RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR OCTOBER 30, 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: Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday November 22nd, 5:30pm, via Zoom

Election Information

Track your mail-in ballot status
https://www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/track/trackmyballot.aspx

Make a Plan to Vote

Good advice from CHN
https://www.chn.org/voices/make-a-healthy-plan-to-vote/

Election Action Opportunities

You have a choice of textbanking, phonebanking. postcarding, or letterwriting to get out the vote or to support specific candidates, to your contacts or to a list provided to you, in your state or in a battleground state. Most of the campaigns that have you send letters or postcards require you to pay for the postage (though some don’t; some will provide packets of all needed materials and script and talking points and addresses along with postage; some only provide the script and talking points and addresses and you even buy the postcard) You could also be a paid poll worker or a volunteer poll watcher.

See the pinned announcement on our Facebook page for more details.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SolidarityLowell/announcements/

Post-election action

Watch our Facebook page for information. No one knows at this point what will be necessary, or when.

Meanwhile, we encourage you to take advantage of one of the many trainings being offered for how to deal with a possible post-election power grab. Better to be trained and ready and not need to do anything, than to not be ready. Any actions need to be NONVIOLENT, so training in nonviolent methods would be particularly helpful.
https://choosedemocracy.us/trainings/#.X5tfSIhKjcs

Local Events and Actions

Llama Friendly Bites

Periodic Friendly Bites events around the city, with free food and information on eviction defense
Next event: October 31 on North Common (413 Fletcher St) 3-5pm
Lowell Votes: Textbank to Get Out the Vote
Monday, November 2, 1-3pm
https://tinyurl.com/LowellGOTVfor11320

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers for other tasks

Help is sought with Khmer translation, Working Group coordination, and general help
http://www.lowellvotes.org/volunteer/

Support Endorsed Candidate Teresa English on Election Day

Tuesday, November 3

Standouts at the polls are being scheduled in shifts as follows:
7am-9am
9am-12pm
12pm-3pm
6pm-8pm

If interested in supporting this progressive candidate by holding a sign at the polls, please contact Campaign Manager Meredith Lovell at merelovell@yahoo.com

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, November 5, 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.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, November 10, 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 issued a Zoom link 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.

The MVP 8th Annual MICAH Awards Celebration

Saturday, November 7, 2020, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
This event will celebrate the work of several community members who go above and beyond to make the world a better place. MVP is offering 3 ticket options ($10, $30 with gift card, $30 without gift card) and this event is also an annual fundraiser. Purchase tickets online at:
https://givebutter.com/MICAH20
If you cannot attend the event that day but still would like to provide a tax-deductible contribution to the work of the Merrimack Valley Project, you may do so at:
https://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1.

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.
October’s nominees include 3 Lowell groups, The Megan House Foundation, Lowell Transitional Living Center, Inc., and Living Waters Center of Hope.

To vote for one, go to:
https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are

  • Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
  • The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc.
  • Greater Lawrence Family Health Center

The winner will be awarded in December.

To vote, go to:
https://www.weshareacommonthread.org/Give-a-Click/

City Hall Access Limited

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

State-Level Events and Actions


Phone Bank for Safe Communities Act

Tuesday, November 3, 11am-1pm
Sign up: https://actionnetwork.org/campaigns/safe-elections-for-all

Pending Legislation

When the legislature extended its session through the end of the year, instead of just to the end of July, a lot of the frenzied urgency to pass specific bills faded away. But just because you haven’t heard much lately, doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to do. Some bills are stuck. In Conference Committee as the differences between House and Senate bills need to be reconciled. Or in a Committee that still needs to report a bill out favorably in order for it to move forward. Some of the legislation that can use your support is listed below. Now, before an electron, is a good time to contact legislators with your views.

Economic Development Bill
This bill is in Conference Committee. Tell Legislators to Invest In Our Recovery at the Greater Lowell meeting on the bill. It’s time to put the people first. 70+ percent of Massachusetts voters agree: We must invest in our public services that improve public health, grow our economy, and reduce racial inequalities. Rather than implement state budget cuts that would worsen the effects of the economic downturn and harm our recovery, legislators must raise new revenue from profitable corporations and their shareholders!
bit.ly/invest-lowell

Housing Stability [URGENT-MORATORIUM ENDS OCTOBER 17]
The bill was reported favorably out of committee and is now in Conference Committee. Although the Governor announced a plan that would provide $100,000,000 to cover back rent and would also fund counsel the plan does not do nearly as much as is needed.
Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act to prevent evictions and foreclosures. Scripts for both calls and emails are provided. Click on the tab of your preferred action.
https://www.housingguarantee.org/
Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act to prevent evictions and foreclosures. Scripts for both are provided. Click on the tab of your preferred action.

Roe Act
The deadline for reporting this bill out was extended to November 12. Considering the state of the Supreme Court it is urgent that our legislature pass this additional protection for reproductive rights in our state.
Write your legislators:
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/contact-your-state-lawmakers-about-the-roe-act-2

Climate Action: Still Waiting
The police reform bill isn’t the only bill sitting in conference committee, awaiting a final vote on passage. So is a climate bill that the House took up in July.
There are important provisions in both the House and Senate versions that need to make it into a final bill.
Please you contact your state legislators with these four key asks:

  • Environmental justice language to protect vulnerable and historically marginalized communities that have borne the brunt of pollution and other environmental harms
  • An accelerated timeline for emissions targets because we are already so far behind
  • Increased renewable electricity generation because we need to be shifting away from fossil fuels and toward clean, green energy for us to even meet those targets
  • A clear equity focus in any carbon pricing scheme that comes out of the bill so that the communities most impacted by environmental injustices can benefit from a sustainable transition.

Police Reform Bill
This is still in Conference Committee. Contact your legislators and ask them to urge the bill be brought to a vote.

Safe Communities Act
This bill was voted favorably out of the Public Safety Committee, but there has been no movement to bring it to vote. It may not have enough supporters to override a possible veto.

Our State Reps’ Info:
Find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):

House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. David Nangle David.Nangle@mahouse.gov 617-722-2520
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612
Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected medical expense of $300 for a one-time treatment not covered by his insurance. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – medical” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
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 October meeting here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1n3FECwmUrSYF2s-1oE2I01jprUBXFQ_7xylEZgBgVsA/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our October meeting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0cLF218xz0

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

Posted by Caroline Snow