The Maine Women’s Lobby Education Fund have spent the last few weeks putting together a Virtual Girls’ Day because the Girls’ Day at the Statehouse in Augusta was canceled because of COVID-19.

The event will consist of a series of live Zoom events, pre-recorded informational videos, and interactive activities. Live sessions will be restricted to middle school students to preserve the focus of the original Girls’ Day, but all resources will be made available at its Girls’ Day Web Page after they are recorded, according to a news release from the education fund.

Those who have a middle school(ish)-aged student who would be interested in joining the live sessions can sign them up at mainewomen.org/mwl/edfund/programs/girls-day/, and then the Zoom login information will be sent.

Live sessions schedule:
• Virtual Girls’ Day at the Statehouse Kickoff! 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 14.
This will be the official kick-off of its Virtual Girls’ Day! Pre-recorded resources will be released and announcements will be made about some new ways to participate for students. There’s a lot that will be covered, but here is the basic schedule:

• Welcome remarks by Gov. Janet Mills and Speaker Sarah Gideon.

• Activism and Advocacy with Hardy Girls Healthy Women.

• Young Women in Leadership Panel, featuring Rep. Chloe Maxmin, City Councilor Safiya Khalid, and District Attorney Natasha Irving
From Ideas to Action: A Community Organizing Panel, 3 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 19.
Join MWL Education Fund Community Organizer Logan Mills and a panel of Maine-based organizers for a live Zoom discussion. They will talk about the work they do, answer questions, and discuss some organizers from Planned Parenthood, Mabel Wadsworth, and Maine Equal Justice Partners.

The Legislative Process: Q&A with Maine Legislators, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 21.
What is it like behind the scenes at the Statehouse? How do committees work? Can legislators make up bills for any subject? Hear from a panel of Maine State Senators including Sens. Cathy Breen and Shenna Bellows, and Reps. Alison Heppler and Jessica Fay to ask your questions and learn what life as a legislator is really like.

Additional Resource Videos:
These won’t be live, but questions will be taken from the Google Form and will be released on the day of the live kickoff. Staff are working on a couple more, so stay tuned.

• That Lobbyist Life — A Conversation with Maine Lobbyists: What does a lobbyist do? How do you choose what issue to advocate for? Do you need to be outspoken to be a lobbyist? The panel discusses all of that and more, and getting to know some of the lobbyists that they get to work with every day.

• Money in Politics: Money plays many different roles in the political system, and learning about how one can influence the other is critical in understanding how the government works. Anna Kellar of Democracy Maine will be joining in to discuss money in politics and Maine’s Clean Elections system. After that, questions will be answered from the Google Form.

• Day in the Life of a Committee Chair: Rep. Charlotte Warren (House Chair, Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety) and Sen. Shenna Bellows (Senate Chair, Committee on Labor and Housing) take a look at an aspect of the legislative process that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.

• A Virtual Tour of the House Chamber: Clerk of the House Rob Hunt discusses the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the House Chamber running, and the role of the full-time staff that support the legislators on the House floor.

• The Legislative Process; How an Idea Becomes a Law: This short session reviews the basics about how ideas become bills and then laws in Maine. An understanding of the legislative process is a crucial first step to impactful activism.

For more information, call 622-0851.


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