RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR FEBRUARY 5, 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

Urge Governor to sign Next Generation Road Map climate bill (S.9)

The bill would be a significant step forward, although more work is still needed to speed the state’s transition to 100% renewable energy and tackle the emissions from the transportation sector. As you may know, the Legislature passed the bill during the last legislative session with veto-proof majorities, only to see the Governor wait until the last minute and then veto the bill at the very end of the session. The Legislature has again passed the exact same bill, again with a veto-proof majority.
Although we have the votes to override another veto, it would be faster if the Governor would just sign the bill. We’re asking folks to urge him to sign the bill as is so we can get on to other state priorities.
Use the following form: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-baker-to-sign-the-next-generation-climate-bill-2/

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

Attorney General Maura Healey (617) 727-2200
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 yet 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).

Tell Facebook not to allow Trump back

This post comes to us by way of Indivisible East Bay (CA)
Deadline for action: Monday, February 8, 2021, at 10 am EST.
We’re asking you to make a public comment to Facebook against allowing Trump back on Facebook.
After the January 6 mob attack on the Capitol, Facebook suspended Trump’s participation on Facebook. The Oversight Board is now considering whether to end the ban and allow Trump to post again on Facebook. Please tell them No!
How To Post Your Comment: The link to the Public Comment Form is at the bottom of this webpage for the Oversight Board: http://tinyurl.com/akhmwzzy
They will ask for a 750-word-limited summary of your statement and there is a 6000-word limit on your actual statement. You will want to have them written in text so you can paste in or attach a file, before you go to the website. Also, if you’re interested in the privacy and use agreements you’re asked to agree to near the end of the form, check them BEFORE you post. I lost my whole post and had to start over when I clicked to view the agreement.
These are some sample scripts you can use to make a public comment:
Sample Script 1: Trump is too risky for inciting violence as happened on January 6. He has continued to spread falsehoods about voter fraud even to the present day. I urge you to continue the ban on Trump indefinitely.
Sample Script 2: Trump has a following in the millions, so that he is uniquely dangerous when he spreads disinformation and threats. He has shown a proven ability to incite people to attack and harm others. For this reason you should ban Trump from Facebook permanently.
Sample Script 3: With his words, Trump has successfully weaponized his audience to commit acts of violence. It is proven that his followers take his words as a command to attack and threaten others. For this reason you should ban Trump from Facebook permanently.
Do It Yourself: If you have a background in civil rights, communications or public policy, you can also write your own public comment based on your specific expertise.
Spread the Word: Please ask your group’s members, as well as family and friends, to post a public comment. If you know of liberal media that can publicize the need for public comment, please contact them too. Conservative media have already told their people how to make public comments on the Trump ban. We have to make sure that our voices are heard.
We hope you and yours are well and staying healthy!
Donna, Linh, Ion
Judiciary Team
Indivisible East Bay (CA)

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Postcarding?

Solidarity Lowell is re-starting our postcarding events virtually on Zoom. Please fill out the following form if you’re interested in joining the group!
https://forms.gle/9kXRDrpekLyeQ7ir8

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

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

Local Events and Actions

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, February 9, 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.
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 11, 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

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.
An overview of the project has been held. Four neighborhood meetings are 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 – help register and educate voters

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers to help register and educate voters and find candidates
http://www.lowellvotes.org
Next meeting: February 16, 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.

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.
February’s nominees are Essex County Habitat for Humanity, Family Services of the Merrimack Valley, The Professional Center for Child Development.

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.

5Calls.org

This is set up to provide actions that don’t require a lot of your time but can have an impact, on the national or local level. Pick your areas of interest. Five calls in five minutes.
http://www.5Calls.org

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/

Help people get IDs

While requiring ID’s for voting is not optimal, it is true that medical care and access to government assistance of various kinds often also requires an ID. There are organizations that help people get ID’s.
http://spreadthevote.org
http://voteriders.org

Get Out the Vote in Revere

Join a phone bank to help turn out the vote as Revere elects a new representative for the first time in 30 years, to replace former Speaker Robert DeLeo.
http://tinyurl.com/4tp242vn

State-Level Events and Actions

Comment on the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030

The public comment period for the Plan has been extended. Comments are now being accepted until 5pm on March 22nd, 2021.
Details are at http://www.mass.gov/2030CECP. Stakeholders are encouraged to use this online form to submit specific comments.
You can sign up to receive updates at https://www.mass.gov/forms/form-1-mailing-list
Also, a reminder that the MA 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap is also available at http://www.mass.gov/2050Roadmap. The report as well as slides and video of a 2050 Roadmap webinar held on 1/15 are available from that link.

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor the resubmitted Safe Communities Act (SD.532 and HD.1165)

This will be the third legislative session for this bill, which lets our local police focus on their priorities and not federal immigration priorities. The bill was reported out of Committee favorably in the last session but the session ended before it could be brought to a vote. You can help get it passed this time around by urging your legislators to co-sponsor it. Counting co-sponsors is an initial step in assessing support for a bill, so the more co-sponsors the more likely it is to be quickly brought to a vote and passed.
https://actionnetwork.org/…/pass-the-safe-communities-act
NOTE: The Action Network has not yet updated its contact information for newly elected state legislators. Constituents of Rep. Vanna Howard, please copy and paste this sample email into your own email browser and send it. We apologize for the inconvenience! Legislator contact information is given below.

Email your legislator, asking them to support the Work and Family Mobility Act (HD.448 and SD.273)

Another piece of legislation important to public safety that did not get voted on before the end of the last legislative session, this bill is being refiled.
At the following link you will find two templates, one for legislators who supported the bill in the last session, one for those who did not. Senator Kennedy and Representative Mom were supporters. Representative Howard was, of course, not yet in office. Representative Golden was not a supporter.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Zlq38cYh5Wklcznc7qawsFlQIwVKNyZBi8_fe6FT4CA/edit?usp=sharing

Email your legislator, asking them to support Raise Up Massachusetts campaigns

The Fair Share Amendment! Ask your elected officials to support this policy by ensuring it is brought up for a second constitutional convention and receives a YES vote from them when it does! Fair Share would add a 4% tax on annual income over $1 million and dedicate the revenue to transportation and public education.
Emergency Paid Sick Time! Working people should not be forced to make the impossible choice between going to work while sick during a pandemic or getting the pay they need to put food on the table. This policy would provide 10 additional work-days (80 hours) of job-protected paid sick time for immediate use during the pandemic. (H.531 / S.386)
GILTI! Some of the largest, most profitable businesses in Massachusetts are multinational corporations who use unfair tax schemes to shift their profits overseas and away from U.S. tax collectors. This policy would allow Massachusetts to track down those bad actors and tax those offshore profits. (H.452 / S.173)
Increase the Corporate Tax Rate! Before 2009, the corporate tax rate was 9.5%. By restoring the current 8.0% tax rate to 9.5% we can generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new state revenue back into the recovery of our communities – all from profitable corporations. (H.1020 / S.428)
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-the-raise-up-massachusetts-campaigns
Again, constituents of Representative Howard will want to copy and paste the message from the form into their email client and write to her directly.

Call to action from Massachusetts Menstrual Equity Coalition

This year, as the State is preparing its priorities for the state budget – we demand that the feminization of poverty not be ignored. Periods do not stop during pandemics. No one should have to choose between food, a roof over their head, their education, and access to menstrual products, and yet every day in Massachusetts, menstruators are forced to make exactly that choice. Legislators are deciding their priorities now, and we need them to both co-sponsor and *champion* HD651: An Act Relative to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters and Public Schools (I AM bill) in the 193rd legislative session and not relegate period poverty to invisible status anymore.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/prioritize-period-poverty-in-the-massachusetts-recovery-plan

Find your State Legislators here

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. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov 617-722-2800 x7302 / 508-633-8005
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
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
…or…
Find My Legislator: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator
……
Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02133

National Events and Actions

Sign on to Black Alliance for Peace Petition to Abolish 1033 programs

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has demanded abolition of the 1033 program since its founding in 2017. It is now asking the public to sign a petition demanding the Biden administration and Democrats commit to abolishing this racist and brutal program. The program, which gives surplus military gear to police departments, has been notorious for contributing to the excessive use of force by police in this country.
Sign on to the petition here: http://tinyurl.com/295pmomo

Tell Facebook Banning Trump Isn’t Enough

Use the Common Cause form to send a message (pre-written but editable) .
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-facebook-banning-trump-isnt-enough

Support H.R. 1 and H.R. 51

Use the handy form to call your representative in support of H.R. 1, the We the People Act that includes reforms to strengthen democracy (such as an end to gerrymandered districts and no-excuse absentee voting) and H.R.51, which would grant statehood to the District of Columbia. After you’ve called, get your family and friends in other states to do the same thing.
https://indivisible.org/demand-your-representative-support-and-move-swiftly-hr-1-and-hr-51

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 January meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Vcq_XUI2YXU4Qnb2lD8OuX7TPs-8JpWcDZ5IuRNb9e4/edit?usp=sharing
Recording of our January meeting: https://youtu.be/pxqVzfcN31A
Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to joinhttps://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

Posted by Caroline Snow