent chapter actions/involvements
- Messaging Retreat, Oct 29 – Delene, Ed, and Diana indicated that a final report should be ready for discussion by our next meeting.
- Election Day tabling, Nov 7 – Chris Cayer and Abbie Ryder organized a major card-signing effort, identifying some 16,000 new supporters. This information will have to be entered into the master NationBuilder system. To this end, on January 10 Marilyn will host a Data Entry Party at her house where volunteers can learn the simple and quite interesting technique of data entry, and help get the job done. An invitation will be sent out.
- South Portland Community Center Now Is the Time screening, Nov 9 – About 15 people attended, and several new supporters were identified, but in view of the considerable publicity efforts, turnout was thought disappointing. Suggested remedies included inviting a political candidate or figure to attend presentations, picking the best time and place (one that could contribute to publicizing), connecting better with younger people, making it sound more exciting.
- Gorham fundraising event, Nov 29 (Giving Tuesday) – Marilyn reported this telephone and mailing event, run, along with several others in the state, by Bryan Funk, raised some $11,000.
5 – Future chapter actions/opportunities
- House parties – Bryan is overseeing these, making them quite easy to hold.
- Peer-to-Peer fundraising platform – Dan reported he is reaching out to colleagues using this, which is quite simple to set up at https://www.classy.org/campaign/healthcarefor-all-maine/c138689 (copying and pasting this works best). [Great way to further the cause for those unable to make meetings.].
- Business endorsements – Marilyn advised that all chapters set goals for 2018, including for securing endorsements from local businesses. We could brainstorm for ideas of businesses to approach, and Dan has extracted from NationBuilder names of local business owners members may have personal or family relationship with. Ann suggested approaching them prepared with handouts, facts, specific MAC goals, as well as the “Partner Agreement with Maine AllCare.”
- Presentation to “Scones Group” in Portland, December 12 (Phil Caper, Marilyn, Bryan Funk)
- Holding workshop at Osher Lifetime Learning Institute has been suggested by Marjorie Rosenbaum and was discussed by Delene. No action was taken.
- Presentation to Portland Rotary has been suggested by Jan Chapman who is a member, and may be able to arrange something.
6 – The purpose and best type of presentations were briefly discussed, including a list of available films. The members watched the short PNHP video, Health Care: We Can Fix It (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzsM8mRA_Lo) and felt that would be appropriate for short presentations. Catherine expressed her opinion that Now Is the Time is too long and confusing. All seemed to agree that the best film choice might be Sick around the World (www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld), featuring T.R. Reid, author of the classic book, The Healing of America.
7 – Time having run out, discussion of “New Prospects for Single-Payer Activists: Swimming in the Mainstream,,,With Sharks,” paper presented by Woolhandler and Himmelstein at the recent PNHP Leadership Training Session, was postponed.
8 – Next meeting – Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 7 PM, at Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist church.