RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 21, 2021

SOLIDARITY LOWELL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 21, 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!

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell Monthly General Meeting

Sunday, April 25, at 5.30PM. This will again be a zoom meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85263420150?pwd=SEpDR1FUTWh5ZjVuaW5xb25PUzd2QT09
Meeting ID: 852 6342 0150
Passcode: 824521
Dial in: 301 715 8592 or 646 558 8656

The main topic of our meeting will be our annual election of Coordinating Committee members. If you are interested please let us know, or come to the meeting and volunteer there.

We will also have a guest speaker, Jonathan Cohn from Progressive Mass, who will tell us about the 2021 legislative agenda, in preparation for meetings with our representatives.

Local Events and Actions

Next School Committee meeting

(1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 6:30pm, except July and August)
Wednesday, April 21, 6:30pm Agenda due the Monday before

Bi-Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, April 22, 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

 

Monthly Sustainability Council Meeting

(4th Thursday of every month)
Thursday, April 22, 6:30pm

Building a Strong Community for Racial Justice: April 22, April 28, April 29
Learn, Listen, Act, and Stand Together Against Hate
Lowell Public Schools is launching a three-part series of virtual sessions which will help us to learn, listen and take action against all forms of racism and discrimination within our community. The first community we will highlight is our Asian American community in Lowell.

Part 1 – Learning How to Stop Hate – will be offered on three dates between April 22-29 and facilitated by Dr. Phitsamay Uy from the Center for Asian American Studies at UMASS Lowell. We strongly encourage students, families and staff to sign up for one of the sessions below where you will learn more about the rise of anti-Asian hate acts since the onset of COVID-19, reflect on the history of racism in the US against Asian Americans, and learn strategies for responding when you witness acts of racism or hate. This session will also include information on how to report acts of racism and discrimination using the school district’s bias-based reporting protocol.

Thursday, April 22, 6pm
To register: https://lowell-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SGQWCxcKQbegHA1tDEI8Mw

Wednesday, April 28, 4pm
To register: https://lowell-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YqrERxgoTneKUd5AzV4RlA

Thursday, April 29, 6pm
To register: https://lowell-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4yYYL9B9RkG8PmsmMm9B7w

March for Moses

Saturday April 24, 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. Although Moses has been found, there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered. Deaths involving police should be investigated by an independent body, not the police department involved in the incident.

Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

 

Moses Harris’s Family needs the support of their community

GoFundMe page has been set up to help with their material needs. https://www.gofundme.com/f/moses-harris

T-shirt fundraiser
See the flier on the CAJE Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA
Support those arrested at the protest on March 20
From CAJE: We need EVERYONE to support our people who were arrested, and who responded to this emergency, by donating to cover their expenses. LPD’s violence has now manifested as FINANCIAL ABUSE.
https://fundrazr.com/CAJEsupports

 

350MA of Greater Lowell, A Green Better Future Project 

Monday, April 26, 7-8:30pm
To register: https://chelmsfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/7601547

Registration is required. There are 93 seats available.

350MA of Greater Lowell is a Chapter of 350 Mass, A Better Future Project, an advocate pushing MA to deal with climate change. The best way to get involved in 350 Mass is by attending a meeting held by your local volunteer group which 350 Mass calls a “node!” Members of 350 Mass nodes work together to organize their communities, mobilize their friends and neighbors, and hold their elected officials accountable in the fight for 100% renewable cities and a fossil free future. Lowell ‘node’ members work locally to end the dependence on fossil fuels and foster a clean energy future! The group is open to all residents of the greater Lowell area interested in fighting climate change.

Node members Win Flint, Bob Wald, and Jay Mason will share ongoing efforts and ways that you as a community member can get involved!

To contact Jay Mason, one of the node leaders, email Lowell@350ma.org.

Get more involved in your city-consider joining a board or commission

https://www.lowellma.gov/199/Board-and-Commission-Opportunities
At the link you will find a list of boards and commissions that have vacancies.  Click on the link to each to find out what the position involves and what the requirements are.

State-level Events and Actions

Act on Mass The People’s House campaign launch

Wednesday, April 21, 6:30pm

Act on Mass will be having a launch event for The People’s House campaign. Join them as Rep Uyterhoeven, and other guest speakers advocate for even more State House reform in July. RSVP at bit.ly/tph-launch.

For more on the campaign and how you can get involved, see the State Actions section.

What went right and what went wrong in the 2020 election, and what is currently occurring in state legislatures

Sunday, April 25, 7pm ET/4pm PT
To register: https://tinyurl.com/xwbphytk

Amber McReynolds, the executive director of the National Vote at Home Institute, worked with election officials and lawmakers to make voting run smoothly and effectively in the 2020 elections. Since then, she has worked to continue to improve voting procedures in states where this is needed. Amber is a tireless advocate for fair, safe, and efficient elections.

Amber McReynolds is one of the country’s leading experts on election administration and policy, and co-author of the book “When Women Vote”. Amber is the CEO for the National Vote At Home Institute and Coalition and is the former Director of Elections for Denver, Colorado. During her time there, she transformed the elections division into a national and international award-winning office. Amber serves on the National Task Force on Election Crises and the National Council on Election Integrity and she has proven that designing pro-voter policies, voter-centric processes, and implementing technical innovations will improve representation for all voters. Amber was recently nominated to serve on the Board of Governors for the United States Postal Service.

 

Justice for All: Transforming Massachusetts’ Unjust Legal System

Tuesday, April 27, 7:00pm-9:00pm
To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdO-srz0sEtTJ3u9P7h5EqPKXU8mFY2bq

Call2Action, along with over thirty Democratic committees across Massachusetts, invite you to join a virtual forum this April 27th on the future of our criminal justice system and opportunities to enact positive change at the local and state level. We’ll hear from Andrea James, founder of Families for Justice as Healing and the National Council For Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls; Rahsaan Hall, Director of the Racial Justice Program for the ACLU of Massachusetts; Shaleen Title, an Indian-American attorney and longtime drug policy activist who currently serves as Distinguished Cannabis Policy Practitioner in Residence at the Ohio State University College of Law Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, and vice-chair of the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition; and Sana Fadel, Deputy Director of Citizens for Juvenile Justice and lead organizer of the statewide Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition. Helina Fontes, community organizer and Program Director of the Northeast Recovery Learning Community, will moderate. Representative Ayanna Pressley will offer introductory remarks.

Take action to protect our democracy!

Tuesday, April 27th, 7:30PM.
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctfuyhrjMiGtfap875qdbPRc9ghtlD-9SV.

This month, as Congress considers important bills to help protect and strengthen our democracy, we’re featuring books that can help us take effective actions. Since the filibuster is a key obstacle in passing any democracy reform legislation in Congress, the IMC Book Club selection this month, Kill Switch, deals with that topic. Join the group on Tuesday April 27 to learn more about the filibuster and actions we can take to help end it.

Don’t worry if you haven’t had a chance to read the book – watch this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPrNW7Aa8fU&ab_channel=NowThisNews) of the author outlining its key points and check out this great letter to the editor (https://www.mvtimes.com/2021/04/07/end-the-filibuster/) about the filibuster by Cathy Walthers from Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard. (h/t Indivisible Mass Coalition)

The People’s House Campaign for Rules Reform

This new campaign by Act on Mass, Sunrise Boston, Mijente, and Indivisible Mass Coalition is a sequel to the previous Transparency is Power campaign. Rules reform in July, smarter and better. The House will vote on its rulebook in July.
What if we, the people, could reclaim our power to shape the policies that affect our lives? What if we could hold our state representatives accountable to actually representing their districts? What if we could make the State House work to uplift the lives of millions, fulfilling the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors? Imagine what transformative policies we could win.

Sign up for the campaign: https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/
Apply to be a Regional Organizer: admin@actonmass.org

RSVP for the Campaign Launch:  Wed Apr 21, 2021 06:30 PM https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocuGorzsiGN2nW2zxgB1QYgFIKseeyBZH
RSVP for Textbank Tuesday 4/27: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpd-GurD0jE9W882T3bD8gt_5Z4WvE0nN3
RSVP for Textbank Wednesday 4/28: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvduGopjsvHdY9c4ScmKB-yQs54XNAXvl9

Join the Slack group: https://join.slack.com/t/actonmassvol/shared_invite/zt-oui6g99i-z5oRqWTMXRfjmirItJFGQQ

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/aom2021-q2-web

Massachusetts Redistricting

See Drawing Democracy for more info.

Last Wednesday, the state legislature’s Special Joint Committee on Redistricting began the process of redistricting the state’s legislative and congressional districts by holding a virtual hearing that can be viewed HERE.

If you want to ensure that underrepresented communities have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice who best reflect their needs and interests, check out Drawing Democracy, a coalition of community organizations, civil rights lawyers, public policy advocates, data and mapping experts, and political scientists working on this issue. You can find resources about redistricting, sign up for their newsletter, or volunteer to help.
(h/t Indivisible Mass Coalition)

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano@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. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302; Google Voice: 978-272-9078.
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
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

Write your Federal legislators to help Save Oak Flat! Act Reintroduced! 

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.

Please ask your congressional representatives to cosponsor and support H.R. 1884 and S.915
House Bill H.R.1884 – 117th Congress (2021-2022) To repeal section 3003 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and for other purposes. aka Save Oak Flat Act introduced | Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3]
S.915 – A bill to repeal section 3003 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and for other purposes. aka Save Oak Flat Act | Sen. Sanders, Bernie [I-VT]

Note: Senator Warren has already co-sponsored S.915. You can write to thank her. When writing to your House Rep, you could also mention that H.R.1884 recently lost a co-sponsor when the late Rep. Alcee Hastings passed. You could also mention that Senator Warren has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.

Sample text
I’m writing to urge you to co-sponsor house bill H.R.1884/Senate bill S.915 To repeal section 3003 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. This bill would cancel the land swap that was buried in the 2015 NDAA, passed in the dead of night.  The land swap it authorized now threatens Oak Flats, land sacred to the San Carlos Apache. As you know NDAA amendments are often used to pass measures that might not otherwise pass. There was opposition to the measure at the time it passed and there are questions about the way it came to be done. It is yet one more theft of land from indigenous people who stand between white men and profit.
While the San Carlos Apache may not be your constituents, there are Native Americans who live in the Merrimack Valley and we saw with the Dakota Pipeline effort that Native people remain in solidarity with each other across the country, especially on matters of land and environment.
I hope you will sign on as a co-sponsor.

Contact information:
Representative Lori Trahan: 978-459-0101 /   202-225-3411
Representative Seth Moulton: 978-531-1669  / 202-225-8020
Senator Edward Markey: 617-565-8519
Senator Elizabeth Warren: 617-565-3170

Note: You can also go to www.house.gov or www.senate.gov and click on the Representatives or Senators link to find their webform.

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 on 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: http://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 March meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tBDTUsYbrenoWGcYoOOuWPlu7jKpxO2w4aJNE48bXvw/edit?usp=sharing
Recording of our March meeting: https://youtu.be/jJfxz4548JI

—-

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

Posted by Caroline Snow