RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR JULY 19, 2022

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting – Annual Summer Barbecue!

Sunday July 24, 4-7pm
205 10th St, Lowell
Our annual potluck Summer Barbecue, with endorsed candidates and other guests
https://www.facebook.com/events/448498286790823

Join our Instant Action Crew

Recently, the need for instantaneous responses to calls for action has arisen, things that can’t wait for our next newsletter.

We are looking to build a list of people willing to receive text messages to act PDQ. We realize not everyone will be able to act on all requests at all times, but this will give Solidarity Lowell the ability to respond to progressive needs as quickly as is sometimes necessary. Given the lack of transparency in our legislature, for example, advance warning of a vote sometimes is less than 24 hours. It won’t wait for the next newsletter. There have also been stand-outs organized with less than a week’s notice.

If you’d like to be on alert, especially for matters that affect city or state, please email contact@solidaritylowell.com

Media help needed

Solidarity Lowell seeks volunteers to update our website, which is on WordPress. We would also like to find someone who can help to produce occasional videos for TikTok and local access TV.

If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please email contact@solidaritylowell.com.

Solidarity Lowell Tabling at Folk Festival

We could use your help! Can you take a two hour shift?
Saturday July 30: 12-2, 2-4, 4-6
Sunday July 31: 12-2, 2-4, 4-6

We especially need help setting up (11-12 BOTH days) and taking down (around 6 both days)

You can check the Festival schedule here and see what won’t conflict with performances you want to see.
https://lowellfolkfestival.org/listen/2022-schedule/

For more information, please contact:
Chris Offerman: chris@solidaritylowell.com

Happy News To Share

From: Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN)
There’s exciting and joyful news to share: two immigrants with whom our community has been sharing support, Marius and Lillian, are expecting a baby together! The baby is due at the end of the Summer. We wish them hearty congratulations! Our network can help Marius and Lillian get ready to welcome their child by donating gift cards to Target and Kohls, which will allow them to purchase a car seat, stroller, clothes, and whatever else they need. If you are generously able to donate a gift card, in any amount, please contact marissa@solidaritylowell.com. You can also donate via the GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/47gvz-marius Thank you!

Lowell Events

350 Mass Lowell Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, July 20, 7pm

Hybrid
– In person at LTC, 246 Market St, Lowell
– Via Zoom:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89260796845?pwd=T0V2eTVQT3J1U2hXbVBnN0VtcFNoUT09
Meeting ID: 892 6079 6845
Passcode: 615565
Or call 646 876 9923

First timers welcome!

Notes from previous meetings are here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r5k0MZfiDfsqoVDXPTjPfPPkvheitoTEVRauDQ-aqzo/edit

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

Saturday, July 23, 9am-12pm 
Mack Plaza
With Canalwater Cleaners and LNHP
Meet at Dutton St Traincar

Friday-Sunday, July 29-31
Lowell Folk Festival
Shifts available all weekend.
Call 617-201-9916 for more information.
T-shirts for volunteers. Size needed

Cleanups every Thursday 3:30-6pm with Life Connections’ Jump Start Jobs Program

Volunteer Request: Dwelling House of Hope/Lowell Litter Krewe

Saturdays 7:30am-12pm
RSVP: LowellLitterKrewe@gmail.com  978-201-9916

Dwelling House of Hope provides 400 families every Saturday with a food box at their weekly drive-up pantry, and they need volunteers! If you’re interested in signing up for every Saturday, one Saturday, or even a half-shift, please let LLK know! Volunteers will be asked to sort through pallets of food, pack boxes, and load them into the cars of the families served.

City Council Meeting

Tuesday, July 26, 6:30pm, at City Hall and online
Meetings are held in Council Chamber Tuesdays at 6:30pm with public welcome. Now on summer schedule of every 2 weeks.

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).

Agenda: https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter

To speak, you must register by 4 pm the day of the meeting. 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 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.

Other Events

Weekly Virtual Phone Bank for Dr. Tami Gouveia
PM Endorsee for Lieutenant Governor 

Our grassroots push to the primary is underway and we need you! Please join Team Tami for virtual phonebanking, Sundays July 24 and 31, 5-7 pm online. Training provided.

To sign up: kimberley@tamigouveia.com

Brady United New Volunteers Info Session

Wednesdays, 5-5;30pm, next happening July 20, 27
Sign up:  https://www.mobilize.us/brady/event/462576/

Find out about volunteer opportunities with a national organization working to fight gun violence. And yes, there’s more to be done, in spite of the newly-passed legislation.

Weekly Virtual Trainings for Canvassing for Tanisha Sullivan – PM endorsee for Secretary of State

Fridays, 6-7pm, next happening July 22,29
Sign up: https://tanishasullivan.com/join-us/

January 6 Hearings Watch Events

Next scheduled July 21, 10am
Find and sign up at: https://www.mobilize.us/jan6hearings/

Reproductive Rights

The good news is that abortion is still legal in Massachusetts, although there are a few things we could do to make access easier. But we will be affected by the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade. While there is no instant fix, there are ways we can help stand up to the decision.

A full list of actions you can take may be found at: https://tinyurl.com/4r568ack

Gun Safety

For those concerned about gun violence, we have compiled a list of organizations working on the problem that you could support and possible actions you can take. We urge you to check them out and see if one fits your values and activism style.

https://tinyurl.com/2xb2ma48

Just added to the list of organizations working on the issue:
Brady United https://www.bradyunited.org/
Everytown for Gun Safety https://www.everytown.org/
Fierce Madres (started by parents of Uvalde) https://www.fiercemadres.com/
Giffords (started by violence survivor Gabby Giffords) https://giffords.org/
March for our Lives (started by Parkland survivors) https://marchforourlives.com/

Democracy Corner

Don’t miss your chance to vote in the primary

Deadline to Register to Vote: August 27
Deadline for Mail-in Ballot Application: August 29
Early voting: August 27-September 2

Lowell Needs Poll Workers

The City of Lowell employs approximately 225 poll workers per election, including Wardens, Clerks, Inspectors and translators. All poll workers are paid, and subject to very specific rules/guidelines/policies. Early voting begins August 27, so hiring must be done before then. A little over a month away.

Poll workers are essential to running an election. If you have the time, please consider signing up. For more information, see  https://www.lowellma.gov/317/Election-Workers.

Our endorsed candidates for state representative welcome volunteers

Below are contacts for our members and endorsed candidates running for local state representative. If you are interested in helping our endorsed candidates running for statewide office, or efforts to elect more reasonable candidates in other states, you will find links to organizations here: https://tinyurl.com/ycxysmhw

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

  • Volunteers for Saturday doorknocking would be greatly appreciated. Choose from two shifts.
  • People can sign up here: https://secure.ngpvan.com/p/SKoqjTVt40SifvNXEKxsmg2
  • Field captains are needed to be responsible for checking people in for a shift, providing training as necessary, and checking them back out.
  • People can contact Kjersten at kjersten@govotezoe.com

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

  • Volunteers needed for phonebanking and canvassing. Volunteer on the site.

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

  • Phonebanking Mondays and Wednesdays. Register on the site.

Help Get Out the Vote-When More People Vote, More Progressives Win

Wednesdays, 7/20, 7/27 12-3pm
Join a Mass Voter Table phone bank encouraging folks to vote by mail.
https://tinyurl.com/mr2yfv92

Phonebank for Act on Mass Endorsed Candidates

Thursdays July 21, 28 6-8pm
https://tinyurl.com/5x4z3snt

Help elect candidates who will stand up for transparency on Beacon Hill

Zoe Dzineku for State Rep Summer Party Fundraiser
Thursday, July 28, 4-7pm
The Establishment, 75 Princeton Street, North Chelmsford

State-level Actions

And the session-ending legislative asks keep rolling in.

350 MA of Greater Lowell Action Requests on Climate Bill

Important Climate Action:  We need a strong climate bill and the session is almost over!  See Action steps below.

Our legislature has not yet acted on the climate bill.  The legislative session ends 7/31.  If we don’t get a climate bill passed by Thursday 7/21, Gov. Baker can veto all or parts of it and there can be no override.

Action steps:

  1. Call your State Rep and Senator.  See end of this section for contact info.  Tell them we need a strong climate bill – this session!  (not two years from now).
  2. Ask them to sign onto this sign-on letter to House and Senate leadership urging climate action. https://tinyurl.com/4k76w2ap  (Progressive Mass is also asking us to do this)
  3. Send them a postcard.  See Mass Power Forward’s action steps for more info.
    https://tinyurl.com/mr6m7w5h
  4. Attend 350 Mass Lowell meeting (see Lowell events above)

Or call your representative and senator about the climate bill.

Script
I’m calling to voice concern that the legislature has still not passed a climate bill this session. Climate advocates are circulating a public sign-on letter for legislators in support of quickly moving a bill. Has the Representative/Senator seen the letter? You can view the form and the letter at bit.ly/maclimate22. Will the Representative/Senator sign on?

If yes: Wonderful, thank you. They can use the sign-on form found in the letter

If not sure/need to get back to you: Please let me know what the legislator says.

If no: Can you explain why not?

What if the legislator says a climate bill is coming soon? It isn’t over until it’s over! If they support passing a climate bill, there’s no reason not to sign!

Stop the MA Legislature from Giving Massive Tax Breaks to the Wealthiest Estates

The Massachusetts tax system hits the wallets of lower-income people harder than high earners, with the bottom 20% of earners paying a higher percentage of their income in state and local taxes than the top 1%. An exception is the Commonwealth’s relatively robust estate tax. The estate tax is one of the main policies we have that is focused on reducing the gaping racial wealth gap in Massachusetts.

Nonetheless, the Massachusetts House voted last week to roll back the estate tax, to the cost of $207 million. This lost revenue means money isn’t available for important investments or for tax relief for the struggling residents of the Commonwealth.

Even worse, the estate tax rollback was designed in a way that disproportionately benefits the largest estates, namely those over $3 million. This would be the biggest increase in the racial wealth gap in decades.

If legislators want to help comparatively smaller estates, they should design their policies to do so, not advance a costly giveaway to the wealthiest estates.

Please write to your state senator to urge them to reject the House’s estate tax proposal via this handy form:  https://tinyurl.com/576kced7

Safe Communities Act advanced. Let’s bring it home

The Safe Communities Act would provide immigrants with the stability and certainty they need to confidently seek medical care and other assistance without fear of deportation and family separation. This bill keeps us ALL safe because immigrants will no longer need to fear reporting unsafe living or working conditions, or crimes against people.
The bill has been voted favorably out of committee. There’s only a few weeks left in the legislative session. Please use the editable form at the link to email your legislators and urge them to contact leadership in favor of the Safe Communities Act.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-lawmakers-pass-the-safe-communities-act-this-session

Help pass the Jail and Prison Construction Moratorium Bill!

The House and the Senate both passed some prison moratorium language as a part of an infrastructure spending bill. But while the language in the House’s version is very close to the original bill, the Senate’s version is much weaker, and would not stop the women’s prison project.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Call the six Conference Committee members and tell them to put the House version of the Moratorium in the final bill.
  • Call your own State Rep and Senator and tell them to ask the Infrastructure Bond Bill Committee members to put the House version of the Moratorium in the final bill.
  • Call and email the SIX Infrastructure Bond Bill Committee members to include the House version of the Jail and Prison Construction Moratorium in the final bill!

Senator Will Brownsberger (617) 722-1280 (*note: you can leave a  voicemail with a staff person and/or call the Senator’s cell phone which he provides when you call the main number) William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov 
Senator Nick Collins (617) 722-1150 Nick.Collins@masenate.gov
Senator Ryan Fattman (617) 722-1420 Ryan.Fattman@masenate.gov 
Representative Danielle Gregoire (617) 722-2140 Danielle.Gregoire@mahouse.gov 
Representative Carlos Gonzalez (617) 722-2230 Carlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.gov
Representative David Vieira (617) 722-2230 David.Vieira@mahouse.gov 

Sample script
Hello, my name is _______________ and I’m calling to ask you to include the House version of the Jail and Prison Construction Moratorium language in the final version of the Infrastructure Bond Bill. The House language will prevent the new women’s prison project and allow a 5 year pause on new jail and prison construction so we can focus on implementing alternatives and investing in community-led solutions for real safety and wellbeing. Passing the House Moratorium language is what’s best for women, families, and communities. Thank you.

  • Call and email your own State Rep and Senator and ask them to tell the Infrastructure Bond Bill Committee members to include the House version of the Moratorium in the final bill!

Find your legislators’ contact info here. https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

Sample script
Hello, my name is _______________ and I’m your constituent. One of my top priorities this session is making sure the strongest possible version of the Jail and Prison Construction Moratorium passes into law. Please let your colleagues on the Infrastructure Bond Bill Conference Committee know to include the House version of the Moratorium language in the final version of the Infrastructure Bond Bill. The Senate Bill has too many loopholes, but the House language will prevent the new women’s prison project and allow a 5 year pause on new jail and prison construction so we can focus on implementing alternatives and investing in community-led solutions for real safety and wellbeing. Passing the House Moratorium language is what’s best for women, families, and communities – so please make sure you do everything you can to make that happen. Thank you!

Help stop the Ballot Question to Undo the Drivers License Act

As you may have heard, the state Republican party is collecting signatures to force a referendum on the Work and Family Mobility Act (now law!) on November’s ballot. The coalition that helped pass the bill into law is now working to dissuade people from signing at locations where the Republican party is collecting signatures, including the Tewksbury Market Basket (not Stadium Plaza on the Lowell line, Oakdale Plaza further down Rt 38).  There is a need for volunteers for various time slots and locations over the next couple of months.

We will pass on more information as it becomes available. Meanwhile, you can contact  Harris Gruman, Executive Director, SEIU Massachusetts State Council (harris.gruman@seiuma.org) or John Drinkwater (jdrinkwater@massaflcio.org)

 

Help Get the Fair Share Amendment Passed – Canvass!

This amendment, a priority of Progressive Massachusetts, would add an additional 4% tax on incomes over $1 million, with revenue to be directed to improve our transportation systems (roads, bridges, and public transportation) and our schools. It is estimated that it would raise $2 billion per year.

The amendment is Question #1 on the ballot this November. But getting it passed means a lot of door-knocking and voter education. If you’d like to help, you can sign up at: https://tinyurl.com/38hsc9ss

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

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/

June meeting notes:
https://tinyurl.com/2p9ke9h4

June meeting recording:
https://youtu.be/BKXwSQB0UFo

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