Meet Our “Connecting with Legislators” Panel at our 2nd Annual Public Policy Forum!


Taking Action For Early Care and Education!

MaineAEYC’s 2nd Annual Public Policy Forum is on September 16th! Register today!

Certificates of attendance will be handed out to educators. Attendance will be capped at 100, so please register early for this FREE forum.

Educator/NonProfit Registration

At our morning breakout session, “Connecting with Legislators,” explore how you and your organization can build relationships with policymakers. How do you decide whether to call, write an email, or request a face-to-face meeting? In this session you will learn tips for how to best communicate with legislators.

Meet our “Connecting with Legislators” panel…

Sen. Rebecca Millett is serving her third term in the Maine Senate, representing South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and part of Scarborough. She serves on the state’s Education and Cultural Affairs committee. Sen. Millett grew up in Maine and attended Portland public schools. After graduating college, serving in the Peace Corps, and working in finance in New York, Sen. Millett moved home to Maine in 2000. Upon returning to Maine, she served on the Cape Elizabeth School Board from 2004 to 2010, and co-founded a citizens’ advocacy group to support advancements in local education. She lives in Cape Elizabeth with her husband and children. She loves hiking and backpacking with her family and studies piano.

Rep. Patty Hymanson is serving her second term in the Maine House of Representatives. She is the House chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. Hymanson is a neurologist who has practiced in the area for over 25 years. A graduate of Yale University and New York Medical College, she worked in her own neurology practice as well as at several hospitals. She has taught at Harvard Medical School, Boston City Hospital and Boston University School of Medicine. Hymanson was a two-term member of the York School Committee, serving as chair for several years. She has also been chair of the board of Families First Health and Support Center, the community health center safety net that serves the Seacoast area, and helped establish two local non-profit organizations, the York Diversity Forum and healthcareGIVES. She is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Portsmouth Regional Hospital and Maine delegate to Congress in support of people facing neurological disorders. She is also a longtime singer with Voices from the Heart. Hymanson has lived in York with her husband, Alan Hymanson, M.D., for over 30 years. They have three adult children.

Rita Furlow is an attorney and serves as the Senior Policy Analyst at the Maine
Children’s Alliance. Rita works closely with state leaders to help make young children a
top priority for policy makers. Her legislative and policy experience includes working in a
congressional office, in the Maine House of Representatives, the Virginia State Senate,
and as Special Assistant to Maine’s Attorney General. Following her graduation from
law school, she focused on special education and disability law and advocated for
children in private practice and as the Executive Director of the Learning Disabilities
Association of Maine. Rita has a BA from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Virginia
and a JD from Vermont Law School. She lives in mid-coast Maine with her husband
and two children.

Rick McCarthy is a consultant to the Maine Head Start Directors Association, Maine Community Action Association, and the YMCAs. Rick’s extensive experience in State government has provided him a thorough understanding of the legislative process and the workings of state government.  With 11 years of experience in the Senate President’s Office, Rick served as Chief of Staff to two Senate Presidents and as a Special Assistant to additional Senate Presidents.  Rick is recognized in the Statehouse as being a skilled consensus builder who is well versed on the major public policy issues of the day. His experience in state and federal budget and finance is particularly strong along with the topics of early care and education and assistance to low-income households.