September 16 2018 Down East Minutes

Maine AllCare Down East Chapter
9/16/18 meeting minutes
Blue Hill Library, 4 – 5:30

Attending: Betsy Braunhut, Liz Solet, Kevin Ross, Jeff Milliken, Joe Lendvai, Ruth Ryan, Phil Bailey, Anne Hayes-Grillo, Sandy Phoenix, Diana Page, Bonnie Preston, Robert Grant, Phil Caper, Ted Fletcher, Lynn Cheney, Kate Morse. Minutes: Liz Solet

Welcome & Introductions Done
Approve Sept. minutes Motion to accept August minutes; second; passed.
Treasurer’s Report No report
State MAC Board report Lynn, Phil Bailey Lynn attended 1st meeting as state Board member!

Geoff Gratwick discussed/presented on Leg Task Force—wraps up in Nov. Have done a lot of work, researching programs in other states (even Iceland) and conducting interviews. Including a (R) senator who recently visited Iceland on vacation and inquired about their universal health care system.

New legislators and governor after upcoming election: ideal would be ‘blue ribbon panel’ established to continue/expand Task Force’s work.

Janet Mills: recently had meeting with Phil B., Geoff G., Hank G. to discuss universal health care and MAC. Phil’s take: she sees an opportunity to differentiate herself from other candidates, esp. Moody, by supporting universal health care. Her campaign is likely to come out with position soon.

Executive Director’s report : economic study is under way; ramping up to pursue goals, esp. 11K more signatures; fundraising needed for focus groups, econ. study, etc.

Board on MAC presence at party tables at local events (this came up at August chapter meeting and post-meeting email discussion): approach both parties; depending on response, decide at chapter level how to proceed.

Fundraising: Board member Beth Franklin is in charge of Development; $25K commitment from MAC Board; push for monthly donations at chapter level (currently at $700/month).

Currently 12 MAC Board members; 3 slots still open.

Chapter News/Reports on recent events Jeff, Joe, Lynn, Phil B. Blue Hill Fair: Jeff Milliken invited many people to volunteer, 4 came on Friday (nice, quiet day at Fair). People were supportive of the concept, but largely from away. Total = 61 yellow cards signed. Comments heard? One woman vehemently opposed, no reasons given.

How to respond to people’s wide range of responses as we engage with them? Phil Bailey: in any kind of movement-building when interacting directly with people, getting 25-30% ‘yes’ is quite good; MAC is closer to 50%!

Member views: Engaging with people in this work is similar to sales or customer service—most important thing is to leave people basically with a neutral or hopefully positive view of MAC, whether or not they agree. Tabling vs. circulating (the recurrent question).

Phil B.: Takeaways from recent meeting in Ellsworth (including from recent MN messaging event) on how to engage people: at events, things happen quickly—people will engage or not. When canvassing there’s opportunity for more conversation. Work happens incrementally, person by person, in a wide variety of ways—need all of them. Important thing is to reach out and touch people.

Phil Caper: We haven’t seen anything yet in terms of opposition—‘they don’t even know we’re out there yet.’ Corporate interests use FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) and don’t have to prove anything, or stick to facts. We need to be able to respond to legitimate questions, and be prepared for illegitimate ones, too. How do we present raising taxes? How do we respond to queries about how donated funds are used? Need quick, effective answer to these.

Friday Forum: Friday Forum meets monthly at Parker Ridge, has presentations ranging from hydropower to health care. Questions raised: What have we learned from other states’ experiences with failed efforts? Has anyone developed a pragmatic transition plan, to get from where we are to the system we propose? How do we “sell” universal health care? Nearly all are ‘in our camp.’ Majority of group are solid moderate Republicans. Got 10 yellow cards.

Tracking Chapter goals Not discussed
Chapter leadership transition All Proposal (Kevin Ross, on behalf of Ruth Ryan, Liz Solet, and in consult with Lynn): Leadership by Steering Committee: 3-4 people. Proposal is for this to be Kevin Ross, Ruth Ryan, Liz Solet, with Lynn Cheney as state Board liaison. One-page written proposal handed out.

Don’t have to have MAC email address to do work. (But do need one to be Communicator in NationBuilder, and be able to send emails.)

Phil Caper: Nice model, worth trying; need one person as contact with MAC Board.

May be useful for other chapters in transition; Ruth will email proposal to Phil B.

What happens to Communications Working Group? Seems to not be needed any longer. Communications work will still be carried out but don’t need a dedicated group.

Motion to accept; second; passed. 

MAC supplies and equipment, storage/hosting: Jeff Milliken happy to take this on. 

National Single Payer / OPS News Joe Blahous/Mercatus study to the 2016 Medicare for All Act and Assessment of the New York Health Act analysis by the RAND Corporation: Framed discussion to focus only on costs rising, leaving out data showing how much money would be saved with single-payer system. Media swallowed it whole, even Washington Post fact checker.

MAC needs to be ready to frame discussion properly, and counter efforts such as this.

MAC has generated 5-6 OpEds in response, including Phil Caper’s in the BDN. Dan Bryant in Free Press (midcoast). More OpEds welcome—coordinate with state MAC.

Phil Caper: thinks the wind is at our back right now—people are waking up to and openly acknowledging that system is way beyond broken—we have an opening.

Phil Bailey: MAC FB is very active, posting 3-4 times per day. In two months, have 30% increase in Likes. Please share widely, everyone.

Election Day plans We need to coordinate chapter and state efforts to cover election tabling. Phil Bailey needs list of people and town they’re responsible for—Jeff put together and sent around. Jeff will (continue to) be contact person for signing up people locally, as people may indicate interest at state level.

Still need person for Castine—any leads? Betsy will ask contact and let Jeff know.

Taller table and/or make chair available for people filling out cards.


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

Election Day (see above)

Yellow cards data entry Lynn will enter cards collected recently.
“Parking Lot”
  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.?
  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
Common Ground Fair Sept 21-23 Chris Cayer  
Polls at election day 11/6 Jeff  


What will get done? By whom? By when? Notes: Status:
Print out MAC website FAQs Liz Next meeting Are they on website as pdf?
Set up monthly donation to MAC All Any time Any amount, even $5/month helps.
Enter data from yellow cards recently gathered Lynn
Make sign-in sheets double-sided Liz
Contact Tradewinds about being drop off spot for Clynk bags Lynn
Write up detailed instructions for use of new equipment Liz


Items for Agenda at next meeting Show MN messaging video in educational segment

 Next scheduled meeting:

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Meeting adjourned 5:35 pm