RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR SEPTEMBER 4, 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!

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Save The Date: September General Meeting

Sunday September 27th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Main topic: presentation from PFLAG.

Local Events and Actions

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, September 10, 5pm
Concerned about the looming eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
Call: 978-222-7877 or Visit: https://lowell-mutual-aid.com/form/ to submit needs or offer help.

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/

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.
September’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen and D’Youville Life and Wellness Community.
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.

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

Labor Day Rally for a Just Recovery

Monday, 9/7, 11am
This Labor Day, 9/7, Raise Up Massachusetts will be delivering a list of demands for justice and equity for working people to the State House at 11am. If you want to attend in person or digitally, you can sign up at https://actionnetwork.org/events/labor-day-action

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
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 in communities of color, working-class neighborhoods, and more to participate in the 2020 Census.If people aren’t counted, we lose Federal funding for the next TEN YEARS. The last Census cost MA a representative.
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

From Citizens to Outsiders: Burma’s Path to Genocide

September 9 | 3:00pm-4:15pm ET | Webinar
Join HIAS and AJWS for a virtual tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s new online exhibit “Burma’s Path to Genocide,” and learn how the Rohingya, a religious and ethnic minority in Burma, became targets of a sustained campaign of genocide starting in 2016. Hear from a former political prisoner and Rohingya activist, receive an update on the current situation, and find out how you can help.

Advanced registration required: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/citizens-outsiders-burmas-path-genocide

The Future of Refugee Resettlement

September 10 | 4:00pm-5:00pm ET | Briefing Call
After years of policy attacks from the Trump Administration, refugee resettlement in the United States looks very different than it once did. Join a briefing call to hear how the lowering of the annual cap on refugee admissions (the Presidential Determination or PD) has affected our country’s ability to save the lives of tens of thousands of people each year. Hear examples and client stories from our partner, Jewish Family Services of Buffalo & Erie County, and hear HIAS’ plans and hopes for the future of resettlement.

Advanced registration required: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/future-refugee-resettlement

Uncertain Times, Certain Fear: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in the COVID-19 Era

September 16, 2020 | 3:00pm-4:00pm ET | Webinar
Echoing history, the fears and anxieties over the current global health pandemic have fed an increase in xenophobia—including anti-Semitism, and anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment. Join HIAS and ADL for a dynamic conversation about the historic and contemporary intersections of anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant rhetoric, and how the current pandemic is impacting refugees and asylum seekers in particular.

Advanced registration required: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/uncertain-times-certain-fear-anti-semitism-and-anti-immigrant-sentiment-covid-19

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