Election Day is right around the corner, and soon the campaign lawn signs adorning our front lawns and parks will be no longer. This week, we’re talking about voting for the climate: how our vote impacts climate legislation in the state of Maine and some 2022 legislative wins.

Coffee and Climate: Climate Legislation

Join us Friday, Nov. 18 from 9 to 10 a.m. for this month’s Coffee & Climate: Climate Legislation edition. We will be joined by Kathleen Meil, of Maine Conservation Voters, to talk about navigating (and supporting) climate legislation, Maine’s Environmental Priorities Coalition, and how federal climate investments impact us at the state and local level.

Bring your climate legislation questions and come ready to discuss.

Coffee and Climate is a virtual event hosted on Zoom. Sign up at oneclimatefuture.org.

Voting for the climate

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Climate-friendly voting is supporting legislators who support and advocate for climate action. The Maine Legislature is on a two-year schedule, meaning at the beginning of each legislative session lawmakers submit thousands of proposed bills. Each one is assigned an LD number and is eventually reviewed, analyzed, and given a public hearing.

Voting with the climate in mind would mean choosing to support candidates that will help to pass legislation to protect Maine’s natural resources, make our communities sustainable and vibrant, and encourage further climate action. Who we choose as our governors, senators and house representatives make a huge difference in what Maine can and will do to progress climate action.

The South Portland Sustainability Office does not endorse election candidates, rather encourages residents to do their research, utilize existing tools and resources, and vote for candidates who mirror their values.

2022 climate wins

It has been a big year for climate action in Maine. Although there is a lot more work to be done, here are a few successes from 2022:

● LD 906: The bill improves access to safe drinking water for the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik and surrounding communities.

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● LD 1902: The bill establishes the Climate Education Professional Development Pilot Program to prepare Maine students and teachers to respond to the climate crisis.

● LD 1911: The bill makes Maine the first state in the nation to ban the application of PFAS-contaminated sludge and sludge-derived compost in order to prevent the further contamination of farmland.

To learn more about legislation passed this year, read Maine Conservation Voters’ 2022 Scorecard at www.maineconservation.org/scores.

Our Sustainable City is a recurring column in the Sentry intended to provide residents with news and information about sustainability initiatives in South Portland. Follow the Sustainability Office on Instagram and Facebook @soposustainability.

Mia Ambroiggio is a part-time South Portland Sustainability Office staff member. She can be reached at [email protected]

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