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Communications Task Force

June 17, 2013

Public Information and Education - Public Policy Task Force Minutes

Regular Meeting: June 11, 2013

Attending: Susan Austin, Dwane Hubert, Susan Lavigne, John Portola, and a brief visit from Mark Hews

Absent: Lindsey Oliver, Mary-Anne LaMarre

Staff: Michael Ashmore, Pam Zeutenhorst


Getting Michael up to speed on Task Force work

Task Force Members welcomed new MCCS staff person Michal Ashmore as facilitator.

MA described his understanding of the current ongoing work and presented the agenda. Members agreed that it contained the active topics

Visits with Congressional delegations during summer recesses - where, when, who; contacts made, other details

JP noted that he had discussed the visits with members of Maine's Congressional delegation and that the Commission was originally looking at visits over the Memorial Day recess.  Since that date is now past, next option is summer recess.

MA looked up dates for Senate & House recesses.  Both begin in August and continue until after Labor Day.

Plans were made for Geographic locations for visits based on senate and legislative district coupled with cities that have a representation of National Service programs.  Current plan is:

  • Pingree - Waterville. Health Reach RSVP, both a VGF & VISTA site
  • Michaud - Lewiston-Auburn. Multilingual Leadership Corps, VISTA Project & UW of Androscoggin (a VGF site)
  • King - Bangor. New Bangor AmeriCorps site, Penquis Senior Corps & UWEM's VGF site
  • Collins - Rockland. VISTA Project, FoodCorps, Island Institute and UWMCM's VGF site

Action Steps:

  1. Staff will coordinate with local programs to see who is willing and do final check of availability once dates are final - SA
  2. Commission members will connect with local schedulers for members of Congress to determine when they are able to participate - JP volunteer to do the outreach to these individuals
  3. SL offered contact information for Pingree and King, as Opportunity Alliance has had recent visits from both

Final planning for Retreat

Plan for retreat is to begin the process of developing a new strategic plan, leading to the Commission's next State Service plan.  Members felt that the most important factors were to a) Monitor suggestions and proposed strategic plan elements for public information and public policy implications, and b) use those observations to inform the tasks that follow from the strategic directions chosen.

Irons in the fire updates:

Mapping project of national service over the last 20 years

  • Group needs to identify specific individual(s) who have the technical skills and willingness to participate in creating this tool. It was suggested that Celeste Branham be the person best able to identify the person or team.
  • Question was asked about the purpose of the 'map' and how it would be used. Group agreed that it would be a strong way to show the impact of National Service over the years in a visual way that would allow for the breadth of the work to be understood in a simple way.
  • It was discussed as a useful tool for the 20th anniversary celebrations coming up this fall, as a part of other outreach materials

Action Steps:

  1. Find the person with the skills
  2. Gather the pertinent information (Maryalice Crofton has longest tenure).

Other 20th Anniversary Planning

  • In addition to the mapping project, group discussed the creation of local public service announcements (PSA's) and the use of any Corporation developed PSA's as well.
  • Questions were posed about the best way to sort and package all of the information and, concurrently, how to use the celebration as a way to support the Commission
  • Members suggested a series of fall events celebrating National Service across the state
  • One concern voiced by a number of members was the need to clarify the exact date for the anniversary. There is the date that CNCS will use, but Maine's dates were subsequent. SL suggested that the CNCS date is most pertinent. She noted that Foster grandparents celebrated their 50th anniversary and Maine programs used that despite the fact that the program did not start in Maine until a decade later.
  • A timeline of key dates was suggested
  • Also suggested was a "family tree" of national service organizations leading back to the CCC
  • Suggestions were also made regarding some legislative recognition (a legislative "sentiment") and a request for an Executive order from the Governor's office
  • A question raised about the needed resources for the 20th anniversary celebration was deemed somewhat premature. Items and work needed will develop as the planning process continues.

Next steps for Key Message

  • Members asked that the key message be copied and brought to the Retreat to remind Commission members (many who are in first year) of the message and to use it to inform the planning process.
  • JP also suggested that the key message business cards be re-done and supplied to Commission members at each meeting, encouraging members to pass them along during their regular work weeks


It was also suggested that the document used earlier in the year with progress updates on the work identified in the current strategic plan be brought to the retreat as well