RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 31, 2020

 

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!

Phonebank for our Endorsed Candidate Lisa Arnold

Last chance to make a difference for the Primary! Join a phonebank for Lisa Arnold, who is running for State Rep in the 17th Middlesex district. No special equipment or software is required, just a computer with microphone and speakers (though a headset is helpful).
Tonight, Monday Aug 31 from 6 – 9pm
Election Day, Tuesday Sept 1 from 1 – 7pm
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up!

Sign holding for Lisa Arnold

Hold a sign and support Lisa on Election Day. We’ll have the signs. You bring your own mask, sunscreen, hat, etc.
Election Day, Tuesday Sept 1 from 7am – 8pm
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up!

No August SL General Meeting

SL Members voted and decided we need a break! Have a happy and safe August. We will resume our meetings on Sunday September 27th, with a presentation from PFLAG.

Local Events and Actions

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.
August’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Coalition for a Better Acre and Project Learning.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

Sunday, Sept 6, 10am-1pm
250 Jackson St, Lowell
The Farm Market is outside. The building is also now open with safety rules, including masks and social distancing.
https://www.facebook.com/thefarmmarket/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1179181032450795/

City Hall Access Limited

Public access to City Hall is limited to Tuesdays from 8AM – 8PM and Thursdays from 8AM – 5PM.

Looking for the Secure Lockbox for your Mail-in Ballot?

Since it is too late to mail your mail-in ballot in the US mail, you can drop it in a secure lockbox at City Hall. There are TWO, but they’re both INSIDE.
One lockbox is in the Election Department, Rm 5, in the basement of City Hall. It is accessible when the office is open, Tuesday and Thursday.
The other lockbox is located INSIDE the “back” entrance, on JFK plaza, near the police station. The Election Department said when the door is locked, ballots can be deposited through the mail slot which feeds into a locked safe.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, Sep 8, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be conferenced in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before.

State-level Actions and Events

Fight for the Strongest Police Reform Bill

1. Email your legislators and Governor Baker (template provided at link)
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/fight-for-the-strongest-police-reform-bill

2) Contact the Conference Committee Members:
EMAIL
William.Brownsberger@masenate.govSonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.govBruce.Tarr@masenate.govClaire.Cronin@mahouse.govCarlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.govTimothy.Whelan@mahouse.gov
OR CALL
William Brownsberger: (617) 722-1280
Sonia Chang-Diaz: (617) 722-1673
Bruce Tarr: (617) 722-1600
Claire Cronin: (617) 722-2396
Carlos González: (617) 722-2080
Timothy Whelan: (617) 722-2488

WHAT TO SAY: It is essential that the final police reform bill includes reforms to the MA Civil Rights Act so that violations of our rights are not swept aside and limits qualified immunity so that victims of police brutality can get justice.

HAVE TIME TO SAY MORE?: Here is the expanded list of 12 provisions that you can copy from https://actionnetwork.org/letters/fight-for-the-strongest-police-reform-bill

Fight for Housing Stability

Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability to prevent evictions and foreclosures.
https://www.housingguarantee.org/

Keep Emergency Paid Sick Leave Moving through the Legislature (H.4700/S.2701)

Emergency Paid Sick Time has been reported favorably out of the Labor and Workforce Development committee! The next stop for our Emergency Paid Sick Time legislation is the Ways and Means committee of both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Email your State Representative and Senator urging them to help move the bill.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/move-epst/

Phonebank for Census and Vote by Mail
People in communities hit hardest by COVID-19 need a voice in what resources are needed for recovery. That’s why MA Voter Table and Masscounts are calling residents and voters in communities of color, working-class neighborhoods, and more to participate in the 2020 Census and to make a plan to vote safely this fall.
http://bit.ly/vbm-signup

Support the Citizen’s Commission

The Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs is discussing bill H.4908. H.4908 deals with the first-in-the-nation Massachusetts Citizens Commission that Massachusetts voters created through a 2018 ballot initiative.
Over the past 18 months the Citizens Commission has conducted over 20 public meetings across Massachusetts, collected extensive research and testimony.  The Citizens Commission has issued two key reports with findings & recommendations for action. Massachusetts should advance the recommendations to ensure that Congress pass and the states ratify an amendment to the US Constitution to ensure our ability to limit the corrupting power of money in our political system and protect the voice and representation of all Americans.
To ensure that we move forward in our mission to put people before money, we ask that you contact the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs ASAP to report out H.4908 favorably. You can reach the committee at jessica.avery@mahouse.gov.

National Actions and Events

Speak out against attempt to undo HUD protections for transgender people

The current administration is looking to remove critical protections meant to ensure the safety of any trans person in need of Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) funded programs – especially homeless shelters! We have until September to comment on the proposed new rules to try to fight them. You’ll find guidance on the page on the link for writing a message. The government has to read every unique comment they receive, so the more people write, the more they have to pay attention.
http://housingsaveslives.org

Urge your Federal legislators to pass the Native American Voting Rights Act

Co-authored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) this bill will ensure tribal polling places have proper voting equipment, require tribal consultation on polling site locations, and provide tribes with the resources they need to carry out full and fair elections. There have been too many attempts in the last few years to deny Native Americans their right to vote.
https://action.lakotalaw.org/action/pass-navra

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

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. 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)

 

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 at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our July meeting here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K4F3LJ0grKGlc2-752dQ-x8d3KtQAJGkEVjnFDj9QDM/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our July meeting:
https://youtu.be/OOF3wIb6hwM

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to joinhttps://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

Posted by Caroline Snow