RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 10, 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.

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday, August 22, 5:30pm – 7pm
Save the date!

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, but until he receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Please chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him. Any amount will be gratefully accepted.
Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

Local Events and Actions

Climate Action

FRIDAY Aug. 13 – Bank of America’s Unlucky Day
11:00 to 12:30pm

Join 350MA at the Lowell Bank of America Banking Center
724 Chelmsford St.
Lowell (next to Lowes)

Big banks are still funding big pipelines – like Line 3, a major pipeline expansion to carry tar sands oil. In addition to trampling on Indigenous peoples’ treaty rights, Line 3’s oil is equivalent to about 50 coal power plants, or 38 million vehicles on our roads/ year.

Native groups and activists from across the country are protesting right now in Minnesota.  On Friday, Aug. 13 there are local protests across the country. We can help here in Lowell by telling Bank of America to stop funding Line 3.

Please RSVP at the following link, so we know how many signs to bring. Bring your own if you wish!
https://actionnetwork.org/events/stop-the-money-pipeline-9/

 

State-level Events and Actions

LAC “Meet a Specialist: Women’s Issues”

August 11, 12PM
Register here  https://tinyurl.com/3ruk7a2f

LWVMA Women’s Issues specialists Jan Soma and Susan Loffredo will discuss these bills:

  • H.2020/S.1196 An Act relative to transparency in the workplace—bill addresses pay equity by gender and race
  • H.2399/S.1470 An Act to require public universities to provide medication abortion
  • H.1196/S.673 An Act ensuring access to full spectrum pregnancy care—bill would require health insurance coverage for all pregnancy-related care

Posted in News-MAGIC #womens-rights (edited)

Change the Democratic Party Platform

Info from posts from Jeanne Krieger, Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts
Larry Pareles, Indivisible Massachusetts

As you know, the MA Legislature does NOT currently operate in a democratic and transparent manner. The concentration of power in the hands of leadership produces a closed, hierarchical organization that disempowers rank-and-file Members and the public. But this August we have an organizing opportunity available only once every four years: we can change the official platform of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

Progressive Democrats of MA (PDM) and others are proposing adding a plank to the Democratic Party platform calling for reform of the Legislature. Testimony advocating for this plank can be presented in writing or at hearings being held between Aug. 2 and 14. You can find proposed language, draft testimony, and a link to the Democratic Party site for registering to participate in a hearing and for submitting written testimony on the Progressive Democracts website at https://www.progressivedemsofmass.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/PDM_Dem_Platform_Change_Flyer_v3.pdf

The goal is to get the good governance reforms at the center of The People’s House campaign explicitly included in the Party platform. This would be great leverage in the battle for State House reform – if the MA Democratic Party explicitly supports transparency measures, it becomes much harder for the Democrats in the State House to oppose it.

We encourage you to submit testimony to the platform process. You may also want to advocate for keeping the last 2 bullets in the 2017 platform’s Ethics and Transparency section that address the operation of the Legislature, pages 7-8, https://massdems.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2017-Platform-Massachusetts-Democratic-Party.pdf

All registered Democrats may testify. If you’re not registered as a Democrat, but would like to be, you can register or revise your registration at https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/ .

Never testified before, or even attended a Mass Dems meeting? No worries! Here is a handy Platform Testimony Toolkit https://tinyurl.com/yzuacf4f. This has everything you need to make your voice heard in this process, including the official recommended platform “planks” and a sample script you can use to testify orally.

If you do testify, in writing or at a virtual hearing, please let Progressive Democrats know so they can track the number of supporters for use in advocacy later in the process. Please email them  at info@progressivedemsofmass.org email to let them know that you testified.

You can submit testimony in two ways:

  • Attend a virtual Platform Hearing and testify orally. All hearings are during the first two weeks of August. Check out the hearing dates and times below. Lowell is Congressional District 3.
  • Submit written testimony (i.e. a PDF of this document https://tinyurl.com/3558wfbk) through this form https://tinyurl.com/nj33wt33. Note: the deadline to submit written testimony is August 14th. Even if you can’t attend any of the hearings, please take a minute to submit written testimony.

This effort is all about volume. If dozens of people show up at these hearings asking for the exact same planks, it will make a splash that they can’t ignore.

Registered MA Democrats may offer testimony on the 2021 MDP Platform.

Fair Share Amendment Pledge Drive

Raise Up Mass is kicking off the Fair Share Amendment campaign early with a pledge card drive! The Fair Share Amendment, which has already secured its spot on next year’s ballot, would create a surtax of 4% on income above $1 million to create a dedicated fund for education and transportation spending. You can sign a digital pledge card at: https://raiseupma.us/solidaritylowell .

Email Transportation Committee to vote out favorably the Work and Family Mobillity Act

This bill would make it easier for our immigrant neighbors without status to get drivers’ licenses.
In June, the committee heard over 50 speakers speak in favor of the bill, which has earned the support of over 100 elected officials, over 150 labor, faith, and community groups, the head of the MA AFL-CIO, the mayor of Boston, as well as the unanimous support of MA Major Cities’ Chiefs of Police Association. This legislation would not only right a wrong but would also bring in nearly $2 million to the state from various registration and licensing fees and has the potential to lower healthcare costs for millions of Massachusetts residents. The question isn’t why should we pass this bill, the question is why haven’t we passed it already!

Please join the Merrimack Valley Project in emailing members of the Transportation Committee to ask that they advance this bill for a floor vote as soon as possible. The time is now for immigrant justice!

1. Click on the link below.
2. Fill out your name and address, etc.
3. Hit send. [Your email goes to 14 committee members at once!]

Remember, staffers generally are the ones who keep track of the YESES and NOS for a particular piece of legislation. The letter text doesn’t have to be original; there just need to be LOTS OF EMAILS in support.

I wrote. It took all of 20 seconds!!

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/email-the-joint-transportation-committee?clear_id=true

 

COVID-19 Housing Equity bill

Hearing Thursday, August 12, 1:00pm
https://mailchi.mp/margolis/avert-evictions-in-this-moment-of-crisis?e=ee7c9c9fd6

Sign up to testify: https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/3903
See the above link for talking points

Send and email or call your legislator: https://www.homesforallmass.org/act/

 

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute information for tenants facing eviction

We are urging tenants facing eviction not to move out and to seek rental assistance and legal aid.

  • For rental assistance, call 2-1-1 or find your local housing agency at  masshousinginfo.org/.
  • For legal help and information, call 2-1-1 or visit the COVID Eviction Legal Help Project site at evictionlegalhelp.org/find-legal-help/.
  • To connect with grassroots organizations in your area, call or text the Homes for All Massachusetts hotline at 617-819-0188 in English or Spanish or visit homesforallmass.netlify.app/help/.

Information is available on the website at: https://evictionlegalhelp.org/legal-rights/tenants/

Help Pass the Anti-Bullying Dignity at Work Act

Massachusetts bill numbers: S1185/H3843

Here are the actions you can take in order of effectiveness based on how much effort the action requires and how much the effort can’t be ignored or is disruptive. We want to ask state legislators to both co-sponsor the bill AND to ask the committee chair to move the bill forward (Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development)

  • Meet with your own state legislators in a group in-person or over Zoom to share your story and insights.
  • Meet with your own state legislators individually.
  • Call your state legislators. Simply ask them to sign onto the bill using the bill numbers above.
  • Email your state legislators a custom email. Share your story.
  • Email your state legislators using a handy customizable form: https://tinyurl.com/55exjzha
  • Join a team meeting on Zoom this month:
    Monday, August 16, 7pmET
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89217626874?pwd=Q0h2VzJEV0ZFWXB4d0REdW5jck13QT0
    Dial-in only: 646 876 9923
    Meeting ID: 892 1762 6874
    Passcode: 6721241

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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

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/

To join our postcarding efforts to write to legislators on issues of interest , please fill out the following form: https://forms.gle/h2V7gJ1e2WbY9dKU9

For volunteer opportunities, visit our Volunteer page: http://solidaritylowell.com/volunteer-opportunities/

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326202548419687
View the notes from our June meeting:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LzPJupD5TZmWn3saGi2iwkxIEVPbTwZP_NVAnqewkyI/edit?usp=sharing

Watch the video from our June meeting:
https://youtu.be/Qx3YWeCtBNw
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Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

Posted by Caroline Snow