Tag Archives: press conference

We stand with immigrants.

Press Conference Augusta State House
June 7, 2017

Good morning. My name is Reverend Carie Johnsen. I serve the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta. I am here to speak on behalf of the Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network. We are a statewide advocacy and public policy network anchored in Unitarian Universalist values and principles. We stand with immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. We oppose any and all unjust government actions to arrest, detain, and deport people who are undocumented immigrants.

This past year, across this great nation Unitarian Universalists and the congregations they gather in, signed Declarations of Conscience… [As people of faith] we affirmed our profound commitment to the fundamental principles of justice, equity and compassion, to truth and core values of American society. As people of conscience we declared our commitment to stand on the side of love with the most vulnerable among us.[1]

Today I stand with people of all faiths and no faith to celebrate the diversity of humanity with a call to love boldly, act justly, and faithfully resist racism, fear and exclusion.

As people of faith and conscience, we will always welcome the stranger. We will always shelter the refugee. We will always offer a safe home. We will not remain silent when the most vulnerable among us are being turned away. We will not remain silent as families are torn apart, children terrified, and parents detained. We will not turn our backs on our brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends who are suffering and being persecuted.

As people of faith and conscience we are called to love beyond borders. We are called to open our hearts. We are called to open our doors. We are called to welcome God’s people, all of God’s people, regardless. We are called to radical hospitality, period.

We are called to live as Jesus lived, profoundly committed to justice, equity and compassion, to truth and to love in all relations, with all people, in all times, in all ways.

May we the people live this call.
May our daily actions reflect this call.
May our public policies affirm this call.
May our great nation celebrate this call.
So may it be, may it be so!

[1] UUA Declaration of Conscience https://www.uua.org/loveresists/declaration-conscience

Ranked Choice Voting (2017)

PRESS CONFERENCE
Hello my name is Reverend Carie Johnsen. I serve the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Augusta, Maine. I speak to you today as a representative of the Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network.

We support ranked choice voting.

Ranked Choice Voting

As Unitarian Universalists we affirm and promote “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” As people of faith we believe working toward a more just, kind and compassionate global community is our mandate.

We believe a flourishing democracy requires robust engagement in the electoral process and the promotion of civility in politics. Extreme rhetoric and mean-spiritedness in politics has left Mainers and Americans deeply divided, making it difficult to recognize shared values, engage in constructive dialogue, find common ground, and advance the common good. Ranked choice voting creates more generous spirit and greater respect for the dignity of our differences. When a candidate is required to win votes across parties, the dialogue is moved from divineness to civil engagement and compromise, from negativity to values and visions, from vitriol to experiences and capabilities. When voters have a broader range of candidates and more choices in the booth, their vote is not wasted. Their voice is amplified.

Ranked choice voting will improve Maine’s political climate, strengthen the electoral process and empower voters. Ranked choice voting is a natural and simple solution to ensure candidates win elections with a majority vote from the people of Maine.

RANKED CHOICE VOTING, LETTER TO THE EDITOR (2017)
Next Tuesday the people of Maine have an unprecedented opportunity to improve Maine politics by voting yes on Question 5. Ranked choice voting will improve Maine’s political climate, strengthen the electoral process and empower voters. Ranked choice voting is a natural and simple solution to ensure candidates win elections with a majority vote from the people of Maine.

As people of faith, the Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network supports Questions 5. As Unitarian Universalists we affirm and promote “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” We believe working toward a more just, kind and compassionate global community is our mandate.

We believe a flourishing democracy requires robust engagement in the electoral process and the promotion of civility in politics. Extreme rhetoric and mean-spiritedness in politics has left Mainers and Americans deeply divided, making it difficult to recognize shared values, engage in constructive dialogue, find common ground, and advance the common good. Ranked choice voting creates more generous spirit and greater respect for the dignity of our differences.
When a candidate is required to engage civilly with people across their deep difference, voter participation increases and issues are at the center of the campaign. When a candidate is required to win votes across parties, the dialogue is moved from divisiveness to civil engagement and compromise, from negativity to values and visions, from vitriol to experiences and capabilities.
When voters have a broader range of candidates and more choices in the booth, their vote is not wasted. Their voice is amplified.
Ranked choice voting is good for politics in Maine. It is good for the people of Maine. It is good for the future of Maine. We encourage the good people of Maine to join us in voting Yes on Question 5.

Public Utilities Commission, December 2015

Public Utilities Commission
Sponsored by: National Resource Council of Maine
December 8, 2015

Press Conference at PUC, Hallowell, Maine

Hello, my name is Rev. Carie Johnsen. I am speaking on behalf of the Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network. As Unitarian Universalists we affirm and promote the interconnected web of all existence.

From the forest to the sea to humanity itself, each thread of being is woven into a single fabric of existence. We embrace nature’s beauty and are in awe of its power. We care for our environment so that it may sustain life for generations to come… Creating a sustainable way of life is central to our view of a just and compassionate world. uua.org/environment

As Unitarian Universalists we recognize humanity’s part in creating climate change and the urgency of mitigating its damaging effects. We are committed to acting responsibly to protect the quality of the environment and working to lessen our dependence on fossil fuel by encouraging the use of sustainable, clean energy.

Maine congregations are starting to look more at solar power, for their church buildings and with their members. Solar energy is an important part of our response to the threat of climate change, which people of faith are deeply concerned about. Solar power is also a way for individuals and communities—including congregations—to take direct action to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. With state policy as a partner, there is tremendous opportunity for us to work together for a solar future for Maine.

We are both stewards and consumers of earth’s resources. It is a moral imperative that we act now. I call upon our state leaders to act now to reduce barriers, improve policies and increase access to solar power for the people of Maine, for future generations and for the sustainability of planet Earth as we know it.