Caroline Snow

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR JULY 31, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR JULY 31, 2020
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!

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell August General Meeting – TBD 

Do you want another virtual meeting, a socially distanced in -person meeting, or no meeting in August?  Take this one question survey and let us know how you would like the next meeting.
Survey: https://forms.gle/bcZgzkSgtoe4svxGA

Local Events and Actions

Progressive Mass Phonebank for endorsed candidate Lisa Arnold

Sunday, August 9, 11am, via Zoom
Join Progressive Massachusetts and Solidarity Lowell as we hold a Day of Action for Lisa Arnold, mutually endorsed candidate for State Rep of the 17th Middlesex District.
Come phonebank with us as we get the word out about Lisa! A computer with microphone and speakers is all you need (but if you don’t have speakers or a microphone, you can dial in with your phone). A headset is also helpful.
Sign up here: https://forms.gle/mCY93N1vnQCfpqvi9

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

Sunday, Aug 2, 10am-1pm *new hours*
250 Jackson St, Lowell
Farm Market outside. Building also now open with safety rules, including masks and social distancing.
https://www.facebook.com/thefarmmarket/

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, August 11, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. City Hall is closed to the public. 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 conferenced 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, August 7.

** Watch Solidarity Lowell for Joe Boyle’s report on the agenda.

State-level Actions and Events

Phonebank for Census and Vote by Mail
People in communities hit hardest by COVID-19 need a voice in what resources are needed for recovery. That’s why MA Voter Table and Masscounts are calling residents and voters in communities of color, working-class neighborhoods, and more to participate in the 2020 Census and to make a plan to vote safely this fall.
http://bit.ly/vbm-signup

National Actions and Events

Speak out against attempt to undo HUD protections for transgender people

The current administration is looking to remove critical protections meant to ensure the safety of any trans person in need of Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) funded programs – especially homeless shelters! We have until September to comment on the proposed new rules to try to fight them. You’ll find guidance on the page on the link for writing a message. The government has to read every unique comment they receive, so the more people write, the more they have to pay attention.
http://housingsaveslives.org

Speak out against proposed new asylum rules designed to bar almost everyone

We have until August 9 to comment on proposed new rules designed to make almost every asylum-seeker ineligible! (E.g., no one coming from a country where there are any COVID-19 cases will be accepted!) The government has to read every unique comment. Please tell them what you think. All the information you need to take acton is at the link.
https://www.hias.org/take-action-prevent-new-proposed-regulations-barring-asylum

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 July meeting here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K4F3LJ0grKGlc2-752dQ-x8d3KtQAJGkEVjnFDj9QDM/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our July meeting: https://youtu.be/OOF3wIb6hwM

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 JULY 18, 2020

 

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR JULY 18, 2020
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!

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Save the Date – Solidarity Lowell General Meeting 

July 26, 5:30-7pm
Via Zoom
Topic: Housing

Local Events and Actions

Moody Street Cleanup

Saturday, July 18, 9am-12pm
Lowell Canalwaters Cleaners
Wear a mask and spread out.
https://www.facebook.com/events/2416868651903759/

Phonebank for our Endorsed Candidate Lisa Arnold

Saturday, July 18 1-4pm
Thursday, July 23 6-9pm

Repeat every Saturday and Thursday
Join our phonebank for Lisa Arnold, who is running for State Rep in the 17th Middlesex district. No special equipment or software is required, just a computer with microphone and speakers (though a headset is helpful).
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up!

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

Sunday, July 19, 11am-2pm
250 Jackson St, Lowell
Building now open with safety rules, including masks and social distancing.
https://www.facebook.com/thefarmmarket/

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, July 28, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. City Hall is closed to the public. 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 conferenced 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, July 24.

State-Level Actions and Events

Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign Statewide meeting

Thursday, July 23, 7-8:15pm
https://tinyurl.com/y93ypmum
The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is uniting people across Massachusetts to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality of religious nationalism.
Email massachusetts@poorpeoplescampaign.org to get involved!

Support Legislative Priorities of Merrimack Valley Project

1. The Work and Family Mobility Act (House Bill 3012, Senate Bill 2061)
The Work and Family Mobility Act, or Drivers’ License Bill, would provide access for undocumented immigrants to acquire a Massachusetts drivers license. This bill is currently being considered in the Senate Ways and Means Committee and MVP is asking all legislators to ask that Senate President Karen Spilka bring the bill to the floor for a vote. (Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov)

2. Emergency Paid Sick Time (House Bill 5039, Senate Bill 2918)
As part of the Raise Up Massachusetts economic justice statewide coalition, MVP is supporting this bill that would provide 2 weeks of emergency paid sick leave for those not covered by the federal bill that came out this spring,. asking all Valley legislators to support the bill, which is currently being considered along with other bills directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. 2021 Fiscal Year Funding for Wheels of Hope
Lastly, MVP is asking all Valley legislators to commit to supporting Wheels of Hope, their regional pilot transportation program that provided over 100 free rides to treatment and rehabilitation centers throughout the state. This program was funded by a $150,000 budget amendment last year and the same amount is requested to relaunch the program for a second year.

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. David Nangle David.Nangle@mahouse.gov 617-722-2520
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572

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 June meeting here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qZxKoUKKGysLcrQ9dNPDe–YW2QJn4b0vZSK38cwIyk/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our June meeting:
https://youtu.be/-Wk6Mm3EEpo

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 JULY 11th

RAPID RESPONSE CITY COUNCIL REPORT FOR JULY 11, 2020

The Lowell City Council’s last meeting was held on June 23. The minutes of this meeting are available here:
https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/13063…

Big, big, big meeting coming up Tuesday, July 14 at 6:30 PM! Last month, Solidarity Lowell joined numerous other organizations and individuals in Lowell in signing the following letter to the City Council, calling on them to declare racism a public health crisis and commit Lowell to taking steps to improve racial justice and equal opportunity in our city:
https://drive.google.com/…/1Pnact_7N1GuuecpjaF42RKcYD8…/view

On Tuesday, the Council will consider two motions by Mayor John Leahy to implement the letter’s recommendations. Other related motions, including an apparent alternate motion that does not declare a public health crisis and does not commit the City to taking any action, will also be considered.

Solidarity Lowell members are urged to contact their councilors to urge them to adopt the Mayor Leahy’s motions, or to sign up to speak via telephone to the City Council meeting.

Lowell’s DEI Consortium (DEI), the prime movers behind the letter, is hosting a rally in support on JFK Plaza at 4:30 on Tueday:
https://www.facebook.com/events/283610342873173/

Pursuant to Governor Baker’s Emergency Order modifying the State’s Open Meeting Law issued March 12, 2020, this meeting is being held by remote participation. Members of the public wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending email to City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that you may be conferenced in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161. Tuesday’s meeting will once again be held over Zoom. Meetings are available for viewing on LTC channel 99, or on demand through the LTC website: https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/city-council-on-demand/

The complete agenda for the meeting is available here:
https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCen…/…/Agenda/_07142020-1628…

Racial Justice

Mayor John Leahy is sponsoring the two major motions, which have the public support of Councilors Drinkwater and Nuon:
11.11 M. Leahy – Req. City Council Vote To Assert That Racism Is A Public Health Crisis Affecting The Health, Safety And Well-Being Of Residents In The City Of Lowell, And To Affirm Our Commitment To Efforts Aimed At Understanding, Addressing, And Dismantling Racism In All Its Forms; And To Further Request That The City Manager Direct The Law Department To Draft A Resolution Formally Declaring Racism To Be A Public Health Crisis In The City Of Lowell.

11.12 M. Leahy – Req. City Council Vote To Establish A Mayor’s Task Force On Diversity, Equity And Inclusion That Will Conduct A Thorough Review Of City Policies And Inequities In Community Systems; Will Solicit Input From Experts And The General Public; And Will Report To The City Manager And City Council With Initial Policy Recommendations, Including Ways In Which Success Is Measured, No Later Than Six Months From The Date Of The First Task Force Meeting; Said Task Force Shall Be Chaired By A Lowell Resident Who Is A Person Of Color, And The Majority Of The Task Force Should Be Comprised Of People Of Color Who Reside In Lowell.

The following motion was apparently drawn up in response to letter and the motions above:

11.5 C. Elliott/C. Conway/C. Mercier/C. Rourke/C. Samaras/C. Chau – Req. City Council Adopt Resolution Regarding Inclusiveness, Equity And Racism In The City.
The following motions are in response to the recent passage of a motion to conduct a Human Resources audit in the City and School Department, and to seek grant funding to hire the necessary professionals:
11.3 C. Elliott – Req. City Council Vote To Set Up Lowell Equity And Inclusion Fund To Raise Money From Private Donations To Address Racism, Inclusiveness And Equity In City.
11.4 C. Elliott – Req. City Council Discuss Reallocating State And Federal Grant Resources For HR Audit Or Other Programs To Address Equity And Inclusiveness.

Councilor Chau filed the following motion. Its implications in light of the motion passed by the Council on June 9 to call a joint meeting of the Commission on Race Relations and relevant agencies are unclear:

C. Chau – Req. City Mgr. Create A City Commission To Investigate And Identify Systemic Inequities And Racism In The Following Areas: Housing, Education, Hiring, Health Care, Social Services, Mental Health And Transportation; Members Will Include, But Not To, Representatives From The Following Organizations; Mayor Or Appointee, City Manager Or Appointee, Lowell Housing Authority, CBA, Lowell General Hospital, Lowell Community Health Center, Community Team Work, Trinity Ambulance, PrideStar Ambulance, Lowell Regional Transit Authority, UMass Lowell, Lowell School Administration, Middlesex Community College, Lowell Career Center, UTEC And Lowell Transitional Center.Department Draft An Ordinance To Establish A Citizens Advisory Committee To Help Provide Public Input And Recommendations To The Lowell Police Department.

Policing

Councilor Rourke submitted the following motion to promote the Lowell Police Department’s community outreach efforts:
11.7 C. Rourke – Req. City Mgr. Provide The Council With A Comprehensive Report Regarding Lowell Police Department’s Collaboration With Community Partners Including Lowell Public Schools, Non-Profit Organizations And Other City Departments Through Funding And Active Participation.

Housing and Homelessness

Councilor Nuon keeps his eye on affordable housing:
11.2 C. Nuon – Req. City Mgr. Work With Department Of Planning & Development To Compile A List Of HUD Projects With Affordable Housing Restrictions That Expire In Near Future.

To see the full agenda for the City Council meeting, click here: https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_07142020-1628?html=true&fbclid=IwAR2kEucN2O303qRS7d0lYavFTkcJvxN6k-cceQ-3tfgBrLOd7P94SWerywo.

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team