The second meeting of the Maine People’s Veto Alliance is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 26 in Richmond again. For those who can’t attend but might like to participate via Twitter, there are details below.
From: “edward schlick” <firstname.lastname@example.org>Date: February 23, 2011 6:56:58 PM ESTTo: “edward schlick” <email@example.com>Subject: MPVA to Broadcast Feb 26 Meeting
MAINE PEOPLE’S VETO ALLIANCE
MPVA Acting Executive Director
PO Box 112
Richmond, ME 04357
A NOTE TO THE MEDIA: MPVA welcomes remote questions from the media via Twitter during the meeting: http://twitter.com/MainePVA. We hope you will watch the live broadcast by tuning in online at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/maine-people-s-voting-alliance, and join us on Facebook for copies of organizational documents and updates: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maine-Peoples-Voting-Alliance/184354938268139.
MPVA TO BROADCAST MEETING ONLINE
MPVA makes use of technology to open meeting access to Mainers
“The second meeting of the Maine People’s Veto Alliance will be held at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26 at the Old Goat Pub, Main St., Richmond,” MPVA acting Executive Director Ed Schlick said today. In an effort to open access to Mainers across the state, MPVA will also broadcast the meeting live on the internet.
Not only will Maine citizens be able to tune-in from any internet-connected computer, but they will also be able to voice real-time comments and questions through MPVA’s Twitter account. “This may be the first, or among the first, statewide electronic meetings to be held in Maine,” said Schlick.
If all the technical problems can be resolved, MPVA will broadcast the meeting over the internet starting at 1 p.m. this Saturday. The actual video stream of the meeting will begin at 1:15 p.m. Persons wishing to “attend” online can do so from any computer by going to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/maine-people-s-voting-alliance. Persons wishing to contribute to the discussion may do so by tweeting MPVA at http://twitter.com/MainePVA.
“This technology is not new but it is new to us,” said Schlick. “If successful, it will allow any person anywhere in Maine (in the entire world actually) to “attend” the meeting and also, by using Twitter, to participate.”
Schlick said the meeting room seating is already fully booked so MPVA is not encouraging further physical attendance; however, anyone who wants to attend and take chances on getting standing room is welcome. Also, some persons are coming to socialize (lunch and beer/wine) starting at noon before the actual meeting at 1:15 p.m.
“A volunteer using Twitter will post the actions of the meeting as they happen,” said Schlick. ‘These actions will then be posted to Facebook for later review.” MPVA can be found on Facebook by visiting: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maine-Peoples-Voting-Alliance/184354938268139.
The Feb. 26 meeting will be asking MPVA members to accept the Maine Council of Senior Citizens as the first Maine organization to participate in the MPVA and to accept Maine Council of Senior Citizens President John Carr as the first member of the MPVA Steering Committee which will help suggest future MPVA actions. The Maine Council of Senior Citizens has some 3,000 members and for more than 20 years has been active in working for candidates and on legislation that help Maine seniors.
Some specific bills now before the Maine Legislature will be offered for inclusion in a list of legislation against which the MPVA will begin empowering opposition by making full use of current social networking media.
“It should be obvious to anyone who knows Maine that a physical meeting of individuals, no matter how well attended, is not an acceptable way to create a functioning, statewide, grassroots organization,” said Schlick. “It is about 350 miles from Caribou to Richmond. This is more than six hours driving each way, or a 700 mile round trip, at a mileage cost of some $350 – not to mention meals, automobile pollution and a possible overnight stay.”
Schlick pointed out that Maine has 37,809 square miles, which is larger than the entire nation of Ireland (32,544 sq. mi.) and larger than all the rest of New England put together (32,245 sq. mi.).
“Organizing and functioning by means of a series of physical meetings in Richmond really creates a southern Maine organization leaving out Aroostook County, Washington County and other distant areas of Maine,” said Schlick. MPVA seeks to bridge this gap by using available technology.
“We put great emphasis on the importance of public legislative hearings but in Maine, these hearings are highly undemocratic. Except in a few instances legislative hearings are attended mostly by lobbyists and officers of various organizations – not by rank and file voters. Who can take a weekday off and drive more than 700 miles to attend an afternoon hearing in Augusta? We can tune in now to hear legislators debate and also listen to some hearings. If hearings were broadcast statewide in the evening with the participation that technology now allows they would offer far more opportunity for Maine voters to participate and to object. Some meeting chair persons ask for a count of those present for and those present against a bill. Technology now allows broadcast hearings and instant polling of every participating voter for or against a specific piece of legislation.”
“Many people would like to do something in support of certain issues but they do not know how to go about it from a technical standpoint,” said Schlick. “MPVA seeks to empower people by hosting workshops and providing written material, short videos and other educational tutorials to teach anyone interested how to use current social networking sites like Twitter, Ustream and Facebook. This will help Mainers to effectively voice opinions and will remove the distance barrier, opening up accessibility to the democratic process in Maine.”
MPVA will be tweeting live from the February 26 meeting, and accepting tweets (questions/comments) from Mainers in real-time. Mainers are encouraged to join MPVA on Facebook by visiting:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maine-Peoples-Voting-Alliance/184354938268139, to follow MPVA on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MainePVA, and to tune-in online for live broadcasts by visiting:http://www.ustream.tv/channel/maine-people-s-voting-alliance.
To join the MPVA email list, please respond to Ed Schlick: firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about using this technology, visit the following links, and stay tuned to MPVA for information on workshops and online tutorials:
“It may take a few days to get the MPVA-NET up and running efficiently on Ustream but when successful, I expect we can muster at least 50 organizers with at least 100 e-mail members each in the MPVA-NET. This will give a new form of voice to Maine’s public affairs.”
Schlick said he believes that with the development of MPVA-NET on Ustream, MPVA can grow far beyond the 5,000 member level.
“Maine has about 993,000 registered voters,” said Schlick. Governor LePage was put in office for four years by 218,000 votes or about 22% of the registered voters in Maine. “Governor LePage has been in office only two months and there is already a huge level of voter dissatisfaction with his policies and actions,” said Schlick. “I know because I get e-mails daily from Maine voters who want to ‘get involved’ in stopping this regressive juggernaut.”
“Democracy does not end on election day,” said Schlick. “That’s when it begins. Voters do not elect officials to rule them from one election to the next. Voters elect officials to represent them and to respond to the will of the people as it exists and as it evolves.”
Schlick said that, in addition to MPVA-NET meetings on Ustream, he expects to begin streaming MPVA-NET interviews with experts in various fields such as environment, health and energy.