Caroline Snow

SOLIDARITY LOWELL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 06, 2021

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 06, 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.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

LTC Community Panel on Discrimination & Racism

Thursday, April 8, 6pm

To register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kaZ2zfJFQ_CSoqWoAkmoWw

Join LTC for a panel discussion with a diverse group of community members from different religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds across Lowell. The panel will focus on recent incidents of antisemitism and racism in the city of Lowell.

How best can we listen to the voices of those most impacted? What can we do to actively come together and build the kind of Lowell where we are all safe and have a voice?

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Postcarding for Progress

Sunday, April 11, 3:00pm

Bridge the new and the old by Postcarding for Progress. Join Solidarity Lowell this Sunday, April 11th for a virtual gathering where we will write postcards in support for progressive legislation. We will provide the topic and script. You provide the postcards, stamps, pens, and creativity.

Email caroline@solidaritylowell.com for the Zoom link.

Local Events and Actions

Citizens Advisory Council

(second Thursday of each month)
Thursday, April 8, 5:30pm

Agenda: https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_03112021-1885

Members of the public wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to mmanzi@lowellma.gov indicating the agenda item and a primary/secondary (backup) phone number to call to be conferenced into the meeting. If no access to email, call 978-674-1903 to register to speak.

Bi-Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, April 8, 5pm

Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.

978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Next City Council Meeting

(2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 6:30pm)
Tuesday, April 13, 6:30pm

At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link into the meeting.  Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV.  If no access to email you may contact the City Clerk at 978-674-4161. Requests must be received by 4 pm the day of the meeting. (Note: they will keep you in the waiting room until it’s your turn to speak, so in order to follow the meeting you need to listen on TV, but turn that off when you speak because there’s a delay on the speakers.)

The agenda is posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter the Friday before a meeting. Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

For more details, keep an eye out for the April 9 RRTCCR post by Lisa Arnold.

Moses Harris’s Family needs the support of their community

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help with their material needs.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/moses-harris

T-shirt fundraiser

See the flier on the CAJE Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Support those arrested at the protest on March 20

From CAJE: We need EVERYONE to support our people who were arrested, and who responded to this emergency, by donating to cover their expenses. LPD’s violence has now manifested as FINANCIAL ABUSE.
https://fundrazr.com/CAJEsupports

Contact City Councilors to Seek Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact city councilors regarding the incident with Moses Harris to ask for an independent investigation.

Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. The death of Moses Harris in Lowell should be the subject of an independent investigation.  Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police and his body was found in early March. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident. I ask that you call for an independent investigation of this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”

NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are:

  • L’Arche Boston North
  • The Bridge Club of Greater Lowell
  • St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen

Voting ends June 30.

To vote, go to: https://www.weshareacommonthread.org/Give-a-Click/

Other Events

Overview of State Elections Actions

With Eliza Sweren-Becker of the Brennan Institute for Justice
Wednesday, April 7, 7:00pm

To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUuduyurj0sH9TLtS3wtlOKpagaDLFLfO1j

It isn’t just Georgia. In January of 2021, many state legislatures proposed bills to scale back voting.  Eliza Sweren-Becker of the Brennan Institute for Justice and her team have been counting and analyzing the 253 bills from 43 states proposed to curtail Americans’ access to the ballot.  Find out where they stand now and the ramifications moving forward.

Indivisible Acton Forum

Monday, April 12, 6:15-7:45

To register: https://www.mobilize.us/indivisibleacton-area/event/380799/

On the agenda: 1) For the People Act (H.R.1/S.1) and 2) Reforming the State House

Voices for Justice – “John Lewis: Good Trouble” Roundtable

Tuesday April 13, 7:30pm

To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bqIQ421jSlOffs2bAT3RDg

This virtual roundtable conversation is a continuation of the Cambridge Public Library Foundation’s Voices for Justice series.

On April 13th, Callie Crossley (WGBH) will moderate a discussion about “Good Trouble” today with panelists Prof. Danielle Allen (James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University), Elijah Booker (Activist and current Legislative Aide at the MA House of Representatives), Shirley Mark, (Director of Community Partnerships, Tufts University), and Rev. Ray Hammond (Co-Pastor, Bethel AME Church). For more information about these featured guests, please visit www.cplfound.org/goodtrouble.

PLEASE NOTE: On April 10th, registered attendees will receive a link to screen the documentary film “John Lewis: Good Trouble.” The event on April 13th will consist ONLY of a roundtable discussion of the film and is not a film screening. Attendees are strongly encouraged to view the film prior to the roundtable using the link provided. The film will be available for screening through April 16th.

Indivisible CD-03 Town Hall with Rep. Lori Trahan

Wednesday, April 14, 5:30-6:30pm
To register & submit questions: https://www.mobilize.us/cd3/event/381473/

State-level Events and Actions

Email Joint Rules Conference Committee about transparency

If the Legislature is going to start diving into the work of the new legislative session in earnest, they need to pass a set of Joint Rules. These Joint Rules govern how committees operate and how bills can proceed.
But due to opposition to basic transparency measures from the MA House, there is no agreement yet on these basic operating procedures.
The transparency measures embraced by the Senate, listed in the sample message,  are both essential and non-controversial and will help legislators do their own jobs better and strengthen the participatory nature of our democracy.
A Conference Committee of three senators and three representatives is currently negotiating what that final set of Joint Rules will look like. Progressive Massachusetts is calling on us to email the Conference Committee today in support of an open and transparent process.

Addressees (leave spaces around @ out when emailing):

Joan.lovely @ masenate.gov
Ryan.fattman @ masenate.gov
Joseph.boncore @ masenate.gov
William.galvin @ mahouse.gov
Claire.cronin @ mahouse.gov
Paul.frost @ mahouse.gov

Sample message:
Dear Members of the Joint Rules Conference Committee:
Thank you for your work on finalizing a set of Joint Rules for the 192nd legislative session.

The Joint Rules should embody the commitment to democracy and transparency that many residents of the Commonwealth cherish.

In particular, I urge you to include the following measures in a final Joint Rules package:

  • Publishing committee votes on the Legislature’s website in an accessible manner
  • Making testimony accessible to the public, with appropriate redactions as with any other public records request
  • Extending the notice period for hearings to one week

All of these steps will help legislators do their own jobs better and strengthen the participatory nature of our democracy. 

Thank you for your time, and I hope to have your support in this. 

Sincerely,
<name>

 

Help lobby your state legislators to cosponsor the Mass Renews Alliance policies

None of the Lowell legislators has signed on to cosponsor the policies. The policies are encompassed in 3 bills (Building Justice with Jobs, Food Justice with Jobs, and Food Justice Frontline), as well as the eviction ban.
To learn more and sign up: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WMamQfs8Lz8tLBtHQ7chZFAqPuKCIW1YuUUK9AB-2dw

 

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please 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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping on an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

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/

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

View the notes from our March meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tBDTUsYbrenoWGcYoOOuWPlu7jKpxO2w4aJNE48bXvw/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our March meeting: https://youtu.be/jJfxz4548JI

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute
Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 30, 2021

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 30, 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.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

Solidarity with the AAPI Community

Go to StopAAPIHate.org to volunteer, donate, and access resources on how to support the AAPI community.

Go to the Asian American Commission  https://www.aacommission.org/statement-against-violence-and-xenophobia-faced-by-asian-communities/  for Massachusetts resources.

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Postcarding anyone?

Remote “write and chat” sessions starting soon. To join our postcarding efforts to write to legislators on issues of interest, please fill out the following form:
https://forms.gle/h2V7gJ1e2WbY9dKU9

Local Events and Actions

March for Moses

Saturday April 3, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)

Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date. Although Moses has been found, there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered. Deaths involving police should be investigated by a independent body not the police department involved in the incident.

Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Moses’ Family needs the support of their community

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help with their material needs.
https://www.gofundme.com/f/moses-harris

Support those arrested at the protest on March 20

From CAJE: We need EVERYONE to support our people who were arrested, and who responded to this emergency, by donating to cover their expenses. LPD’s violence has now manifested as FINANCIAL ABUSE.

HERE’S THE LATEST FROM COURT AS OF MARCH 22:

Our people were arrested and charged arbitrarily and capriciously with three bogus charges. As of their March 22 arraignment, one of those charges was dropped. That means our people will need to continue to appear in court over and over until the truth sings louder than the police screaming at us to get off a public sidewalk. Getting arrested is expensive. Going to court is expensive. As a community that protects one another, we can’t let our people who were robbed of their safety, go without. They gave for Moses, for the Harris-Wahpo family, and for all of us as we stand up for a better world. Being thrust into the injustice system for the simple act of seeking justice is abusive, and it’s violent, and it’s traumatic to every single person out here who is committed to fighting for a better world.

And! Please head over to insta and give @beckywiththegudhurr a follow to thank her for the awesome court support photo!

https://fundrazr.com/CAJEsupports

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact city councilors regarding the incident with Moses Harris to ask for an independent investigation.
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. The death of Moses Harris in Lowell should be the subject of an independent investigation.  Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police and his body was found in early March. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident. I ask that you call for an independent investigation of this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”

NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

Next School Committee meeting

(every 2 weeks on Wednesday at 6:30pm)
Wednesday, March 31, 6:30pm
Agenda due the Monday before (March 29)

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive a $1,000 donation.

March’s nominees are Pawtucketville Youth Organization, Nevins Family of Services, Challenge Me, Inc., and Andover Destination Imagination.

To vote for one, go to:
https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are The German Home, Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc., and International Institute of New England.

Voting ends March 31.

To vote, go to:
https://www.weshareacommonthread.org/Give-a-Click/

Other Events

Race Amity

Tuesday, March 30, 7:00-8:30pm
To register:  www.tinyurl.com/goodnowraceamity

Lecture and Media Presentation by Award-Winning Race Relations Media Producer, Writer, Author and Documentarian William H. “Smitty” Smith, E.D.

Sponsored by the Goodnow Library Sudbury CARES Series and the
Sudbury Committee for Racial and Social Justice

Good Friday Vigil Against the Death Penalty

Friday, April 2 4:00-6:00pm
Andover Center
The Boston North Chapter of Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty is hosting an anti-death-penalty vigil on Good Friday, April 2, 2021 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Reading Common (at the Junction of Route 28 (Main Street) and Route 129 (Salem Street)) in Reading MA.  Participants will be expected to use hand-sanitizer, wear a mask or face covering, and maintain physical distancing of at least six feet.  Some professionally-made signs will be available, but home-made signs with respectful relevant messages are also welcome.  (Hand sanitizer and extra masks will be available on site.)

Overview of State Elections Actions

With Eliza Sweren-Becker of the Brennan Institute for Justice
Wednesday, April 7, 7:00pm
To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUuduyurj0sH9TLtS3wtlOKpagaDLFLfO1j
It isn’t just Georgia. In January of 2021, many state legislatures proposed bills to scale back voting.  Eliza Sweren-Becker of the Brennan Institute for Justice and her team have been counting and analyzing the 253 bills from 43 states proposed to curtail Americans’ access to the ballot.  Find out where they stand now and the ramifications moving forward.

State-level Events and Actions

Ask Legislators to Support an Equitable Vaccine Rollout

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit communities of color in Massachusetts–communities already facing the brunt of crises of housing insecurity, economic inequality, and over-policing— especially hard. The vaccine rollout–characterized by technological failures, logistical confusion, and oversight after oversight–has compounded this inequity, as the rates at which communities of color have been vaccinated has been far less than their rate of hospitalization due to COVID. Lowell is among the cities with the highest rates of COVID per 10,000.
None of us are safer until ALL of us are safer. The Vaccine Equity bill (SD.699 /HD.1283), filed by Senators Becca Rausch and Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representatives Liz Miranda and Mindy Domb, would ensure that equity is prioritized in the vaccine rollout in Massachusetts, recognizing that we can only have a successful recovery if it is an equitable one.
Contact your legislators in support of the bill: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/we-need-an-equitable-vaccine-rollout

Email Joint Rules Conference Committee about transparency 

If the Legislature is going to start diving into the work of the new legislative session in earnest, they need to pass a set of Joint Rules. These Joint Rules govern how committees operate and how bills can proceed.
But due to opposition to basic transparency measures from the MA House, there is no agreement yet on these basic operating procedures.
The transparency measures embraced by the Senate, listed in the sample message,  are both essential and non-controversial and will help legislators do their own jobs better and strengthen the participatory nature of our democracy.
A Conference Committee of three senators and three representatives is currently negotiating what that final set of Joint Rules will look like.
Progressive Massachusetts is calling on us to email the Conference Committee today in support of an open and transparent process.

Addressees:
(when using addresses, delete extra spaces around the @ sign)
Joan.lovely @ masenate.gov
Ryan.fattman @ masenate.gov
William.galvin @ mahouse.gov
Joseph.boncore @ masenate.gov
Claire.cronin @ mahouse.gov
Paul.frost @ mahouse.gov

Sample message:
Dear Members of the Joint Rules Conference Committee,
Thank you for your work on finalizing a set of Joint Rules for the 192nd legislative session.
The Joint Rules should embody the commitment to democracy and transparency that many residents of the Commonwealth cherish.
In particular, I urge you to include the following measures in a final Joint Rules package:
*Publishing committee votes on the Legislature’s website in an accessible manner
*Making testimony accessible to the public, with appropriate redactions as with any other public records request
*Extending the notice period for hearings to one week
All of these steps will help legislators do their own jobs better and strengthen the participatory nature of our democracy.

Thank you for your time, and I hope to have your support in this. 

Sincerely,
(name)

Help lobby your state legislators to cosponsor the Mass Renews Alliance policies

None of the Lowell legislators has signed on to cosponsor the policies. The policies are encompassed in 3 bills (Building Justice with Jobs, Food Justice with Jobs, and Food Justice Frontline), as well as the eviction ban.
To learn more and sign up: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WMamQfs8Lz8tLBtHQ7chZFAqPuKCIW1YuUUK9AB-2dw/edit

Tell your legislators you want remote access to government meetings to continue

At the link you’ll find an editable email to legislators in support of a bill that would revise the Open Meeting law to make remote access permanent.
https://action.aclu.org/send-message/tell-lawmakers-update-open-meeting-law

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please 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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping on an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

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/

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

View the notes from our March meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tBDTUsYbrenoWGcYoOOuWPlu7jKpxO2w4aJNE48bXvw/edit?usp=sharing
Recording of our March meeting: https://youtu.be/jJfxz4548JI

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute
Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 23, 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.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting – This Sunday!

Sunday March 28, 5:30pm, via Zoom

This month we’re preparing for our Coordinating Committee elections in April, and you’ll get a chance to meet the current CC members, ask questions, and learn what they do and how you can contribute. We’ll also discuss the Progressive Massachusetts Legislative Agenda.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83928598186
Meeting ID: 839 2859 8186
Passcode: 675233
Are you interested in joining the Coordinating Committee? Email us at contact@solidaritylowell.com.

Solidarity with the AAPI Community

Go to StopAAPIHate.org to volunteer, donate, and access resources on how to support the AAPI community.

Go to the Asian American Commission  https://www.aacommission.org/statement-against-violence-and-xenophobia-faced-by-asian-communities/  for Massachusetts resources.

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Postcarding anyone?

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

Local Events and Actions

Next City Council Meeting

(every 2 weeks, on Tuesday at 6:30pm)
Tuesday, March 23, 6:30pm

At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link into the meeting.  Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV.  If no access to email you may contact the City Clerk at 978-674-4161. Requests must be received by 4 pm the day of the meeting. (Note: they will keep you in the waiting room until it’s your turn to speak, so in order to follow the meeting you need to listen on TV, but turn that off when you speak because there’s a delay on the speakers.)

The agenda is posted at  http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter. Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.  This week there are motions reaffirming the city’s commitment to inclusivity, requesting a report on hate crimes, especially anti-Asian hate crimes, in the city. For more details see the March 19 RRTCCR post by Lisa Arnold.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, March 25, 5pm (now meeting bi-weekly)
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/

Monthly Sustainability Council Meeting

(4th Thursday of every month) Thursday, March 25, 6:30pm

March for Moses

Saturday March 27, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)

Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date. Although Moses has been found, there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered. Deaths involving police should be investigated by an independent body not the police department involved in the incident.

Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Moses’ Family needs the support of their community

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help with their material needs. https://www.gofundme.com/f/moses-harris

Support those arrested at the protest on March 20

From CAJE: We need EVERYONE to support our people who were arrested, and who responded to this emergency, by donating to cover their expenses. LPD’s violence has now manifested as FINANCIAL ABUSE.

HERE’S THE LATEST FROM COURT AS OF MARCH 22:

Our people were arrested and charged arbitrarily and capriciously with three bogus charges. As of their March 22 arraignment, one of those charges was dropped. That means our people will need to continue to appear in court over and over until the truth sings louder than the police screaming at us to get off a public sidewalk. Getting arrested is expensive. Going to court is expensive. As a community that protects one another, we can’t let our people who were robbed of their safety, go without. They gave for Moses, for the Harris-Wahpo family, and for all of us as we stand up for a better world. Being thrust into the injustice system for the simple act of seeking justice is abusive, and it’s violent, and it’s traumatic to every single person out here who is committed to fighting for a better world.

And! Please head over to insta and give @beckywiththegudhurr a follow to thank her for the awesome court support photo! https://fundrazr.com/CAJEsupports

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact city councilors regarding the incident with Moses Harris to ask for an independent investigation.

Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. The disappearance of Moses Harris in Lowell should be the subject of an independent investigation.  Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, and the police have yet to release the police report. I ask that you call for an independent investigation of this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”

NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.

March’s nominees are Pawtucketville Youth Organization, Nevins Family of Services, Challenge Me, Inc.-Andover Destination Imagination.

To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are The German Home; Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.; International Institute of New England

Voting ends March 31.

To vote, go to: https://www.weshareacommonthread.org/Give-a-Click/

Other Events

Be an Agent of Change: Achieve Health Justice

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021 07:00 PM

Join A Faith That Does Justice and Healthcare for All for a conversation about the actions you can take as an individual to work towards justice, equity, and inclusion in health care. We learned at our most recent community meeting how disparities are impacting the health of communities of color. Now join us for a hands-on discussion about how you can put your faith into action to be an agent for change.

The workshop will be led by Peter Gyves, SJ, MD with Chris Noble, Health Justice Campaign Organizer at Health Care for All.

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkcO-gqT4vE9EWDx-PThfBCGCLdCOVVpIo?_x_zm_[…]13573390272.a278a05283bf27fe1e02e9750954adc8&_x_zm_rhtaid=976 (edited)

Indivisible: State Advocacy Training

Wednesday, March 24, 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Framing the Issue
Indivisible National is launching a State Legislative Advocacy program to support the work that groups are doing on the ground to advocate for progressive legislation. The first session is entitled “Framing the Issue.” Attend this webinar to learn how to incorporate the intersections of race, class, gender, and experience into State and Local advocacy for 2021.

Get the details on each session and register HERE.
https://indivisible.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwkfu6hrz0jGN0PwjFqILy5-uiSPPNwMa50

(h/t Indivisible National)

The Holy Grail: Can Social Media and Civil Discourse Coexist?

March 25, 2:00EDT
To register:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lab-102-the-holy-grail-can-social-media-and-civil-discourse-coexist-tickets-142277079575

Join us for a provocative look at the intersection of social media and civil discourse. We will explore the impact that social media outlets and often contentious speech play on society, including its economic impact, consumer boycotts, the “cancel culture” phenomenon, relationships among friends, family and colleagues, as well as the positive benefits of social media.

Monica Anderson, Pew Research Center, and Beau Kiniry, BuzzFeed
Ian Curtiss, Guest Moderator

Massachusetts Town Hall on Anti-Asian Racism

Thursday, March 25 from 6-7:30pm
The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled xenophobia and anti-Asian racism. But Asian Americans have experienced violence long before the pandemic. Join this town hall, sponsored by a coalition of groups, highlighting how the Asian American community in MA is organizing against racism and learn how to support the community during the pandemic. Register here.

https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_b6KfYzl4RfO6MuiYNjpRPA

HIAS Book and Film Club: “They Live Here, Now”

March 26, 2021 | Friday | 12:00-1:00pm ET

To register: https://www.hias.org/events/hias-book-and-film-club-march

Join the HIAS Book and Film Club for a discussion of “They Live Here, Now” with filmmaker Jason Outenreath and Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer, HIAS Rabbi-in-Residence.  “They Live Here, Now” is an intimate fiction/doc hybrid, cinema-verite portrait of daily life for refugees from all over the world living at Casa Marianella, a volunteer-driven emergency homeless shelter in East Austin, Texas serving recently arrived immigrants, endangered refugees, and asylum seekers from around the world.

Advance registration required. Please click here to access the film and RSVP.

HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT: WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN

First event: Saturday March 27 9am
A virtual exploration and call to action:
Housing in the US has become a commodity only available to the highest bidders—whether that be buyers or renters. Those who do not meet the financial challenge become homeless and are treated as if their situation is a personal failing, not the result of systemic issues designed to accommodate those with the resources. We believe that this system must change.

Join us for a virtual series on increasing access to affordable housing in Franklin County.

• On March 27, 2021 at 9 am, we kick off the event with a panel who will explore why affordable housing is difficult to find. We will consider how housing became a commodity, how it has been impacted by systemic racism created by government policy and what we can do with or without government help to create more affordable housing.

Panelists include: Brian Sargent, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, UMass Amherst; Linda Dunlavy, Executive Director, Franklin Regional Council of Governments; State Senator Jo Comerford and US Representative Ayanna Pressley (invited).

• 8 virtual workshops in April and early May will dive deeper into specific action areas
A full list of workshops and registration is available at https://housingishumanright.com. There is no fee for the keynote or any of the workshops.

Sponsored by Greening Greenfield and Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution.

March Movie Night Series

Sunday nights at 7pm ET
March 28

Learn. Discuss…spur conversations on our future as a cooperative society

CommunityBridge.com presents – An engaging series of films to spur conversations on our future as a cooperative society. March is Rebellion and Cooperatives month on CommunityBridge. This series of documentaries and films focuses on the United States history of uprisings that are left out of our school curriculum.

In US culture, these topics are usually framed to raise guilt and further repression, preventing positive dialog and actions to change the future. These films are presented as an opportunity for discussion, not blame, for building a movement towards an enlightened future and finding our part in the process as loving caring people working together to build a cooperative and inclusive economy for all.

We will share our thoughts on solutions and actions we can take as individuals and organizations working towards positive change and cooperative lives.

PRIMER: A link to a 4 minute video description of worker-owned cooperatives: https://youtu.be/pKN-gxmVRUc

March 28th

Mississippi’s War: Slavery and Secession – 1hr

State’s Rights vs Slavery?   What was the motivating factor that led to the conflict? Examine the reasons behind Mississippi’s decision to secede from the United States, and the ramifications that action had on its citizens.

Invite your friends to Movie Nights by sending them this link to sign on to the Movie Nights Invitation List:

https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/movienight

Race Amity

Tuesday, March 30, 7:00-8:30pm
To register:  www.tinyurl.com/goodnowraceamity
Lecture and Media Presentation

By Award-Winning Race Relations Media Producer, Writer, Author and Documentarian William H. “Smitty” Smith, E.D.

Sponsored by the Goodnow Library Sudbury CARES Series and the Sudbury Committee for Racial and Social Justice

State-level Events and Actions

Ask Legislators to Support an Equitable Vaccine Rollout

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit communities of color in Massachusetts–communities already facing the brunt of crises of housing insecurity, economic inequality, and over-policing— especially hard. The vaccine rollout–characterized by technological failures, logistical confusion, and oversight after oversight–has compounded this inequity, as the rates at which communities of color have been vaccinated has been far less than their rate of hospitalization due to COVID.
The Vaccine Equity bill (SD.699 /HD.1283), filed by Senators Becca Rausch and Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representatives Liz Miranda and Mindy Domb, would ensure that equity is prioritized in the vaccine rollout in Massachusetts, recognizing that we can only have a successful recovery if it is an equitable one.
Contact your legislators in support of the bill: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/we-need-an-equitable-vaccine-rollout

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor 5 indigenous legislative agenda priorities

At the link you’ll find an editable email that lists the 5 bills.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/indigenous-legislative-agenda-co-sponsorship-drive/thankyou?delivery_id=57871164

Tell your legislators you want remote access to government meetings to continue

At the link you’ll find an editable email to legislators in support of a bill that would revise the Open Meeting law to make remote access permanent.
https://action.aclu.org/send-message/tell-lawmakers-update-open-meeting-law

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please 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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping on an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

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/

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

View the notes from our February meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16ScrNKyVMRjXW7z-r19paPM__69hkMfCKSg10IY3OOA/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our February meeting: https://youtu.be/nepLC8-Y5og

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute
Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 20, 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.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

Inspiration and Gratitude: Winter 2021 Experiences from Marius

Sunday, March 21st, at 5:30pm 
At this event, Marius will give an update about his harrowing visit to Arizona in January, where he was unexpectedly detained by ICE. He will also discuss an upcoming project and answer questions. Presented by The Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN), Merrimack Valley Project, and Solidarity Lowell.

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/inspiration-and-gratitude-winter-2021-experiences-with-marius-tickets-146239228469

MVISN provides monthly expenses to Marius while he stays with us pending his asylum case, but we need your help. To assist Marius, please donate at http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/  (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form). We encourage you to donate even if you can’t attend.

If you have any questions, please contact the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network at mvisn@solidaritylowell.com

Ask Legislators to Support an Equitable Vaccine Rollout

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit communities of color in Massachusetts–communities already facing the brunt of crises of housing insecurity, economic inequality, and over-policing— especially hard. The vaccine rollout–characterized by technological failures, logistical confusion, and oversight after oversight–has compounded this inequity, as the rates at which communities of color have been vaccinated has been far less than their rate of hospitalization due to COVID.

The Vaccine Equity bill (SD.699 /HD.1283), filed by Senators Becca Rausch and Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representatives Liz Miranda and Mindy Domb, would ensure that equity is prioritized in the vaccine rollout in Massachusetts, recognizing that we can only have a successful recovery if it is an equitable one.

Contact your legislators in support of the bill: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/we-need-an-equitable-vaccine-rollout

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday March 28, 5:30pm, via Zoom

Main Topic:  Solidarity Lowell’s Annual election of Coordinating Committee members
Watch for more information, link TBD

Are you interested in joining the Committee?

Email us at contact@solidaritylowell.com

Postcarding anyone?

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

Local Events and Actions

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers to help register and educate voters and find candidates

http://www.lowellvotes.org
Next meeting: March 16, 2pm

Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and register to vote.

Next School Committee meeting

(every 2 weeks on Wednesday at 6:30pm)

Wednesday, March 17, 6:30pm
Agenda due the monday before (March 15)

March for Moses

Saturday March 20, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date. Although Moses has been found, there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered.

Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Moses’ Family needs the support of their community

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help with their material needs.https://www.gofundme.com/f/moses-harris

Next City Council Meeting

(every 2 weeks, on Tuesday at 6:30pm)
Tuesday, March 23, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link into the meeting.  Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV.  If no access to email you may contact the City Clerk at 978-674-4161. (Note: they will keep you in the waiting room until it’s your turn to speak, so in order to follow the meeting you need to listen on TV, but turn that off when you speak because there’s a delay on the speakers.)
The agenda will be posted at  http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, March 19. Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, March 25, 5pm (now meeting bi-weekly)
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/

Monthly Sustainability Council Meeting

(4th Thursday of every month)
Thursday, March 25, 6:30pmSave the UMASS Lowell Labor Education Program
Over the years, the Merrimack Valley Project has been proud to work alongside an amazing team of labor leaders on multiple winning campaigns. Many of these labor leaders have been a product of the UMASS Lowell Labor Education Program, a program rooted in organizing principles designed to challenge the status quo. Many students and faculty members have been active MVP members and continue to participate to this day. It has been a mutually beneficial relationship that has enhanced real-world student learning by way of organizing campaigns throughout the Merrimack Valley.
Unfortunately, the program is now in serious jeopardy. The director of the program, Dr. Elizabeth Pellerito, has been furloughed since last August, meaning the program has ceased operations. Despite having more than adequate funding to restart the program, the administration at UMASS Lowell has refused to do so. This is unacceptable and shows exactly why the program is needed: to provide well-organization advocacy against a community injustice. Dr. Pellerito has started an online petition and MVP is asking its members to sign on as a gesture of solidarity. The petition can be found at:
https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/save-the-umass-lowell-labor-education-program/

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact city councilors regarding the incident with Moses Harris to ask for an independent investigation.
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45
Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. The disappearance of Moses Harris in Lowell should be the subject of an independent investigation.  Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, and the police have yet to release the police report. I ask that you call for an independent investigation of this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”
NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

Other Events

Lucy Stone: Make the World a Better Place

Mar 16, 2021 06:00 PM
Boston Public Library and National Park Service present

This program explores the lifelong fight of Massachusetts’ own Lucy Stone to win equal voting rights for women and African Americans. Despite leading both the women’s rights and abolitionist movements, Stone’s name is often absent from the history. Join us in examining why this historical titan’s work was so integral to the nation’s evolution. https://boston-public-library.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvd-ispz4rG9Gf-oX6i6lMmh9aWBFzz4bI

Climate Action and the Next Generation Roadmap Bill   

Friday, March 19, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

The Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts (PDM) is hosting this virtual forum featuring State Senator Michael Barrett and Representative Tommy Vitolo discussing the Next Generation Roadmap bill. The program will cover:

  • Climate efforts in Massachusetts to date and the need to up the pace;
  • What distinguishes the Next-Generation bill; and
  • What additional steps are necessary to assure progress toward achieving the Commonwealth’s emissions goal and mitigating the impacts of climate change

Get more details and register at: https://www.progressivedemsofmass.org/forums/
Shared by Lisa Baci, Indivisible Mass Coalition

March Movie Night Series

Sunday nights at 7pm ET
March 21

Learn. Discuss. Spur conversations on our future as a cooperative society.

CommunityBridge.com presents – An engaging series of films to spur conversations on our future as a cooperative society. March is Rebellion and Cooperatives month on CommunityBridge. This series of documentaries and films focuses on the United States history of uprisings that are left out of our school curriculum.

In US culture, these topics are usually framed to raise guilt and further repression, preventing positive dialog and actions to change the future. These films are presented as an opportunity for discussion, not blame, for building a movement towards an enlightened future and finding our part in the process as loving caring people working together to build a cooperative and inclusive economy for all.

We will share our thoughts on solutions and actions we can take as individuals and organizations working towards positive change and cooperative lives.

PRIMER: A link to a 4 minute video description of worker-owned cooperatives: https://youtu.be/pKN-gxmVRUc

March 21st
Fred Hampton Documentary – 30mins
COINTELPRO Black Panthers William O’Neal

Fredrick Allen Hampton (August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969) was a black activist and revolutionary socialist. He came to prominence in Chicago as chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP), and deputy chairman of the national BPP. In this capacity, he founded the Rainbow Coalition, a prominent multicultural political organization that initially included the Black Panthers, Young Patriots, and the Young Lords, and an alliance among major Chicago street gangs to help them end infighting and work for social change.

Context on Fred Hampton: 3mins   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpnJv_89G1M

Invite your friends to Movie Nights by sending them this link to sign on to the Movie Nights Invitation List:

https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/movienight

Disinformation and Democracy: Soros and the Fight for Open Societies

Monday, Mar 22, 2021 01:15-02:15 PM
To register: https://tinyurl.com/m8p32daf

For decades, philanthropist George Soros has been dogged by conspiracy theories and disinformation. A new documentary from filmmaker Jesse Dylan shows how his opponents—from Glenn Beck to the Proud Boys—have leveraged racist, anti-Semitic tropes to smear not just Soros but those who’ve benefitted from his support for open societies globally. Now, with disinformation posing a direct threat to democracy, stemming the tide of lies has never been more crucial. Join the Brennan Center for Justice and PEN America for a conversation about truth, lies, and how to support open societies at a fractured historical moment. In advance of the conversation, participants will have a chance to watch for free the film Soros.

SPEAKERS:

  • Mark Malloch-Brown, President of the Open Society Foundations.
  • Michael Waldman, President of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law; Author, The Fight to Vote
  • Suzanne Nossel, Chief Executive Officer of PEN America; Author, Dare to Speak: Defending Free Speech for All
  • Andre Banks, Founder and CEO, A/B Partners and Win Black
  • Arisha Hatch, Vice President and Chief of Campaigns, Color Of Change
  • Jesse Dylan, Director, Soros

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law provides reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. Requests for accommodations for events and services should be submitted at least two weeks if possible before the date of the accommodation need. Please email adrienne.yee@nyu.edu or call 646-925-8728 for assistance.

Be an Agent of Change: Achieve Health Justice

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021 07:00 PM

Join A Faith That Does Justice and Healthcare for All for a conversation about the actions you can take as an individual to work towards justice, equity, and inclusion in health care. We learned at our most recent community meeting how disparities are impacting the health of communities of color. Now join us for a hands-on discussion about how you can put your faith into action to be an agent for change.

The workshop will be led by Peter Gyves, SJ, MD with Chris Noble, Health Justice Campaign Organizer at Health Care for All.

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkcO-gqT4vE9EWDx-PThfBCGCLdCOVVpIo?_x_zm_[…]13573390272.a278a05283bf27fe1e02e9750954adc8&_x_zm_rhtaid=976
(edited)

State-level Events and Actions

Support 3 bills introduced by the Massachusetts Renews Alliance 

Advocacy training March 22 6-8pm

For years, 350 Mass has been working to build a wide coalition of labor, youth, climate justice, Indigenous, disabled, and class justice organizers to build Green New Deal inspired policy in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Renews Alliance is the culmination of these efforts.

350 Mass and partners in the Mass Renews Alliance have introduced three bills into this legislative session: The Building Justice with Jobs Act would retrofit one million homes and create thousands of jobs across the state. The Food Justice with Jobs Act and Food Justice Frontline Act would create farm jobs for those in need, establish community land trusts to run community farms, and subsidize home gardening.

To pass these bills, we are going to need cosponsors statewide. With their node structure, 350 Mass is uniquely suited to organize advocacy meetings with representatives across the state. See their advocacy guide at  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WMamQfs8Lz8tLBtHQ7chZFAqPuKCIW1YuUUK9AB-2dw/edit?usp=sharing

Sign up for Advocacy Day training at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepK_4Xlj-8n-21OAidnNc6lb9QWJXGiMXLw6VLJ9uGxbnLYg/viewform
(If you can’t make it to the live training on March 22 6-8pm, you can request a recording.)

Ask Rep. Golden to co-sponsor the resubmitted Safe Communities Act

(SD.532 and HD.1165) and Work and Family Mobility Act (HD.448/SD.228)
And thank Senator Kennedy and Representatives Howard and Mom for doing so
This will be the third legislative session for the Safe Communities Act, which lets our local police focus on their priorities and not federal immigration priorities. The Work and Family Mobility Act allows immigrants to apply for a driver’s license regardless of immigration status.

Senator Kennedy and Representatives Howard and Mom have signed on to support the bills.
Representative Golden has not. If Representative Golden is your District Representative, please ask him to co-sponsor the bills.  You can find an email script on the Safe Communities Act here:

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/pass-the-safe-communities-act.
You can find a script on the Work & Family Mobility Act here: http://bit.ly/2021-dff-email

Ask your state legislators to co-sponsor workers’ rights bills

The bills covered by this petition address abusive waivers, sexual harassment, healthcare portability, paid sick leave, abusive scheduling, wage theft, retaliation against those who speak up for their rights, discrimination, underpaid restaurant workers, and bullying. The form contains an editable email you can send to your legislator
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/urge-your-state-legislators-to-co-sponsor-workers-rights-bills-in-massachusetts/thankyou?delivery_id=57519547

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor 5 indigenous legislative agenda priorities

At the link you’ll find an editable email that lists the 5 bills.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/indigenous-legislative-agenda-co-sponsorship-drive/thankyou?delivery_id=57871164

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please 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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping on an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

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/

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

View the notes from our February meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16ScrNKyVMRjXW7z-r19paPM__69hkMfCKSg10IY3OOA/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our February meeting: https://youtu.be/nepLC8-Y5og

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute
Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 6, 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.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

Ask Golden to co-sponsor the resubmitted Safe Communities Act

(SD.532 and HD.1165) and Work and Family Mobility Act (HD.448/SD.228)

And thank Senator Kennedy and Representatives Howard and Mom for doing so. This will be the third legislative session for the Safe Communities Act, which lets our local police focus on their priorities and not federal immigration priorities. The Work and Family Mobility Act allows immigrants to apply for a driver’s license regardless of immigration status.

Senator Kennedy and Representatives Howard and Mom have signed on to support the bills. Representative Golden has not. If Representative Golden is your District Representative, please ask him to co-sponsor the bills.
You can find an email script on the Safe Communities Act here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/pass-the-safe-communities-act.
You can find a script on the Work & Family Mobility Act here: http://bit.ly/2021-dff-email

Contact information: 

Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov  508-633-8005
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
—-
Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

Demand that Charlie Baker Prioritize Equity in Vaccine Rollout

The vaccine rollout in Massachusetts has been a disaster for everyone, but it has been particularly devastating to the communities of color who have already been disproportionately sickened and killed by the virus. Earlier this week, our friends from the newly formed Vaccine Equity Now! Coalition announced a roadmap for a more equitable distribution of vaccines to the disproportionately affected Black and Brown communities of Massachusetts.
Email the Governor today to demand that he implement these changes in order to eliminate the inequities that communities of color have been experiencing throughout this pandemic. The form at the link includes an editable message you can personalize.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/demand-that-charlie-baker-prioritize-equity-in-vaccine-rollout/

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday March 28, 5:30pm, via Zoom

Main Topic:  Solidarity Lowell’s Annual election of Coordinating Committee members
Watch for more information, link TBD.

Local Events and Actions

City Hall Open to the Public Again as of March 1

With the improvement in COVID rates, City Hall is open to the public again during normal business hours, effective March 1.

March for Moses

Saturday March 6, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)

Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date.

Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Next City Council Meeting

(every 2 weeks, on Tuesday at 6:30pm)
Tuesday, March 9, 6:30pm

At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link into the meeting.  Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV.  If no access to email you may contact the City Clerk at 978-674-4161. (Note: they will keep you in the waiting room until it’s your turn to speak, so in order to follow the meeting you need to listen on TV, but turn that off when you speak because there’s a delay on the speakers.)

The agenda will be posted at  http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, March 5. Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

Citizens Advisory Council

(second Thursday of each month)
March 11, 5:30pm. Agenda to be posted March 8.

Meetings held second Thursday of the month. Agenda posted the Monday before.

Members of the public wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to mmanzi@lowellma.gov indicating the agenda item and a primary/secondary (backup) phone number to call to be conferenced into the meeting. If no access to email, call 978-674-1903 to register to speak.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, March 11, 5pm (now meeting bi-weekly)
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers to help register and educate voters and find candidates

www.lowellvotes.org
Next meeting: March 16, 2pm

Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and register to vote.

Next School Committee meeting

(every 2 weeks on Wednesday at 6:30pm)
Wednesday, March 17, 6:30pm
Agenda due the Monday before (March 15)

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact city councilors regarding the incident with Moses Harris to ask for an independent investigation.

Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. The disappearance of Moses Harris in Lowell should be the subject of an independent investigation.  Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. No one has seen Moses since. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, and the police have yet to release the police report. I ask that you call for an independent investigation of this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”
NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

Other Events

Symposium on Resisting new Norfolk County Women’s Prison

Sunday, March 7, 1:30pm
To register: https://tinyurl.com/4kbmmfc7

Join Building Up People Not Prisons (BUPNP) in a virtual symposium to stop the construction of a new women’s prison in Norfolk County! Norfolk County residents are especially encouraged to attend, since the new prison is being planned for their community, though everyone is welcome.

At the Symposium, you’ll have the chance to hear directly from Families for Justice as Healing, comprised of formerly incarcerated women and their loved ones, about plans to build a new $50M women’s prison in Norfolk County. Here’s an article on how the state is trying to hide the process from the public: https://tinyurl.com/y78y2t67. You’ll have the chance to hear how to take action against the new prison, as well as a broader vision for how we can shift resources going to prisons to support work that can truly create safe and healthy communities for everyone.

Register for the symposium today!

Meredith, SURJB Prison Abolition Action Partnership (edited)

Resilience and Regeneration: A Racial Justice and Feminist Recovery 

Monday, March 8, 2021, 11:30am – 1:00pm

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts is hosting a virtual brunch to celebrate International Women’s Day featuring remarks from Congresswomen Katherine Clark and Ayanna Pressley and a panel discussion with State Rep. Chynah Tyler, Nia Grace, and Jynai McMcDonald. Register for this free event:here.https://www.eventbrite.com/e/boston-area-iwd-virtual-brunch-tickets-143212581687

Elders Climate Action Massachusetts

Tuesday, March 9, 11:45am
https://www.facebook.com/events/129607782302602

Chapter regular, Second-Tuesday-Afternoon-of-the-Month Chapter Meeting is held remotely thru Zoom. Join at 11:45 for time to socialize a bit and maybe have lunch together and make sure you’re all set on Zoom.

Then the meeting starts promptly at noon. The topic for this month is: “Laying the Groundwork for the Legislative Work Ahead”

The presentation will cover How a bill becomes law, The priority for bills in the Massachusetts Legislature this session, an overview of the Biden Administration’s climate program and the work of Elders Stand for Democracy on protecting voting rights.

___

To join the meeting click this Zoom link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/735454252
Meeting ID: 735 454 252
Passcode: 223189 (You may have to try more than once) (edited)

Dr. Esther Choo on Equity, Health and Well-being

Mar 9, 2021 06:00 PM
Racism is embedded in nearly every aspect of the health and well-being of our population, affecting everything from risk for disease, access to healthcare, and health outcomes of all kinds. Using her expertise in public health, emergency care, substance use disorders, and women’s health, Dr. Choo highlights the challenges to health equity in the 21st century.
https://wgbh.zoom.us/webinar/register/7816136183730/WN_HC7liErFT6u_sPNWWH2wWQ

Indivisible Mass Coalition (IMC) Statewide Call

Wednesday March 10, 7:30 – 9pm
To register: https://tinyurl.com/3uaja583

Join the Indivisible Mass Coalition (IMC) Statewide Call for a unique and exciting Panel Discussion with MA Activists. Listen, learn from and dialogue with this diverse and passionate panel of local activists that will inspire you with the stories of their journeys in activism. Learn what’s next on the 2021 activist agenda and how you can help make a positive difference to help reform our democracy!”

March Movie Night Series

Sunday nights at 7pm ET
First one March 7

Learn. Discuss…spur conversations on our future as a cooperative society

CommunityBridge.com presents – An engaging series of films to spur conversations on our future as a cooperative society. March is Rebellion and Cooperatives month on CommunityBridge. This series of documentaries and films focuses on the United States history of uprisings that are left out of our school curriculum.

In US culture, these topics are usually framed to raise guilt and further repression, preventing positive dialog and actions to change the future. These films are presented as an opportunity for discussion, not blame, for building a movement towards an enlightened future and finding our part in the process as loving caring people working together to build a cooperative and inclusive economy for all.

We will share our thoughts on solutions and actions we can take as individuals and organizations working towards positive change and cooperative lives.

PRIMER: A link to a 4 minute video description of worker-owned cooperatives: https://youtu.be/pKN-gxmVRUc

March 7th – Double Feature:

1. Freedom or Death – 15mins

The Louisiana Slave Revolt of 1811, also known as: The German Coast Uprising:  In January 1811, five hundred slaves of south Louisiana rose in active rebellion against their masters in the largest slave revolt in American history. This film is a bit sanitized and that  presentation will be a part of our discussion. What to do about sanitized history…

2. Own The Change – 30mins

Building Economic Democracy One Worker Co-op at a Time. A short, practical guide for those considering worker owned cooperatives, made by GRITtv & TESA, the Toolbox for Education and Social Action. Featuring conversations with worker-owners from Union Cab; Ginger Moon; Arizmendi Bakery, Anti-Oppression Resource and Training Alliance

Movie trailer: https://youtu.be/h5p6PBgiL3o

Invite your friends to Movie Nights by sending them this link to sign on to the Movie Nights Invitation List:

https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/movienight

State-level Events and Actions

Write your legislators in support of the progressive agenda for 2021-2022

There are a number of important bills on the agenda, covering paid vaccine equity, sick leave, taxing offshore income, curbing solitary confinement, and more.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-our-progressive-agenda-for-2021-2022 =

Ask your state legislators to co-sponsor workers’ rights bills

The bills covered by this petition address abusive waivers, sexual harassment, healthcare portability, paid sick leave, abusive scheduling, wage theft, retaliation against those who speak up for their rights, discrimination, underpaid restaurant workers, and bullying. The form contains an editable email you can send to your legislator

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/urge-your-state-legislators-to-co-sponsor-workers-rights-bills-in-massachusetts/thankyou?delivery_id=57519547

Urge your legislators to override the Governor and keep the climate bill strong

350MA of Greater Lowell is urging us all to take action to keep the climate bill strong.
One month ago — at the tail end of the 2019-2020 legislative session, the MA Legislature passed a strong consensus climate bill.

The bill would set a roadmap for net zero by 2050 (with 5-year plans and benchmarks), establish stronger emissions targets, require the creation of a net zero stretch code (for building energy efficiency) to which municipalities could opt in, increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard, codify Environmental Justice protections, and take additional steps to encourage wind, solar, and geothermal energy as well as energy efficiency.

And the Governor vetoed it. With the session having already ended, the Legislature couldn’t override him. But they did re-file and re-pass the bill (now called S. 9) a few weeks ago. Baker still refused to sign it, choosing instead to send it back with amendments, some of which weaken the bill.

Email or call your state rep and senator and tell them to reject any amendments that weaken the bill! Remember to include your name and address, so they know you are a constituent.

See the end of this section to find your state rep and senator.

SAMPLE SCRIPT:
I was very happy to see the Legislature take strong action two weeks ago to re-file and re-pass An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy (now, S9) and disappointed that Governor Baker refused to sign it.
When it comes to climate change, we have no time to waste, and we need to be increasing our ambition, not tempering it in the face of corporate lobbyists.
I urge you to reject any effort to weaken the bill. Specifically it is important to preserve the following key provisions as originally passed:

  • The 2030 and 2040 emissions targets (We need to keep the stronger targets).
  • The sector emissions sub-limits (We actually need to go further).
  • The net zero stretch building code (We’re already late, and we can’t put this off longer.)

Thank you, and I look forward to having your support.

Background on the bill here:
https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/148j5s6uF5C7LU8mOUbi9n6_7oOAWtb5TgDuyCGWzkzQ/mobilebasic#

Let 350MA of Greater Lowell (Jon Grossman, jgrossman@seiu509.org)  know if you get a response.

Pass Legislation to Seal Eviction Records

Senator Joe Boncore and Representative Mike Moran have refiled the HOMES Act (Housing Opportunities and Mobility through Eviction Sealing). Since 1988, over 1 million eviction cases have been filed in Massachusetts.  It is time that people who have faced eviction are given a second chance and not held hostage to an eviction record.

ACTION NEEDED: Please contact your Senator and Representative and urge them to co-sponsor the Housing Opportunity and Mobility through Eviction Sealing bills (HOMES), SD 798 & HD 1889.

FACT SHEET: Here is a fact sheet https://www.passthehomesact.org/uploads/2/7/0/4/27042339/homes_bill_co-sponsor_fact_sheet_2.17.pdf
with talking points and bills numbers. This session, the window for co-sponsorship closes when the bill emerges from its initial committee assignment, but the earlier we can build a list of co-sponsors the better to show support for the bill.

Please email and/or call your Senator and Representative urging them to co-sponsor the bill. The more co-sponsors are lined up, the stronger the chance a bill has of passing.

As City Councilor Lydia Edwards wrote in a Globe op-ed: “Since the state’s eviction moratorium ended, over 8,000 eviction cases have been filed in Massachusetts. Each will be a permanent public record. As the pandemic continues to devastate our communities and joblessness continues to climb, that number will only grow.” See op-ed https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/02/16/opinion/baker-should-seal-eviction-records-give-residents-second-chance/.

If you have any questions, contact Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (info@mlri.org) and ask for Molly Broderick.

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor 5 indigenous legislative agenda priorities

At the link you’ll find an editable email that lists the 5 bills.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/indigenous-legislative-agenda-co-sponsorship-drive/thankyou?delivery_id=57871164

Our State Legislators’ Info: 

Please 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  508-633-8005
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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping in an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

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/

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

View the notes from our February meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16ScrNKyVMRjXW7z-r19paPM__69hkMfCKSg10IY3OOA/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our February meeting: https://youtu.be/nepLC8-Y5og

—-

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute
Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR FEB 27, 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.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

Demand that Charlie Baker Prioritize Equity in Vaccine Rollout

The vaccine rollout in Massachusetts has been a disaster for everyone, but it has been particularly devastating to the communities of color who have already been disproportionately sickened and killed by the virus. Earlier this week, our friends from the newly formed Vaccine Equity Now! Coalition announced a roadmap for a more equitable distribution of vaccines to the disproportionately affected Black and Brown communities of Massachusetts.
Email the Governor today to demand that he implement these changes in order to eliminate the inequities that communities of color have been experiencing throughout this pandemic. The form at the link includes an editable message you can personalize.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/demand-that-charlie-baker-prioritize-equity-in-vaccine-rollout/

 

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell General Meeting This Sunday (Today)!

Sunday February 28, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Main Topic: The Environment: Heat Islands
Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030
Send us a message to get the Zoom link.

Local Events and Actions

March for Moses

Saturday February 27, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date.
Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

City Hall Open to the Public Again as of March 1

With the improvement in COVID rates, City Hall is open to the public again during normal business hours, effective March 1.

Special Joint Meeting of City Council and School Committee

Monday, March 1, 5:30pm
https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_03012021-1868
This meeting is called to move for the resignation of School Committee member Robert Hoey, for some reprehensible public statements and to pass a resolution condemning those statements.

Lowell Votes

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers to help register and educate voters and find candidates
www.lowellvotes.org
Next meeting: March 2, 2pm
Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and register to vote.

Next School Committee meeting

(every 2 weeks on Wednesday at 6:30pm)
Wednesday, March 3, 6:30pm

Next City Council Meeting

(every 2 weeks, on Tuesday at 6:30pm)
Tuesday, March 9, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161. (Note: they will keep you in the waiting room until it’s your turn to speak, so in order to follow the meeting you need to listen on TV, but turn that off when you speak because there’s a delay on the speakers.)
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, February 19. Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, March 11, 5pm (now meeting bi-weekly)
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net
Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

Next Sustainability Council Meeting

(4th Thursday of every month)
Thursday, March 25, 6:30pm

DEI Lowell Survey on Experiences in Lowell

The DEI Consortium- Lowell is collecting data on applicants’ experience with applying to opportunities within the City of Lowell and/or the Lowell Public Schools (LPS). The survey has been provided in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Khmer.
English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PZG59LC
Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PHCN2QB
Portuguese: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6Q7LZPK
Khmer: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZKLRLZB
If you have applied multiple times, you may take this survey more than once if desired. Please note that some questions, such as demographics, are optional. However, answering as many questions as you are comfortable with will help us better understand the applicant experience within the City as well as LPS.
While we may share trends and insights from this survey, we will not share information identifying any individual, including contact information (which is optional) or any information unique to an individual.
Furthermore, if you prefer to share your experience directly with the DEI Consortium, please contact us at dei.lowell.ma@gmail.com.
We thank you for making the time to take this survey and encourage you to share this survey with your friends, family, or colleagues here in the City of Lowell.

Write to City Councilors with your concern about their proposal to change election of Mayor and School Committee

In the November 24 City Council meeting, Councilor Elliott requested a discussion of the process of changing the system of electing the mayor to allow voters to decide (currently city councilors elect the mayor from among themselves).
On December 22, Council Rourke made a motion asking the City Manager to “Have Law Dept. Propose To The Plaintiffs’ Counsel Of Voting Rights Litigation To Have School Committee Elected Using The Same 8 Districts Created For The City Council, With The Mayor Being Elected As The 9th Member Of The Committee.”
In the January 26 City Council Meeting, City Manager Donoghue reported back on the Law Departments findings on the matter, that plaintiffs in the lawsuit were open to discussing the matter but wanted to wait until the results of the next election. Some councilors pointed out that plaintiffs in the lawsuit should be involved in any discussion of changes, since the system had already been decided on in settling the lawsuit. The Council then voted 6-2 to support changing the method of selecting the mayor and 7-1 to change the method of voting for school committee.
https://www.lowellsun.com/2021/01/26/lowell-city-council-to-seek-changes-to-voting-rights-consent-decree/
We urge you to write to city councilors expressing your concern about their January 26 vote to make changes to our electoral system, one we already voted on.
Webform to reach councilors:
https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45
Message template:
Regarding the recent vote at the January 26 City Council meeting to change our agreed-upon new electoral system, it is disappointing that City Council seems to be choosing to change the system agreed on by voters in the city without input from the plaintiffs to the lawsuit or the voters. Are City Councilors not aware that Lowell’s at-large system has been a contributing factor in the loss of trust and engagement in the local democratic process among many community members?
Representation is important. Our new electoral system was agreed on in order to provide diverse people from all parts of our city with a fair chance at being elected to city council and to ensure that at least two councilors be from minority communities. While this is fairer, the three at large seats will still be easier for long-time councilors from the same district as always to win. And because they are better known, it will also be easier for those same long-time councilors to win an election for mayor when the vote is put to the people of the city. Far from being fairer, an election for mayor put to the vote of the entire electorate of the city will undo the intent of the lawsuit’s settlement.
I urge you NOT to change the way the mayor is elected, especially not before the first election with new district councilors.

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact city councilors regarding the incident with Moses Harris to ask for an independent investigation.
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45
Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. The disappearance of Moses Harris in Lowell should be the subject of an independent investigation. Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. No one has seen Moses since. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, and the police have yet to release the police report. I ask that you call for an independent investigation of this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”
NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

Other Events

Fair Fight National volunteer call with Stacey Abrams

Saturday, February 27
2:30 – 3:30pm ET
REGISTER HERE: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_t17qzwLITi-ldt-tOvLpSQ
Thank you again for your tireless work to turn out voters in Georgia.
Our work is not over. State legislatures across the country are already trying to roll back voting rights, especially targeting voting by mail and early voting. Fair Fight will continue our mission to advocate for free and fair elections for all and we hope that you will stay in this fight with us.
Find out how to continue to fight for the sacred right to vote.
During this call you’ll hear from Fair Fight’s founder Stacey Abrams, our Senior Advisor Lauren Groh-Wargo, Organizing Director Hillary Holley and Voter Protection Director Liza Conrad about how far we’ve come and how you can stay involved with this work.

CITIZEN BALLOT INITIATIVES: A NEW TOOL FOR ELECTION REFORM

Thursday, March 4, 4:00pm- 5:00pm
The last several years have seen the growing and successful use of citizen-initiated ballot initiatives to win major election reforms. Organizers of successful citizen-driven campaigns from different parts of the country, which beat the odds and succeeded, will discuss their issues, their motivations, and how they won. Get more details and register for this Zoom webinar here:
https://ash.harvard.edu/event/citizen-ballot-initiatives-new-tool-election-reform

Standing Up For Democracy

The late Congressman John Lewis, in his last message to us, said “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.” We recently learned the consequences of NOT enough people actively participating. This section will include opportunities for you to participate in strengthening our democracy.

Represent.us Textbank to support passage of H.R. 1 For the People Act

March 4, 12:30-9:00pm EST
Sign up to receive links to training and to sign up for shifts.
https://volunteer.represent.us/events_calendar

State-level Events and Actions

Write your legislators in support of the progressive agenda for 2021-2022

There are a number of important bills on the agenda, covering paid vaccine equity, sick leave, taxing offshore income, curbing solitary confinement, and more.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-our-progressive-agenda-for-2021-2022
 

Urge your state legislators to co-sponsor workers’ rights bills

The bills covered by this petition address abusive waivers, sexual harassment, healthcare portability, paid sick leave, abusive scheduling, wage theft, retaliation against those who speak up for their rights, discrimination, underpaid restaurant workers, and bullying. The form contains an editable email you can send to your legislator
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/urge-your-state-legislators-to-co-sponsor-workers-rights-bills-in-massachusetts/thankyou?delivery_id=57519547
 

Comment on the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030

As part of the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, the Baker administration developed a statewide emissions reductions target for 2030 and the policies to get us there. Read about the plan here https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-clean-energy-and-climate-plan-for-2030
and submit public input through 5pm Mon, Mar 22 by completing a Public Comment Form, emailing written comments to gwsa@mass.gov, or submitting oral comments as a voicemail to (617) 506-9630.
You can sign up to receive updates at https://www.mass.gov/forms/form-1-mailing-list
Also, a reminder that the MA 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap is also available at www.mass.gov/2050Roadmap. The report as well as slides and video of a 2050 Roadmap webinar held on 1/15 are available from that link.
 

Urge your legislators to override the Governor and keep the climate bill strong

350MA of Greater Lowell is urging us all to take action to keep the climate bill strong.
One month ago — at the tail end of the 2019-2020 legislative session, the MA Legislature passed a strong consensus climate bill.
The bill would set a roadmap for net zero by 2050 (with 5-year plans and benchmarks), establish stronger emissions targets, require the creation of a net zero stretch code (for building energy efficiency) to which municipalities could opt in, increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard, codify Environmental Justice protections, and take additional steps to encourage wind, solar, and geothermal energy as well as energy efficiency.
And the Governor vetoed it. With the session having already ended, the Legislature couldn’t override him. But they did re-file and re-pass the bill (now called S. 9) a few weeks ago. Baker still refused to sign it, choosing instead to send it back with amendments, some of which weaken the bill.

Email or call your state rep and senator and tell them to:
Reject any amendments that weaken the bill!
Don’t forget to include your name and address, so they know you are a constituent.
See the end of this section to find your state rep and senator.


Background on the bill here:
https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/148j5s6uF5C7LU8mOUbi9n6_7oOAWtb5TgDuyCGWzkzQ/mobilebasic#

Let 350MA of Greater Lowell (Jon Grossman, jgrossman@seiu509.org) know if you get a response.
Together we can confront the climate crisis in Massachusetts!

SAMPLE SCRIPT:
I was very happy to see the Legislature take strong action two weeks ago to re-file and re-pass An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy (now, S9) and disappointed that Governor Baker refused to sign it.
When it comes to climate change, we have no time to waste, and we need to be increasing our ambition, not tempering it in the face of corporate lobbyists.
I urge you to reject any effort to weaken the bill. Specifically it is important to preserve the following key provisions as originally passed:
The 2030 and 2040 emissions targets (We need to keep the stronger targets).
The sector emissions sub-limits (We actually need to go further).
The net zero stretch building code (We’re already late, and we can’t put this off longer.)
Thank you, and I look forward to having your support.

 

Help Pass Legislation to Seal Eviction Records

Senator Joe Boncore and Representative Mike Moran have refiled the HOMES Act (Housing Opportunities and Mobility through Eviction Sealing). Since 1988, over 1 million eviction cases have been filed in Massachusetts. It is time that people who have faced eviction are given a second chance and not held hostage to an eviction record.
ACTION NEEDED: Please contact your Senator and Representative and urge them to co-sponsor the Housing Opportunity and Mobility through Eviction Sealing bills (HOMES), SD 798 & HD 1889.
FACT SHEET: Here is a fact sheet https://www.passthehomesact.org/uploads/2/7/0/4/27042339/homes_bill_co-sponsor_fact_sheet_2.17.pdf
with talking points and bills numbers. This session, the window for co-sponsorship closes when the bill emerges from its initial committee assignment, but the earlier we can build a list of co-sponsors the better to show support for the bill.
Please email and/or call your Senator and Representative urging them to co-sponsor the bill. The more co-sponsors are lined up, the stronger the chance a bill has of passing.
As City Councilor Lydia Edwards wrote in a Globe op-ed: “Since the state’s eviction moratorium ended, over 8,000 eviction cases have been filed in Massachusetts. Each will be a permanent public record. As the pandemic continues to devastate our communities and joblessness continues to climb, that number will only grow.” See op-ed at https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/02/16/opinion/baker-should-seal-eviction-records-give-residents-second-chance/.
If you have any questions, contact Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (info@mlri.org) and ask for Molly Broderick.

Our State Legislators’ Info:
Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Robert.DeLeo@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 508-633-8005
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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping in an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

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/
For volunteer opportunities, visit our Volunteer page: http://solidaritylowell.com/volunteer-opportunities/
View the notes from our January meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Vcq_XUI2YXU4Qnb2lD8OuX7TPs-8JpWcDZ5IuRNb9e4/edit?usp=sharing
Recording of our January meeting: https://youtu.be/pxqVzfcN31A

—-
Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute
Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR FEB 19, 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.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

Help Pass Legislation to Seal Eviction Records

Senator Joe Boncore and Representative Mike Moran have refiled the HOMES Act (Housing Opportunities and Mobility through Eviction Sealing). Since 1988, over 1 million eviction cases have been filed in Massachusetts.  It is time that people who have faced eviction are given a second chance and not held hostage to an eviction record.

ACTION NEEDED: Please contact your Senator and Representative and urge them to co-sponsor the Housing Opportunity and Mobility through Eviction Sealing bills (HOMES), SD 798 & HD 1889.

FACT SHEET: Here is a fact sheet https://www.passthehomesact.org/uploads/2/7/0/4/27042339/homes_bill_co-sponsor_fact_sheet_2.17.pdf
with talking points and bills numbers. This session, the window for co-sponsorship closes when the bill emerges from its initial committee assignment, but the earlier we can build a list of co-sponsors the better to show support for the bill.

Please email and/or call your Senator and Representative urging them to co-sponsor the bill. The more co-sponsors are lined up, the stronger the chance a bill has of passing.

As City Councilor Lydia Edwards wrote in a Globe op-ed: “Since the state’s eviction moratorium ended, over 8,000 eviction cases have been filed in Massachusetts. Each will be a permanent public record. As the pandemic continues to devastate our communities and joblessness continues to climb, that number will only grow.” See op-ed https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/02/16/opinion/baker-should-seal-eviction-records-give-residents-second-chance/.

If you have any questions, contact Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (info@mlri.org) and ask for Molly Broderick.

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Have a few minutes to take action? Do you like Postcarding? 

Solidarity Lowell is re-starting our postcarding events virtually on Zoom. Send postcards to legislators and officials to support issues you care about.

Please fill out the following form if you’re interested in joining the group!
https://forms.gle/h2V7gJ1e2WbY9dKU9

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday February 28, 5:30pm, via Zoom
– Main Topic: The Environment: Heat Islands
– Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030
Send us a message to get the Zoom link.

Local Events and Actions

March for Moses

Saturday February 20, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)

Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date.

Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Wrongly Convicted: The Story of Victor and Beverly Rosario

Tuesday, February 23, 9:30-10:45am
Victor Rosario was wrongly convicted in 1982 of setting a deadly house fire in Lowell, Massachusetts. Throughout his 32 years of incarceration, Rosario steadfastly maintained he was innocent of setting the fire, which killed eight people, five of them children. Rosario’s only connection to the fire was that of an eyewitness: he walked past the blaze on his way home, even attempting to break a window in the hopes of helping to free the people trapped inside. Two days later, he was the prime suspect. Victor Rosario and his wife, Beverly, will describe their experiences of wrongful conviction and eventual exoneration, in the context of the larger criminal justice system.

To register for the event, please visit http://www.uml.edu/greeley-rosario

For more information, contact FAHSS@uml.edu.

Next City Council Meeting (every 2 weeks, on Tuesday at 6:30pm)

Tuesday, February 23, 6:30pm

At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link in to the meeting.  Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV.  If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161. (Note: they will keep you in the waiting room until it’s your turn to speak, so in order to follow the meeting you need to listen on TV, but turn that off when you speak because there’s a delay on the speakers.)

The agenda will be posted at  http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, February 19. Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

Virtual Public Neighborhood Meetings on Parking Study to be conducted in the city

The City of Lowell is using a Housing Choice Grant award from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) to conduct a comprehensive parking study.

The Lowell Parking Study will review and analyze existing parking conditions, including parking inventory, utilization, policies, management, regulations, and pricing, and analyze the parking supply and demand compared to existing land uses. The Parking Study will help ensure that the parking system is consistent with the City’s economic development and transportation planning goals, including the ongoing GoLowell Multimodal Complete Streets plan.

An overview of the project has been held. Neighborhood meetings are also scheduled.  The project team wants to hear from folks about parking issues and concerns in their neighborhoods as well as potential opportunities to improve parking in Lowell.

Feb. 24, 6:30pm–Pawtucketville/Centralville
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUoceqtpzMvGtzDMw_GW3xkTLfdka56yqUN

Feb. 25, 6:30pm –Back Central, Acre, Highlands
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkce6gpz4tEtQwYt7wTqNiw9ZQ6Z67rOWs

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, February 25, 5pm (now meeting bi-weekly)
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/

Or contact the group via the phone number.

 

Next Sustainability Council Meeting (4th Thursday of every month)

Thursday, February 25, 6:30pm

 

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers to help register and educate voters and find candidates

http://www.lowellvotes.org
Next meeting: March 2, 2pm

Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and register to vote.

Next School Committee meeting (every 2 weeks on Wednesday at 6:30pm)

Wednesday, March 3, 6:30pm

DEI Lowell Survey on Experiences in Lowell

The DEI Consortium- Lowell is collecting data on applicants’ experience with applying to opportunities within the City of Lowell and/or the Lowell Public Schools (LPS). The survey has been provided in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Khmer.

English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PZG59LC
Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PHCN2QB
Portuguese: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6Q7LZPK
Khmer: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ZKLRLZB

If you have applied multiple times, you may take this survey more than once if desired. Please note that some questions, such as demographics, are optional. However, answering as many questions as you are comfortable with will help us better understand the applicant experience within the City as well as LPS.

While we may share trends and insights from this survey, we will not share information identifying any individual, including contact information (which is optional) or any information unique to an individual.

Furthermore, if you prefer to share your experience directly with the DEI Consortium, please contact us at dei.lowell.ma@gmail.com.

We thank you for making the time to take this survey and encourage you to share this survey with your friends, family, or colleagues here in the City of Lowell.

Write to City Councilors with your concern about their proposal to change election of Mayor and School Committee

In the November 24 City Council meeting, Councilor Elliott requested a discussion of the process of changing the system of electing the mayor to allow voters to decide (currently city councilors elect the mayor from among themselves).

On December 22, Council Rourke made a motion asking the City Manager to “Have Law Dept. Propose To The Plaintiffs’ Counsel Of Voting Rights Litigation To Have School Committee Elected Using The Same 8 Districts Created For The City Council, With The Mayor Being Elected As The 9th Member Of The Committee.”

In the January 26 City Council Meeting, City Manager Donoghue reported back on the Law Departments findings on the matter, that plaintiffs in the lawsuit were open to discussing the matter but wanted to wait until the results of the next election. Some councilors pointed out that plaintiffs in the lawsuit should be involved in any discussion of changes, since the system had already been decided on in settling the lawsuit. The Council then voted 6-2 to support changing the method of selecting the mayor and 7-1 to change the method of voting for school committee.

https://www.lowellsun.com/2021/01/26/lowell-city-council-to-seek-changes-to-voting-rights-consent-decree/

We urge you to write to city councilors expressing your concern about their January 26 vote to make changes to our electoral system, one we already voted on.

Webform to reach councilors:
https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Sample Template:
Regarding the recent vote at the January 26 City Council meeting to change our agreed-upon new electoral system, it is disappointing that City Council seems to be choosing to change the system agreed on by voters in the city without input from the plaintiffs to the lawsuit or the voters.  Are City Councilors not aware that Lowell’s at-large system has been a contributing factor in the loss of trust and engagement in the local democratic process among many community members?

Representation is important. Our new electoral system was agreed on in order to provide diverse people from all parts of our city with a fair chance at being elected to city council and to ensure that at least two councilors be from minority communities.  While this is fairer, the three at large seats will still be easier for long-time councilors from the same district as always to win. And because they are better known, it will also be easier for those same long-time councilors to win an election for mayor when the vote is put to the people of the city. Far from being fairer, an election for mayor put to the vote of the entire electorate of the city will undo the intent of the lawsuit’s settlement.

I urge you NOT to change the way the mayor is elected, especially not before the first election with new district councilors.

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact city councilors regarding the incident with Moses Harris to ask for an independent investigation.

Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. The disappearance of Moses Harris in Lowell should be the subject of an independent investigation.  Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. No one has seen Moses since. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, and the police have yet to release the police report. I ask that you call for an independent investigation of this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”

NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

City Hall Closed to the Public

City Hall is now closed to the public due to the status of the pandemic in our city.

Other Events

Live with the 19th!: Black Women, Power and the Ballot

Friday, February 23, 1pm EST

Join The 19th’s Editor-at-large Errin Haines on Friday, Feb. 19 at 12 p.m. CT/1 p.m. ET. for a conversation on Black women organizing, voting and leading in the new American democracy — and what it means for an expanding electorate.

19th Editor-at-Large Errin Haines will be joined by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter LaTosha Brown; U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; and political commentator Tara Setmayer.

To register: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/live-with-the-19th-black-women-power-ballot/register

Environmental Voter Project Phonebank

February 23, 2021 6-8pm EST: Call voters in Newton
March 9, 2021 5-7pm EST: Call voters in Lincoln, Medfield, Sudbury, Natick, and Winchester

Join the Environmental Voter Project to make nonpartisan calls to unlikely-to-vote environmentalists ahead of upcoming Massachusetts municipal elections!

Local elections like these have a major impact on environmental and climate policy by determining things like conservation initiatives, school curricula, power generation sources, and more. What’s more – most voters EVP speaks with aren’t even aware that these elections are happening. Your phone call can be the determining factor in whether these important environmentalists have their voices heard.

No previous phone banking experience required.

Film Premiere: Oh Mercy!

Thursday, February, 25th, 2021 from 5pm to 6pm EST on Zoom

Hosted by the Refugee Services of Texas.

REGISTER: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FhC7-JrYT_G9JVyYxuwjJg

Worldwide Documentaries is proud to present Oh Mercy-Searching for Hope in the Promised land, a documentary short about the plight and challenges of the forced migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers trapped on the Mexican side of the US border, denied entry into the United States.

 Oh Mercy gives a face and a voice to these children, women, and men who have been compelled to leave their homes in Central America by forces beyond their control, but have yet to find hope in the promised land to the north to which they have traveled in search of safety and freedom. Oh Mercy reaffirms the dignity of these thousands of people whose future remains uncertain, and makes the case for humane US immigration policies that will give real hope to those tired and poor for whom safety in the promised land is a dream yet unrealized.

Please join us as we premiere Oh Mercy and host a panel discussion featuring Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of Catholic Family Charities of the Rio Grande Valley; Oh Mercy Director Robert Bilheimer; Anjelica Xolxol, an asylum seeker from Guatemala; and a special guest to be announced soon. The panel discussion will be moderated by Development Director, Ashley Faye of the Refugee Services of Texas.

For more information about Oh Mercy, go to http://ohmercyfilm.com.

Worldwide Documentaries is proud to partner with the Refugee Services of Texas and the UVA Humanitarian Collective for the premiere of Oh Mercy.

Refugee Services of Texas is guided by the principles of human compassion and dignity, and welcomes refugees, immigrants, and other displaced peoples and supports them in integrating and thriving in their new communities. The UVA Humanitarian Collective supports interdisciplinary, action-oriented research and engagement on the world’s pressing humanitarian and development challenges. One thematic area of focus is the US/Mexico border.

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=S4ESPTM6R82AE

Exploring the Legacy

Feb 25, 2021 07:00 PM  on zoom

Join Rosalyn Delores Elder, author of Exploring the Legacy: People and Places of Significance, which is a history of the contributions of African Americans to Massachusetts state history and a guide to the 742 sites around the state that signify the histories of important individuals and events. Learn about Onesimus, whose knowledge led to the development of inoculations to fight small pox in 1721; Belinda Royall who filed the first successful reparations lawsuit in 1783; and Jan Matzeliger’s invention of a shoe lasting machine in 1883 which led to the mass production of shoes.

Rosalyn Delores Elder is a registered architect, entrepreneur, author, and artist. She received her B.A. Degree in Art History from the University of Memphis, her M. Arch. Degree from the University of Washington, and her M. Arch. in Urban Design Degree from Harvard University. In addition to her architectural practice, Ms. Elder founded and operated Treasured Legacy, an African American cultural boutique at Copley Place from 1992 to 1998. From 1998 until 2012, she cofounded and operated Jamaicaway Books, a multi-cultural bookstore.

This event is offered in collaboration with area libraries.

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jotvFDmjR-u1GkK6PihWVA

Plastic: Recycle, Reuse, Refuse

Feb 25, 2021, 7–8:15 pm
Register:  http://bit.ly/3oSZ0y6
Looking to clear up confusions and make decisions about personal habits and wider actions around plastics? Learn from these experts:

Recycle: Ben Harvey, President of E.L. Harvey Waste and Recycling Services, will present what happens to recycling when it leaves the Acton Transfer Station, along with tips for better recycling.

Reuse: Eric Hudson, Founder & CEO of Preserve, will talk about innovative ways to reuse plastic, and state and national trends in designing for recyclability.

Refuse: Janet S. Domenitz, Executive Director of MASSPIRG, will explain about zero waste and how to move beyond plastic.

Fair Fight National volunteer call with Stacey Abrams  

Saturday, February 27
2:30 – 3:30pm ET
REGISTER HERE: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_t17qzwLITi-ldt-tOvLpSQ

Thank you again for your tireless work to turn out voters in Georgia.  Our work is not over. State legislatures across the country are already trying to roll back voting rights, especially targeting voting by mail and early voting. Fair Fight will continue our mission to advocate for free and fair elections for all and we hope that you will stay in this fight with us.

Find out how to continue to fight for the sacred right to vote.

During this call you’ll hear from Fair Fight’s founder Stacey Abrams, our Senior Advisor Lauren Groh-Wargo, Organizing Director Hillary Holley and Voter Protection Director Liza Conrad about how far we’ve come and how you can stay involved with this work.

State-level Events and Actions

Comment on the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030 

As part of the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, the Baker administration developed a statewide emissions reductions target for 2030 and the policies to get us there. Read about the plan here https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-clean-energy-and-climate-plan-for-2030 and submit public input through 5pm Mon, Mar 22 by completing a Public Comment Form, emailing written comments to gwsa@mass.gov, or submitting oral comments as a voicemail to (617) 506-9630.

You can sign up to receive updates at https://www.mass.gov/forms/form-1-mailing-list

Also, a reminder that the MA 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap is also available at www.mass.gov/2050Roadmap.  The report as well as slides and video of a 2050 Roadmap webinar held on 1/15 are available from that link.

Urge your legislators to override the Governor and keep the climate bill strong
One month ago — at the tail end of the 2019-2020 legislative session, the MA Legislature passed a strong consensus climate bill.

The bill would set a roadmap for net zero by 2050 (with 5-year plans and benchmarks), establish stronger emissions targets, require the creation of a net zero stretch code (for building energy efficiency) to which municipalities could opt in, increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard, codify Environmental Justice protections, and take additional steps to encourage wind, solar, and geothermal energy as well as energy efficiency.

And the Governor vetoed it. With the session having already ended, the Legislature couldn’t override him. But they did re-file and re-pass the bill a few weeks ago. Baker still refused to sign it, choosing instead to send back amendments to weaken the bill.

We need to make sure the Legislature doesn’t fold. We need to be doing more to address climate change, not less to please the well-funded corporate lobbyists.

SAMPLE SCRIPT:
I was very happy to see the Legislature take strong action two weeks ago to re-file and re-pass An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy (now, S9) and disappointed that Governor Baker refused to sign it.
When it comes to climate change, we have no time to waste, and we need to be increasing our ambition, not tempering it in the face of corporate lobbyists.
I urge you to reject any effort to weaken the bill, especially the following proposals from the Governor:

**Reducing the 2030 emissions reduction target from 50% to 45% and the the 2040 emissions reduction target from 75% to 65% (We need to keep the stronger targets).
**Making the emissions reduction limits for different sectors of the economy non-binding (We need to go further, not weaker, when it comes to sector-level standards).
**Delaying the creation of a “net zero” stretch code and weakening enforcement of it (We’re already late, and we can’t put off for more years what we needed yesterday).

Thank you, and I look forward to having your support.

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping in an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

 

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/

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

View the notes from our January meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Vcq_XUI2YXU4Qnb2lD8OuX7TPs-8JpWcDZ5IuRNb9e4/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our January meeting: https://youtu.be/pxqVzfcN31A

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

 

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR FEB 12, 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.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

Write to City Councilors with your concern about their proposal to change election of Mayor and School Committee

In the November 24 City Council meeting, Councilor Elliott requested a discussion of the process of changing the system of electing the mayor to allow voters to decide (currently city councilors elect the mayor from among themselves).
On December 22, Council Rourke made a motion asking the City Manager to “Have Law Dept. Propose To The Plaintiffs’ Counsel Of Voting Rights Litigation To Have School Committee Elected Using The Same 8 Districts Created For The City Council, With The Mayor Being Elected As The 9th Member Of The Committee.”
In the January 26 City Council Meeting, City Manager Donoghue reported back on the Law Departments findings on the matter, that plaintiffs in the lawsuit were open to discussing the matter but wanted to wait until the results of the next election. Some councilors pointed out that plaintiffs in the lawsuit should be involved in any discussion of changes, since the system had already been decided on in settling the lawsuit. The Council then voted 6-2 to support changing the method of selecting the mayor and 7-1 to change the method of voting for school committee.
https://www.lowellsun.com/2021/01/26/lowell-city-council-to-seek-changes-to-voting-rights-consent-decree/
We urge you to write to city councilors expressing your concern about their January 26 vote to make changes to our electoral system, one we already voted on.
Webform to reach councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45
Message template:
Regarding the recent vote at the January 26 City Council meeting to change our agreed-upon new electoral system, it is disappointing that City Council seems to be choosing to change the system agreed on by voters in the city without input from the plaintiffs to the lawsuit or the voters. Are City Councilors not aware that Lowell’s at-large system has been a contributing factor in the loss of trust and engagement in the local democratic process among many community members?
Representation is important. Our new electoral system was agreed on in order to provide diverse people from all parts of our city with a fair chance at being elected to city council and to ensure that at least two councilors be from minority communities. While this is fairer, the three at large seats will still be easier for long-time councilors from the same district as always to win. And because they are better known, it will also be easier for those same long-time councilors to win an election for mayor when the vote is put to the people of the city. Far from being fairer, an election for mayor put to the vote of the entire electorate of the city will undo the intent of the lawsuit’s settlement.
I urge you NOT to change the way the mayor is elected, especially not before the first election with new district councilors.

COVID Eviction Legal Help Project (CELHP) stands ready to help

https://evictionlegalhelp.org/
The COVID Eviction Legal Help Project (CELHP) was formed to expand the capacity of legal aid organizations in Massachusetts to provide urgently needed legal assistance in COVID-related eviction cases. The CELHP website allows organizations to provide referrals, along with guiding people to legal information and other assistance, such as representation, to achieve housing stability.
Through CELHP’s website, people can find updates about eviction laws and programs and make referrals directly to legal services through our online referral form.
The CELHP team is also available to attend meetings to brief people about CELHP. If you have thoughts about how your organization and network can help, they would love to hear them. They are trying to reach some of the most vulnerable people in our Commonwealth, so that they know they have access to legal representation before they get to court.
Shaikh Hasib
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
COVID Eviction Legal Help Program (CELHP)
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
https://evictionlegalhelp.org/contact/

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Have a few minutes to take action? Do you like Postcarding?

Solidarity Lowell is re-starting our postcarding events virtually on Zoom. Send postcards to legislators and officials to support issues you care about.
Please fill out the following form if you’re interested in joining the group!
https://forms.gle/h2V7gJ1e2WbY9dKU9

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday February 28, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Main Topic: The Environment
More details to follow

Local Events and Actions

March for Moses

Saturday February 13th, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date.
Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Contact Maura Healey Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact the office of Maura Healey regarding the incident with Moses Harris. If you are so moved, you should also contact your State Representative and State Senator, and our City Councilors here in Lowell (information below).
Attorney General Maura Healey (617) 727-2200
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45
Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. Are you aware of the disappearance of Moses Harris in Lowell? Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. No one has seen Moses since. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, and the police have yet to release the police report or discuss the case with the family. I ask that you investigate this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”
NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers to help register and educate voters and find candidates

http://www.lowellvotes.org
Next meeting: February 16, 2pm
Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and register to vote.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, February 18, 5pm
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net
Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

City Hall Closed to Public

City Hall is now closed to the public due to the status of the pandemic in our city.

Standing Up For Democracy

The late Congressman John Lewis, in his last message to us, said “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.” We recently learned the consequences of thinking active participation wasn’t necessary.

This section will include opportunities for you to participate in strengthening our democracy.

Check Out Movement Labs

Send texts in support of various progressive groups. You may have known them as Resistance Labs before the 2020 election. Campaigns now include voter registration and candidate recruitment for 2022. Organizations supported include Contest Every Race and Black Voters Matter.
https://movementlabs.com/

Support H.R. 1 and H.R. 51

Use the handy form to call your representative in support of H.R. 1, the We the People Act that includes reforms to strengthen democracy (such as an end to gerrymandered districts and no-excuse absentee voting) and H.R.51, which would grant statehood to the District of Columbia. After you’ve called, get your family and friends in other states to do the same thing.
https://indivisible.org/demand-your-representative-support-and-move-swiftly-hr-1-and-hr-51

For more opportunities, see the Announcement section of our Facebook Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SolidarityLowell

State-Level Events and Actions

Comment on the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030

The public comment period for the Plan has been extended. Comments are now being accepted until 5pm on March 22nd, 2021.
Details are at http://www.mass.gov/2030CECP. Stakeholders are encouraged to use this online form to submit specific comments.
You can sign up to receive updates at https://www.mass.gov/forms/form-1-mailing-list
Also, a reminder that the MA 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap is also available at http://www.mass.gov/2050Roadmap. The report as well as slides and video of a 2050 Roadmap webinar held on 1/15 are available from that link.

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor the resubmitted Safe Communities Act (SD.532 and HD.1165)

This will be the third legislative session for this bill, which lets our local police focus on their priorities and not federal immigration priorities. The bill was reported out of Committee favorably in the last session but the session ended before it could be brought to a vote. You can help get it passed this time around by urging your legislators to co-sponsor it. Counting co-sponsors is an initial step in assessing support for a bill, so the more co-sponsors the more likely it is to be quickly brought to a vote and passed.
https://actionnetwork.org/…/pass-the-safe-communities-act
NOTE: The Action Network has not yet updated its contact information for newly elected state legislators. Constituents of Rep. Vanna Howard, please copy and paste this sample email into your own email browser and send it. We apologize for the inconvenience! Legislator contact information is given below.

Contact your legislators about the refiled Work and Family Mobility Act (HD.448/SD.228)

Another piece of legislation important to public safety that did not get voted on before the end of the last legislative session. Lead sponsors, Representatives Christine Barber and Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Senators Brendan Crighton and Adam Gomez, have refiled the bill in both the House (HD.448) and the Senate (SD.273)! There is a co-sponsorship drive to gain support for the Work and Family Mobility Act! There are currently 50 co-sponsors; there were 80 last session, so and it is hoped there will be more.
Email your State Senator and Representative at http://bit.ly/2021-dff-email and call to ask them to co-sponsor the Work and Family Mobility Act (HD.448/SD.228), You can find their numbers at the end of this section, or look them up here https://bit.ly/dff-leg-lookup.

Email your legislator, asking them to support Raise Up Massachusetts campaigns

The Fair Share Amendment! Ask your elected officials to support this policy by ensuring it is brought up for a second constitutional convention and receives a YES vote from them when it does! Fair Share would add a 4% tax on annual income over $1 million and dedicate the revenue to transportation and public education.
Emergency Paid Sick Time! Working people should not be forced to make the impossible choice between going to work while sick during a pandemic or getting the pay they need to put food on the table. This policy would provide 10 additional work-days (80 hours) of job-protected paid sick time for immediate use during the pandemic. (H.531 / S.386)
GILTI! Some of the largest, most profitable businesses in Massachusetts are multinational corporations who use unfair tax schemes to shift their profits overseas and away from U.S. tax collectors. This policy would allow Massachusetts to track down those bad actors and tax those offshore profits. (H.452 / S.173)
Increase the Corporate Tax Rate! Before 2009, the corporate tax rate was 9.5%. By restoring the current 8.0% tax rate to 9.5% we can generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new state revenue back into the recovery of our communities – all from profitable corporations. (H.1020 / S.428)
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-the-raise-up-massachusetts-campaigns
Again, constituents of Representative Howard will want to copy and paste the message from the form into their email client and write to her directly.

Call to action from Massachusetts Menstrual Equity Coalition

This year, as the State is preparing its priorities for the state budget – we demand that the feminization of poverty not be ignored. Periods do not stop during pandemics. No one should have to choose between food, a roof over their head, their education, and access to menstrual products, and yet every day in Massachusetts, menstruators are forced to make exactly that choice. Legislators are deciding their priorities now, and we need them to both co-sponsor and *champion* HD651: An Act Relative to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters and Public Schools (I AM bill) in the 193rd legislative session and not relegate period poverty to invisible status anymore.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/prioritize-period-poverty-in-the-massachusetts-recovery-plan

Find your State Legislators here

House Speaker Ronald Mariano Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2300
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 / 508-633-8005
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Tami Gouveia Tami.gouveia@mahouse.gov 617-722-2011
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 My Legislator: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator
……
Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02133
 

National Events and Actions

Sign on to Black Alliance for Peace Petition to Abolish 1033 programs

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has demanded abolition of the 1033 program since its founding in 2017. It is now asking the public to sign a petition demanding the Biden administration and Democrats commit to abolishing this racist and brutal program. The program, which gives surplus military gear to police departments, has been notorious for contributing to the excessive use of force by police in this country.
Sign on to the petition here: http://tinyurl.com/295pmomo

Live with the 19th!: Black Women, Power and the Ballot

Friday, February 19, 1pm EST
Join The 19th’s Editor-at-large Errin Haines on Friday, Feb. 19 at 12 p.m. CT/1 p.m. ET. for a conversation on Black women organizing, voting and leading in the new American democracy – and what it means for an expanding electorate. 19th Editor-at-Large Errin Haines will be joined by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter LaTosha Brown; U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; and political commentator Tara Setmayer.
To register: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/live-with-the-19th-black-women-power-ballot/register

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping in an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com.
Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

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/

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

View the notes from our January meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Vcq_XUI2YXU4Qnb2lD8OuX7TPs-8JpWcDZ5IuRNb9e4/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our January meeting: https://youtu.be/pxqVzfcN31A

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to joinhttps://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR FEBRUARY 5, 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.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

Urge Governor to sign Next Generation Road Map climate bill (S.9)

The bill would be a significant step forward, although more work is still needed to speed the state’s transition to 100% renewable energy and tackle the emissions from the transportation sector. As you may know, the Legislature passed the bill during the last legislative session with veto-proof majorities, only to see the Governor wait until the last minute and then veto the bill at the very end of the session. The Legislature has again passed the exact same bill, again with a veto-proof majority.
Although we have the votes to override another veto, it would be faster if the Governor would just sign the bill. We’re asking folks to urge him to sign the bill as is so we can get on to other state priorities.
Use the following form: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-baker-to-sign-the-next-generation-climate-bill-2/

Urgent Need for Legal Funds for our Guest Asylum Seeker

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected legal expense. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – legal” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring.

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum-legal” in the “special notes” part of the donation form) Please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com if you have any questions.

March for Moses

Every Saturday, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date.
Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality
https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Contact Maura Healey Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact the office of Maura Healey regarding the incident with Moses Harris. If you are so moved, you should also contact our City Councilors here in Lowell (information below).

Attorney General Maura Healey (617) 727-2200
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/…/City-Council-Contact-Form-45
Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. Are you aware of the disappearance of Moses Harris in Lowell? Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. No one has seen Moses since. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, and the police have yet to release the police report or discuss the case with the family. I ask that you investigate this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”
NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

Tell Facebook not to allow Trump back

This post comes to us by way of Indivisible East Bay (CA)
Deadline for action: Monday, February 8, 2021, at 10 am EST.
We’re asking you to make a public comment to Facebook against allowing Trump back on Facebook.
After the January 6 mob attack on the Capitol, Facebook suspended Trump’s participation on Facebook. The Oversight Board is now considering whether to end the ban and allow Trump to post again on Facebook. Please tell them No!
How To Post Your Comment: The link to the Public Comment Form is at the bottom of this webpage for the Oversight Board: http://tinyurl.com/akhmwzzy
They will ask for a 750-word-limited summary of your statement and there is a 6000-word limit on your actual statement. You will want to have them written in text so you can paste in or attach a file, before you go to the website. Also, if you’re interested in the privacy and use agreements you’re asked to agree to near the end of the form, check them BEFORE you post. I lost my whole post and had to start over when I clicked to view the agreement.
These are some sample scripts you can use to make a public comment:
Sample Script 1: Trump is too risky for inciting violence as happened on January 6. He has continued to spread falsehoods about voter fraud even to the present day. I urge you to continue the ban on Trump indefinitely.
Sample Script 2: Trump has a following in the millions, so that he is uniquely dangerous when he spreads disinformation and threats. He has shown a proven ability to incite people to attack and harm others. For this reason you should ban Trump from Facebook permanently.
Sample Script 3: With his words, Trump has successfully weaponized his audience to commit acts of violence. It is proven that his followers take his words as a command to attack and threaten others. For this reason you should ban Trump from Facebook permanently.
Do It Yourself: If you have a background in civil rights, communications or public policy, you can also write your own public comment based on your specific expertise.
Spread the Word: Please ask your group’s members, as well as family and friends, to post a public comment. If you know of liberal media that can publicize the need for public comment, please contact them too. Conservative media have already told their people how to make public comments on the Trump ban. We have to make sure that our voices are heard.
We hope you and yours are well and staying healthy!
Donna, Linh, Ion
Judiciary Team
Indivisible East Bay (CA)

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Postcarding?

Solidarity Lowell is re-starting our postcarding events virtually on Zoom. Please fill out the following form if you’re interested in joining the group!
https://forms.gle/9kXRDrpekLyeQ7ir8

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday February 28th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Topics to be determined.

Local Events and Actions

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, February 9, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before.
Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, February 11, 5pm
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

Virtual Public Meeting on Parking Study to be conducted in the city

The City of Lowell is using a Housing Choice Grant award from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) to conduct a comprehensive parking study.
The Lowell Parking Study will review and analyze existing parking conditions, including parking inventory, utilization, policies, management, regulations, and pricing, and analyze the parking supply and demand compared to existing land uses. The Parking Study will help ensure that the parking system is consistent with the City’s economic development and transportation planning goals, including the ongoing GoLowell Multimodal Complete Streets plan.
An overview of the project has been held. Four neighborhood meetings are scheduled. The project team wants to hear from folks about parking issues and concerns in their neighborhoods as well as potential opportunities to improve parking in Lowell.

Neighborhood meetings
Feb. 10, 6:30pm – Belvidere/S. Lowell/Sacred Heart
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqd-6gqTgjGdWhCUsra81HqHJ3IS7B4I9U
Feb. 11, 6:30pm –Downtown/JAMBRA
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkfuuqqjwqH9AeTDn-1XjM_3cDyUglIijo
Feb. 24, 6:30pm–Pawtucketville/Centralville
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUoceqtpzMvGtzDMw_GW3xkTLfdka56yqUN
Feb. 25, 6:30pm –Back Central, Acre, Highlands
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkce6gpz4tEtQwYt7wTqNiw9ZQ6Z67rOWs

Lowell Votes – help register and educate voters

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers to help register and educate voters and find candidates
http://www.lowellvotes.org
Next meeting: February 16, 2pm
Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and register to vote.

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.
February’s nominees are Essex County Habitat for Humanity, Family Services of the Merrimack Valley, The Professional Center for Child Development.

To vote for one, go to:
https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are
The German Home
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.
International Institute of New England
Voting ends March 31.

To vote, go to:
https://www.weshareacommonthread.org/Give-a-Click/

City Hall Closed to Public

City Hall is now closed to the public due to the status of the pandemic in our city.

Standing Up For Democracy

The late Congressman John Lewis, in his last message to us, said “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.” We recently learned the consequences of thinking active participation wasn’t necessary.

This section will include opportunities for you to participate in strengthening our democracy.

5Calls.org

This is set up to provide actions that don’t require a lot of your time but can have an impact, on the national or local level. Pick your areas of interest. Five calls in five minutes.
http://www.5Calls.org

Common Cause Social Media Monitoring to Combat Misinformation

Join teams to spread truth and defeat lies
https://www.commoncause.org/what-we-do/join-common-causes-action-team/

Contest Every Race

75% of the 520,000 elected offices in this country go uncontested by nonconservatives. This group recruits candidates.
https://contesteveryrace.com/

Help people get IDs

While requiring ID’s for voting is not optimal, it is true that medical care and access to government assistance of various kinds often also requires an ID. There are organizations that help people get ID’s.
http://spreadthevote.org
http://voteriders.org

Get Out the Vote in Revere

Join a phone bank to help turn out the vote as Revere elects a new representative for the first time in 30 years, to replace former Speaker Robert DeLeo.
http://tinyurl.com/4tp242vn

State-Level Events and Actions

Comment on the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030

The public comment period for the Plan has been extended. Comments are now being accepted until 5pm on March 22nd, 2021.
Details are at http://www.mass.gov/2030CECP. Stakeholders are encouraged to use this online form to submit specific comments.
You can sign up to receive updates at https://www.mass.gov/forms/form-1-mailing-list
Also, a reminder that the MA 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap is also available at http://www.mass.gov/2050Roadmap. The report as well as slides and video of a 2050 Roadmap webinar held on 1/15 are available from that link.

Ask your legislators to co-sponsor the resubmitted Safe Communities Act (SD.532 and HD.1165)

This will be the third legislative session for this bill, which lets our local police focus on their priorities and not federal immigration priorities. The bill was reported out of Committee favorably in the last session but the session ended before it could be brought to a vote. You can help get it passed this time around by urging your legislators to co-sponsor it. Counting co-sponsors is an initial step in assessing support for a bill, so the more co-sponsors the more likely it is to be quickly brought to a vote and passed.
https://actionnetwork.org/…/pass-the-safe-communities-act
NOTE: The Action Network has not yet updated its contact information for newly elected state legislators. Constituents of Rep. Vanna Howard, please copy and paste this sample email into your own email browser and send it. We apologize for the inconvenience! Legislator contact information is given below.

Email your legislator, asking them to support the Work and Family Mobility Act (HD.448 and SD.273)

Another piece of legislation important to public safety that did not get voted on before the end of the last legislative session, this bill is being refiled.
At the following link you will find two templates, one for legislators who supported the bill in the last session, one for those who did not. Senator Kennedy and Representative Mom were supporters. Representative Howard was, of course, not yet in office. Representative Golden was not a supporter.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Zlq38cYh5Wklcznc7qawsFlQIwVKNyZBi8_fe6FT4CA/edit?usp=sharing

Email your legislator, asking them to support Raise Up Massachusetts campaigns

The Fair Share Amendment! Ask your elected officials to support this policy by ensuring it is brought up for a second constitutional convention and receives a YES vote from them when it does! Fair Share would add a 4% tax on annual income over $1 million and dedicate the revenue to transportation and public education.
Emergency Paid Sick Time! Working people should not be forced to make the impossible choice between going to work while sick during a pandemic or getting the pay they need to put food on the table. This policy would provide 10 additional work-days (80 hours) of job-protected paid sick time for immediate use during the pandemic. (H.531 / S.386)
GILTI! Some of the largest, most profitable businesses in Massachusetts are multinational corporations who use unfair tax schemes to shift their profits overseas and away from U.S. tax collectors. This policy would allow Massachusetts to track down those bad actors and tax those offshore profits. (H.452 / S.173)
Increase the Corporate Tax Rate! Before 2009, the corporate tax rate was 9.5%. By restoring the current 8.0% tax rate to 9.5% we can generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new state revenue back into the recovery of our communities – all from profitable corporations. (H.1020 / S.428)
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-the-raise-up-massachusetts-campaigns
Again, constituents of Representative Howard will want to copy and paste the message from the form into their email client and write to her directly.

Call to action from Massachusetts Menstrual Equity Coalition

This year, as the State is preparing its priorities for the state budget – we demand that the feminization of poverty not be ignored. Periods do not stop during pandemics. No one should have to choose between food, a roof over their head, their education, and access to menstrual products, and yet every day in Massachusetts, menstruators are forced to make exactly that choice. Legislators are deciding their priorities now, and we need them to both co-sponsor and *champion* HD651: An Act Relative to Increase Access to Disposable Menstrual Products in Prisons, Homeless Shelters and Public Schools (I AM bill) in the 193rd legislative session and not relegate period poverty to invisible status anymore.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/prioritize-period-poverty-in-the-massachusetts-recovery-plan

Find your State Legislators here

House Speaker Ronald Mariano Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2300
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 / 508-633-8005
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Tami Gouveia Tami.gouveia@mahouse.gov 617-722-2011
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 My Legislator: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator
……
Massachusetts State House
24 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02133

National Events and Actions

Sign on to Black Alliance for Peace Petition to Abolish 1033 programs

The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has demanded abolition of the 1033 program since its founding in 2017. It is now asking the public to sign a petition demanding the Biden administration and Democrats commit to abolishing this racist and brutal program. The program, which gives surplus military gear to police departments, has been notorious for contributing to the excessive use of force by police in this country.
Sign on to the petition here: http://tinyurl.com/295pmomo

Tell Facebook Banning Trump Isn’t Enough

Use the Common Cause form to send a message (pre-written but editable) .
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-facebook-banning-trump-isnt-enough

Support H.R. 1 and H.R. 51

Use the handy form to call your representative in support of H.R. 1, the We the People Act that includes reforms to strengthen democracy (such as an end to gerrymandered districts and no-excuse absentee voting) and H.R.51, which would grant statehood to the District of Columbia. After you’ve called, get your family and friends in other states to do the same thing.
https://indivisible.org/demand-your-representative-support-and-move-swiftly-hr-1-and-hr-51

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Can you chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him? Any amount will be gratefully accepted. Consider becoming a “sustaining supporter” by making a recurring monthly donation, no size too small! We are also looking for folks who are interested in helping in an ongoing basis, in any of these three committees: Legal, Fundraising, and Housing. If you’re interested, please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com.
Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

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/

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

View the notes from our January meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Vcq_XUI2YXU4Qnb2lD8OuX7TPs-8JpWcDZ5IuRNb9e4/edit?usp=sharing
Recording of our January meeting: https://youtu.be/pxqVzfcN31A
Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to joinhttps://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR JANUARY 30, 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.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Priority Actions

Urgent Need for Legal Funds for our Guest Asylum Seeker

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected legal expense. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – legal” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
Marius is the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring.

Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum-legal” in the “special notes” part of the donation form) Please email mvisn@solidaritylowell.com if you have any questions.

March for Moses

Every Saturday, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date.
Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality
https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Contact Maura Healey Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact the office of Maura Healey regarding the incident with Moses Harris.
Attorney General Maura Healey (617) 727-2200

If you are so moved, you should also contact your State Representative and State Senator, and our City Councilors here in Lowell (information below).

Our State Legislators’ Info:
Find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator:

State Representatives:
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov
Rep. Tami Gouveia Tami.gouveia@mahouse.gov 617-722-2011
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
State Senators:
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
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/…/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. Are you aware of the disappearance of Moses Harris in Lowell? Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. No one has seen Moses since. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, and the police have refused to release the police report or discuss the case with the family. I ask that you investigate this incident, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”

NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Please update your contact info!

Solidarity Lowell would like to better target our messages. In order to do so, we would appreciate having your mailing address.
https://forms.gle/2BMYRXbvRx9yVcsaA

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday February 28th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Topics to be determined.

Local Events and Actions

Conservation Commission Meeting/Lowell Area Gas Modernization Project

Wednesday, February 10, 7pm
Watch https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter for agenda.
Watch for link. Which must be posted by Monday February 8.

National Grid is proposing to replace portions of an existing 6” natural gas pipeline system with new, larger (12”) diameter pipeline. The project would facilitate the use of state-of-the-art in-line inspection equipment involving the internal inspection of pipelines using special tools which travel within the pipeline and can measure wall thickness, identify metal loss, and scan for cracks or crack-like defects.
The wetland resource areas impacted include Inland Bank, Riverfront Area, Bordering Land Subject to Flooding, Land Under Wetlands and Waterways, and wetlands (BVW). Black Brook and River Meadow Brook are within or adjacent to the project area. This includes the Highlands wetlands along Route 3.
All project materials are available online at: https://lowellma.gov/DocumentCenter/Index/1381

At the last meeting, questions were raised about the damage the project will cause to city wetlands and how the city should be compensated for it. Due to the significant interest in the matter expressed by the much larger than usual attendance, National Grid agreed to return with a plan for compensation as part of the process for obtaining approval. Folks are therefore urged to attend this meeting in support of the City’s interests. Sometimes just showing up makes all the difference.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, January 26, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, January 8.
Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, February 4, 5pm
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

Virtual Public Meeting on Parking Study to be conducted in the city

February 2, 6:00-7:15pm
The City of Lowell is using a Housing Choice Grant award from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) to conduct a comprehensive parking study.
The Lowell Parking Study will review and analyze existing parking conditions, including parking inventory, utilization, policies, management, regulations, and pricing, and analyze the parking supply and demand compared to existing land uses. The Parking Study will help ensure that the parking system is consistent with the City’s economic development and transportation planning goals, including the ongoing GoLowell Multimodal Complete Streets plan.
This meeting will provide an overview of the study. The project team will discuss study goals, share a detailed parking inventory that is underway, and summarize early observations and findings.
To pre-register: https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEsdOmprzkjG9as98SW9AYUP8AB0mWXv3b1
A recording of the meeting is also promised if you are interested but cannot attend.
Neighborhood meetings are also scheduled. The project team wants to hear from folks about parking issues and concerns in their neighborhoods as well as potential opportunities to improve parking in Lowell.

Neighborhood meetings
Feb. 10, 6:30pm – Belvidere/S. Lowell/Sacred Heart
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqd-6gqTgjGdWhCUsra81HqHJ3IS7B4I9U
Feb. 11, 6:30pm –Downtown/JAMBRA
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkfuuqqjwqH9AeTDn-1XjM_3cDyUglIijo
Feb. 24, 6:30pm–Pawtucketville/Centralville
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUoceqtpzMvGtzDMw_GW3xkTLfdka56yqUN
Feb. 25, 6:30pm –Back Central, Acre, Highlands
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkce6gpz4tEtQwYt7wTqNiw9ZQ6Z67rOWs

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers to help register and educate voters and find candidates

Next meeting: February 2, 2pm
Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and register to vote.
http://www.lowellvotes.org

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.
January’s nominees are Foster Kids of Merrimack Valley, Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Food Links.

To vote for one, go to:
https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are
The German Home
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.
International Institute of New England
Voting ends March 31.

To vote, go to:
https://www.weshareacommonthread.org/Give-a-Click/

City Hall Closed to Public

City Hall is now closed to the public due to the status of the pandemic in our city.

Standing Up For Democracy

The late Congressman John Lewis, in his last message to us, said “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.” We recently learned the consequences of thinking active participation wasn’t necessary.

This section will include opportunities for you to participate in strengthening our democracy.

Common Cause Social Media Monitoring to Combat Misinformation

Join teams to spread truth and defeat lies
https://www.commoncause.org/what-we-do/join-common-causes-action-team/

Contest Every Race

75% of the 520,000 elected offices in this country go uncontested by nonconservatives. This group recruits candidates.
https://contesteveryrace.com/

State-Level Events and Actions

Join the Transparency is Power Campaign

Act On Mass has launched a campaign to push our state reps for transparency during the next legislative session (beginning January 2021). At the beginning of each two-year session, the legislature sets its rules. Voting on the rules will happen at the end of January or beginning of February.

It is high time that the legislature commits to transparency in their dealings so that we know why bills we support keep failing to advance. Join a team to meet with your state rep.
https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/
Normally, rules would be voted on at the beginning of a new legislative session. However, the new Speaker has postponed that vote for 6 months and until then the House is working on emergency rules established for pandemic operation. It is important to keep up the pressure on legislatures so that they know that we are serious about our demands.
The campaign is asking for 3 things:
-That all votes held in legislative committees be publicly disclosed.
-That bills be made public for 72 hours before a final vote.
-That the threshold for a vote to be publicly recorded (roll call vote) in the House of Representatives be reduced from 16 state representatives to 8 representatives.
Teams are forming to meet with all representatives. Representative Howard has committed to transparency. A team has already met with Representative Mom and he supports some of the asks. There will also be a team to speak with Representative Golden.
Fnd yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator:

House Speaker Ronald Mariano Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2300
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov 617-722-2800 x7302 / 508-633-8005
Rep. Tami Gouveia Tami.gouveia@mahouse.gov 617-722-2011
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

National Events and Actions

A Look Ahead at US Refugee Policies

Tuesday, February 2, 2:00pm
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, U.S. Congressional Representative of California’s 19th District and Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Refugee Caucus
Melanie Nezer, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at HIAS
To register: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/look-ahead-us-refugee-policies

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/

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

View the notes from our December meeting here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xP8bUZQBT3YFpoqjhszx4I-84bdEgtkk19yAC3AUB9M/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our December meeting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Vi980aVfg
Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to joinhttps://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team