RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR NOVEMBER 6, 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

Post-Election Action Opportunities

Watch our facebook page for information. No one knows at this point what will be necessary, or when.
Meanwhile, Protect the Results Boston is asking folks to take the following action:

Ask Secretary of State Galvin to support making mail-in balloting and the extended early voting timeline permanent.
https://www.sec.state.ma.us/seccon.htm
You will find more guidelines at this link: https://rb.gy/rnykuy

They were also asking folks to contact the governor asking him to make a statement in support of counting all the votes, but he’s done that.

Local Events and Actions

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, November 12, 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.

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.

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, November 6.

Towards an Anti-Racist Tomorrow

November 15, 3pm, on Zoom
A series of short plays written by Idris Goodwin, featuring Water Gun Song, #Matter, Act Free, BLACK FLAG, and Nothing Rhymes with Juneteenth. Presented by Free Soil Arts Collective and Middlesex Community College Theater Department.
Register at https://freesoilarts.org/towards-an-anti-racist-tomorrow/

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.
November’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Lowell Association for the Blind and Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust. The third nominee is Town of Chelmsford Scholarship Fund.

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

Protect Our People, Grow Our Power Rally and March

Saturday, November 7, 11am
Join Sunrise Movement, SEIU 32 BJ, Unitarian Universalist Mass Action, Asian American Resource Workshop, and many other organizations as they unite in the streets to demand that our democracy be protected, our votes be counted, and our communities be served. The march will run from Copley Square to Faneuil Hall this Saturday at 11 am to protect democracy and our communities and grow our local power!
**This event is following COVID-19 safety protocols. Please wear a mask, stay socially distant, and stay home if you have had recent symptoms.**

Vigil for Racial Justice

Sunday, November 8, 2-3pm
Littleton Common and First Baptist Church

Sponsored by Greater Littleton Interfaith Council

MASKS & SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIRED

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 is a good time to contact legislators with your views.

Our State Reps’ Info:
Fnd 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
Police Reform Bill

This is STILL in Conference Committee. Contact your legislators and ask them to urge the bill be brought to a vote with these four key asks:

  • Strong reforms to qualified immunity as well as the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, as in the Senate bill, to ensure that victims of police brutality can have their fair day in court
  • Breaking up the school-to-prison pipeline by granting schools discretion over whether or not to have school resource officers and ensuring that student information is not being passed on to police or ICE
  • Reinvestment in communities because strong, thriving communities are the bedrock of any real vision of public safety
  • Restrictions on the government use of facial surveillance because such tools are notoriously racist and inaccurate and violate basic privacy rights

Economic Development Bill
This bill is in Conference Committee. Tell Legislators to Invest In Our Recovery. 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!

Housing Stability [URGENT-MORATORIUM HAS ENDED]
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/

Roe Act
This bill is still in the Judiciary Committee. 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. As things stand now, a minor in foster care must go before a judge to get permission to have an abortion. And there are still restrictions on pregnancy terminations that become medically necessary after the first trimester.
The ROE Act abolishes medically unnecessary restrictions, reforms inflammatory and inaccurate legal definitions relative to pregnancy and abortion, and eliminates unwarranted intrusions and criminal penalties for doctors that provide abortion care. The bill also codifies reproductive freedom into state law.

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 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.

Safe Communities Act (S.1402/H.3573)
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. But we should not give up until the legislature has shut down for this session at the end of the year.
For ways you can support the effort to pass the bill, please go to:
https://www.miracoalition.org/get-involved/join-the-fight-for-safe-communities/

National Actions and Events

Help Cure Ballots in Nevada

Friday Nov. 6 through Thursday Nov. 12
Train on line to make calls to help Nevadans whose mail votes were rejected fix any problems so their vote will count.
https://www.mobilize.us/nvdems/event/357240/
Help Cure Ballots in North Carolina
Sunday Nov. 8 through Thursday Nov. 12
Train on line to make calls to help North Carolinians whose mail votes were rejected or who had to vote with provisional ballots fix any problems so their vote will count.
https://tinyurl.com/y483fc77

NPQ Webinar: Remaking the Economy: Where to Now?–And Beyond

Looks at the state of economic democracy in the wake of the 2020 elections.
Thursday, November 12, 2pm

Dr. Gar Alperovitz, historian, political economist, and cofounder of The Democracy Collaborative, based in Washington, DC, and the author of What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution.
Laura Flanders, an award-winning journalist based in New York City who hosts The Laura Flanders Show and was recognized this year by the Lannan Foundation for her body of work, which “helps the American public begin to imagine alternatives.”
Dr. Stacey Sutton, associate professor of urban planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she examines worker cooperatives, economic democracy, equitable development, and the racially disparate effects of place-based policy.
This webinar will explore:
What can cities do to build a more democratic economy?
What can co-ops, nonprofits, and other community-based actors contribute to the current moment marked by stark racial and economic inequality?
How can we democratize our politics as well as our economics? What new stories and narratives need to be advanced?
How can the institutional power base for a new politics be developed?
How does the state of the movement in 2020 differ from 2008? What learning has occurred in the past dozen years?
How can activists address current needs while building for the long term?
How can a “Green New Deal” be transformational?
How can the economy foster improvements in public health?
What role can philanthropy play in supporting the development of a more equitable economy?

https://tinyurl.com/y2sdjn2h

Post-election recap on “What’s Next for Refugees”

Thursday, November 12, 4pm
HIAS Post-election debrief on refugee and asylum-seekers
https://tinyurl.com/y49ldp5b

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)

Save The Date: Virtual Fundraiser for Marius

Dec 15th, 7pm on Zoom More details coming soon!

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