August 19 2018 Down East Minutes

Maine AllCare Down East Chapter
8/19/18 meeting minutes
Blue Hill Library, 4 – 5:30

Attending: Betsy Braunhut, Liz Solet, Kevin Ross, David Jolly, Jeff Milliken, Joe Lendvai, Ruth Ryan, Phil Bailey, Steve Collier. Minutes: Liz Solet

Welcome & Introductions
Approve June minutes Motion to accept minutes; second; passed.
Treasurer’s Report No report
State MAC Board report Phil See notes on Phil’s talk below
Reports on recent events (St. Francis Fair, Chapter House Party) Jeff, Joe, Phil Bailey Not much money raised at Chapter House Party on July 22.


St. Francis Fair: David Jolly, Michael Grillo, Jeff Milliken, Phil Caper. 61 yellow cards and $14 collected.


Fishermen’s Day: $14 collected.

Tracking Chapter goals  Not discussed
Lynn Cheney elected to state Board–structure and direction for chapter Joe Who will lead the chapter? Individual or group? To be discussed further at next meeting.
Guest speaker: new MAC ED, Phil Bailey Phil Bailey Intro/background: Phil as long been involved with social justice and environmental advocacy.


MAC news: Adding 2 new chapters in southern ME

Excellent work of DE chapter is one of the factors in Lynn being invited to MAC Board

Plan to make election push this fall, especially focused on ‘new wells.’ Goal to gather 11K new signatures. Will have tabling at polls (need to contact election clerks early to get space).


Economic studies: MAC has contracted with ME Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) to do feasibility study to generate real data on financing universal healthcare in ME. Need to join forces with surrounding states, for larger pool? Draft report due in November.


May want to expand to regional study also—would need to raise funds for. (Economist Gerald Friedman has been injured and out of commission for now—may be available in future.)


Messaging, use of different language, e.g., Medicare for all, universal healthcare, single payer: we don’t really know yet what works best—planning to hold focus groups to find the best approach.


Phil compared universal health care to climate change (which he has also worked on) in terms of the importance of finding the language and messaging that will reach the most people. Also need funds for focus groups.


We also need excellent, Maine-based communications (video, etc.).


Fund-raising: At least 2 house parties planned. Brunswick chapter plans to hold event similar to recent Belfast event in spring 2018.

Working on cultivating major donors. (Suggestion to create list of projects that need funding to use.)

Also encouraging recurring donations, however small. Goal is to increase this level to at least $1000 per month. This will allow staff to focus on work other than fundraising.


Clynk—Provides a way to raise funds steadily by giving people the option to donate to MAC by brining in their returnables. Have to drop off at Hannaford—Ellsworth would be nearest? Bucksport?. Find business or place(s) where bags could be available? (BH Wine Shop, Fairwinds?). Also make available at all events, house parties, tabling opps., etc.


Also working on project to engage businesses to give ‘1% to universal healthcare.’ Using models such as Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s. Have approached 4 businesses so far—2 have said they support the concept, 1 said yes for next year.

How does this mesh with existing business endorsements? (Where part of business recognition is name on MAC website…) Suggestion to approach businesses that have already gotten endorsements and ask them to go a step further. They also get signage that shows they are participating to display. Packets for approaching businesses are coming, including letter of agreement, decals, etc.


Chapter leadership succession: Other chapters are also looking at leaders who are ready to step back, and defining what chapter leaders do. One option is having multiple people share leadership duties. Phil asks Lynn (and Joe) to document what’s involved in leading DE Chapter—each chapter can be somewhat different.


Question raised: how do we do more/better follow up?

Suggestion: Once yellow cards are entered, get together to make calls to people who’ve signed yellow cards and said they want to volunteer.


What is the end goal? Referendum, legislation, both?

Both. Even if legislative route happens, still pursue referendum. (How long will it take Big Pharma to put an initiative on the ballot?) Want to get to point where we have so much support, e.g., yellow cards, so that we ‘win the campaign before we start.’

Question: will there be confusion for voters about signing yellow card vs. petition for referendum? No—easily cleared up.


Legislative Task Force is still at work. Sessions available as audio recordings. Geoff Gratwick said that one of his Republican colleagues is traveling to Iceland and learning that universal health care saves money—could be a game changer.


Upcoming events (see list below) Presentation to Friday Forum, 9/14: Lynn, Jeff, Phil, and Joe to moderate discussion. At Parker Ridge.


Blue Hill Fair? Won’t have table; volunteers circulate again this year?

Discussion of tabling vs. circulating—can also do both. Possibility of having presence at Hancock County Democrats table; strong concern voiced about sharing space with Democrats (or any party)—important for MAC to be nonpartisan, and to be perceived as nonpartisan.


Helpful to have MAC tee shirts to help ID us? Don’t have funds in state budget—could do on chapter level. Could also be done as fundraiser. MAC color/logo/etc.?


Election Day 2018

Jeff working on signing people up to coordinate tabling in different towns—focusing on towns that haven’t been targeted before. Will also send list of who’s covering where to Phil Bailey.

Need email list of people who’ve signed up to volunteer, by town(s) (Liz)


Plan to organize phone banking on Giving Tuesday. Also working on annual (appeal) letter. Noted that most people don’t answer phones now—still worth it to phone bank?


Common Ground Fair (9/21-9/23)—plans forming. MAC will have table. Chris Cayer organizing—can reach out to him to sign up.


Yellow cards data entry To be entered after meeting for anyone who can stay
“Parking Lot”
  Reach out to ME Municipal Assoc.? (Many municipalities and organizations offer health insurance through MMA).
Recommended reading/listening Democracy in Chains (book), and Jim Hightower reports on efforts to end popular democracy.


UPCOMING EVENTS Date & Time Organizer Notes
Presentation to Friday Forum 9/14 Lynn, Jeff, Phil, and Joe to moderate discussion
Polls at election day 11/6 Jeff  


What will get done? By whom? By when? Notes: Status:
Send email list for subset of towns to Jeff for organizing tabling at polls Liz Asap
Set up monthly donation to MAC All Before next meeting If financially feasible; can be any amount–$5/month helps.
Write up detailed instructions for use of new equipment Liz Before next meeting

 Next scheduled meeting:

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Meeting adjourned 5:35 pm