The 126th Legislative session has barely begun, but Maine People’s Alliance Citizen Lobby Teams are already making an impact in our state’s capitol. Over two dozen members representing all six regional chapters have been active in just the first two weeks of the session. The Maine People’s Alliance is the only group in the state with a constant citizen lobbying presence in Augusta, making their presence known in halls which would otherwise be filled only with paid lobbyists. This is one of MPA’s most powerful and effective tools for moving an agenda forward – when a member shares their personal story with a legislator, the framework and narrative is shifted away from politics and back to people.
The Maine People’s Alliance will be sending lobby teams to Augusta every day that the 126th Legislature is in session. There are lobby teams forming in the Portland, Bangor, Lewiston and Augusta area as well as groups from York County and the Midcoast. The teams are led by volunteer leaders who are working closely with MPA staff and can keep their teams fully briefed on important hearings and bills. Lobby Team members meet each day in the State House and after a brief training with any last minute information on the day’s schedule and priorities, they are off to make sure the voices of real Maine people are heard!
Recently, MPA members attended meetings with the new House and Senate leadership. These meetings laid out MPA’s agenda for the next six months and were the first step towards work on a budget that reflects the values of the people of Maine. Lobby team members testified at several legislative hearings, successfully bringing the views of average Mainers into the legislative process at key moments. Lobby team members also roamed the halls of the statehouse, meeting with their legislators in person to discover where they stand on the important issues that affect their constituents and sending a message that MPA will not be going away now that the election is over.
In addition to the daily work of our lobby teams, the Maine People’s Alliance hosted its yearly Lobby Day at the State House this February 12th. Lobby Day is one of the most exciting and impactful events of the entire year, when MPA brings hundreds of our members to Augusta to remind our Legislators that the State House is the people’s house!
If you are interested in becoming part of a lobby team, call your local organizer for more information.