Monday, March 27, 2023

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Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.

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Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.

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Finding childcare is a struggle everywhere, prompting North Carolina's Transylvania County to try a new approach. Maine is slowly building-out broadband access, but disagreements remain over whether local versus national companies should get the contracts, and specialty apps like "Farmers Dating" help those in small communities connect online.

Intergenerational Groups Strengthen Maine’s LGBTQ Community

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Monday, January 9, 2023   

Intergenerational connections can be powerful tools to help improve overall quality of life for both young and old. It can be especially true in the LGBTQ community, which faces the growing threat of hate groups and anti-LGBTQ legislation.

The nonprofit Equality Maine is helping to build these connections, and support those struggling with the number of hate crimes taking place across the country, or just around the corner.

Gia Drew, executive director of the group, said it is especially important young people learn their community's long history of resistance, activism and care.

"So many people who are in that older category have survived the plague of HIV and AIDS and have lost people along the way," Drew recounted. "But they're still here, and they've learned how to support one another in that process."

Drew pointed out, in return, young people share the challenges they may face in school or on social media. She argued the recent uptick in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and legislation only underscores the need to build community resilience.

More than 300 anti-LGBTQ bills, a record high, were introduced nationwide last year, including dozens of bills aiming to ban trans youths from playing sports or receiving gender-affirming health care.

Drew acknowledged Equality Maine expects to see similar efforts in Maine in the upcoming legislative session, requiring support from beyond the LGBTQ community.

"Especially in these times, we can't fight every fight ourselves," Drew stressed. "We need our allies to step up and raise their voices and be seen and be heard, too."

Allies can also be called upon to listen. Equality Maine began a weekly check-in program during the COVID-19 pandemic with volunteers calling older adults in the community, who may be isolated and in need of help, or just someone to talk to.


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