RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 5, 2022

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Save the Date – Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday April 24 at 5:30pm on Zoom
Speaker: TBD
Topics: Coordinating Committee Candidate nominations

SLCC Elections Coming Up

In April, we’ll be voting on Coordinating Committee members. Three of the seats are up for re-election each year. But we are not at capacity; there are openings for up to three more people.  Anyone interested who has questions is welcome to contact any of the Coordinating Committee members (Amy Baranoski, Caroline Snow, Chris Offerman, Dee Halzack, Joseph Boyle, Lisa Arnold) or email the Committee at contact@solidaritylowell.com.

Time commitment is moderate: the general meeting plus 2 committee meetings a month (prepping and debriefing the general meeting) and occasionally some tasks helping with events or actions.

Not required, but we would welcome someone interested in reviving our former monthly Demonstrate, Dine, and Discuss events, where we demonstrate at City Hall on an issue of interest to local progressives and then meet at a local restaurant to support local business while continuing discussion on the issue.

To help you decide whether you’d like to run, here is what the by-laws say about the Coordinating Committee:

  • 3. Coordinating Committee members are invited to a two-year term or until they resign (either in person at a meeting or in the official Coordinating Committee Facebook Messenger conversation), or until they are voted out. At least ⅔ of the Coordinating Committee can agree to vote a Coordinating Committee member out. Terms will be staggered with 50% of the committee up for reelection in any given year. There are no term limits.
  • 4. Coordinating Committee Meetings:
    • 4.1 The Coordinating Committee will meet twice monthly. Decisions of the Coordinating Committee will be made by a vote of 50%+1 for motion to pass. A quorum of ⅔ of the Coordinating Committee must be present to hold a meeting.
    • 4.2 Action by Consent. Any action by the Coordinating Committee may be taken without a meeting if consent is given by ⅔ of the Coordinating Committee online (by email or in the official Coordinating Committee Facebook Messenger chat or Slack). Such consent shall be treated for all purposes as a vote at a meeting
  • 5. The responsibilities of the Coordinating Committee include:
    • 5.1. Record the minutes of the Coordinating Committee meetings and distribute them in a timely fashion to the Coordinating Committee members.
    • 5.2. Communicate on a regular basis with the SL membership through use of, and maintenance of, an email list and at monthly general meetings.
    • 5.3. Maintain an up-to-date list of chapter members including name, address, phone number and email address as well as date of membership and meetings attended.
    • 5.4. Prepare the agendas for the General Meetings, record the minutes of the meetings, and distribute the minutes to all members.
    • 5.5. Conduct any voting at General Meetings.
    • 5.6. Develop and maintain the appropriate social media avenues as needed.
    • 5.7. Recommend, implement, and evaluate program activities, including but not limited to public forums, debates, and legislative and electoral campaigns.
    • 5.8. Encourage SL members to join PM or SL committees needed to carry out the responsibilities and/or the program activities of the organization.
    • 5.9 Organize tabling and the promotion of the group at local events.
  • 6. The nominating and voting process for election of the Coordinating Committee is as follows:
    • 6.1. Members may make nominations from the floor at the April meeting. Individuals who are nominated must accept or decline the nomination, or, if not in attendance, otherwise have signified their response to such a nomination.
    • 6.2. The members will vote by secret ballot or online. The top vote-getters equaling the number of open seats will be elected.
    • 6.3 Persons nominated for the SLCC must not currently be in or running for Lowell city office.

 

Lowell Events

LEJA Presents: A Virtual Forum for Students, Parents, Staff and Teachers

Tuesday April 5, 6:30-8:00pm
Sign up at: tinyurl.com/LEJA2022

This is a chance for the school community to talk about the impacts of the pandemic and the return to school.

LEJA also invites people to answer some questions ahead of time, to be found in the padlets at:
https://linktr.ee/LowellEducationJusticeAlliance

Responses will be shared at the forum.

 

Other Events

Stop the New Women’s Prison

Saturday, April 9, Framingham

Rallies to help get the bill to stop the new women’s prison out of committee before 4/15!

Other ways to help:
Phone bank Thursdays 5-7pm
…or join a weekend canvass to ask constituents to call their legislators.

Sign up here: https://secure.everyaction.com/p/NJ9kQ4FfG0eDCHcxWm3b-A2

Common Start Rally: Spring Into Action

Saturday, April 9, 11am – 1pm
Boston Common at the Parkman Bandstand
RSVP: https://bit.ly/csrallyrsvp

This event will be family-friendly, free to attend, and will include bus transportation with snacks/beverages provided from key points across MA. Please see the RSVP form for more information: https://bit.ly/csrallyrsvp

Commission on Clean Heat Public Meetings

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) invites you to attend public meetings focused on the work of the Commission on Clean Heat and related policies for building decarbonization.  The meetings will be virtual and include a short presentation, followed by a period for public comment.  There will be two sessions on each date with the same presentation, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

Public Meeting #3: Thursday, April 14, 2022
Option 1: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Link to register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_vprO7JFbQOGC-gHuOEjt4g
Option 2: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Link to register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_F-GdaeFtTiSppEntXPdJBg

Accommodations: Accessibility accommodations and language services will be provided free of charge to those who request them and subject to availability. Requests must be either submitted during registration or via email a minimum of two business days prior to the meeting. Services include documents in alternative formats, translated documents, assistive listening devices, and interpreters (including American Sign Language). For more information or to request reasonable accommodations and/or language services, please email GWSA@mass.gov.

Help Save an Innocent Woman from Execution

Stop the state of Texas from murdering Melissa Lucio for her child’s accidental death: Write physical letters to support her. Deadline for receipt: April 18.
Details here https://tinyurl.com/2p8985dm ; more on Youtube at https://youtu.be/9joo8vuW1TI

Make the Legislature a Safe Place for People to Work

An important step for our democracy is to make sure that the Legislature is a safe working environment.

In 2018, amid the #MeToo reckoning, the Massachusetts House of Representatives created a new position, an “independent” Equal Employment Opportunity officer to examine allegations of harassment or discrimination while protecting the confidentiality of accusers and witnesses. They filled the job in June 2019, but the officeholder left for a new job in November 2020. It has been vacant ever since.

That’s right: for 15 months, this office, which remains essential in ensuring that the MA State House is a safe and welcoming workplace for all, has remained empty. The position was created because of numerous complaints of harassment and discrimination.

The House cannot run out the rest of the legislative session without filling this position. Let your state rep know that this isn’t acceptable–and that such an office needs more than just nominal independence.

Use the link to write to your state representative:
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/everyone-deserves-a-safe-workplace

State-Level Actions

Sign the petition in support of a gender-neutral option on state documents!

An Act Providing for a Gender Neutral Designation on State Documents and Identifications (H3126) has already passed the Senate, and needs to clear the House in order to become law. Sign here to help get this bill across the finish line:
https://tinyurl.com/yc33aefp

Support the Work and Family Mobility Act

Both Senator Kennedy (Lowell) and Senator Friedman (Billerica) are co-sponsors of the bill, which would make for safer roads by extending eligibility for Massachusetts standard driver’s licenses to all qualified state residents, regardless of immigration status. The bill ensures that all drivers are trained, licensed, and insured. By removing unlicensed driving as a key entry point to the deportation pipeline, it makes it safe for undocumented residents to get the training they need to be safe and insured drivers.

Thank the Senators and ask them to urge Senate Leadership to bring the bill to the floor as soon as possible. You’ll find contact information at the end of this section.

Pass the Safe Communities Act!

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the impact of decades of state and local involvement in deportations—undermining testing, treatment and contract tracing efforts in immigrant communities and impeding access to court and police protection for immigrant victims of exploitation and crime.

The Safe Communities Act would restore trust in local institutions by ending the use of our public safety resources for federal immigration enforcement. Given the Biden Administration’s failure to end local entanglement with ICE, this bill is as important as ever. The Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security has until May 4th to recommend the bill for passage.

Email your senators via the link below and ask them to weigh in with the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security before May 4th! Senators Kennedy (Lowell), Friedman (Billerica), and Barrett (Chelmsford) are all co-sponsors, so be sure to thank them for their support while urging them to push the Committee.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/engage-your-legislators-on-the-safe-communities-act

Push a Housing Justice Legislative Agenda

Three important bills – which if passed could be major wins for housing justice – are still on the table at the state house. Call and email your legislators today to voice your support for 1) The COVID Housing Equity Bill 2) lifting the ban on rent control and 3) the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase (TOPA) Act.
https://www.homesforallmass.org/act/

 

Support the MA Indigenous Legislative Agenda

The Massachusetts Indigenous Peoples Day Bill has been extended in committee until April 14th.

That means the bill is still alive and there is hope for it this legislative session. We need everyone’s help!

Please contact the State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee and tell them you want the Indigenous Peoples Day bill voted out favorably.

Email
Click this link to send an automated email to Committee members: https://tinyurl.com/bdf2dxrx (Feel free to add your own language.)

Call
Phone calls to committee members make a huge difference! You do not need to be an expert on the bill to let them know you support it. You will most likely get voicemail. Contact info and short script are below.
Script:
“My name is [insert name], and I’m from [insert town]. I urge you to help ensure that the Indigenous Peoples Day bill (S.2027/H.3191) is called to a vote and reported out favorably before the April 14th deadline extension. I support this bill and want to see it passed during this legislative session.”

JOINT COMMITTEE ON STATE ADMIN AND REGULATORY OVERSIGHT
CALL LIST IN ORDER OF PRIORITY
Senate Chair, Sen. Marc R. Pacheco, (617) 722-1551
House Chair, Rep. Antonio F.D. Cabral, (617) 722-2017
Senate Vice-Chair, Sen. Rebecca L. Rausch, (617) 722-1555
House Vice-Chair, Rep. Christine P. Barber, (617) 722-2060
Sen. John J. Cronin, (617) 722-1230
Sen. Walter F. Timilty, (617) 722-1643
Sen. John C. Velis, (617) 722-1415
Sen. Bruce E. Tarr, (617) 722-1600
Rep. Carmine Lawrence Gentile, (617) 722-2810
Rep. Maria Duaime Robinson, (617) 722-2140
Rep. Christopher M. Markey, (617) 722-2676
Rep. Michelle L. Ciccolo, (617) 722-2210
Rep. Mary S. Keefe, (617) 722-2017
Rep. Paul J. Donato, (617) 722-2180
Rep. Paul A. Schmid III, (617) 722-2017
Rep. Steven G. Xiarhos (617) 722-2100
Rep. F. Jay Barrows, (617) 722-2488

Go to MaIndigenousAgenda.org to find out how to support the following bills also pending:

  • Ban Native Mascots
  • Teach Native Culture and History in Public Schools
  • Protect Native Heritage
  • Change the Flag and Seal

To make sure your town or city is on record on record in support of changing the racist state flag and seal, and to receive regular updates on the work of the Special Commission Relative to the Seal and Motto of the Commonwealth, go to: changethemassflag.com

Eight months away to Election Day! A good opportunity to plug EDR

Link: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/edr/

Late last month, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted in favor of the VOTES Act, pledging their support to making permanent critical electoral reforms like mail-in and early in-person voting. However, the House chose to leave out the heart of the VOTES Act: Election Day Registration (EDR). Now, because the House and Senate versions of the VOTES Act differ, a small group of legislators are finalizing the bill in conference committee.

While this is a disappointing development, the fight for EDR is far from over. EDR has been proven to make elections more equitable and efficient in 20 states. By reducing voter registration barriers, EDR boosts voter turnout for all, especially BIPOC, low income, immigrant, and young voters. It also decreases administrative burdens of running elections by allowing election workers to update registration information on the spot.

As we continue to make our voice heard on EDR, we ask for your support by doing so too. Contact your state representative NOW and urge them to include EDR in the final version of the VOTES Act. By doing so, you’ll help make our democracy a more equitable and efficient one.

From Jonathan Cohn, Progressive Massachusetts, via News-MAGIC

 

National Actions

Protect the Indian Child Welfare Act

Native children are under legal attack in Brackeen v. Haaland. If the attempt to have a conservative-majority Supreme Court overturn the Indian Child Welfare Act is successful, the door will be open to the total elimination of tribal sovereignty. Take action now to stop this horrific

 

Our Federal Legislators’ Info

Senator Elizabeth Warren: 617-565-3170
309 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
https://www.warren.senate.gov/contact/shareyouropinion

Senator Edward Markey: 617-565-8519
255 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
https://www.markey.senate.gov/contact/share-your-opinion

Representative Lori Trahan: 978-459-0101 / 202-225-3411
https://trahan.house.gov/contact/write-your-rep.htm

Representative Seth Moulton: 978-531-1669 / 202-225-8020
https://moulton.house.gov/contact

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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.

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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/

March meeting notes: https://tinyurl.com/25zmyaw3

March meeting recording: https://youtu.be/ONVNwsZXqOo

See recordings of past Solidarity Lowell meetings in our YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCohwMIkVdabQdDHsVTLIGsQ

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326202548419687

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Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Join at: https://www.progressivemass.com/donate/

Posted by Caroline Snow