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 8/16/19

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell August Meeting

Sunday, August 25th, 5:30-7pm, Christ Church United (UCC), 1 Bartlett St, Lowell

Join us for the monthly general meeting of Solidarity Lowell! Featuring Mary Taurus, who will present an overview of the four election system options that will be up for a vote by the City Council, and an opportunity for discussion and feedback. All are welcome!

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/354773365413924/
 

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

Support for Marius: $400 Needed for August Living Expenses

First, some great news about 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. He will be eligible to apply for a work permit in the beginning of November. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. July is covered, but having fully paid his lawyer, we currently have just $100 available for living expenses in August and onward. Can you chip in towards the $400 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!

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

The time has come to get our endorsements survey ready for the Lowell City Council and School Committee elections this fall. We’re looking for folks who are interested in helping put together the survey, get it out to those running for office, and compile the results for our members.

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

 

 

Local Events and Actions

Southeast Asian Water Festival

Saturday, August 17th, 9am-5pm, 500 Pawtucket Blvd, Lowell

The Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival, Inc. is dedicated to the preservation, protection and sharing of cultural heritages of the Southeast Asian Americans in the Greater Lowell area of Massachusetts. Every third Saturday in August, more than 60,000 people from around the country and the world come to Lowell to celebrate water as it is celebrated in Southeast Asia. They come for the blessings, food, crafts, performances and (of course) the races.

More information: http://lowellwaterfestival.org/

Lowell Election Change Informational Session

Thursday, August 22nd, 6-8pm, Mercier Center, 21 Salem St, Lowell

In a decision mandated by the courts, the city must choose from four options that will change how city council and school committee members are selected. We will discuss all the options more at the meeting, but you can learn more about the options here: https://yourlowellyourvote.org/new-options This is a major decision that will change the City of Lowell forever. Don’t miss out on making history. Food, childcare, and interpretation services will be provided.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/483052425601630/

 

 

 

 

State- and National-Level Events and Actions

Rally to Demand Action on Gun Safety

Sunday, August 18th, 3pm, Boston City Hall Plaza, 1 City Hall Square, Boston

Every day, 100 Americans are shot and killed and hundreds more are wounded. The impact of gun violence goes beyond mass shootings; in recent weeks gun violence has devastated communities across the country including Baltimore, Chicago, Gilroy, Canoga Park, Brooklyn, El Paso, Dayton and many more. It is past time for Senators to listen to Americans, and pass laws requiring background checks on every gun sale and strong federal Red Flags legislation. Join MA Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action and community partners for a rally thanking our MA Senators for all their support and urge the Senate to bring these bills to a vote. Please wear red!

More information: https://act.everytown.org/event/august-recess-2019/25047/signup/

August Jericho Walk at the Burlington MA ICE Office

Tuesday, August 20th, 1-2pm, 1000 District Ave, Burlington

Join us for our monthly Jericho Walk at the ICE office in Burlington, MA. The Jericho Walk is a silent interfaith prayer and act of solidarity. The walk draws inspiration from the Battle of Jericho, in which the community marched around the city of Jericho seven times, causing the city walls to fall. The Jericho Walk of today is a silent, peaceful, and prayerful walk to bring down the walls of our unjust immigration system and is open to people of all or no faiths. Please bring signs!

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1079866815536082/

 

 

Interfaith Prayer Vigil to Support ICE Detainees

Sunday, August 25th, 2-3pm, Suffolk County Jail, 20 Bradston St, Boston

Join Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN) as we raise our voices and prayers in support of ICE detainees.  A monthly gathering that draws together different faith traditions, we are able to gather in fellowship with the detained who come to the windows of the Suffolk County Jail to witness the power of the people who remind them they are not alone or forgotten.  This month’s vigil is co-sponsored with King’s Chapel.

More information: https://www.mcan.us/new-events/interfaith-prayer-vigil-mclzt-2cl6k

 

 

Support Fully Funding Public Education for All Students

Please contact your state representative and state senator (find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Robert DeLeo: 617-722-2500

Rep. Thomas Golden 617-722-2263
Rep. David Nangle 617-722-2520
Rep. Rady Mom 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen 617-722-2425

Sen. Edward Kennedy 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett 617-722-1572
Sen. Barry Finegold 617-722-1612
Sen. Jamie Eldridge 617-722-1120

Sample Script: “Hello, I’m [Name] from [Address] and Solidarity Lowell. It’s been almost four years since a commission created by the legislature showed that we are underfunding our public schools by up to $2 billion a year due to an outdated funding formula from 1993. It’s far past time for the Legislature to update this formula, and we have to do it right. A good bill will do right by all our students, especially the most vulnerable. And that means providing 100% additional funding for the poorest students. I urge you to only support a bill that delivers on this promise of quality public education for all and to communicate this to Speaker Bob DeLeo and Education Chairwoman Alice Peisch. Can I count on you to send a letter to them outlining your demands for an education funding bill?”

More information: https://www.progressivemass.com/keepit100-education?utm_campaign=flashback_friday_education&utm_medium=email&utm_source=progressivemass

 

Support Election Day Voter Registration

Please contact your state representative and state senator (find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Robert DeLeo: 617-722-2500

Rep. Thomas Golden 617-722-2263
Rep. David Nangle 617-722-2520
Rep. Rady Mom 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen 617-722-2425

Sen. Edward Kennedy 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett 617-722-1572
Sen. Barry Finegold 617-722-1612
Sen. Jamie Eldridge 617-722-1120

Sample Script: “Hello, I’m [Name] from [Address] and Solidarity Lowell. In Massachusetts, our 20-day voter registration cutoff needlessly and arbitrarily disenfranchises thousands of potential voters. That’s why our neighbors in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut have all done away with such a cutoff. EDR has many benefits. Here are just a few: increased voter turnout, more accurate vote rolls, reduced need for provisional ballots, and greater access for the geographically mobile (e.g., lower-income voters, young voters, and voters of color). Please support Election Day Registration (S.396/H.685). Thank you!”

More information: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S396

 

 

Ask Our Reps to Support Refugees

Please contact your state representative and state senator (find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Robert DeLeo: 617-722-2500

Rep. Thomas Golden 617-722-2263
Rep. David Nangle 617-722-2520
Rep. Rady Mom 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen 617-722-2425

Sen. Edward Kennedy 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett 617-722-1572
Sen. Barry Finegold 617-722-1612
Sen. Jamie Eldridge 617-722-1120

Sample Script: “Hello, I’m [Name] from [Address] and Solidarity Lowell. Please support refugees by signing onto a letter open to all state and local elected leaders across the country. The letter urges the President to set the refugee admissions ceiling at 95,000 refugees in the coming fiscal year. Our community stands with refugees and has benefited from their contributions. I urge you to demonstrate that our community stands with refugees at this time of historic need. You can find the letter at welcomingrefugees2020.org. Thank you!”

More information: http://welcomingrefugees2020.org/reaching-out-to-elected-representatives/

 

 

 

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