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Civic Valentines

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Adults | Government

Last October, the Choose Civility Initiative offered a series of “Civic Writing” lunches, with the intention of supporting public participation through writing — that is, writing letter’s to the editor, op-eds, blog posts — even tweets!  I was so pleased to recently receive an email from a participant who did in fact write a letter and get it published in the Portland Press Herald (read it here, and then consider keeping the conversation going with a letter of your own).

She followed up by noting that once she’d written her LTE, it was easy to convert into a letter to her Senators, too!

We hope her experience is inspiring to you, too.  This snowy Valentine’s Day is a great day to engage friends and families in a civic art / civic writing project — let policy makers and your fellow community members know what is on your heart and mind by making them a Valentine!

For support / inspiration check out these links:

The University of Kansas’s Community Tool Box offers some excellent resources for prompting letters to Legislators and To the Editor.

Portland Press Herald Online LTE form

Use this online site to find out how to contact your  State Senators and Representatives or HERE for the Congressional Delegation  or make and send Valentine’s to the addresses below!

Governor LePage
#1 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0001

President Obama

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

If you would be interested in joining a civic writing workshop in the future, share your ideas by emailing simmons@portland.lib.me.us.

 


Black History Month & Civil Rights Act of 1964

posted: , by Kim Simmons
tags: Library Collections | Online Services | Programs & Events | Recommended Reads | Adults | Government | Portland History

Black History Month offers us many invitations for learning.  We’re encouraged to learn more about the contributions of individuals in history who may not have originally made our history lessons :  black artists, inventors, authors…

P.S. Be Eleven

We’re also encouraged to learn about American history through a lens of race relations.  Understanding more about the experience of slavery, more about the experience of segregation and desegregation, more about the civil rights movement, etc.  allows us to make clearer sense of how racism exists today and allows us more tools to address racism in our society.

Finally, Black History Month brings race into our collective awareness, providing us with more opportunities to directly consider race and racism and to commit to new strategies for anti-discrimination.  This is a particularly interesting year, as 50 years has passed since the landmark Civil Rights Act was passed which made segregation illegal and paved the way for the Voting Rights Act and the end of the Jim Crow era.

BlindspotLearn more about Implicit Bias at the  ProjectImplict  website and the new book Blindspot  Watch American Promise online  – a POV documentary about race, class, education and growing up
Bookmark this Civil Rights Act calendar which details programming happening throughout 2014

 

 These resources only skim the surface of possible places for learning… share your favorite texts, films, websites, and programs in our comments section!


Maine Public Library Tax Check Off

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Adults | Government

Maine Public Library Fund State Income Tax Check-off

checkoff_150

Support Maine Public Libraries by donating via your Maine Income Tax form using Schedule CP Charitable Contributions and Purchase of Park Passes. Donating $5 (or more) is easy!

How do these funds help?

Proceeds from the 2013 tax check-off supported the purchase of additional Ebooks for the Maine InfoNet Download Library. Depending on our amount of funds raised, the check-off could also support:

  • Expanding interlibrary loan support
  • Creating new library programming
  • Supporting special consultant services from which all can benefit
  • And so much more!

How?

  • Go to your Maine Income Tax form – Form 1040ME
  • Locate Schedule CP which is used for voluntary charitable contributions to any of the organizations listed. [Schedule CP is also used to purchase a park pass for entry into Maine State Parks].
  • Look for Maine Public Library Fund in section A.
  • Choose to donate _$5 _$10 _$25 or more.
  • Maine taxpayers using the I-File system will also see the Maine Public Library Fund on the Schedule CP voluntary contributions page.
  • If you have any questions, see Maine Revenue Service (MRS) or consult your tax advisor.

Instructions for individuals who use TurboTax or H&R Block

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