This is my last blog post for the ACLU of MAINE. I have wanted to work for the ACLU since I was a little girl. So, how can I possibly do justice to my time here in one blog post? The truth is I can’t, but I can tell you what the best part has been.
Britain is now enmeshed in a gigantic scandal around privacy invasions by the press and police. It began with revelations about reporters for Rupert Murdoch's British tabloid newspaper News of the World hacking into the voicemail of a murdered young girl, and has expanded as other privacy invasions have come to light.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Secretary of State’s office gave us the “green light” earlier this week and we are ready to hit the streets with petitions in hand. Over the next month thousands of Mainers will be heading out to fairs, malls, festivals, and neighborhoods to gather the needed signatures to put this question on the ballot:“Do you want to reject the section of Chapter 399 of the Public Laws of 2011 that requires new voters to register to vote at least two business days prior to an election?”
Last night we sent out an action alert about the elimination of same-day voter registration in Maine. LePage signed the bill into law, and we (a coalition of organizations) signed papers at the Secretary of State's Office to launch a People's Veto.
LD 1296, An Act To Amend the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act To Protect Patient Privacy, just passed the Senate under the hammer. Patients using medical marijuana may voluntarily register with the state government, but they would no longer be required to register in order to obtain the care they need. Read more about the bill here. Stay tuned for updates on our final outcomes.
Buried in the National Defense Authorization Act is a provision that would empower US Presidents to wage worldwide wars without consent from Congress. The provision was introduced late at night earlier this month by Rep. Buck McKeon (R - California). His amendment would allow for the use of American military forces against terrorism suspects anywhere and everywhere.
The First Amendment in Maine is under threat, and legislators need to hear from you to protect it. Soon, Maine legislators will vote on bills to allow the state to spend government funds on religious schools.
First, the hard work. During this legislative session, our contract organizer has connected with ACLU of MAINE members in over 20 legislative districts, alerting them to opportunities for actions. Over 400 emails have been sent from ACLU of MAINE members urging legislators to support civil liberties. In all of our target districts, ACLU of MAINE members have made phone calls to legislators or reached out in some other way. ACLU of MAINE supporters have testified at 8 different public hearings in the last three weeks alone.