RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR JANUARY 30, 2021

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

Urgent Need for Legal Funds for our Guest Asylum Seeker

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected legal expense. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – legal” 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.

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum-legal” in the “special notes” part of the donation form) Please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com if you have any questions.

March for Moses

Every Saturday, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date.
Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality
https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Contact Maura Healey Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact the office of Maura Healey regarding the incident with Moses Harris.
Attorney General Maura Healey (617) 727-2200

If you are so moved, you should also contact your State Representative and State Senator, and our City Councilors here in Lowell (information below).

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

State Representatives:
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov
Rep. Tami Gouveia Tami.gouveia@mahouse.gov 617-722-2011
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
State Senators:
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
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/…/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. Are you aware of the disappearance of Moses Harris in Lowell? Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. No one has seen Moses since. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, and the police have refused to release the police report or discuss the case with the family. I ask that you investigate this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”

NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

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

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday February 28th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Topics to be determined.

Local Events and Actions

Conservation Commission Meeting/Lowell Area Gas Modernization Project

Wednesday, February 10, 7pm
Watch https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter for agenda.
Watch for link. Which must be posted by Monday February 8.

National Grid is proposing to replace portions of an existing 6” natural gas pipeline system with new, larger (12”) diameter pipeline. The project would facilitate the use of state-of-the-art in-line inspection equipment involving the internal inspection of pipelines using special tools which travel within the pipeline and can measure wall thickness, identify metal loss, and scan for cracks or crack-like defects.
The wetland resource areas impacted include Inland Bank, Riverfront Area, Bordering Land Subject to Flooding, Land Under Wetlands and Waterways, and wetlands (BVW). Black Brook and River Meadow Brook are within or adjacent to the project area. This includes the Highlands wetlands along Route 3.
All project materials are available online at: https://lowellma.gov/DocumentCenter/Index/1381

At the last meeting, questions were raised about the damage the project will cause to city wetlands and how the city should be compensated for it. Due to the significant interest in the matter expressed by the much larger than usual attendance, National Grid agreed to return with a plan for compensation as part of the process for obtaining approval. Folks are therefore urged to attend this meeting in support of the City’s interests. Sometimes just showing up makes all the difference.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, January 26, 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, January 8.
Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, February 4, 5pm
Concerned about the 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.

Virtual Public Meeting on Parking Study to be conducted in the city

February 2, 6:00-7:15pm
The City of Lowell is using a Housing Choice Grant award from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) to conduct a comprehensive parking study.
The Lowell Parking Study will review and analyze existing parking conditions, including parking inventory, utilization, policies, management, regulations, and pricing, and analyze the parking supply and demand compared to existing land uses. The Parking Study will help ensure that the parking system is consistent with the City’s economic development and transportation planning goals, including the ongoing GoLowell Multimodal Complete Streets plan.
This meeting will provide an overview of the study. The project team will discuss study goals, share a detailed parking inventory that is underway, and summarize early observations and findings.
To pre-register: https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEsdOmprzkjG9as98SW9AYUP8AB0mWXv3b1
A recording of the meeting is also promised if you are interested but cannot attend.
Neighborhood meetings are also scheduled. The project team wants to hear from folks about parking issues and concerns in their neighborhoods as well as potential opportunities to improve parking in Lowell.

Neighborhood meetings
Feb. 10, 6:30pm – Belvidere/S. Lowell/Sacred Heart
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqd-6gqTgjGdWhCUsra81HqHJ3IS7B4I9U
Feb. 11, 6:30pm –Downtown/JAMBRA
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkfuuqqjwqH9AeTDn-1XjM_3cDyUglIijo
Feb. 24, 6:30pm–Pawtucketville/Centralville
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUoceqtpzMvGtzDMw_GW3xkTLfdka56yqUN
Feb. 25, 6:30pm –Back Central, Acre, Highlands
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkce6gpz4tEtQwYt7wTqNiw9ZQ6Z67rOWs

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers to help register and educate voters and find candidates

Next meeting: February 2, 2pm
Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and register to vote.
http://www.lowellvotes.org

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.
January’s nominees are Foster Kids of Merrimack Valley, Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Food Links.

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
The German Home
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.
International Institute of New England
Voting ends March 31.

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.

Standing Up For Democracy

The late Congressman John Lewis, in his last message to us, said “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.” We recently learned the consequences of thinking active participation wasn’t necessary.

This section will include opportunities for you to participate in strengthening our democracy.

Common Cause Social Media Monitoring to Combat Misinformation

Join teams to spread truth and defeat lies
https://www.commoncause.org/what-we-do/join-common-causes-action-team/

Contest Every Race

75% of the 520,000 elected offices in this country go uncontested by nonconservatives. This group recruits candidates.
https://contesteveryrace.com/

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. Voting on the rules will happen at the end of January or beginning of February.

It is high time that the legislature commits 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/
Normally, rules would be voted on at the beginning of a new legislative session. However, the new Speaker has postponed that vote for 6 months and until then the House is working on emergency rules established for pandemic operation. It is important to keep up the pressure on legislatures so that they know that we are serious about our demands.
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. Representative Howard has committed to transparency. A team has already met with Representative Mom and he supports some of the asks. There will also be a team to speak with Representative Golden.
Fnd yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator:

House Speaker Ronald Mariano Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2300
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. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov 617-722-2800 x7302 / 508-633-8005
Rep. Tami Gouveia Tami.gouveia@mahouse.gov 617-722-2011
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

National Events and Actions

A Look Ahead at US Refugee Policies

Tuesday, February 2, 2:00pm
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, U.S. Congressional Representative of California’s 19th District and Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Refugee Caucus
Melanie Nezer, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at HIAS
To register: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/look-ahead-us-refugee-policies

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 December meeting here:

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

Recording of our December meeting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Vi980aVfg
Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to joinhttps://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

Posted by Caroline Snow