RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR JUNE 14, 2022

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday June 26 at 5:30pm
Topic: To Be Determined

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 – TONIGHT!

Tuesday, June 14, 6:30pm, at City Hall and online
Meetings are held in Council Chamber Tuesdays at 6:30pm with public welcome. Attend in person or 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).

See agenda for details.
Agenda: https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_06142022-2368?html=true

This week’s meeting includes a motion to declare that “racism leads to crisis”. This is a weak substitute for the motion rejected in 2020 that would have declared racism a public health crisis. The motion also calls for the city to address four specific areas. The DEI Consortium issued a letter in 2020 that called for the public health crisis wording and for specific remedies. In spite of a public listening session, and the DEI Consortium letter, the new motion does not address any of the points raised in 2020.  DEI Consortium urges folks to show up at the City Council meeting to support their initiative and even to speak.

To speak, you must register by 4 pm the day of the meeting (today). Those wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item must  register to speak In advance of the meeting by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda Item (the item is Motion 10.12) and a phone number to call so that you may be issued a Zoom link to the meeting.  Email Address Is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV.  If you have no access to email you may contact the City Clerk at 978-674-4161.

Free Soil Arts 2nd Annual Juneteenth Celebration

Sunday, June 19, 11am-4pm
Market Street
https://www.facebook.com/events/768275544071500
Gather on Market Street in downtown Lowell, MA to highlight Lowell’s Black history and Black artists—featuring a mainstage of musicians and performers, poetry readings at local businesses, walking Black History tours, food, and Black artisan vendors.

Juneteenth & Father’s Day Community Block Party 

Sunday, June 19, 5-10pm
Green Space @UTEC, 35 Warren St., Lowell
Organized by the Afro-American Community Collaborative
https://aacommunitycollab.com/#block

Lowell Litter Krewe

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.

Next events

Thursday, June 16| 4-6pm Muldoon Park Cleanup
Ahead of the Juneteenth Celebration
With Black Lowell Coalition
Meet at 5 Billerica Street
https://www.facebook.com/events/427212188871941

Saturday, June 18 | 9am-12pm, Canalwaters Cleaners and LNHP
Meet at TBD

Saturday June 25 | 9am-12pm, Abandoned Camp Cleanout, Ages 14+
Meet at 1125 Pawtucket Boulevard
https://www.facebook.com/events/585240472835621

Cleanups every Thursday 3:30-6pm with Life Connections
Call/text for details: 617-201-9916

Merrimack Valley Project “House Party” fundraiser/celebration

Thursday, June 23, 6:30 PM
Gary’s Restaurant, 26 Andover St,.in Lowell

Celebrate the past year, esp. Drivers’ Licenses Bill and Wheels of Hope.

ARPA Public Listening Sessions

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

Information gathered from the past 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

January 6 Hearings Watch Events

Beginning Thursday, June 9
Find and sign up at: https://www.mobilize.us/jan6hearings/

Disarm Hate

Mondays and Fridays, 3-5pm, next happening June 10
Phone and textbank to get gun reform legislation passed
Sign up: https://www.mobilize.us/brady/event/462576/

Mass Poor People’s & Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls

Saturday, June 18, Washington DC

The June 18, 2022 Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls will be a generationally transformative and disruptive gathering of poor and low-wealth people, state leaders, faith communities, moral allies, unions and partnering organizations.

It is NOT just a day of action. It is a declaration of an ongoing, committed moral movement to 1) Shift the moral narrative; 2) Build power; and 3) Make real policies to fully address poverty and low wealth from the bottom up.

If enough people sign up in this area there could be a bus (cost: $150 round trip). If not enough people sign up from this area, there WILL be a bus from Boston, with a possibility of carpooling there.

Click here: https://tinyurl.com/33bx5pu7

h/t member Stephen Malagodi for this submission

Indivisible-RISE Monthly Meeting: Film Screening

Tuesday, June 21, 7-8:15 pm
Register to join us on Zoom:  https://tinyurl.com/mr3nd2u8

Film screening: “Suppressed and Sabotaged: The Fight To Vote” (2022) by Robert Greenwald (Director of Outfoxed, Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price, and Making A Killing: Guns Greed and the NRA). It is a powerful 44-minute documentary about the growing threat of voter suppression and election sabotage to our 2022 midterm elections.

Indivisible-RISE has a unique opportunity through Common Cause to show this film at our June 21, 2022 meeting, and we hope you will join us.  In 2021, 19 states passed 34 new voter laws following the Big Lie of the 2020 election. The film focuses on this recent wave of voter suppression and subversion laws being enacted in states, and how the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp provides a blueprint for today’s voter suppression laws across the country. The film includes perspectives from voters in swing states that highlight how these new laws will affect their constitutional right to vote.

We’ll follow the film with a brief discussion and a description of ways that we can help to fight voter suppression.

Democracy Corner

Our members running for office welcome volunteers:

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

Central Votes Zoe Fundraiser
Thursday, June 23, 4-7pm, East End Social Club (15 W 4th St, Centralville)

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

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

Phonebanking Mondays and Wednesdays. Register on the site.

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).

Progressive candidates have qualified and the state Convention has selected them to appear in the Primary. Now we start the joyous work of helping them win the Primary. All campaigns are currently looking for people to help.

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

There are groups across the country working to elect more progressive candidates. Find one that lets you do something you can do to make a difference. There are more of us than them. If we all do our one little thing, change CAN come.

Turn Purple 2 Blue
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.

Swing Blue Alliance (formerly Swing Left)
Swingbluealliance.org
Largest organization in MA working on both state and national elections. Help elect more Democrats to Congress.  Pick how you want to work and which race(s) you want to work on.

Field Team 6
https://www.fieldteam6.org/
This California-based group works to register more Democrats all across the country. When more Democrats vote, Democrats win.

 

State-Level Actions

350MA Legislative Update & Help Needed

In March, the House passed a bill to promote the development of offshore wind energy. In April, the Senate passed a broader climate bill (S.2819) that has some good elements—although not all we hoped for. The final bill is expected no later than the week of July 11, and 350MA needs your help. Contact your state representative and ask them for a strong bill that addresses buildings, transportation, the electric grid, and social justice. See here for specific top priorities identified by 350 Mass and many coalition partners: https://tinyurl.com/3hwn29ch

Here’s how to contact your rep:

Easy: Send an email (sample text is here: https://tinyurl.com/e9226br8 ) and cc our Political Director Cabell Eames, Cabell@betterfutureproject.org

Better: Call and follow up with an email (sample script is here: https://tinyurl.com/e9226br8 )

Best: Call to schedule a live meeting and make the same request. Even better, invite others to join you! Then email Cabell (Cabell@betterfutureproject.org) to tell us how it went, since she’s meeting regularly with legislators on our behalf.

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.

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 24. 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.

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 of the committee, 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

Sign up to phonebank in support https://actionnetwork.org/events/weekly-phone-bank-lunch

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

Petition to Biden Administration to Protect Workers Reporting Unsafe Conditions 

https://tinyurl.com/2nh7fr8v

Unsafe working conditions and labor abuses are equal-opportunity threats to workers. They don’t care about a worker’s immigration status. But some workers are vulnerable to intimidation and retaliation because of their status and may be afraid to report or testify, putting all workers at risk. This petition from Jobs with Justice asks that workers be protected in those circumstances.

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