Caroline Snow

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR SEPT 14, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR SEPT 14, 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: September General Meeting

Sunday September 27th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Main topic: presentation from PFLAG.

Local Events and Actions

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, September 17, 5pm
Concerned about the looming 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.
Call: 978-222-7877
or
Visit: https://lowell-mutual-aid.com/form/ to submit needs or offer help.

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

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.
September’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen and D’Youville Life and Wellness Community.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

Sundays from 10am-1pm
250 Jackson St, Lowell
The Farm Market is outside. The building is also now open with safety rules, including masks and social distancing.
https://www.facebook.com/thefarmmarket/

City Hall Access Limited

Public access to City Hall is limited to Tuesdays from 8AM – 8PM and Thursdays from 8AM – 5PM.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, Sep 22, 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 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.

State-level Actions and Events

Register for Climate Preparedness Week

September 24-30
Join CREW (Communities Responding to Extreme Weather) for a week of virtual events about climate preparedness, including discussions with Zimbabwean women farmers on how they’re coping with climate change and a discussion with Heatwave and Palaces of the People author Eric Klinenberg on the role of social infrastructure in preparing us for climate impacts.
https://www.climatecrew.org/prep_week

Pending Legislation

When the legislature extended its session through the end of the year, instead of just to the end of July, a lot of the frenzied urgency to pass specific bills faded away. But just because you haven’t heard much lately, doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to do. Some bills are stuck. In Joint Committee as the differences between House and Senate bills need to be reconciled. Or in a Committee that still needs to report a bill out favorably in order for it to move forward. Some of the legislation that can use your support is listed below.

Police Reform Bill
This bill is in joint committee, with representatives of the House and Senate wrangling over which provisions to keep that aren’t common to both bills.You can help fight for the strongest possible version of the bill. Legislators have been hearing from the police; they need to also hear from the PEOPLE.

1) Email your legislators and Governor Baker (template provided at link)
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/fight-for-the-strongest-police-reform-bill

2) Contact the Conference Committee Members:

EMAIL: William.Brownsberger@masenate.govSonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.govBruce.Tarr@masenate.govClaire.Cronin@mahouse.govCarlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.govTimothy.Whelan@mahouse.gov

OR CALL
William Brownsberger: (617) 722-1280
Sonia Chang-Diaz: (617) 722-1673
Bruce Tarr: (617) 722-1600
Claire Cronin: (617) 722-2396
Carlos González: (617) 722-2080
Timothy Whelan: (617) 722-2488

WHAT TO SAY: It is essential that the final police reform bill includes reforms to the MA Civil Rights Act so that violations of our rights are not swept aside and limits qualified immunity so that victims of police brutality can get justice.

HAVE TIME TO SAY MORE?: Here is the expanded list of 12 provisions that you can copy from https://actionnetwork.org/letters/fight-for-the-strongest-police-reform-bill

Housing Stability
Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability to prevent evictions and foreclosures. Scripts for both are provided. Click on the tab of your preferred action.
https://www.housingguarantee.org/

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (H.4700/S.2701)
Emergency Paid Sick Time has been reported favorably out of the Labor and Workforce Development committee! The next stop for our Emergency Paid Sick Time legislation is the Ways and Means committee of both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Email your State Representative and Senator urging them to help move the bill.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/move-epst/

Right to Counsel
Most tenants facing eviction do not have counsel. Most landlords do. Tenants stand a much better chance of being able to fight eviction if they have counsel. The Massachusetts Right to Counsel Coalition is asking the state to dedicate $6 million from federal CARES Act funds to establish a right-to-counsel pilot program for low-income tenants and homeowners in eviction proceedings. The mayors of 22 cities sent a letter to the governor in support of the fund. The chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court made a statement in support of the measure.

You can write to the governor
https://www.mass.gov/forms/email-the-governors-office

Sample script:
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) estimates that 65,000 Massachusetts renter households receiving unemployment benefits will not have enough money to pay their rent after the eviction ban and federal subsidies expire. This does not include workers who are ineligible for regular unemployment benefits, including undocumented workers or self-employed workers who receive benefits through PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance). Another report by the Census Bureau found hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents had little confidence they would be able to pay their current month’s rent.  With such massive numbers, preventing evictions from ever getting to court must be a priority.

Most tenants facing eviction do not have counsel. Most landlords do. Tenants stand a much better chance of being able to fight eviction if they have counsel.

I’m writing to urge you to meet the request of the Massachusetts Right to Counsel Coalition to dedicate $6 million from the federal CARES Act funds to establish a right-to-counsel pilot program for low-income tenants and homeowners in eviction proceedings.

Phonebank for Census 

If people aren’t counted, we lose Federal funding for the next TEN YEARS. The last Census cost MA a representative. 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 in communities of color, working-class neighborhoods, and more to participate in the 2020 Census. http://bit.ly/vbm-signup

National Actions and Events

Uncertain Times, Certain Fear: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in the COVID-19 Era

September 16, 2020 | 3:00pm-4:00pm ET | Webinar

Echoing history, the fears and anxieties over the current global health pandemic have fed an increase in xenophobia—including anti-Semitism, and anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment. Join HIAS and ADL for a dynamic conversation about the historic and contemporary intersections of anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant rhetoric, and how the current pandemic is impacting refugees and asylum seekers in particular.

Advanced registration required: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/uncertain-times-certain-fear-anti-semitism-and-anti-immigrant-sentiment-covid-19

Become a community co-sponsor of the Breathe Act

The BREATHE Act aims to: Divest resources from incarceration and policing; Build new approaches to community safety; Invest resources to build equitable communities for all, enhance the self-determination of all Black and POC communities; Allocate funds to build healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities
https://breatheact.org

Urge your Federal legislators to pass the Native American Voting Rights Act

Co-authored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) this bill will ensure tribal polling places have proper voting equipment, require tribal consultation on polling site locations, and provide tribes with the resources they need to carry out full and fair elections. There have been too many attempts in the last few years to deny Native Americans their right to vote.
https://action.lakotalaw.org/action/pass-navra

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 SEPTEMBER 4, 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: September General Meeting

Sunday September 27th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Main topic: presentation from PFLAG.

Local Events and Actions

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, September 10, 5pm
Concerned about the looming 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.
Call: 978-222-7877 or Visit: https://lowell-mutual-aid.com/form/ to submit needs or offer help.

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

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.
September’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen and D’Youville Life and Wellness Community.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

Sunday, Sept 6, 10am-1pm
250 Jackson St, Lowell
The Farm Market is outside. The building is also now open with safety rules, including masks and social distancing.
https://www.facebook.com/thefarmmarket/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1179181032450795/

City Hall Access Limited

Public access to City Hall is limited to Tuesdays from 8AM – 8PM and Thursdays from 8AM – 5PM.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, Sep 8, 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 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.

State-level Actions and Events

Labor Day Rally for a Just Recovery

Monday, 9/7, 11am
This Labor Day, 9/7, Raise Up Massachusetts will be delivering a list of demands for justice and equity for working people to the State House at 11am. If you want to attend in person or digitally, you can sign up at https://actionnetwork.org/events/labor-day-action

Fight for the Strongest Police Reform Bill

1. Email your legislators and Governor Baker (template provided at link)
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/fight-for-the-strongest-police-reform-bill

2) Contact the Conference Committee Members:
EMAIL
William.Brownsberger@masenate.govSonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.govBruce.Tarr@masenate.govClaire.Cronin@mahouse.govCarlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.govTimothy.Whelan@mahouse.gov
OR CALL
William Brownsberger: (617) 722-1280
Sonia Chang-Diaz: (617) 722-1673
Bruce Tarr: (617) 722-1600
Claire Cronin: (617) 722-2396
Carlos González: (617) 722-2080
Timothy Whelan: (617) 722-2488

WHAT TO SAY: It is essential that the final police reform bill includes reforms to the MA Civil Rights Act so that violations of our rights are not swept aside and limits qualified immunity so that victims of police brutality can get justice.

HAVE TIME TO SAY MORE?: Here is the expanded list of 12 provisions that you can copy from https://actionnetwork.org/letters/fight-for-the-strongest-police-reform-bill

Fight for Housing Stability

Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability to prevent evictions and foreclosures.
https://www.housingguarantee.org/

Keep Emergency Paid Sick Leave Moving through the Legislature (H.4700/S.2701)

Emergency Paid Sick Time has been reported favorably out of the Labor and Workforce Development committee! The next stop for our Emergency Paid Sick Time legislation is the Ways and Means committee of both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Email your State Representative and Senator urging them to help move the bill.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/move-epst/

Phonebank for Census
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 in communities of color, working-class neighborhoods, and more to participate in the 2020 Census.If people aren’t counted, we lose Federal funding for the next TEN YEARS. The last Census cost MA a representative.
http://bit.ly/vbm-signup

Support the Citizen’s Commission

The Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs is discussing bill H.4908. H.4908 deals with the first-in-the-nation Massachusetts Citizens Commission that Massachusetts voters created through a 2018 ballot initiative.
Over the past 18 months the Citizens Commission has conducted over 20 public meetings across Massachusetts, collected extensive research and testimony.  The Citizens Commission has issued two key reports with findings & recommendations for action. Massachusetts should advance the recommendations to ensure that Congress pass and the states ratify an amendment to the US Constitution to ensure our ability to limit the corrupting power of money in our political system and protect the voice and representation of all Americans.
To ensure that we move forward in our mission to put people before money, we ask that you contact the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs ASAP to report out H.4908 favorably. You can reach the committee at jessica.avery@mahouse.gov.

National Actions and Events

From Citizens to Outsiders: Burma’s Path to Genocide

September 9 | 3:00pm-4:15pm ET | Webinar
Join HIAS and AJWS for a virtual tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s new online exhibit “Burma’s Path to Genocide,” and learn how the Rohingya, a religious and ethnic minority in Burma, became targets of a sustained campaign of genocide starting in 2016. Hear from a former political prisoner and Rohingya activist, receive an update on the current situation, and find out how you can help.

Advanced registration required: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/citizens-outsiders-burmas-path-genocide

The Future of Refugee Resettlement

September 10 | 4:00pm-5:00pm ET | Briefing Call
After years of policy attacks from the Trump Administration, refugee resettlement in the United States looks very different than it once did. Join a briefing call to hear how the lowering of the annual cap on refugee admissions (the Presidential Determination or PD) has affected our country’s ability to save the lives of tens of thousands of people each year. Hear examples and client stories from our partner, Jewish Family Services of Buffalo & Erie County, and hear HIAS’ plans and hopes for the future of resettlement.

Advanced registration required: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/future-refugee-resettlement

Uncertain Times, Certain Fear: Anti-Semitism and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in the COVID-19 Era

September 16, 2020 | 3:00pm-4:00pm ET | Webinar
Echoing history, the fears and anxieties over the current global health pandemic have fed an increase in xenophobia—including anti-Semitism, and anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment. Join HIAS and ADL for a dynamic conversation about the historic and contemporary intersections of anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant rhetoric, and how the current pandemic is impacting refugees and asylum seekers in particular.

Advanced registration required: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/uncertain-times-certain-fear-anti-semitism-and-anti-immigrant-sentiment-covid-19

Urge your Federal legislators to pass the Native American Voting Rights Act

Co-authored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) this bill will ensure tribal polling places have proper voting equipment, require tribal consultation on polling site locations, and provide tribes with the resources they need to carry out full and fair elections. There have been too many attempts in the last few years to deny Native Americans their right to vote.
https://action.lakotalaw.org/action/pass-navra

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

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 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!

Phonebank for our Endorsed Candidate Lisa Arnold

Last chance to make a difference for the Primary! Join a 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).
Tonight, Monday Aug 31 from 6 – 9pm
Election Day, Tuesday Sept 1 from 1 – 7pm
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up!

Sign holding for Lisa Arnold

Hold a sign and support Lisa on Election Day. We’ll have the signs. You bring your own mask, sunscreen, hat, etc.
Election Day, Tuesday Sept 1 from 7am – 8pm
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up!

No August SL General Meeting

SL Members voted and decided we need a break! Have a happy and safe August. We will resume our meetings on Sunday September 27th, with a presentation from PFLAG.

Local Events and Actions

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.
August’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Coalition for a Better Acre and Project Learning.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

Sunday, Sept 6, 10am-1pm
250 Jackson St, Lowell
The Farm Market is outside. The building is also now open with safety rules, including masks and social distancing.
https://www.facebook.com/thefarmmarket/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1179181032450795/

City Hall Access Limited

Public access to City Hall is limited to Tuesdays from 8AM – 8PM and Thursdays from 8AM – 5PM.

Looking for the Secure Lockbox for your Mail-in Ballot?

Since it is too late to mail your mail-in ballot in the US mail, you can drop it in a secure lockbox at City Hall. There are TWO, but they’re both INSIDE.
One lockbox is in the Election Department, Rm 5, in the basement of City Hall. It is accessible when the office is open, Tuesday and Thursday.
The other lockbox is located INSIDE the “back” entrance, on JFK plaza, near the police station. The Election Department said when the door is locked, ballots can be deposited through the mail slot which feeds into a locked safe.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, Sep 8, 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 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.

State-level Actions and Events

Fight for the Strongest Police Reform Bill

1. Email your legislators and Governor Baker (template provided at link)
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/fight-for-the-strongest-police-reform-bill

2) Contact the Conference Committee Members:
EMAIL
William.Brownsberger@masenate.govSonia.Chang-Diaz@masenate.govBruce.Tarr@masenate.govClaire.Cronin@mahouse.govCarlos.Gonzalez@mahouse.govTimothy.Whelan@mahouse.gov
OR CALL
William Brownsberger: (617) 722-1280
Sonia Chang-Diaz: (617) 722-1673
Bruce Tarr: (617) 722-1600
Claire Cronin: (617) 722-2396
Carlos González: (617) 722-2080
Timothy Whelan: (617) 722-2488

WHAT TO SAY: It is essential that the final police reform bill includes reforms to the MA Civil Rights Act so that violations of our rights are not swept aside and limits qualified immunity so that victims of police brutality can get justice.

HAVE TIME TO SAY MORE?: Here is the expanded list of 12 provisions that you can copy from https://actionnetwork.org/letters/fight-for-the-strongest-police-reform-bill

Fight for Housing Stability

Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability to prevent evictions and foreclosures.
https://www.housingguarantee.org/

Keep Emergency Paid Sick Leave Moving through the Legislature (H.4700/S.2701)

Emergency Paid Sick Time has been reported favorably out of the Labor and Workforce Development committee! The next stop for our Emergency Paid Sick Time legislation is the Ways and Means committee of both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Email your State Representative and Senator urging them to help move the bill.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/move-epst/

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

Support the Citizen’s Commission

The Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs is discussing bill H.4908. H.4908 deals with the first-in-the-nation Massachusetts Citizens Commission that Massachusetts voters created through a 2018 ballot initiative.
Over the past 18 months the Citizens Commission has conducted over 20 public meetings across Massachusetts, collected extensive research and testimony.  The Citizens Commission has issued two key reports with findings & recommendations for action. Massachusetts should advance the recommendations to ensure that Congress pass and the states ratify an amendment to the US Constitution to ensure our ability to limit the corrupting power of money in our political system and protect the voice and representation of all Americans.
To ensure that we move forward in our mission to put people before money, we ask that you contact the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs ASAP to report out H.4908 favorably. You can reach the committee at jessica.avery@mahouse.gov.

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

Urge your Federal legislators to pass the Native American Voting Rights Act

Co-authored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) this bill will ensure tribal polling places have proper voting equipment, require tribal consultation on polling site locations, and provide tribes with the resources they need to carry out full and fair elections. There have been too many attempts in the last few years to deny Native Americans their right to vote.
https://action.lakotalaw.org/action/pass-navra

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 AUGUST 21, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 21, 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

Phonebank for our Endorsed Candidate Lisa Arnold

Join a 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).
Every Thursday 6-9pm and every Saturday 1-4pm.
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up! Last date August 29th.

Sign Holding for Lisa Arnold

Come hold a sign and cheer on Lisa during early voting hours. We’ll have the signs. You bring your own mask, sunscreen, hat, etc.
Monday through Thursday, 4-6pm
Lowell Senior Center
276 Broadway St

No August SL General Meeting

SL Members voted and decided we need a break! Have a happy and safe August. We will resume our meetings on Sunday September 27th, with a presentation from PFLAG.

Local Events and Actions

Find out more about Lowell’s Redistricting Process

Thursday, August 27, 6pm
We voted for a new system for electing City Council and School Committee. It calls for a hybrid system of 8 district councilors and 3 at-large councilors. Now the lines for the districts have to be drawn to ensure that at least two of the new districts are majority-minority.
Hosted by Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association (CMAA), Lowell Alliance, and Latinx Community Center for Empowerment (LCCE)
For more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1183827868668762/
Link directly to meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85232079232?pwd=aDR3cGtSMlZCY3hxQWpiSFh1cGd5UT09

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.
August’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Coalition for a Better Acre and Project Learning.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

Sunday, Aug 30, 10am-1pm
250 Jackson St, Lowell
The Farm Market is outside. The building is also now open with safety rules, including masks and social distancing.
https://www.facebook.com/thefarmmarket/

City Hall Access Limited

Public access to City Hall is limited to Tuesdays from 8AM – 8PM and Thursdays from 8AM – 5PM.

Looking for the Secure Lockbox for your Mail-in Ballot?

If you don’t want to trust your mail-in ballot to the US mail, you can drop it in a secure lockbox at City Hall. There are TWO, but they’re both INSIDE.
One lockbox is in the Election Department, Rm 5, in the basement of City Hall. It is accessible when the office is open, Tuesday and Thursday.
The other lockbox is located INSIDE the “back” entrance, on JFK plaza, near the police station. As of August 17, there was no signage, but the Election Department said when the door is locked, ballots can be deposited through the mail slot.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, August 25, 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 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 21.Watch for Joe Boyle’s reports on the last meeting and on the agenda for the next meeting Open Meeting Law Complaints have been filed regarding the July 14 City Council meeting and the way the motions on racism were handled. The City had 14 days to respond to the complaints but filed for, and was granted by the Attorney General, an extension on the response time.

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

Support the Citizen’s Commission

The Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs is discussing bill H.4908. H.4908 deals with the first-in-the-nation Massachusetts Citizens Commission that Massachusetts voters created through a 2018 ballot initiative.
Over the past 18 months the Citizens Commission has conducted over 20 public meetings across Massachusetts, collected extensive research and testimony.  The Citizens Commission has issued two key reports with findings & recommendations for action. Massachusetts should advance the recommendations to ensure that Congress pass and the states ratify an amendment to the US Constitution to ensure our ability to limit the corrupting power of money in our political system and protect the voice and representation of all Americans.
To ensure that we move forward in our mission to put people before money, we ask that you contact the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs ASAP to report out H.4908 favorably. You can reach the committee at jessica.avery@mahouse.gov.

National Actions and Events

Moveon #SavethePostOffice Action

Saturday, August 22, 11am
Show up at local post offices across the country for “Save the Post Office Saturday” to save the post office from Trump and declare that Postmaster General Louis DeJoy must resign.
The Lowell Main Post Office is located at 55 Father Morissette Blvd, near the Tsongas Arena.
More information: https://www.savethepostoffice.net/

Medicare For All Action

Saturday, August 22, 12pm
97 Lowell Road, Concord, MA
https://act.medicare4all.org/event/doa_attend/1891/signup/?source=em20200818-58261&t=5&akid=58261%2E125886%2EnRqK3p

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

Urge your Federal legislators to pass the Native American Voting Rights Act

Co-authored by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and U.S. House Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) this bill will ensure tribal polling places have proper voting equipment, require tribal consultation on polling site locations, and provide tribes with the resources they need to carry out full and fair elections. There have been too many attempts in the last few years to deny Native Americans their right to vote.
https://action.lakotalaw.org/action/pass-navra

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 AUGUST 18, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 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

Solidarity Lowell – No August General Meeting

SL Members voted and decided we need a break! Have a happy and safe August. We will resume our meetings on Sunday September 27th, with a presentation from PFLAG.

Local Events and Actions

Phonebank for our Endorsed Candidate Lisa Arnold

Join a 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).
Phonebanks happen every Thursday from 6pm to 9pm and Saturday from 1pm to 4pm.
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up!

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.
August’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Coalition for a Better Acre and Project Learning.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

Sunday, Aug 23, 10am-1pm
250 Jackson St, Lowell
The Farm Market is outside. The building is also now open with safety rules, including masks and social distancing.
https://www.facebook.com/thefarmmarket/

Interested in Voter Outreach?

Merrimack Valley Project is looking at ways to engage our communities and has approached us to do targeted voter outreach in Greater Lowell. We are assessing members’ interest. It would take the form of a combination of phone and text banking, along with traditional door-to-door canvassing for those who are willing and able to do so. The goal of this outreach would be to engage some of those harder-to-reach communities in Lowell and to make sure that these community members are registered to vote and willing to participate in the 2020 election. The campaign would start after the Primary and continued through Election Day.

If you would be interested in participating in a voter outreach effort, please contact Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

City Hall Access Limited

Public access to City Hall is limited to Tuesdays from 8AM – 8PM and Thursdays from 8AM – 5PM.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, August 25, 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 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 21.Watch for Joe Boyle’s reports on the last meeting and on the agenda for the next meeting
Open Meeting Law Complaints have been filed regarding the July 14 City Council meeting and the way the motions on racism were handled. The City had 14 days to respond to the complaints but filed for, and was granted by the Attorney General, an extension on the response time.

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

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 AUGUST 11, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 11, 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 – No August General Meeting

SL Members voted and decided we need a break! Have a happy and safe August. We will resume our meetings on Sunday September 27th, with a presentation from PFLAG.

Local Events and Actions

Phonebank for our endorsed candidate Lisa Arnold

Join a 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).
Phonebanks happen every Thursday and Saturday.
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up!

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.
August’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Coalition for a Better Acre and Project Learning.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

Sunday, Aug 16, 10am-1pm
250 Jackson St, Lowell
The Farm Market is outside. The building is also now open with safety rules, including masks and social distancing.
https://www.facebook.com/thefarmmarket/

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

Massachusetts Against Solitary Confinement Coalition Action Request

Massachusetts Against Solitary Confinement Coalition (MASC) is gathering statements of support from Massachusetts State Legislators. You can help by contacting your State Senator and Representative and ask them to put into writing their support to end this practice.
If you succeed in getting a response, please send it to lwagner@uumassaction.org
We are gathering all responses, positive or negative.
Thank you for taking part in this action!
Cassandra Bensahih, MASC statewide coordinator and Senior Organizer, UU Mass Action
Laura Wagner, Executive Director, UU Mass Action

Sample email ask:
Dear [Senator or Representative – send an email to both]
I am deeply disturbed by the state sanctioned violence of solitary confinement. The United Nations has declared solitary confinement after 15 days to be torture, and yet Massachusetts Correctional facilities routinely hold people for much longer than this – sometimes as long as 30 years. The 2018 Criminal Justice Reforms Act mandatory Solitary Confinement reforms have yet to be fully implemented. In fact, imprisonment in solitary has drastically increased during the pandemic.
I am writing to you to ask that you respond to me in writing and state your position on the use of solitary confinement in Massachusetts prisons and jails. Solitary confinement is torture. There is no documented evidence that this practice has any redeeming value, and in fact, where states have drastically reduced the practice, incidents of violence in the general population have declined. (The Last Days of Solitary). (6/23/20 MASC press Release)
Solitary is a tortuous, barbaric practice that must end. Black, Latinx and LGBTQI prisoners are disproportionately impacted by extended solitary confinement imprisonment. I am committed to ending Solitary Confinement in Massachusetts and I’d like to know if you are, as well.
Sincerely,
(Name)

State Legislator contact information:
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

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 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