Artwork by Ed Nolde, Artist & Sierra Club Maine Volunteer
Voting this November will be critical to our energy future, our democracy, and for justice. Don’t forget to vote in person on November 7th, or request your absentee ballot to vote early by visiting VoteByMail.me!
We will be hosting a conversation via Zoom on November 2nd at 6pm. Join us to discuss the ballot initiative questions in detail, and get your questions answered!
There are eight questions
on the state ballot, and Sierra Club Maine has taken an official position on five of them:VOTE NO ON QUESTION 1
- Do you want to bar some quasi-governmental entities and all consumer-owned electric utilities from taking on more than $1 billion in debt unless they get statewide voter approval? Question 1 was written to stall consumer owned utilities, should Question 3 pass. It will slow progress and create more opportunity for misinformation. VOTE YES ON QUESTION 2
- Do you want to ban foreign governments and entities that they own, control, or influence from making campaign contributions or financing communications for or against candidates or ballot questions? We believe that political campaigns should be run by and for the people, not by corporations or the wealthy. Question 2 will ensure that future initiatives and politicians will be accountable to Maine people. Learn more and get involved here. VOTE YES ON QUESTION 3
- Do you want to create a new power company governed by an elected board to acquire and operate existing for-profit electricity transmission and distribution facilities in Maine? Sierra Club has endorsed Question 3
With Pine Tree Power, Mainers can establish a utility responsible to the public, not far-off investors. A win in Maine would allow for a quicker, more just expansion of the state’s electric grid, all while saving ratepayers billions of dollars and advancing the state's commendable climate and economic justice goals. Learn more and get involved here.View the rest of our voter guide here.
Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have any questions about voting or the ballot initiatives.
Join Us for Our Annual Celebration!
Wednesday, December 6th | 5:30pm | Oxbow Blending & Bottling, Portland
This year, Sierra Club Maine is honored to be partnering with Maine Youth for Climate Justice (MYCJ) and the Wabanaki Alliance for our annual celebration on December 6th! MYCJ
is a youth-led coalition of Mainers working to bring climate justice to our state. The Wabanaki Alliance
is a nonprofit organization that is working towards securing sovereignty of the tribes in Maine.
We'll gather from 5:30-7:30pm at Oxbow Blending & Bottling in Portland
to celebrate our shared successes of 2023. We’ll also have an exciting climate justice panel discussion,
time to network with friends, and champion volunteer awards. Register here to join us on 12/6
. We look forward to celebrating with you!Can’t make it?
Consider making a donation
in support of this event instead. All proceeds raised will be divided equally among Sierra Club Maine, MYCJ, and the Wabanaki Alliance because we're all in this together.
Sierra Club Maine's New Educational Podcast
Sierra Club Maine launched our first ever podcast series, Redefining Conservation, on October 30th. The podcast focuses on the need to preserve 30% of the state’s land, water, and forest by 2030, and beyond.
Specifically, it will explore the 30x30 goal’s impact on Maine and the strategies used to achieve it. As climate change and habitat destruction exacerbate biodiversity loss, protecting what’s left will be crucial. And, it must be done in a just and equitable way.
Redefining Conservation also gives us the opportunity to explore the intersection between conservation and other forms of social justice such as pollution, water quality issues, ownership, and access. Listeners can expect to hear interviews with community organizers, scientists, BIPOC and youth leaders, and housing advocates who will be a part of creating a shared conservation future in Maine.
Meet Sierra Club Maine's
Aquaculture Organizer, Andrew Blunt!
We are thrilled to have Andrew Blunt as the newest member of our team! Andrew joined us as Aquaculture Organizer in October. In his role, he supports the chapter’s aquaculture campaign work through coalition building, communications, policy research, and organizing stakeholders in Maine's coastal communities. He works closely with aquaculture businesses, fishermen, and others to support a shared vision for aquaculture's role in a sustainable and climate-friendly marine sector.
Previously, Andrew worked on the campaign for public power in Maine, leading the signature drive to get Question 3 on the statewide ballot in 2023. He started with the Sierra Club as a volunteer in 2020, and has worked with a range of environmental organizations across the state including Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and Maine Youth for Climate Justice. Andrew graduated from Bowdoin College in 2019 with a dual-degree in Government and Legal Studies and Environmental Studies. Please join us in giving Andrew a warm welcome!
Nasreen Sheikh-Yusuf and Grace Deng:
Architects of Our 30x30 Campaign Success
This summer we had the opportunity to hire Nasreen Shiesk-Yusuf and Grace Deng to help us create a strategic plan for our 30x30 campaign and an educational podcast series to amplify the main themes of our campaign.
Their dedication and experience have been indispensable, and their capacity to support this new, growing campaign was essential as staff and volunteers were reshaping the goals of the campaign this summer.
Grace worked closely with Matt Cannon, State Conservation and Energy Director, shaping and refining our campaign plan with strategy, solidifying our vision into a robust and actionable plan. Nasreen collaborated closely with Nyalat Biliew, Grassroots Climate Action Organizer, to create a robust outreach, execution, and promotional plan for our podcast. Nasreen also facilitated outreach initiatives and actively contributed to our recording sessions. Both Grace and Nasreen also made contributions to our podcast through the creation of scripts and recordings, and Grace took captivating videos for potential social media posts.To Grace and Nasreen, we extend our heartfelt gratitude. Your tireless outreach efforts and unwavering community engagement have played an instrumental role in creating our campaign and broadening our reach as an organization. Your dedication and commitment to our mission go above and beyond, and we express our sincerest appreciation.
Defending the Endangered Species Act
on Capitol Hill
Sierra Club activists from eight states recently traveled to Capitol Hill to advocate for defense of the Endangered Species Act
and imperiled species from dozens of bad bills, riders and CRAs, and to fully fund our most important law protecting animals and plants from extinction. They joined others from Defenders of Wildlife, Endangered Species Coalition, World Wildlife Fund, Earthjustice, and American Bird Conservancy, and were instrumental in making the trip a resounding success. Among the activists was Anna Siegel, Sierra Club Maine Executive Committee Member, who shares her experience below.
“...I had my first day of senior year at Waynflete. Right after classes that Monday I went to the Portland Jetport and left for Washington, D.C. with a blazer, business shoes, talking points on conservation policy and a school bag full of homework. Once I landed in the nation’s capitol, I explored the incredible network of buses and subways that makes up the D.C. Metro system before crashing at my hotel in the NoMa neighborhood.
I was in D.C. to represent Sierra Club Maine at an event hosted by the Endangered Species Coalition. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, a powerful piece of legislation that has been instrumental to the restoration of the peregrine falcon, humpback whale, bald eagle, American bison, and dozens more plants, animals, birds, and insects.
The ESA was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law under the Reagan Administration, and it remains popular today. Polling has shown that 80% of Americans approve of the ESA. Yet while there is much to celebrate about the ESA’s success in the past 50 years, we must fight to protect it so it can remain strong and continue preserving biodiversity…”
Continue reading about Anna’s trip here.
Exploring the Intersection Between
LGBTQ+ Youth and Climate Change
By Alice Staples, Sierra Club Maine Rural Organizing Fellow
While two very important issues in their own right, there is very little easy-to-find information about the link between LGBTQ+ youth and climate change.
This correlation is a very unique, yet very important relationship to take into account when thinking about activism within both of these subjects. This article aims to inform about this connection between queer youth and the changing climate around us, while providing resources and places to find further information.While only being 7 percent of the U.S. population, LGBTQ+ youth make up 40 percent of the unhoused youth population in the United States.
This could be because of the discrimination queer people, especially queer youth, face in the workplace, schools, and at home. While 64 percent of people in the U.S. believe that gay or lesbian relationships are “morally acceptable” as of May 2023, this number went down from 71 percent in May 2022, according to
a study done by Gallup
. Similarly, in the same study in 2023, 43 percent Americans thought that “changing one’s gender” was “morally acceptable,” not specifying physically, socially, or both, while 55 percent thought it was “morally wrong.” This disapproval of transgender people was raised from 51 percent in 2022. These statistics are undoubtedly one of the many reasons why queer youth are disproportionately represented in homelessness.Due to extreme lack of affordable housing in large, coastal cities such as Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, most unhoused queer youth are located in these areas; these areas are also the most affected by climate change,
as sea levels rise and the amount of storm surges increase due to climate change.
Continue reading here.
Maine Green Power—Don’t Miss The Chance to Personally Develop Green Electricity Supplies
By David von Seggern, Sierra Club Maine Volunteer
Full disclosure: you will pay a premium. In return, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed to the generation of green electricity in the State of Maine and, in a virtual sense, own the renewable energy generated.
Sierra Club Maine members should be interested in a program that is sponsored by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC). The Maine Green Power program enables individuals who have an account with an electricity distributor such as Central Maine Power to support the development of green energy supplies for the State of Maine.
This does not exactly buy green electrons for your home or business power supply because, once on the grid, there is no way of separating electrical power from renewable generators such as solar or wind from the power generated by other, often fossil fuel, facilities.
So, how does it work? For a premium on your monthly electricity bill, you will purchase “blocks" of a Renewable Energy Credit (REC).
A purchase may be as small as 1/2 block each month for the price of $4.95. Small purchases like this are aggregated by the MPUC to purchase a full REC. You can read more about how RECs work in this short document.
These RECs are often traded on an open market, but yours is not for sale to anyone else. Your REC, or actually a portion thereof, is eventually “retired” with collected REC funds going to the developer. In practice, developers are compensated far less than 100% of the initial costs, but enough to make it an incentive. Continue reading here.
Photo courtesy of Wild Seed Project
Protecting Habitat Through the Winter:
Leave the Leaves!
While planting native plants is an essential step toward creating habitat, how we tend our plantings determines whether we can sustain and support the life-cycles and successful reproduction of many creatures
including birds, butterflies, moths, bees, salamanders, and frogs.
Autumn is when many of us typically think of putting our gardens to bed by removing leaves and cutting back perennials. However, to truly support living creatures year round, it’s much better to leave fallen leaves, branches, stems, and seed heads where they are rather than raking, blowing, shredding, or cutting them away.
Leaves and other organic matter insulate plant roots through the cold winter months and then decompose to build up the living soil critical to healthy vegetation. This organic matter also stores large amounts of carbon, which is crucial to supporting a climate-resilient planet.
Rethink your clean up this season and manage your leaves and other natural materials in fun and creative ways while protecting creatures all year long. Continue reading here.
Here are some of the meetings and events we have coming up. We hope to see you soon!
Thursdays, biweekly, at 3pm: Events Team Meetings
Help us organize events to educate and engage Mainers across the state.
Mondays at 4:30pm: Legislative Team Meetings
Join us to discuss the upcoming legislative session!
November 7: ELECTION DAY!
Don’t forget to vote in person on the 7th, or request your absentee ballot to vote early by visiting VoteByMail.me! Learn more about voter registration and finding your polling place at Maine.gov.
Tuesdays, biweekly, at 3pm: Advancement Team Meetings
Help us raise the crucial funds necessary for us to do our work.
November 14 at 6pm: Community Conversation: Veterans For Peace Climate Crisis & Militarism Project
Veterans For Peace Climate Crisis and Militarism Project is part of the world-wide movement to end the climate crisis and promote climate, environmental, racial, and economic justice. Learn how U.S. militarism, the single largest institutional source of greenhouse gasses on the planet, fuels the climate crisis. Gary Butterfield serves on the steering committee of the Climate Crisis & Militarism Project and is also a member of San Diego 350.org. He is keenly interested in the effects of militarism on the climate crisis.
November 21 at 12pm: Clean Energy Team Meeting
Join our team and ensure a clean and just energy future for Maine, specifically focused on renewable energy development!
Energy Democracy Team
Join us to get connected to the Chapter’s efforts to support Question 3 and a Consumer Owned Utility in Maine! Email email@example.com for more details.
Volunteer With Sierra Club Maine
Interested in helping to protect Maine’s environment? We invite you to join us at our volunteer orientation November 8th at noon - RSVP here!
No matter your background, we have a role for you—no experience necessary.We are always looks for photos from across the state to feature in our marketing materials.
Professionals and amateurs alike are encouraged to submit images of Maine landscapes, nature, and wildlife. Please submit your photo here.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org