RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR DECEMBER 18, 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!

Priority Actions

Contact your legislators about the Police Reform bill

Instead of passing the historic police reform bill, Governor Baker sent it back to the legislature with amendments that undercut key provisions to hold police accountable and promote racial justice. Our lawmakers must reject these harmful amendments and champion progress.

Senator Kennedy voted for the bill, but NONE of the Lowell representatives voted for it.
Contact your state legislators NOW:
http://bit.ly/reject-baker-amendments

Help Win Eviction Protections

The legislature is close to passing some important protections against eviction, but the Governor is trying to weaken those protections. A vote is scheduled in the next day or two.
You can help by contacting your legislators, by email or by phone. The following site can guide you through the process.
https://www.housingguarantee.org/

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell General Meeting This Sunday

Sunday December 20th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84173453842?pwd=bU85K3ozOWlHN1dDaHprbk0vNG9DUT09
Meeting ID: 841 7345 3842
Passcode: 326452
Dial in: 301 715 8592 or 646 558 8656
We will celebrate victories as well as look at the work to be done in 2021. Our main speaker will be Craig Thomas, Deputy Director of Lowell DPD, talking about “Housing 101”. We will also have a discussion of the proposed new Lowell Election Districts with several concerned community members (https://yourlowellyourvote.org or https://www.facebook.com/LowellMALines).

Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group Signup: New Session in January

Sign up here for Solidarity Lowell’s Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group, taking place starting in January 2021 for five weeks. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND ALL FIVE SESSIONS. Individuals committed to exploring their own racial biases are invited to participate in an Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group. The purpose of the group is to engage in supportive, structured dialogues with others to explore whiteness in contemporary society, especially to better understand the legacy and impact of white supremacy, white privilege, explicit and implicit bias, systemic racism, and microaggressions. This format is designed to provide a fruitful opportunity to engage in meaningful, difficult and engaging conversations about personal, institutional and societal responsibility in recognizing white privilege and systemic racism. Over the course of this five-week workshop, you will better understand yourself, your communities, and be prepared to work toward a diverse and equitable culture with your friends, family, Lowell and beyond. Registration is capped at 10 and, depending on interest, other groups may be formed. Dates will be scheduled ASAP and your confirmation in the group will be sent to the email address you list here.
https://forms.gle/n7pxiUfDNVZzwj1Y8

Please update your contact info!

Solidarity Lowell would like to better target our messages. In order to do so, we would appreciate having your mailing address.
https://forms.gle/2BMYRXbvRx9yVcsaA

Local Events and Actions

Know Your Rights Campaign/Call to Action/Request for Volunteers–Stop Evictions in Lowell!!

LLAMA, in partnership with Lowell Alliance and other local groups, is planning a city-wide public information campaign to slow the wave of anticipated evictions and help families mitigate the impacts of evictions.

Volunteers are needed to help with the following:
Develop/revise informational materials-
The idea for this campaign comes from the Somerville Know Your Rights Campaign that launched last week (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w-7NJSy-KawRKJmzWQjt0hNavon_qdOA37eN3N-5rE4/edit). They have developed flyers and a resource guide which we can use as templates. So we don’t have to start completely from scratch but we do need a couple of volunteers to help with revisions and some research into Lowell-area resources. We also need help translating the materials into as many different languages as possible, at a minimum, Spanish, Khmer and Portuguese.

Outreach to community partners-
If this campaign is to be successful, we need to involve as many community partners as possible to help us get the word out as widely as possible. A broad-based coalition should include: churches/faith groups, food pantries, public institutions (LPS, library etc) social service providers, health institutions, neighborhood groups, community leaders etc. We have started a partner outreach list but we need help expanding that list and reaching out to potential partners.

Canvassing/Flyering-
We need a number of volunteers to post flyers throughout the city. We’re aiming to blanket the city with flyers posted in corner stores, hairdressers/barbershops, laundromats, restaurants etc
If you would like to play a role in this Week of Action please email Nancy Coan (ncoan@ywcaoflowell.org) to let her know what part (or parts) of this campaign you would like to help with.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, December 24, 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.

Free Food Saturday

Saturday, December 26, 1-3pm, location to be announced
Come for the food. Leave with information on food resources and eviction defense.
Happens every other Saturday. Next one: January 9.

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.
December’s nominees are Ella’s Way, Ruff Tales Rescue, and Lazarus House.

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 Closed to Public

City Hall is now closed to the public due to the status of the pandemic in our city.

State-Level Events and Actions

Join the Transparency is Power Campaign

Act On Mass has launched a campaign to push our state reps for transparency during the next legislative session (beginning January 2021). At the beginning of each two-year session, the legislature sets its rules. It is high time that they commit to transparency in their dealings so that we know why bills we support keep failing to advance. Join a team to meet with your state rep. https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/

The campaign is asking for 3 things:
-That all votes held in legislative committees be publicly disclosed.
-That bills be made public for 72 hours before a final vote.
-That the threshold for a vote to be publicly recorded (roll call vote) in the House of Representatives be reduced from 16 state representatives to 8 representatives.

Teams are forming to meet with all representatives. A team has already formed to meet with Representative Mom. There will also be teams to speak with Representatives Howard and Golden.

National Actions and Events

Help save Oak Flat Apache Land from transfer to foreign mining companies

This land transfer was slipped into the 2015 Defense Appropriations Committee in the wee hours, since its supporters had been unable to get it through Congress openly. At the time, the environmental impact had not been fully reported. It is now clear that that impact would be disastrous. Efforts are under way to stop the transfer through legislation. You will find a petition to sign, and a message to legislators. Note: the form is wrong, as it brings up Senator Warren, who has already co-sponsored the bill, instead of Senator Markey. I just copied the sample message and pasted it into the webform on Senator Markey’s page and Rep. Trahan’s page. http://apache-stronghold.com/take-action.html

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 November meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xP8bUZQBT3YFpoqjhszx4I-84bdEgtkk19yAC3AUB9M/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our November meeting: https://youtu.be/W2SsXJ2hrDI

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

Posted by Caroline Snow