Solidarity Lowell is a coalition of community members of Greater Lowell working towards social justice and standing together against hate and discrimination.

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Help Marius Cover His Lawyer's Fees and Stay in the Country

Marius is a Togolese asylum-seeker, who has recently moved to Lowell to fight for asylum in the Boston federal immigration courts. Marius comes from a family of political dissidents fighting for greater democracy, and was forced to flee his country after his parents were murdered by the government. He has been threatened everywhere he's tried to rebuild his life, and last year decided to journey across South and North America to seek asylum in the United States. But Marius cannot do it alone. The Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network is providing housing for him, but he also needs funds for legal, medical and living expenses. We need to raise $500/month for his living expenses, plus at least $2000 in lawyer’s fees so any amount you can donate is greatly appreciated.

 

Use THIS donation button to make a tax-deductible donation (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form).

For more information and for a non-tax-deductible way to donate, here is the GoFundMe page.

From the Rapid Response Team

SOLIDARITY LOWELL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR 10/31/19

VOTE!!!

Tuesday, November 5th, 7am-8pm

Solidarity Lowell has endorsed for City Council: Juan Castañeda, Ty Chum, John Drinkwater, Harry Kortikere, and Vesna Nuon. For School Committee, we have endorsed Hilary Clark, Jackie Doherty, Dominik Lay, Sherri O’Connor Barboza, and Ben Opara. It’s also very important to vote on the new election system! Please note that we also endorsed Karen Cirillo but unfortunately she is no longer on the ballot due to health concerns. We wish her the best!

Not sure where to vote? Visit wheredoivotema.org

Need more info on the candidates? Check out these videos: 

City Council: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jYhlL7SIWk&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3F1qK76XjmNCEJALr1_-xtUF6RK1qPbLK-PcxrvwO_j0127HxdTS6sudI

https://www.utecvotes.org/lowell

School Committee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoIbfbF-dKw&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3f9tpbmYCQ0tJv9ABseUjxCk7MUGRBjb-ODK5TmSasUPnAyTSZWmeqWC8

Election System: 

English: https://vimeo.com/367348923

Khmer: https://vimeo.com/367344023

Spanish: https://vimeo.com/367350069

Dick Howe’s Blog: http://richardhowe.com/2019/10/09/lowell-election-system-options/

https://yourlowellyourvote.org/

Friends not sure who to vote for? Print and share this endorsements card! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q-Rw5Hz3EyNMNFroSToz9ynyxH4b9GkX/view?usp=sharing

 

October Meeting Notes

View our October meeting notes, including Dominik Lay’s survey responses and a summary of our guest speaker’s presentation on Restorative Justice! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GzrSi5MPCt2PRriQfgyo1muBsdK9l142/view?usp=sharing

 

Announcing Our Endorsement of Dominik Lay

Dominik Lay missed the original deadline for our endorsements but we reviewed his responses to our survey at our October meeting, and after the ballots were cast, our members voted to endorse him for Lowell School Committee!

 

Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group

Starting November 10th, 2019, and continuing each Monday for the following five weeks, 7pm, Christ Church United, 1 Bartlett St, Lowell

Individuals committed to exploring their own racial biases are invited to participate in an Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group. The purpose of the group is to engage in supportive, structured dialogues with others to explore whiteness in contemporary society, especially to better understand the legacy and impact of white supremacy, white privilege, explicit and implicit bias, systemic racism, and microaggressions. Over the course of this six-week workshop, you will better understand yourself, your communities, and be prepared to work toward a diverse and equitable culture with your friends, family, Lowell and beyond. You will be expected to attend all six sessions.

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/4qTydJ1MbakrQCyE9

 

Join the Cleanup Crew!

We’re looking to start organizing a cleanup of South Common. After holding our Cultural Exchange Potluck there the past two years, we’ve found a lot of trash that needs picking up! If you’re interested in helping, please sign up below!

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/pcr5vC5sy9pkVyhWA

 

Little Free Libraries

Solidarity Lowell and Chaos Bookery are joining forces to add a Little Free Library to each neighborhood in Lowell! We’re looking for locations (preferably on private property), stewards (folks to maintain the libraries and check on them on a weekly basis), and builders (there are plans online but let us know if you want to help build the libraries). If you’re interested, please sign up below!

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/HHbWF7vveUD8rqey6

 

State- and National-Level Events and Actions

Progressive Mass All-Member Meeting

Saturday, November 9th, 11am-4pm, Congregational Church of Needham, 1154 Great Plain Ave, Needham

Join with other activists from across the state for the first Progressive Mass all-member meeting in several years. Together, we will reflect on our successes, hear from legislators and organizers at the cutting edge of progressive policy in the Commonwealth, and map a path forward to lead the nation by living up to our progressive reputation and passing legislation in line with our values.

RSVP here: https://www.progressivemass.com/2019-member-meeting

Merrimack Valley Project MICAH Dinner

Saturday, November 9th, 6-9pm, All Saints Parish, 120 Bellevue Ave, Haverhill (park in the lot on Blaisdell St)

On Saturday, November 9th, MVP will be holding its annual Ministry in Community Action Honorees (MICAH) Dinner from 6 to 9 PM at All Saints Parish in Haverhill. This is MVP’s annual event where we honor those in our communities who have gone to great lengths to live out their values and to create a more just Merrimack Valley. We are excited to bring together over 15 MVP faith, labor, and community groups as well as those who have supported our work over the past year.

For tickets or more information:  MValleyPR@gmail.com

JFON International Festival

Saturday, November 9th, 5:30-8pm, North Boston Korean United Methodist Church, 244 Lowell St, Andover

Featuring food and entertainment from South Korea, Ghana, and Guatemala; and a silent auction. For the past year, many hardy volunteers have been providing support for the attorneys who provide legal advice and counsel to the immigrants who have visited the Lawrence and Lowell clinics. Lawyers offered advice for women dealing with domestic violence, a teenager trying to find a new home, and others seeking asylum form a home county where they are on the wrong side of the current ruling authority. This work is critical to the many immigrants who visited our clinics this year. Please help us continue this work into the new year, by supporting our fundraiser for New England Justice for Our Neighbors. Tickets are $25 per person or $160 for a table for 8.

To order tickets, call 978-831-4374 or email jfonlawlowclinic@gmail.com

 

Tell Senator Markey to Support We The People

Senator Edward Markey: 617-565-8519

Sample Script: “Hello, I’m [Name] from [Address] and Solidarity Lowell. Please file the We the People Amendment in the Senate. I know you are considering it and I urge you to take this leadership because action on all the issues I care about is being blocked by corporate power and big money in politics. Thank you!”

More information: http://www.wethepeoplemass.org/the-we-the-people-amendment
Please report your call to Info@WtPMass.org

 

 

Get Ranked Choice Voting on the Ballot in MA!

Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is a commonsense change that would give voters the choice to rank candidates for office in the order they prefer them. This simple change will give Massachusetts voters a stronger voice when we cast our ballots, and guarantee that our elected leaders are supported by a true majority. Voters Choice Massachusetts, the organization promoting RCV, needs to collect 80,239 signatures before the December 1st deadline! With only THREE weekends left, they need all the help they can get! Please sign up below if you can gather signatures at local events. Please note this is for state-level voting and would not affect municipal elections.

Sign up here: https://voterchoice2020.org/signatures/

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Chelms-FED Up Postcarding

Every Tuesday, 9:30-11:30am, The Java Room, 14 Littleton Rd, Chelmsford

Fed up in Chelmsford? Come join us at The Java Room! We will be writing postcards for upcoming municipal elections! Information, addresses, and supplies provided, but feel free to bring your own supplies and info as well. See you there!

For more information, contact Hope at hope@solidaritylowell.com

Thursday Postcarding

Every Thursday, 9-11am, Panera Bread, 2 Cornerstone Square, Westford

Join your postcarding friends from Indivisible Westford Progressive Massachusetts and Solidarity Lowell to write issue-based postcards to our reps and write directly to voters for an upcoming election! Join us every Thursday!

For more information, contact Hope at hope@solidaritylowell.com

 

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. He will be eligible to apply for a work permit at the beginning of November. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping in an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

 

Join the Affordable Housing Subcommittee

As a result of our recent Strengthening Our Cities workshop series and activities at meetings, Solidarity Lowell is creating a subcommittee that will focus on the topic of affordable housing. If you are interested in joining, sign up using the form below.

Sign up here: https://forms.gle/RcDDqskH7bsurq4D9

 

Join the Elections Subcommittee

Our endorsements for the 2019 election cycle have been announced, and now we need to support these candidates! If you’re interested in helping out, please contact us at the email below.

If you’re interested, please email contact@solidaritylowell.com

 

Posted by Greg in Rapid Response Team

Upcoming Events

Things of Note

Got Questions on the Lowell Voter Lawsuit?

You may have heard something about the lawsuit being filed against the City of Lowell’s all at-large local voting system for City Council and School Committee. You might be wondering, why a lawsuit? And how is an all citywide at-large local government discriminatory? You can download this PDF, which answers a lot of these questions.Continue reading →

Posted by Lynne in Local Justice, Things of Note, Voting