RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MAY 24, 2022

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Next Solidarity Lowell Meeting

Sunday June 26 at 5:30pm
Topic: TBD

Notes and Recording from May Meeting Now Available

May meeting notes: https://tinyurl.com/ycyndtvd

May meeting recording: https://youtu.be/76Z21IW3D2U

Assistance Urgently Needed for Asylum-Seeker Marius Recovering from Surgery

From: Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN)
Asylum-Seeker Marius had surgery recently to address ongoing issues related to the violence he fled from in Togo and Guinea-Bissau. MVISN needs to extend ongoing assistance. Any amount will be gratefully accepted.
Please donate to his GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/47gvz-marius

You can also donate via:
CashApp – $gollygee17
Venmo – @owlnerd
Checks are also accepted, please email Marissa (marissa@solidaritylowell.com) for the address. Please put “Marius” in the notes.

Lowell Events

City Council Meeting

Tuesday, May 24, 6:30pm, at City Hall and online
Meetings will be held in Council Chamber with public welcome and by using remote participation as follows:  Members of the public may view the meeting via LTC.Org (Online; Live Streaming; Or Local Cable Channel 99).  Those wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance of the meeting.

See agenda for details.
Agenda: https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_05172022-2335?html=true

Lowell Litter Krewe

With winter behind us, the LLK is in full swing helping to beautify our city.
To connect with them: https://linktr.ee/lowelllitterkrewe
Sign up to volunteer, check out their schedule and more.

Upcoming events:
May 28| 9AM – 12PM | Meet at Central Plaza, 55 Church Street
Back Central Sweep and Lot Cleanout
https://www.facebook.com/events/545015373937767
An age 14+ event

ARPA Public Listening Sessions

Wednesday, May 25, 6pm
Lowell Senior Center
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/arpa-public-input-at-the-lowell-senior-center-registration-315401974797

Take the Survey and let your thoughts be known.
www.lowellma.gov/ARPA
Deadline to submit: June 30, 2022

Information gathered from the public listening sessions and the survey will help guide City administration on how to use ARPA funding, providing long lasting benefits to the residents of Lowell.

Other Events

AG Climate Debate

Friday, May 25, 6 pm
Register here: https://tinyurl.com/yckm58rs

350MA.org is hosting the Massachusetts Attorney General Climate Debate, with candidates Andrea Campbell, Quentin Palfrey, and Shannon Liss-Riordan, moderated by Boston Globe climate reporter Sabrina Shankman.

Billerica 4th Annual Pride Flag Raising & Celebration

Wednesday, June 1, 6:00-7:30pm
Billerica Public Library (outside stairs in front)

There will be speakers, music, fun, info and most of all, community. We gather on the steps and plaza in front of the library in the center of town.

Democracy Corner

Our members running for office

Zoe Dzineku, Lowell 16th Middlesex
https://www.govotezoe.com/

Tara Hong, Lowell 18th Middlesex
https://www.tarahong.com/

Teresa English, Billerica
https://www.voteteresaenglish.org/

Help Get Progressive Candidates Elected

Progressive Massachusetts proudly endorses Sonia Chang-Diaz, Governor (78% of Progressive Mass member vote); Dr. Tami Gouveia, Lieutenant Governor (78% of PM member vote); Tanisha Sullivan for Secretary of the Commonwealth (93% of PM member vote), Quentin Palfrey for Attorney General (62% of PM member vote), and Chris Dempsey for State Auditor (78% of PM member vote).

Getting them elected starts with getting them on the ballot. All campaigns are currently looking for people to help collect signatures to get candidates on the ballot. The required number of signatures must be submitted by May 10. Supermarkets and other areas with high foot traffic are the best places for collecting signatures.

Learn more about Sonia Chang-Diaz at https://www.soniachangdiaz.com/meet-sonia
Volunteer to help Sonia’s campaign at  https://www.soniachangdiaz.com/volunteer

Learn more about Dr. Tami Gouveia at https://www.tamigouveia.com/meet-tami/
Volunteer to help Tami’s campaign at  https://www.tamigouveia.com/volunteer/

Learn more about Tanisha Sullivan at https://www.tanishasullivan.com/
Volunteer to help Tanisha’s campaign at  http://tanisha4ma.us/join
Organizer: nate@tanishasullivan.com

Learn more about Quentin Palfrey at https://www.quentinpalfrey.com/
Volunteer with the campaign at: https://www.quentinpalfrey.com/get-involved
Organizer: signatures@quentinpalfrey.com

Learn more about Chris Dempsey at https://dempseyforauditor.com/.
Volunteer to help the campaign at: https://dempseyforauditor.com/volunteer/
Signatures Contact: matthew@dempseyforauditor.com

National contests affect everyone

www.TurnPurple2Blue.org
Stop the rollback of rights. Help fight for a wider margin in both houses of Congress so that legislation will pass. Find out how you can help more progressive candidates succeed in other states.

State-Level Actions

Take action for Housing Equity

https://www.homesforallmass.org/

Contact your legislators in support of bills that would add tenant and homeowner protections like eviction sealing and the right to representation in housing court. The bills can be added to the state budget now under consideration, as amendments. At the site, hit the Take Action button.. You will find pre-written emails you can edit to make your own and scripts for phone calls.

Action request for Tweeters from MLRI (Massachusetts Law Reform Institute) in support of HOMES Act

WinnCompanies, the largest affordable housing operator in Massachusetts, has announced its support for the HOMES Act and fair eviction sealing protections for MA residents and is urging the House to pass the HOMES Act so that people are not marked with an eviction record for life.

2-Second Action Needed: Please retweet WinnCompanies’ tweet – hot off the press – so we can increase visibility under the dome and urge the House to pass HOMES and move it to the Senate.

https://twitter.com/WinnCompanies/status/1528753794259030021

Thank you for continuing to urge your Reps and Senators to support the HOMES Act.

Take action to support the Safe Communities Act (SCA)

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/engage-your-legislators-on-the-safe-communities-act/

The deadline on the SCA has been extended to June 1. The link will take you to an editable email to send to the members of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, urging them to vote the bill favorably out of committee so that it can be brought to a vote in the full legislature.

Should free school lunch program continue?

The legislature funded free breakfast and lunch in the schools during the pandemic. The program was set to expire, but with inflation the way it is, cash-strapped families are still food-insecure. Last month, House lawmakers approved a budget proposal that includes $110 million to extend free school breakfast and lunch. While the provision would not be permanent, it would extend the program for the next school year. The Senate has yet to approve a budget proposal of its own.

If you agree this is important, please contact your senator ASAP and let them know. There are a few names at the end of this section. Or find yours here:  https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator.

Support Right to Counsel Bills (new deadline)

The Right to Counsel bills (H. 1436 and S. 874) have been extended until June 15, 2022, by which time the Housing Committee must issue a final report. This is good news! The Committee is closely reviewing the bills. The Massachusetts Right to Counsel Coalition is grateful to lead sponsors Senator DiDomenico, Rep Dave Rogers, and Rep Day for their work to advance the bills.

Please keep up your advocacy efforts with your Representatives and Senators and members of the Housing Committee*, especially Chair Arciero and Chair Keenan. It is making a difference!

*Membership: https://malegislature.gov/Committees/Detail/J28  We especially encourage our members from Chelmsford to reach out to Senator Michael Barrett, who is on the committee. No other Lowell area legislators are on the committee, but it wouldn’t hurt to write the other members, who, by dint of their being on the committee represent all Massachusetts residents, not just their constituents.

Sample script

Dear Legislator:

I’m writing you because [I am your constituent, from [town] and]  you are serving on a committee considering a bill that I believe is important to the future of Massachusetts, The Right to Counsel bill H.1436/S.874] seeks to ensure that those facing eviction have counsel when they go to court. Research shows that 90% of landlords have counsel when they head to court; very few tenants do. And tenants who have legal representation have a much better chance of avoiding eviction and all the consequences that come with it.  You can read more about the consequences at https://www.aclu.org/report/no-eviction-without-representation?redirect=evictionbrief.

The brief also references a report on the financial benefits to the state of providing legal representation.

For more background on the issue:
https://www.massrtc.org/fact-sheets-and-resources.html .

With affordable housing so scarce in our state, eviction is literally life-threatening.

I urge you to vote the bills favorably out of committee before the June 15 deadline.

Thank you for your consideration.

[Your name, address, phone number]

Support the Fair Share Amendment

The Fair Share Amendment is a proposal to amend the Massachusetts Constitution, creating an additional tax of four percentage points on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million. The new revenue, approximately $2 billion a year, would be spent on “quality public education and affordable public colleges and universities, and for the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and public transportation.” To ensure that the amendment continues to apply only to the highest income taxpayers, who have the ability to pay more, the $1 million threshold would be adjusted each year to reflect cost-of-living increases.

More info: https://tinyurl.com/3s25dw24

Pledge to vote for the Amendment in November: https://raiseupma.us/solidaritylowell

Our State Legislators’ Info

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
(… or find yours here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator)

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

National Actions

Make tax-deductible donation to red-state abortion funds

https://tinyurl.com/yc2vwtpe

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

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 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/

May meeting notes: https://tinyurl.com/ycyndtvd

May meeting recording: https://youtu.be/76Z21IW3D2U

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

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

Posted by Caroline Snow