Research and Evaluation Task Force

PRESENT: Stacie Haines, Rep. Morgan Rielly, Charlie Eng, Mohamed Khalid, Maryalice Crofton, Kirsten Brewer

Task Force members convened at 1pm using technology.

-Introductions: New members were welcomed. Charlie Eng is from Brandeis, interned with MYCJ. Mohamed Khalid is part of the Community Organizing Alliance. 
-Update on Climate Corps RFA:  The Climate Corps Request For Applications is open and closes on September 23. It can be found on the Commission's website ( as well as Division of Procurement. The funding priority is Energy Efficiency. Three organizations were at the info session and there are likely to be two applications. 
-Maine Service Fellows Host Site Applications Open: The community application is on the commission website ( Rural Maine communities may apply to host a Service Fellow who can expand capacity in a wide range of areas from COVID-19 recovery to Climate Action. They must spend at least 20% of their time creating or enhancing volunteer capacity.
Please help us spread the word about this opportunity, applications are due: October 21, 2022. The positions are State and privately funded. Requesting host site applications. The program will be coordinated by someone out of the Commission office. 
Eligible rural areas: all counties but York, Kennebec, Sagadahoc, and Penobscot towns over 5,000 or in Greater Bangor. Leaves out I-95 coordinator. Person will be embedded in town. Broad way to deal with climate action. Fellow must spend 20% time on creating volunteer systems to sustain the effort. Cost share of towns of $1800. 
Morgan offered to pass info on the opportunity to HDO. And, Environmental Priorities Coalition (after Friday deadline). Commission staff will be at the October 5th MMA conference to provide info to town staff.
Two positions are fully funded now. Hoping for 20 through America the Beautiful Grant that will cover 18 months. Decision announcements are due in November. That grant priority supports community planning in the climate space. 

 Point of information: A Maine Service Fellows Coordinator has been identified. Jake Hurner has been the leader for the Ending Hunger in Maine VISTA project. He will start on October 5 which means he will be at the MMA conference.
-Rep. Rielly, Updates on Legislative Agenda for the Climate Corps in 2023: There are two scenarios. If gov is re-elected and makeup of legislator is the same, one bill: Act to Fully Fund Climate Corps. If that’s not the case: break it down and attach to different bills: i.e. energy related bills, public health, community resilience/emergency preparedness, workforce development. Need to revisit this in mid-November.
-Fall and Winter AmeriCorps Grant Competitions. The federal agency added climate categories to their funding priorities. Now is the time to build interest and awareness amongst Maine organizations to prepare for late October and mid-winter grant submission dates. State priority focus areas: Coastal Zone, Emergency Management, Community Resiliency, Lead by Example (weatherizing public buildings), Energy Education/Home Energy Conservation.
Need discussion about potential applicants for the Lead by Example and Emergency Management/Preparedness areas. There are not obvious networks or statewide NGOs to approach. Request is for task force to seriously scout for organizations that could be approached.
Suggestions made immediately were 
Lead by Example: Sierra Club (Green Sneakers Project), Passivhaus Maine
Emergency Management/Preparedness: Islesboro Islands Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Island Trail Association, Midcoast Conservancy. 
These may all be too small to think of hosting 8+ members. Possible pathway through UMaine/cooperative extensions.
-Michael Smith, AmeriCorps CEO visit to Maine on Sep 26-27:  The Commission is organizing an opportunity for climate corps policy and program representatives to meet with Michael and share with him our vision for the Climate Corps in Maine and what we need to make this vision a reality. Watch for invitation and details.