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

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR JUNE 15, 2021

The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Save the Date: Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday, June  27, 5:30pm
Among the topics will be redistricting, which is a big deal in our community since the demographics are changing, and the Fair Share Amendment.

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Donations are needed to assist Marius, 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. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Please chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him. Any amount will be gratefully accepted.

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

 

Local Events and Actions

Attn: Pawtucketville Residents:
Claypit Brook Climate Resilience Stormwater Management Capital Improvement Plan

Virtual Hearing
Wednesday, June 16, 6:30pm

RSVP: tinyurl.com/LowellMVP
The City of Lowell is holding a public meeting to discuss the findings of the Claypit Brook Capital Improvement Plan, which identified a suite of strategies to address the intense flooding that has been experienced in the Pawtucketville neighborhood. This project aims to enhance the resilience of the community to climate change impacts and is funded by an MVP Action Grant. The City wants to hear from residents!
The Project Team will present the results of the prioritization process which identified green infrastructure locations and projects around the watershed. This virtual meeting will also include interactive polling and Question & Answer sessions. The meeting will be recorded and posted online for those who are not able to attend. Translation and interpretation are available in ASL, Español, ភាសាខ្មែរ, português.

Lowell Votes Get Out the Vote Training

Thursday, June 17 , 5:30-7pm
https://tinyurl.com/Lowell-Votes-Sign-Up
Help Lowell voters learn about and transition to vote in the new hybrid voting system. Learn how to talk about the importance of voting locally, register voters, join a phone bank, and canvass safely door to door.

State-level Events and Actions

Fair Share Amendment Campaign Kicks into High Gear and You Can Help

Lawrence event June 15
The Fair Share Amendment is a proposal to amend the Massachusetts Constitution, creating an additional tax of four percentage points on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million. The new revenue, approximately $2 billion a year, would be spent on “quality public education and affordable public colleges and universities, and for the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and public transportation.” To ensure that the amendment continues to apply only to the highest income taxpayers, who have the ability to pay more, the $1 million threshold would be adjusted each year to reflect cost-of-living increases.
Become an official “Fair Share Amendment Voter” by filling out the pledge form at https://raiseupma.us/pm.

Join the Merrimack Valley Campaign launch:
Tuesday, June 15, 6 PM 

Greater Lawrence Launch, McGovern Transportation Center
English – https://actionnetwork.org/events/lawrence-for-the-fair-share-amendment?clear_id=true
Spanish – https://actionnetwork.org/events/lawrence-for-the-fair-share-amendment-2?clear_id=true

Sign up to Testify at Hearing on Anti-bullying Dignity at Work Act

Deadline Wednesday, June 16 at 1:00pm
On June 22, 2021, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will hear testimony on the Dignity at Work Act (DAWA).

Here are three ways that you can take action TODAY:
1. Sign the petition: bit.ly/passDAWA
2. Get action alerts: bit.ly/DAWAalerts
3. Testify on behalf of DAWA in Massachusetts on Tuesday, June 22. Sign up to testify at bit.ly/DAWAtestifyMA (sign-up deadline: Wednesday, June 16 at 1:00pm ET). Get ready by joining our testimony training on Tuesday, June 15 at 10:30am ET: bit.ly/getready615

Email info@workplacebullyingcoalition.org for more information.

Lobbying & Libations: Progressive Mass Summer Lobby Training

Thursday, June 17, 2021 6:00 PM-7:30PM
To register: https://tinyurl.com/2xe3en4
Host Contact Info: issues@progressivemass.com
Find out more about how to lobby for progressive issues and legislation. Mix your “liberal libation” of choice and join us for our summer lobby training!

Gender Neutral ID Marker Bills and ACTION NEEDED!

While it has been possible for some time to tick the box for a third gender option on your Massachusetts driver’s licenses, that change did not mean the X option was available and legal in all documentation throughout the state. There are two bills that propose to change that. If you would like to submit written testimony, testify in person, or both, follow the link for more details, including templates.
https://tinyurl.com/9v4kfhcf

Tell your senator to support H.3863 regarding reprecincting to make redistricting easier

As you’re probably aware, the figures from the Census have been delayed. Which pushes back the time redistricting can start. Massachusetts has usually started redistricting by redrawing precinct lines. But that will further shorten an already too-short time frame for redrawing districts. This bill allows the legislature to start by drawing district lines FIRST and allowing towns and cities to THEN draw precinct lines to fit within the new district lines. A simple change that will make the whole process more efficient.

Use the link to write your senator:
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-the-reprecincting-bill?source=direct_link&

Urge your state representative to support transparency

Sample script:
“Hello, this is [your name] from [your full street address] and Solidarity Lowell. It’s been almost three months since the House and Senate passed respective sets of Joint Rules for the current legislative session, and almost two months since a Conference Committee was formed. The delay at finalizing a set of Joint Rules is holding back some of the important work of the session.
The Joint Rules should embody the commitment to democracy and transparency that many residents of the Commonwealth cherish. In particular, I urge you to press upon your chamber’s Leadership to include the following measures in a final Joint Rules package: publishing full committee votes on the Legislature’s website in an accessible manner, making testimony accessible to the public, with appropriate redactions as with any other public records request, and extending the notice period for hearings to one week. All of these steps will help legislators do their own jobs better and strengthen the participatory nature of our democracy.”

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)

(Replace the “at” and extra spaces with “@”)
House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano at mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka at masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden: Thomas.Golden at mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard: Vanna.Howard at mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302 / Google Voice: 978-272-9078.
Rep. Rady Mom: Rady.Mom at mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry: Colleen.Garry at mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen: tram.nguyen at mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy: edward.kennedy at masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett: Mike.Barrett at masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge: James.Eldridge at masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold: Barry.Finegold at masenate.gov 617-722-1612

(Or find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator)

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

 

National Events and Actions

Virtual Summit: Continuing Threats to Free and Fair Elections

Wednesday, June 16, 12pm-2pm
https://tinyurl.com/4znrpjp8
Presented by The Brennan Center, the Ash Center, and the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Equal Rights Amendment Needs Your Help

Thank you to Indivisible Mass Coalition and News-MAGIC for bringing this to our attention.

The reason the Equal Rights Amendment has not become part of the US Constitution is because the Trump Administration issued an Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memo blocking the Archivist from publishing it. Why can’t the new Justice Department issue an OLC memo unblocking the publication of the ERA? Let’s ask!

Sample script:
“Dear Attorney General Garland, Now that 38 states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, it is time to put women in the Constitution! Please repeal your predecessor’s banning of the publication of the ERA and instruct the Archivist to publish it immediately! Women have waited long enough!
Sincerely,
[your name, full address]”

Submit a comment here: https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.
 

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

To join our postcarding efforts to write to legislators on issues of interest , please fill out the following form: https://forms.gle/h2V7gJ1e2WbY9dKU9

For volunteer opportunities, visit our Volunteer page: http://solidaritylowell.com/volunteer-opportunities/

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326202548419687
View the notes from our May meeting:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/11R4df87hbYo-QU4z2w9KfS6hKgIioap_ExnEi3cS7OE/edit?usp=sharing

Watch the video from our May meeting:
https://youtu.be/L0drAWMW630
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Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

 

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

Upcoming Events

Things of Note

Racism is a Local Public Health Crisis

As an organization working for social justice for all in our city, Solidarity Lowell feels called to write in support of the Lowell Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consortium and its letter to the city. It is good to see the City Council taking the Consortium’s letter seriously enough for there to be several motions beforeContinue reading →

Posted by Marissa in Local Justice, Things of Note