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Welcoming : Energizing Community

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Seniors | Government

On December 4th, Portland Public Library’s Choose Civility Initiative hosted a public forum on the topic of Welcoming : Energizing Community. Organized as a World Cafe conversation, facilitators from Institute for Civic Leadership walked the almost 50 participants through three sets of questions, with the purpose of helping to share many perspectives while deepening the conversation.

The three questions asked:

1) On a scale of 1-10, how welcoming do you find Portland and why?

2) How does your rating shape your community engagement?

3) If we envision a Most Welcoming city, what might we highlight and what might we change?

If you have answers to these questions, please leave comment below or send them to simmons@portland.lib.me.us

Themes from the break-out session are inspiring and encourage more conversations about how we move to action!

People seek more opportunities to connect with others… and especially strangers who might share a new way of thinking about the common good. Participants agreed that Portland offers significant opportunities to be among people but deeper interactions can feel awkward or discouraged.

Welcoming is an active practice… a truly welcoming community does more than invite people to the table, it encourages a cultural literacy among all members of the community, institutionalizes best practices for encouraging the greatest level of public participation and
enhances shared public space where interaction is normal, easy, supported and encouraged.

A shared vision for a common good needs to be articulated… we likely share more in common than we might realize, but many experience incivility as an effort to separate us and emphasize our differences.

Civility in the Political Process is Important… Our political discourse should be friendly, welcoming and respectful of dissent and agreement.

Choose Civility Portland aims to build momentum on these suggestions by hosting public conversations on important community topics, skill building workshops for engaging in Democracy, and by maintaining and amplifying our commitment to the Library as a space where interaction and integration occur.

Choose Civility Portland recent press:

Check back frequently for program updates!

 


Welcoming : Energizing Community Connections

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Art & Culture | Government

Welcoming :  Energizing Community Connections

Portland Public Library  5 Monument Square, Rines Auditorium

December 4th 4-6pm, with a reception to follow

Free and open to the public!

wordcloud-welcome-heart-1

What does it mean to welcome others in?

What does it feel like to feel truly welcome?

What’s the difference between personal efforts towards welcoming and institutional ones?

How might public spaces become more welcoming?

How does a shared commitment to civility help us sustain welcome public places?

How does welcoming fit into a community wide vision of civility?

These are some of the questions we will explore in our World Cafe-style (interactive and facilitated) conversation about Welcoming as a civic value.

This event occurs as part of our larger Choose Civility Initiative, supported by the Lerner Foundation, and developed in partnership with the Institute for Civic Leadership and the Maine Humanities Council.

An opportunity for action planning and a reception will follow the facilitated event.  RSVPs encouraged but not required and this event is fully free and open to the public.  The conversation will be enriched by broad participation — please come and bring a friend – all are truly welcome!

The conversation will continue, with a screening of Rain in a Dry Land on December 5th (7:30pm at PPL, free and open to the public, in coordination with Catholic Charities) and  with a special coordinated Portland Playback on the theme of Welcoming taking place on Friday December 6th (CTN5, 516 Congress Street, Portland, Maine $7).


Before you rock your vote…RESEARCH YOUR VOTE!

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Government

The general municipal election on November 5th is coming quickly. Are you registered, researched and ready?

 

How do you register to vote? You fill out a voter registration card.   You can register until/on Election Day.  You must register in person and must show ID and proof of where you live. ( 21-A MRSA §121) Where do you register to vote? You can register to vote at your town office or city hall, or through any Motor Vehicle branch office. Completed voter registration cards may be hand delivered (it is too late to mail a voter registration card) to your town office or city hall, or  to the Secretary of State’s Office in Augusta.

If you’ve already registered, but wish to verify your registration, contact the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions, your town office or city hall.

Also, make sure you know where you go to cast your vote; find your local polling place.  .

RESEARCH THE CANDIDATES AND ISSUES

  • Go to  Maine.gov for voter information look up; to find out who the candidates are in your district. Also, if you live in Portland you can look up your district information on the city’s webpage.

 

  • Read the Maine Citizens Guide to the Referendum Election – inside this booklet, you will find the referendum questions, the legislation each question represents, a summary of the intent and content of the legislation, an explanation of the significance of a “yes” or “no” vote,  and much more information.

 

  • Find sample ballots on the City of Portland webpage,  here you will find local candidates names and also a summary on Question 1 re: recreational use of marijuana by adults ages 21 and older. ***Since the ballot is different for each town, look for voter information and a sample ballot on your town’s website. Sample ballots may not be available very far in advance of the election. If your town has not posted a sample ballot, you can call them and ask them to do so.  Find contact information for your town on the State of Maine website.

 

  • Use your PPL card to access library databases including Global Issues in Context (a colorful wealth of resources explaining the background and viewpoints necessary for understanding global issues, conflicts, and events), Opposing Viewpoints (an online resource covering today’s hottest social issues) and  the Maine Newsstand  (an index to and full text coverage of five Maine newspapers).

Voting smart is important. Have questions? Visit your local library!

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