Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR JUNE 15, 2021

The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Save the Date: Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday, June  27, 5:30pm
Among the topics will be redistricting, which is a big deal in our community since the demographics are changing, and the Fair Share Amendment.

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Donations are needed to assist Marius, 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. Please chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him. Any amount will be gratefully accepted.

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

 

Local Events and Actions

Attn: Pawtucketville Residents:
Claypit Brook Climate Resilience Stormwater Management Capital Improvement Plan

Virtual Hearing
Wednesday, June 16, 6:30pm

RSVP: tinyurl.com/LowellMVP
The City of Lowell is holding a public meeting to discuss the findings of the Claypit Brook Capital Improvement Plan, which identified a suite of strategies to address the intense flooding that has been experienced in the Pawtucketville neighborhood. This project aims to enhance the resilience of the community to climate change impacts and is funded by an MVP Action Grant. The City wants to hear from residents!
The Project Team will present the results of the prioritization process which identified green infrastructure locations and projects around the watershed. This virtual meeting will also include interactive polling and Question & Answer sessions. The meeting will be recorded and posted online for those who are not able to attend. Translation and interpretation are available in ASL, Español, ភាសាខ្មែរ, português.

Lowell Votes Get Out the Vote Training

Thursday, June 17 , 5:30-7pm
https://tinyurl.com/Lowell-Votes-Sign-Up
Help Lowell voters learn about and transition to vote in the new hybrid voting system. Learn how to talk about the importance of voting locally, register voters, join a phone bank, and canvass safely door to door.

State-level Events and Actions

Fair Share Amendment Campaign Kicks into High Gear and You Can Help

Lawrence event June 15
The Fair Share Amendment is a proposal to amend the Massachusetts Constitution, creating an additional tax of four percentage points on the portion of a person’s annual income above $1 million. The new revenue, approximately $2 billion a year, would be spent on “quality public education and affordable public colleges and universities, and for the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and public transportation.” To ensure that the amendment continues to apply only to the highest income taxpayers, who have the ability to pay more, the $1 million threshold would be adjusted each year to reflect cost-of-living increases.
Become an official “Fair Share Amendment Voter” by filling out the pledge form at https://raiseupma.us/pm.

Join the Merrimack Valley Campaign launch:
Tuesday, June 15, 6 PM 

Greater Lawrence Launch, McGovern Transportation Center
English – https://actionnetwork.org/events/lawrence-for-the-fair-share-amendment?clear_id=true
Spanish – https://actionnetwork.org/events/lawrence-for-the-fair-share-amendment-2?clear_id=true

Sign up to Testify at Hearing on Anti-bullying Dignity at Work Act

Deadline Wednesday, June 16 at 1:00pm
On June 22, 2021, the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will hear testimony on the Dignity at Work Act (DAWA).

Here are three ways that you can take action TODAY:
1. Sign the petition: bit.ly/passDAWA
2. Get action alerts: bit.ly/DAWAalerts
3. Testify on behalf of DAWA in Massachusetts on Tuesday, June 22. Sign up to testify at bit.ly/DAWAtestifyMA (sign-up deadline: Wednesday, June 16 at 1:00pm ET). Get ready by joining our testimony training on Tuesday, June 15 at 10:30am ET: bit.ly/getready615

Email info@workplacebullyingcoalition.org for more information.

Lobbying & Libations: Progressive Mass Summer Lobby Training

Thursday, June 17, 2021 6:00 PM-7:30PM
To register: https://tinyurl.com/2xe3en4
Host Contact Info: issues@progressivemass.com
Find out more about how to lobby for progressive issues and legislation. Mix your “liberal libation” of choice and join us for our summer lobby training!

Gender Neutral ID Marker Bills and ACTION NEEDED!

While it has been possible for some time to tick the box for a third gender option on your Massachusetts driver’s licenses, that change did not mean the X option was available and legal in all documentation throughout the state. There are two bills that propose to change that. If you would like to submit written testimony, testify in person, or both, follow the link for more details, including templates.
https://tinyurl.com/9v4kfhcf

Tell your senator to support H.3863 regarding reprecincting to make redistricting easier

As you’re probably aware, the figures from the Census have been delayed. Which pushes back the time redistricting can start. Massachusetts has usually started redistricting by redrawing precinct lines. But that will further shorten an already too-short time frame for redrawing districts. This bill allows the legislature to start by drawing district lines FIRST and allowing towns and cities to THEN draw precinct lines to fit within the new district lines. A simple change that will make the whole process more efficient.

Use the link to write your senator:
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/support-the-reprecincting-bill?source=direct_link&

Urge your state representative to support transparency

Sample script:
“Hello, this is [your name] from [your full street address] and Solidarity Lowell. It’s been almost three months since the House and Senate passed respective sets of Joint Rules for the current legislative session, and almost two months since a Conference Committee was formed. The delay at finalizing a set of Joint Rules is holding back some of the important work of the session.
The Joint Rules should embody the commitment to democracy and transparency that many residents of the Commonwealth cherish. In particular, I urge you to press upon your chamber’s Leadership to include the following measures in a final Joint Rules package: publishing full committee votes on the Legislature’s website in an accessible manner, making testimony accessible to the public, with appropriate redactions as with any other public records request, and extending the notice period for hearings to one week. All of these steps will help legislators do their own jobs better and strengthen the participatory nature of our democracy.”

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)

(Replace the “at” and extra spaces with “@”)
House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano at mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka at masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden: Thomas.Golden at mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard: Vanna.Howard at mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302 / Google Voice: 978-272-9078.
Rep. Rady Mom: Rady.Mom at mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry: Colleen.Garry at mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen: tram.nguyen at mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy: edward.kennedy at masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett: Mike.Barrett at masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge: James.Eldridge at masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold: Barry.Finegold at masenate.gov 617-722-1612

(Or find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator)

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

 

National Events and Actions

Virtual Summit: Continuing Threats to Free and Fair Elections

Wednesday, June 16, 12pm-2pm
https://tinyurl.com/4znrpjp8
Presented by The Brennan Center, the Ash Center, and the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Equal Rights Amendment Needs Your Help

Thank you to Indivisible Mass Coalition and News-MAGIC for bringing this to our attention.

The reason the Equal Rights Amendment has not become part of the US Constitution is because the Trump Administration issued an Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memo blocking the Archivist from publishing it. Why can’t the new Justice Department issue an OLC memo unblocking the publication of the ERA? Let’s ask!

Sample script:
“Dear Attorney General Garland, Now that 38 states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, it is time to put women in the Constitution! Please repeal your predecessor’s banning of the publication of the ERA and instruct the Archivist to publish it immediately! Women have waited long enough!
Sincerely,
[your name, full address]”

Submit a comment here: https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.
 

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

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

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

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326202548419687
View the notes from our May meeting:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/11R4df87hbYo-QU4z2w9KfS6hKgIioap_ExnEi3cS7OE/edit?usp=sharing

Watch the video from our May meeting:
https://youtu.be/L0drAWMW630
—-

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

 

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR JUNE 2, 2021

The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Save the Date: Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday, June  27, 5:30pm

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Donations are needed to assist Marius, 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. Please chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him. Any amount will be gratefully accepted.

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

 

Local Events and Actions

Please sign the petition for justice on state-backed killings in Cambodia

https://www.change.org/p/cambodians-together-we-fight-to-end-impunity-justice-for-state-backed-killings-in-cambodia
Details are inside. You may sign the petition anonymously if you need to.

March for Moses

Saturday June 5, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell

Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date. Although Moses’ body has been found, there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered. Deaths involving police should be investigated by an independent body, not the police department involved in the incident. Meet near where Moses went missing and march to the Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive).

For more information, contact CAJE on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

State-level Events and Actions

Driving Families Forward Phone Bank 

Wednesday, June 2, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
RSVP here for link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0vfuCqqzwuHd1b_273I8El3WBv48-4p8WU

Join the Driving Families Forward Coalition to phone bank for the Work and Family Mobility Act, which will enable all qualified state residents to obtain a driver’s license or identification card regardless of immigration status.
(h/t Driving Families Forward Coalition)

Third Safe Communities Act Campaign Under Way

Wednesday, June 9, 6-8pm
The third campaign for Safe Communities is well underway! The Massachusetts Safe Communities Act (S.1579 and H.2418) has now been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Safety, which will hold a public hearing on the bill sometime this year, likely this fall.

Thanks to public activism, there are 75 House cosponsors, and 20 Senate cosponsors. That’s half the Senate, and nearly half the House!

With a new legislative session, a new House Speaker, a new Public Safety Committee, and near-majority support, the SCA campaign is continuing its momentum from last session.

But a supermajority of House and Senate votes will be needed to overcome an expected Governor’s veto. That’s two-thirds of each chamber: 107 House votes and 27 Senate votes.

Please join the Coalition in June for a virtual Phone Bank to mobilize constituents in swing districts to call their legislators! Register below, and they’ll contact you with details, and provide training and support throughout. Don’t forget to invite your friends—you can create your own phone bank party!

Sign up here for Wednesday, June 9, 6pm to 8pm: http://bit.ly/SCAPhone609
Sign up here for Wednesday, June 23, 6pm to 8pm: http://bit.ly/SCAPhone623

 

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.
 

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

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

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

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326202548419687

View the notes from our May meeting:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/11R4df87hbYo-QU4z2w9KfS6hKgIioap_ExnEi3cS7OE/edit?usp=sharing

Watch the video from our May meeting:
https://youtu.be/L0drAWMW630
—-

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MAY 25, 2021

The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Save the Date: Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday, June 27, 5:30pm

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Donations are needed to assist Marius, 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. Please chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him. Any amount will be gratefully accepted.
Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

Local Events and Actions

Volunteers Needed at Dwelling House of Hope

We need people who can:

  • Load and unload the truck
  • Pack food on shelves
  • Pack the refrigerators
  • Distribute Food
  • Deliver food
  • Clean the warehouse

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Levenia Furusa at FLFurusa@dwellinghouseofhope.org

 

Please sign the petition for justice on state-backed killings in Cambodia

https://www.change.org/p/cambodians-together-we-fight-to-end-impunity-justice-for-state-backed-killings-in-cambodia
Details are inside. You may sign the petition anonymously if you need to.

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

http://www.lowellvotes.org
To register for future announcements: https://tinyurl.com/LowellVotesAnnouncements
Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and help them register to vote.

Citywide Parking Study Community Meeting

Thursday, May 27, 6-7:30pm
Pre-register for the meeting here:  https://lowellma.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcodOCqrz0uGN0LVGz7P_jyKsknNFVaJenZ
The City will be hosting the final community meeting on the Citywide Parking Study. ​The purpose of this community meeting is so our consultant can provide the results of the study, discuss preliminary recommendations, and get your feedback.
There will be live interpretation in Spanish, Portuguese, and Khmer. Additionally, closed captioning in English will be available.
Help us spread the word! Follow us on Facebook @GoLowell. Additional meeting information, including flyers, are on our website http://www.lowellma.gov/parkingstudy .

March for Moses

Saturday May 29, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date. Although Moses’ body has been found, there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered. Deaths involving police should be investigated by an independent body, not the police department involved in the incident. Meet near where Moses went missing and march to the Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive).
For more information, contact CAJE on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

 

State-level Events and Actions

Driving Families Forward Virtual Phone Bank

Wednesday, June 2, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
RSVP at http://bit.ly/dff-june2-phonebank

Join the Driving Families Forward Coalition to phone bank for the Work and Family Mobility Act, which will enable all qualified state residents to obtain a driver’s license or identification card regardless of immigration status.
(h/t Driving Families Forward Coalition)

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.

 

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

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

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

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326202548419687

View the notes from our April meeting:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/11R4df87hbYo-QU4z2w9KfS6hKgIioap_ExnEi3cS7OE/edit?usp=sharing

—-

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MAY 18, 2021

The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Meeting with Senator Kennedy to discuss the Progressive Mass Agenda

Thursday, May 20, 7:00 pm
Join Solidarity Lowell and Senator Kennedy via Zoom to talk about priority legislation endorsed by Progressive Massachusetts. The legislation covers four areas:

  • Shared prosperity (e.g. Fair Share amendment, GILTI tax)
  • Racial and social justice (e.g. Safe communities)
  • Sustainable infrastructure and the environment (Building Jobs with Justice)
  • Good government and strong democracy (e.g. VOTES act)

If you would like to be part of this virtual meeting, please email dee@solidaritylowell.com.  There will be a virtual session to prepare for the meeting on Wednesday, May 19, at 7 pm.

Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday, May 23, 5:30pm
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82107823252?pwd=RElEZ1cxYmhxUVJVSlhsaEo0OGVBQT09
Meeting ID: 821 0782 3252
Passcode: 141655
Dial in:  646 558 8656
We will present and vote on minor changes to the by-laws, debrief on our meeting with Senator Kennedy, and have updates from local groups. Speaker will be from ACLU-Mass on What a Difference a DA Makes.

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Donations are needed to assist Marius, 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. Please chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him. Any amount will be gratefully accepted.
Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

Local Events and Actions

Upcoming DEI Consortium Meetings 

Anyone is welcome to join — contact dei.lowell.ma@gmail.com for more information
DEICL General Meeting: TBD later May

Sign on to Letter affirming the importance of Culturally and Linguistically Sustainable Practices in Lowell Public Schools

Open until May 21, 2021
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdGsY_ZkhSS2AvK5OVP1ot15D5pkOgsgQtxreTokXeDOSc0Fw/viewform
(co-organized by Dei Consortium, LEJA, Lowell Education Justice Alliance). The letter expresses support for Lowell Public Schools’ efforts to develop and implement Culturally and Linguistically Sustainable Practices district-wide. Learn more about the LPS’s presentation and the School Committee’s discussion at The Lowell Sun (May 5, 2021) and Lowell TeleMedia Center (CLSP presentation & discussion starts around 1:38).

March for Moses

Saturday May 22, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date. Although Moses’ body has been found, there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered. Deaths involving police should be investigated by an independent body, not the police department involved in the incident. Meet near where Moses went missing and march to the Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive).
For more information, contact CAJE on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Sign on to Request for Community Input on City Covid-19 Relief Aid

Open until Midnight on May 24, 2021
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdxvkkGinpHHauYZGHxB1uTrbvSEf_5ohqQ6e9TfE-1iwKPBw/viewform

The City of Lowell was recently granted approximately $70 million in federal aid (from the American Rescue Act) to help the city recover from the pandemic. This letter from the DEI Consortium urges the City to listen to community leaders and residents who represent the diversity of Lowell’s populations in determining how this money should be spent, particularly as Lowell is receiving these funds due in large part to the diversity of Lowell’s population, and the understanding that the pandemic has been most deeply felt in communities of color and other communities impacted by systemic inequality. It calls for public hearings for community input, at minimum.

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

http://www.lowellvotes.org
Next meeting: May 25, 2:00pm
To register for future announcements: https://tinyurl.com/LowellVotesAnnouncements
Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and help them register to vote.

 

State-level Events and Actions

VOTES Act Hearing and Call for Testimony

Wednesday May 19, 1pm
The Joint Committee on Election Laws just announced a public hearing for the VOTES Act on Wednesday May 19th at 1pm!  The hearing should be available online. If so, you will find information at https://malegislature.gov/Committees/Detail/J15.
The committee will also be accepting written testimony submitted by 5pm Friday 5/21 sent directly to michaela.gaziano @ masenate.gov and sean.getchell@mahouse.gov.
Information on the bill can be found at https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/H805 and https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/S459

TESTIMONY GUIDELINES
This is my statement in support of the VOTES Act (H. 805 / S. 459).
Statements should be unique, so there is no sample text to provide.
The following are reasons why the bill is good that you might cover:

  • The bill makes permanent the expansion of mail-in voting that was passed last year. Instead of having to provide one of a limited number of acceptable excuses, people just have to request a mail-in ballot.
  • The bill makes permanent the extension of the early voting period, giving us more than a week of early voting.
  • The bill provides for same-day registration, so that you can register or update  your registration on the same day you vote, whether it is Election Day or during early voting.
  • Reasons for absentee voting beyond illness, physical disability, and work travel include work shifts conflicting with poll hours; no vehicle; mothers of young children
  • The bill requires prisons to make voting accessible to pre-trial detainees and prisoners convicted of misdemeanors who are eligible to vote.
  • The VOTES Act also provides much-needed modernizations to our system. Joining the interstate ERIC system will enable Massachusetts to exchange information with other states to keep our voter rolls up to date.
  • The VOTES Act will institute risk-limiting post-election auditing, the Gold Standard in auditing,  to ensure the continued integrity of our election results.

Please end by urging them to vote the bill favorably out of committee and pass it as soon as possible so that it will go into effect before the emergency expanded mail-in voting measures passed last year expire in June.

 

Combatting Anti-Asian Racism and Misogyny: What is our Local Community Doing?

Monday, May 24, 9:30 – 10:30 am ET
To register: https://ash.harvard.edu/event/combatting-anti-asian-racism-and-misogyny-what-our-local-community-doing
This public discussion will highlight key challenges of racism, misogyny and other discrimination faced by our Asian and Asian-American community, the responses of local organizations who have long sought to address such challenges, and what more needs to be done in our own communities. Speakers represent perspectives from the Harvard Kennedy School’s staff, faculty, and student groups, as well as leading local non-profits.

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

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

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

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326202548419687

View the notes from our April meeting:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j822RXqmjqkH2-nhe4MvnXzjLLhbMXVOdxNxAB2Y6N8/edit?usp=sharing
Recording of our April meeting: https://youtu.be/nVlvPtWc2qQ

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MAY 11, 2021

The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Meeting with Senator Kennedy to discuss the Progressive Mass Agenda

Join Solidarity Lowell and Senator Kennedy via Zoom to talk about priority legislation endorsed by Progressive Massachusetts.  The legislation covers four areas: shared prosperity (e.g. Fair Share amendment, GILTI tax) , racial and social justice (e.g. Safe communities), sustainable infrastructure and the environment (Building Jobs with Justice), and good government and strong democracy (e.g. VOTES act).
If you would like to be part of this meeting (time and date TBD), please email dee@solidaritylowell.com.

Join our Postcarding Team!

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

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Donations are needed to assist Marius, 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. Please chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him. Any amount will be gratefully accepted.
Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

Local Events and Actions

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

http://www.lowellvotes.org
To register for future announcements: https://tinyurl.com/LowellVotesAnnouncements
Now that we’ll actually have a more equitable electoral system in the city, we need to help voters understand that their vote will matter in this election, help them understand the system and help them register to vote.

March for Moses

Saturday May 15, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date. Although Moses’ body has been found, there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered. Deaths involving police should be investigated by an independent body, not the police department involved in the incident. Meet near  where Moses went missing and march to the Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive).
For more information, contact CAJE on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

State-level Events and Actions

Abolition Action Hour

Wednesday, May 12, 6pm
Despite the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial, we know that sending racist cops to prison will not bring true justice. True justice looks like defunding and abolishing police and prisons, starting right here in our own community. At this action hour you’ll learn more about the tools of abolition, and take concrete action in support of the Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition. SURJ Boston facilitators will guide you as you take action on the issues that matter most to abolitionist organizers in Massachusetts.
To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwsfuGtqTIqGt2eppwtDBNYcU7kemMpQrPM

Support the Work and Family Mobility Act with Songs for the Open Road

May 13, 2021,  7:30-9:00 PM
This fun, free, online concert will have the theme of driving in Massachusetts. Its goal is to raise awareness about the proposed state Work and Family Mobility Act and to support our immigrant neighbors. Undocumented adults, many performing essential jobs, need a range of transportation options, including those requiring driver’s licenses. Join for hummable and humorous songs with award-winning musicians Cosy Sheridan, Greg Greenway, and Rosi and Brian Amador of Sol y Canto. Tickets are free. Hosted by the Jamaica Plain Progressives Immigrant Rights Action Group
Register here:  https://tinyurl.com/3zm6h7d2
Look here to learn more about the proposed legislation:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1prZldpYBKBU7eo-s3IbDbGqceAoWmCNu/view
and here to easily make your voice heard by your legislators and the Governor:
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/dff-letter?clear_id=true

Act On Mass texting for the People’s House campaign

Weekly Tuesdays and Wednesdays  May 18 and May 19
5:30 PM for beginners training
6:00 PM for experienced
7:30 PM end
Join volunteers to text voters and build the movement for State House reform to improve transparency. Have fun while taking effective action in support of improved democracy.
Sign up here: https://secure.everyaction.com/p/O114QFmSd0qUkDCj0odNSA2

Stop Biomass Incinerators Across the Northeast

Let’s build on our historic climate justice win in Springfield and keep biomass out of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)! The Baker administration wants to expand ratepayer subsidies for existing biomass plants across the Northeast through changes to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by the Dept. of Environmental Resources (DOER). Our powerful collective “NO” to the proposed biomass plant in Springfield resulted in DOER barring biomass plants in or near environmental justice communities from getting renewable energy credits. Let’s build on our win by flooding the Baker administration with this message: We don’t want to subsidize dirty biomass power plants ANYWHERE. Comments are due by May 17th!
Send your letter by clicking here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-governor-baker-dont-prop-up-polluters-with-our-clean-energy-2?delivery_id=60870754

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.

 Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

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

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

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326202548419687

View the notes from our April meeting:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j822RXqmjqkH2-nhe4MvnXzjLLhbMXVOdxNxAB2Y6N8/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our April meeting: https://youtu.be/nVlvPtWc2qQ

 

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MAY 03, 2021

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MAY 03, 2021

The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Transitions

The results of the Coordinating Committee Election are in. Welcome and congratulations to new members Kale Connerty and Win Flint.  Felicitations to Lisa Arnold, Amy Baranoski, Marissa Dupont, and Caroline Snow on their re-election.
Steve Malagodi is stepping down. We thank him for his service and look forward to continuing to hear from him in his role as concerned citizen and active member of 350MA.

Solidarity Lowell Election Committee

Would you like to help compile our Scorecard on incumbent City Councilors? If you are interested in helping to go through minutes and recordings of past City Council meetings and record councilor’s stances on issues important to progressives, including diversity/inclusion/equity, affordable housing, environment, and more, please contact dee@solidaritylowell.com or lisa@solidaritylowell.com.

Meet with your legislators

Solidarity Lowell is planning meetings with our Senator and our Representatives. If you would like to be part of these meetings, please email dee@solidaritylowell.com.
We have done this in the past and have had productive meetings. We’re hoping to book a meeting with Senator Kennedy within the next month or so and need to know how many are interested before we schedule.
Establishing a good working relationship with your legislators is one of the ways you can help move progressive legislation along. They hear from lots of lobbyists, but not so many constituents. Those who make the effort, especially repeatedly, to write, call, or meet with them make a lasting impression.

Local Events and Actions

Community Teamwork and Congresswoman Lori Trahan

Present 2021 Greater Lowell Community Needs Assessment
Tuesday, May 4, 4-5pm
To register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcuf–gqT8oGNMTlFo4TolltEslXM1DMcfn
Community Teamwork’s recently completed 3-year assessment includes detailed data on housing, transportation, childcare, and other needs. The information will help guide decisions on where to allocate resources.

Board of Health

(first Wednesday of each month)
Wednesday, May 5, 6:00pm
Agenda to be posted by May 3  https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter

Next School Committee meeting
(1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 6:30pm, except July and August)
Wednesday, May 5, 6:30pm
Agenda due the Monday before (May 3)

Bi-Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, May 6, 5pm
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

March for Moses

Saturday May 8, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date. Although Moses’ body has been found, there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered. Deaths involving police should be investigated by an independent body, not the police department involved in the incident.
Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Updated Action Request: Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact our City Councilors here in Lowell (see the sample script for details).
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Sample Script
Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. Although his body has been found, there are questions that remain regarding the handling of the encounter. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, but the police have yet to release the police report or discuss the case. Any time there is an officer-involved death, there should be an INDEPENDENT investigation, for the sake of the victim, the victim’s loved ones, the police, and the community. I ask that you have this incident investigated independently, and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!

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

Moses Harris’s Family needs the support of their community

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

T-shirt fundraiser 
See the flier on the CAJE Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Support those arrested at the protest on March 20
From CAJE: We need EVERYONE to support our people who were arrested, and who responded to this emergency, by donating to cover their expenses. LPD’s violence has now manifested as FINANCIAL ABUSE.
https://fundrazr.com/CAJEsupports

Next City Council Meeting 

(2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 6:30pm)
Tuesday, May 11, 6:30pm

At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link into the meeting.  Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV.  If you have no access to email you may contact the City Clerk at 978-674-4161. Requests must be received by 4 pm the day of the meeting. (Note: they will keep you in the waiting room until it’s your turn to speak, so in order to follow the meeting you need to listen on TV, but turn that off when you speak because there’s a delay on the speakers.)
The agenda is posted at  http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter the Friday before a meeting. Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.  For more details see the May 7 #RRTCCR tagged post by Lisa Arnold in our Facebook group.

Get more involved in your city-consider joining a board or commission

https://www.lowellma.gov/199/Board-and-Commission-Opportunities
At the link you will find a list of boards and commissions that have vacancies.  Click on the link to each to find out what the position involves and what the requirements are.

Other Events

Center for Common Ground Phone Banks to Fight Texas Voter Suppression Bills

Sign up to help call Texas voters urging them to call their legislators to vote against the spate of voter suppression bills that are pending. Mondays and Wednesdays May 3-May 31 Sign up for one shift or several.
https://tinyurl.com/buwfewx3

MIRA’s Immigrant’s Day at the State House

May 4, 11am-12:30pm
To register: https://actionnetwork.org/events/immigrants-day-virtually-at-the-state-house-2021

Act On Mass texting for the People’s House campaign

Weekly Tuesdays and Wednesdays
May 4 and May 5
5:30 PM for beginners training
6:00 PM for experienced
7:30 PM end
Join volunteers to text voters and build the movement for State House reform. They are fun and very effective.
https://secure.everyaction.com/p/O114QFmSd0qUkDCj0odNSA2

 

May 5 National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit People

On May 5, wear red to show solidarity with the indigenous community. More importantly check out how you can make a difference.
This week marks a week of action. There are many ways to show solidarity, including wearing red, donating to groups, and attending events. Fighting for climate justice is inextricably linked to the protection of Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit folks; oil pipeline construction has been linked to “man camps” where this violence is more likely to occur. Find events, actions and more information on this page from the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.
https://www.niwrc.org/mmiwgnatlweek21?fbclid=IwAR1VnlBY7r5hKI59aS-gBibN7SF5zkaIg-7e0hbbQbamN6mihpNHjJ28XvY

#MMIWGActionNow Twitter Storm, 10–10:30 a.m. MDT (12-12:30pm EDT)

Boston Area Sustainability Group Environmental Justice Event

May 6 6-7:30pm
Group: Boston Area Sustainability Group
RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/environmental-justice-creating-clean-and-healthy-communities-for-all-tickets-149402963285?aff=EJbyAP
Amy Perlmutter
Virtual event open to all (whether you live in the Boston Area or not!) It will feature four amazing speakers, and time for q&a:
Dr. Daniel Faber, whose many impressive hats include Director of the Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative (NEJRC)
Melanie Gerate, Climate justice advocate and director of climate resilience projects focusing on extreme heat, flooding, and social inequities at the Mystic River Watershed Association
Meleny Thomas, Executive Director of the South Baltimore Community Land trust, fighting pollution in South Baltimore, including the trash incinerator
Frances Roberts-Gregory, PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley whose research focuses on how women of color in Gulf Coast Louisiana navigate contradictory relationships with energy and petrochemical industries, resist environmental racism, and advocate for environmental, energy, and climate justice.
It should be an illuminating evening. More information about the speakers, event details and registration can be found at the RSVP link.
Please feel free to share widely.
(edited)

Indivisible Acton Area is proud to cosponsor Strengthening Our Democracy: Taking Action at the National, State, and Local Levels – Interactive Virtual Forums

Thursday, May 6, from 7 to 8:30 pm.
The first of a three-part series of interactive forums is hosted by the Arlington Democratic Town Committee and will focus on National issues.
For more information, please visit https://arlingtondems.org/forums
Please use this form to register for the forum: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfOq495g2qxvlqXWEu-CWhVv0ufz8XK8fUhFhhnT4OzKmPeYg/viewform
Featured contributors will include former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Co-Chair of American Bridge 21st Century. The series will explore both the obstacles and the opportunities that confront our democracy and the Democratic Party on the national, state, and local levels. Following analyses and first-hand perspectives from a diverse and accomplished panel of speakers, attendees will have the chance to engage in a breakout strategy session, coming away with specific insights and action items that will equip both experienced activists and first-timers alike with concrete ways to make a critical difference. Questions to be explored include: Where is our nation headed? Which steps can each of us take to protect and strengthen our democracy, and how do we assemble a broad, inclusive coalition that will work to ensure equity and justice for all? And what can the Democratic Party do — amidst a global pandemic, our country’s racial reckoning, the climate crisis, and an increasingly polarized public — to grow its ranks and more effectively combat existing threats to our democratic system?

John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Day

May 8
To sign up: https://www.mobilize.us/pfaw/event/384443
There are events in Boston and Newburyport MA, Dover NH, and Portland ME
Also Common Cause organizes phonebanks

Braver Angels

Monday May 10th from 7-8:30 PM.
Real conversations across the political divide! Join the Greater Boston chapter of Braver Angels for our first monthly meeting. Red and Blue participants will discuss what life experiences led them to their political views and what they find hardest about listening to the other side. You can sign up here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1QicwqkdJfy1Vax226KSDm_XhPqGAcUDpRwX87lhbkIY/edit — and please invite any “Red” folks as we need them!

Common Cause Massachusetts Virtual Lobby Day for the VOTES Act (H.805/S.459)

Tuesday, May 11, 12:00pm-1:30pm
To register:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSekHrZtRdN7aiUNvZPlF3TARaaxU_jOYduRQHWtjQTkFAHF-A/viewform
All 3 of Lowell’s legislators have co-sponsored the House bill. Sen. Kennedy has co-sponsored the Senate version.
While Lowell’s representatives are all on board, if attempts are made to water down the bill, they need to know that we care.

Isabel Wilkerson in conversation with Callie Crossley

Tuesday, May 11, 7:30-8:30pm
To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3ye_wHwYSyC5woctZJWiow
Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for journalism and the National Humanities Medal, is the author of The New York Times bestselling books The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. A gifted storyteller, Wilkerson captivates audiences with the universal human story of migration and reinvention, as well as the unseen hierarchies that have divided us as a nation, in order to find a way to transcend them.

Indivisible Truth Brigade Campaign Launch

Wednesday, May 12, 6:30pm ET
https://indivisible.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJArdu-vrz8rH93lduLYHXOvC0ISDDLRfy5L
Campaigns addressing specific disinformation launched and explained. Questions answered.
For example, recent campaigns have focused on encouraging media to not give a platform to disinformation sources.

Abolition Action Hour

Wednesday, May 12, 6pm
To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwsfuGtqTIqGt2eppwtDBNYcU7kemMpQrPM
Despite the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial, we know that sending racist cops to prison will not bring true justice. True justice looks like defunding and abolishing police and prisons, starting right here in our own community. At this action hour you’ll learn more about the tools of abolition, and take concrete action in support of the Building Up People Not Prisons Coalition. SURJ Boston facilitators will guide you as you take action on the issues that matter most to abolitionist organizers in Massachusetts.

State-level Events and Actions

Solidarity With Youth Villages Frontline & Essential Workers

Community support letter backing Youth Villages workers.  These workers provide 24/7 services to families and young people experiencing crisis, and have been on the front lines during the pandemic. Youth Villages staff are fighting to form a union because of caseload & turnover issues that impact quality of service for families, to seek better pay and protections for their health & safety on the job, and to have a voice in their working conditions. They are already facing intimidation from management.
https://act.seiu.org/a/yv-solidarity

Ask Your Legislator to Support Free Public Transit on Election Day

Let your legislators know this matters to you by sending an email or calling them.
SAMPLE SCRIPT
My name is <name> and I am contacting you now to request that you cosponsor and support the FARE Act: H.3547 and S.2261. The FARE Act, or “An Act to Establish Free Access to Ride to Elections in Massachusetts,” would make public transit free on election day. Specifically, it would make bus, subway, and trolley service free for all statewide primaries and elections.
We are urging you to cosponsor and support the FARE Act because we believe it is critical to creating a more equitable, inclusive, and accessible democracy here in Massachusetts. The 2020 general election illustrated the need for this, with voter turnout gaps between our predominantly white, suburban communities and more diverse urban communities very stark. While suburbs saw voter turnout rates reach as high as 90%, cities like Springfield, Lawrence, and New Bedford experienced voter turnout rates of 55% or lower. In Lowell, voter turnout reached only 60%
Lowell voters, who are predominantly BIPOC, low income, and immigrants, deserve better. The COVID19 pandemic has already placed a dramatically disproportionate burden on our BIPOC neighbors, endangering not only their health at greater rates than their white neighbors, but their finances and job opportunities too. Passing the FARE Act, we believe, is one step we can take to better serve these communities. With the new election system taking effect this year, one that is supposed to ensure greater participation of the non-white majority of our citizens, it is important that we ensure easy access to voting.
H.3547 and S.2261 are under consideration in the Joint Committee on Transportation. Please consider cosponsoring the legislation, and speaking to your colleagues in the Transportation committee about doing the same.
Thank you for your attention and for all that you do for Lowell.
Sincerely,
<name>

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
(replace the “at” and extra spaces with “@”)
House Speaker Ronald Mariano Ronald.Mariano at mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President Karen E. Spilka Karen.Spilka at masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden at mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard at mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302 / Google Voice: 978-272-9078.
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom at mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry at mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen at mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy at masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett at masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge at masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold at masenate.gov 617-722-1612

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

Massachusetts Redistricting

See Drawing Democracy for more info.
On April 14, the state legislature’s Special Joint Committee on Redistricting began the process of redistricting the state’s legislative and congressional districts by holding a virtual hearing that can be viewed at https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/3670.
If you want to ensure that underrepresented communities have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice who best reflect their needs and interests, check out Drawing Democracy
(https://www.madrawingdemocracy.org/), a coalition of community organizations, civil rights lawyers, public policy advocates, data and mapping experts, and political scientists working on this issue. You can find resources about redistricting, sign up for their newsletter, or volunteer to help.
(h/t Indivisible Mass Coalition)

Contact legislative committee chairs to pause new jail and prison construction

Directly affected women came together to write groundbreaking legislation to establish a moratorium (or pause button) on all jail and prison design and construction across Massachusetts. Watch the legislative briefing on this bill here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=1113306435838826&ref=watch_permalink , especially testimony by Stacey Borden and Andrea James starting just after 11 minutes.
The moratorium bill was just referred to committee! This is a crucial time to ensure the chairs of those committees know that people support the bill and want to see it passed quickly.
S.2030 “An Act to Establish a Moratorium on Prison and Jail Construction,” is in the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
H.1905 “An Act to Establish a Moratorium on Prison and Jail Construction,” is in the Joint Committee on The Judiciary.

The Moratorium Bill will:

  • Prevent jail and prison construction for 5 years to give directly affected communities the opportunity to lead on implementing and sustaining alternatives that address the root causes of incarceration
  • Provide a chance for the Commonwealth to reflect on spending priorities, and shift resources to what residents say they need most
  • Prevent the expansion or conversion of current prisons and jails at a time when the population of incarcerated people has been steadily declining for years

 

Stop the DOC from building a new women’s prison

Allow time for the criminal legal reforms enacted by the Legislature in 2018 to take effect. The bill will not stop the state from routine maintenance or making needed essential repairs to jails and prisons, but it will pause excessive spending on renovations when decarceration should be considered first.
As we continue to experience the economic fallout from the pandemic, pausing construction gives the Commonwealth a chance to focus spending and debt-financing on recovery and healing for the hardest hit communities.

ALL MA RESIDENTS CALL AND EMAIL COMMITTEE CHAIRS
Call and email all four of the chairs using the scripts below:
(replace the “at” and extra spaces with “@”)

Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
*Senator Marc Pacheco
(617) 722-1551
Marc.Pacheco at masenate.gov

*Representative Antonio Cabral
(617) 722-2017
Antonio.Cabral at mahouse.gov

Script for Sen. Pacheco and Rep. Cabral
My name is ____ from ____ and I am calling to ask that as Chair of the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight you schedule S.2030, “An Act to Establish a Moratorium on Prison and Jail Construction” for an early hearing. This bill will establish a five-year pause on designing and building new prisons or jails and on bringing back dormant prisons and jails into use.
After years of steady declines in our state’s incarcerated population, this bill gives us the opportunity to refocus our priorities on alternatives to incarceration and fully implement reforms already passed by the Legislature. Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women support this bill  and I believe it is essential to ensure we can get people the kinds of support they really need. I believe there is a strong moral, economic, and environmental imperative to support S.2030 and I’m asking you to work to bring it to a timely hearing.

Joint Committee on the Judiciary
*Senator Jamie Eldridge
(617) 722-1120
James.Eldridge at masenate.gov

*Representative Michael Day
(617) 722-2396
Michael.Day at mahouse.gov

Script for Sen. Eldridge and Rep. Day
My name is ____ from ____ and I am calling to ask that as Chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary you schedule H.1905, “An Act to Establish a Moratorium on Prison and Jail Construction” for an early hearing. This bill will establish a five-year pause on designing and building new prisons or jails and on bringing back dormant prisons and jails into use.
After years of steady declines in our state’s incarcerated population, this bill gives us the opportunity to refocus our priorities on alternatives to incarceration and fully implement reforms already passed by the Legislature. Incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women support this bill  and I believe it is essential to ensure we can get people the kinds of support they really need. I believe there is a strong moral, economic, and environmental imperative to support H.1905 and I’m asking you to work to bring it to a timely hearing.

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

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

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

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

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

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

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326202548419687

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

Recording of our March meeting: https://youtu.be/jJfxz4548JI
Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 27, 2021

SOLIDARITY LOWELL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM

ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 27, 2021

The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Priority Actions

EA.ST.MOVEMENT rally to #StopAsianHate

Saturday, May 1, 2-5pm
Location: Tsongas Arena Stairs | 300 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Lowell, MA 01852
https://www.facebook.com/events/314248493448822/

Please join the movement to stand together in solidarity against all kinds of hatred that is taking place in our community and the world. ALL ARE WELCOME TO JOIN!!!!
This event is led by members of EA.ST.Movement (Every Asian/American/Allies Stands Together) and supported by CMAA, UTEC and DEI Lowell.
There will be speakers, musicians, singers, and more. We will also be providing masks and hand sanitizers so that we’re all practicing social distancing protocols.

For more info, please email: EAST.MOVEMENTLOWELL@GMAIL.COM

 

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell SLCC Election

Are you a member of Solidarity Lowell? Have you been to at least 3 meetings in the past year? If so, make sure you cast your vote for Coordinating Committee members.
Lisa Arnold, Amy Baranoski, Marissa Dupont, and Caroline Snow are running for re-election. Kale Connerty and Win Flint have stepped up to run for the first time.
Look for the ballot in your email if you haven’t seen it already.

Solidarity Lowell Election Committee

Would you like to help compile our Scorecard on incumbent City Councilors? If you are interested in helping to go through minutes and recordings of past City Council meetings and record councilor’s stances on issues important to progressives, including diversity/inclusion/equity, affordable housing, environment, and more, please contact dee@solidaritylowell.com or lisa@solidaritylowell.com.

Meet with your legislators

Solidarity Lowell is planning meetings with our Senator and our representatives. If you would like to be part of these meetings, please email dee@solidaritylowell.com.
We have done this in the past and have had productive meetings. We’re hoping to book a meeting with Senator Kennedy within the next month or so and need to know how many are interested before we schedule.
Establishing a good working relationship with your legislators is one of the ways you can help move progressive legislation along. They hear from lots of lobbyists, but not so many constituents. Those who make the effort, especially repeatedly, to write, call, or meet with them make a lasting impression.

 

Local Events and Actions

Next City Council Meeting

(2nd and 4th Tuesdays at 6:30pm)
Tuesday, April 27, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link into the meeting.  Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV.  If you have no access to email you may contact the City Clerk at 978-674-4161. Requests must be received by 4 pm the day of the meeting. (Note: they will keep you in the waiting room until it’s your turn to speak, so in order to follow the meeting you need to listen on TV, but turn that off when you speak because there’s a delay on the speakers.)
The agenda is posted at  http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter the Friday before a meeting. Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.  For more details see the April 9 #RRTCCR tagged post by Lisa Arnold in our Facebook group.

Building a Strong Community for Racial Justice

April 28, April 29
Learn, Listen, Act
And Stand Together Against Hate

Lowell Public Schools is launching a three-part series of virtual sessions which will help us to learn, listen and take action against all forms of racism and discrimination within our community. The first community we will highlight is our Asian American community in Lowell.

Part 1 – Learning How to Stop Hate – will be offered on three dates between April 22-29 and facilitated by Dr. Phitsamay Uy from the Center for Asian American Studies at UMASS Lowell. We strongly encourage students, families and staff to sign up for one of the sessions below where you will learn more about the rise of anti-Asian hate acts since the onset of COVID-19, reflect on the history of racism in the US against Asian Americans, and learn strategies for responding when you witness acts of racism or hate. This session will also include information on how to report acts of racism and discrimination using the school district’s bias-based reporting protocol.

Wednesday, April 28, 4pm
To register: https://lowell-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YqrERxgoTneKUd5AzV4RlA

Thursday, April 29, 6pm
To register: https://lowell-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4yYYL9B9RkG8PmsmMm9B7w

Public hearing on Community Preservation Act Priorities

Thursday, April 29, 6:30pm

The CPA approved in the November, 2019, election creates a 1% surcharge on local property taxes, to be used for open space and recreation, historic preservation, and community housing projects.

The input received will help in the development of Lowell’s Community Preservation Plan, which will guide decisions on CPA development applications.

Don’t miss out on the chance to weigh in.

How to watch
1-Join via your computer, tablet, or smartphone: https://lowellma.zoom.us/j/87061876217
2-Call 646-558-8656 and enter the MEETING ID: 870 6187 6217
3-Watch LTC Channel 99
4-Watch online at: www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99

March for Moses

Saturday May 1, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)

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

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

Updated Action Request: Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact our City Councilors here in Lowell (see the sample script for details).
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/FormCenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45
Sample Script: “Hello, this is [Name] calling from [Address, City, State, ZIP] and Solidarity Lowell. Moses Harris disappeared into the Concord River on December 19th during an encounter with the Lowell Police. Although his body has been found, there are questions that remain regarding the handling of the encounter. The Harris-Wahpo family has been seeking answers about the incident, but the police have yet to release the police report or discuss the case. Any time there is an officer-involved death, there should be an INDEPENDENT investigation, for the sake of the victim, the victim’s loved ones, the police, and the community. I ask that you have this incident investigated independently , and find out which department policies were followed or violated that allowed this to happen. Thank you!”
NOTE: It is important that you include your full name and address (including ZIP code).

Moses Harris’s Family needs the support of their community

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

T-shirt fundraiser
See the flier on the CAJE Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Support those arrested at the protest on March 20

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

Get more involved in your city-consider joining a board or commission

https://www.lowellma.gov/199/Board-and-Commission-Opportunities
At the link you will find a list of boards and commissions that have vacancies.  Click on the link to each to find out what the position involves and what the requirements are.

 

Other Events

Justice for All: Transforming Massachusetts’ Unjust Legal System

Tuesday, April 27, 7:00pm-9:00pm
To register:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdO-srz0sEtTJ3u9P7h5EqPKXU8mFY2bq

Call2Action, along with over thirty Democratic committees across Massachusetts, invite you to join a virtual forum this April 27th on the future of our criminal justice system and opportunities to enact positive change at the local and state level.

We’ll hear from Andrea James, founder of Families for Justice as Healing and the National Council For Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls; Rahsaan Hall, Director of the Racial Justice Program for the ACLU of Massachusetts; Shaleen Title, an Indian-American attorney and longtime drug policy activist who currently serves as Distinguished Cannabis Policy Practitioner in Residence at the Ohio State University College of Law Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, and vice-chair of the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition; and Sana Fadel, Deputy Director of Citizens for Juvenile Justice and lead organizer of the statewide Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition. Helina Fontes, community organizer and Program Director of the Northeast Recovery Learning Community, will moderate. Representative Ayanna Pressley will offer introductory remarks.

Take action to protect our democracy!

Tuesday, April 27, 7:30PM
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctfuyhrjMiGtfap875qdbPRc9ghtlD-9SV.

This month, as Congress considers important bills to help protect and strengthen our democracy, we’re featuring books that can help us take effective actions.

Since the filibuster is a key obstacle in passing any democracy reform legislation in Congress, the IMC Book Club selection this month, Kill Switch, deals with that topic. Join the group on Tuesday April 27 to learn more about the filibuster and actions we can take to help end it.

Don’t worry if you haven’t had a chance to read the book – watch this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPrNW7Aa8fU&ab_channel=NowThisNews) of the author outlining its key points and check out this great letter to the editor (https://www.mvtimes.com/2021/04/07/end-the-filibuster/) about the filibuster by Cathy Walthers from Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard.

(h/t Indivisible Mass Coalition)

Webinar: White People and Defunding the Police

Tuesday, April 27, 8pm
To register https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PQanp8kzQ86LsmxZ7ps9cQ

For many of us, defunding the police is a new idea. Most white people have beliefs about policing that are shaped by our racist culture, not reality or history. How do we help more people in our lives understand what defund means and move them to a place of supporting this powerful demand?

Come to hear about deepening our understanding of the movement to defund the police and reinvest in our communities with movement leader Mariame Kaba.

(h/t SURJ)

Social Media Monitoring Training

Thursday, April 29 at 5-6 pm.
Common Cause is offering a special training on Social Media Monitoring, which Indivisible-RISE Newburyport is hosting and to which all IMC members and friends are invited. Please email indivisible.rise.newburyport@gmail.com to reserve a spot and receive the link. Even if you are unsure if you want to try this activity, I recommend coming to the training to learn more! (edited)

Immigrants’ Day at the State House

Tuesday, May 4, 12:00pm-1:30pm
To register:
https://actionnetwork.org/events/immigrants-day-virtually-at-the-state-house-2021

Immigrants’ Day at the State House is one of MIRA’s proudest traditions, with 25 years of history in advocacy. Each May, MIRA brings together hundreds of immigrants and refugees to the State House to hear from public officials and advocate for our communities’ legislative and budget priorities, including the Safe Communities Act, the Work and Family Mobility Act, the COVDI-19 Vaccine Equity Act, and Language Access and Inclusion Act. (Did you know about that one?)

There will be  a ~45-minute speaking program with built-in digital advocacy opportunities, followed by 45-minute regional “roundtables” with legislators co-hosted by MIRA member organizations.

Who is Delaying Climate Action in MA?

Monday, May 3, 7-8:30pm
To register: https://350mass.betterfutureproject.org/webinar_series

Earlier this year, Brown University released a bombshell report that identified the forces working against climate action in Massachusetts.  Researchers Trevor Culhane, Galen Hall, and J Timmons Roberts, as well as Rep. Mike Connolly, will answer the question everyone is asking.

 

Common Cause Massachusetts Virtual Lobby Day for the VOTES Act (H.805/S.459)

Tuesday, May 11, 12:00pm-1:30pm
To register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSekHrZtRdN7aiUNvZPlF3TARaaxU_jOYduRQHWtjQTkFAHF-A/viewform

All 4 of Lowell’s legislators have co-sponsored. Sen. Kennedy has co-sponsored the Senate version. While Lowell’s representatives are all on board, if attempts are made to water down the bill, they need to know that we care.

State-level Events and Actions

The People’s House Campaign for Rules Reform

This new campaign by Act on Mass, Sunrise Boston, Mijente, and Indivisible Mass Coalition is a sequel to the previous Transparency is Power campaign. Rules reform in July, smarter and better. The House will vote on its rulebook in July.
What if we, the people, could reclaim our power to shape the policies that affect our lives? What if we could hold our state representatives accountable to actually representing their districts? What if we could make the State House work to uplift the lives of millions, fulfilling the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors? Imagine what transformative policies we could win.

Sign up for the campaign: https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/
Apply to be a Regional Organizer: admin@actonmass.org

RSVP for Textbank Tuesday 4/27: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpd-GurD0jE9W882T3bD8gt_5Z4WvE0nN3
RSVP for Textbank Wednesday 4/28: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvduGopjsvHdY9c4ScmKB-yQs54XNAXvl9

Join the Slack group: https://join.slack.com/t/actonmassvol/shared_invite/zt-oui6g99i-z5oRqWTMXRfjmirItJFGQQ

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/aom2021-q2-web

Massachusetts Redistricting

See Drawing Democracy for more info.

On April 14, the state legislature’s Special Joint Committee on Redistricting began the process of redistricting the state’s legislative and congressional districts by holding a virtual hearing that can be viewed HERE.

If you want to ensure that underrepresented communities have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice who best reflect their needs and interests, check out Drawing Democracy, a coalition of community organizations, civil rights lawyers, public policy advocates, data and mapping experts, and political scientists working on this issue. You can find resources about redistricting, sign up for their newsletter, or volunteer to help.
(h/t Indivisible Mass Coalition)

Call to Action: Greetings Local Public Health Advocates & Supporters

State budget season is here! On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee released their version of the FY22 budget with only $850k in dedicated funding for local public health, and we know that is not enough to meet the needs of all 351 communities.  Thanks to the leadership of State Representatives Hannah Kane and Chairwoman Denise Garlick, an amendment has been filed to include $23.4M in the budget for local and regional boards of health. This is an all hands on deck moment where we need each of you to advocate to get that amendment adopted.
Going from $850K to $23.4M is a big ask – and it will take a big effort from advocates – FROM YOU –  to get us there. In order to show broad support for this funding, our goal during the House budget is to get a majority of representatives to co-sponsor the amendment. That means we need at least 81 house members to co-sponsor in order to reach our goal.

What We Need You To Do:
Over the course of the next week, we need you to call and email your state representative and ask them to co-sponsor Amendment #485. We need you to forward this email to your networks, or reach out to 2-3 close friends or colleagues and ask them to take action as well.

Then we need you to follow-up. Follow-up with your Rep to make sure they’ve officially co-sponsored.

They say don’t let a good crisis go to waste. We all know that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the local public health system in Massachusetts is not adequately structured, staffed, or financed to meet large scale public health challenges. We also know that poorer less developed countries with better-developed public health systems have managed COVID better. Despite the dedication of our state’s local health staff and volunteers, the Commonwealth’s decentralized approach to delivering public health services leads to extreme variability across municipalities — and this puts the entire state at risk. Now is the time to move rapidly to improve and invest in our local public health system, so that local public health departments can meet the challenges of today – and tomorrow.

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302; Google Voice: 978-272-9078.
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

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

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

 

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

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

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

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/326202548419687

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

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

—-

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 21, 2021

SOLIDARITY LOWELL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 21, 2021

The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell Monthly General Meeting

Sunday, April 25, at 5.30PM. This will again be a zoom meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85263420150?pwd=SEpDR1FUTWh5ZjVuaW5xb25PUzd2QT09
Meeting ID: 852 6342 0150
Passcode: 824521
Dial in: 301 715 8592 or 646 558 8656

The main topic of our meeting will be our annual election of Coordinating Committee members. If you are interested please let us know, or come to the meeting and volunteer there.

We will also have a guest speaker, Jonathan Cohn from Progressive Mass, who will tell us about the 2021 legislative agenda, in preparation for meetings with our representatives.

Local Events and Actions

Next School Committee meeting

(1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 6:30pm, except July and August)
Wednesday, April 21, 6:30pm Agenda due the Monday before

Bi-Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, April 22, 5pm
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

 

Monthly Sustainability Council Meeting

(4th Thursday of every month)
Thursday, April 22, 6:30pm

Building a Strong Community for Racial Justice: April 22, April 28, April 29
Learn, Listen, Act, and Stand Together Against Hate
Lowell Public Schools is launching a three-part series of virtual sessions which will help us to learn, listen and take action against all forms of racism and discrimination within our community. The first community we will highlight is our Asian American community in Lowell.

Part 1 – Learning How to Stop Hate – will be offered on three dates between April 22-29 and facilitated by Dr. Phitsamay Uy from the Center for Asian American Studies at UMASS Lowell. We strongly encourage students, families and staff to sign up for one of the sessions below where you will learn more about the rise of anti-Asian hate acts since the onset of COVID-19, reflect on the history of racism in the US against Asian Americans, and learn strategies for responding when you witness acts of racism or hate. This session will also include information on how to report acts of racism and discrimination using the school district’s bias-based reporting protocol.

Thursday, April 22, 6pm
To register: https://lowell-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SGQWCxcKQbegHA1tDEI8Mw

Wednesday, April 28, 4pm
To register: https://lowell-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YqrERxgoTneKUd5AzV4RlA

Thursday, April 29, 6pm
To register: https://lowell-k12-ma-us.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_4yYYL9B9RkG8PmsmMm9B7w

March for Moses

Saturday April 24, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)

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

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

 

Moses Harris’s Family needs the support of their community

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

T-shirt fundraiser
See the flier on the CAJE Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA
Support those arrested at the protest on March 20
From CAJE: We need EVERYONE to support our people who were arrested, and who responded to this emergency, by donating to cover their expenses. LPD’s violence has now manifested as FINANCIAL ABUSE.
https://fundrazr.com/CAJEsupports

 

350MA of Greater Lowell, A Green Better Future Project 

Monday, April 26, 7-8:30pm
To register: https://chelmsfordlibrary.libcal.com/event/7601547

Registration is required. There are 93 seats available.

350MA of Greater Lowell is a Chapter of 350 Mass, A Better Future Project, an advocate pushing MA to deal with climate change. The best way to get involved in 350 Mass is by attending a meeting held by your local volunteer group which 350 Mass calls a “node!” Members of 350 Mass nodes work together to organize their communities, mobilize their friends and neighbors, and hold their elected officials accountable in the fight for 100% renewable cities and a fossil free future. Lowell ‘node’ members work locally to end the dependence on fossil fuels and foster a clean energy future! The group is open to all residents of the greater Lowell area interested in fighting climate change.

Node members Win Flint, Bob Wald, and Jay Mason will share ongoing efforts and ways that you as a community member can get involved!

To contact Jay Mason, one of the node leaders, email Lowell@350ma.org.

Get more involved in your city-consider joining a board or commission

https://www.lowellma.gov/199/Board-and-Commission-Opportunities
At the link you will find a list of boards and commissions that have vacancies.  Click on the link to each to find out what the position involves and what the requirements are.

State-level Events and Actions

Act on Mass The People’s House campaign launch

Wednesday, April 21, 6:30pm

Act on Mass will be having a launch event for The People’s House campaign. Join them as Rep Uyterhoeven, and other guest speakers advocate for even more State House reform in July. RSVP at bit.ly/tph-launch.

For more on the campaign and how you can get involved, see the State Actions section.

What went right and what went wrong in the 2020 election, and what is currently occurring in state legislatures

Sunday, April 25, 7pm ET/4pm PT
To register: https://tinyurl.com/xwbphytk

Amber McReynolds, the executive director of the National Vote at Home Institute, worked with election officials and lawmakers to make voting run smoothly and effectively in the 2020 elections. Since then, she has worked to continue to improve voting procedures in states where this is needed. Amber is a tireless advocate for fair, safe, and efficient elections.

Amber McReynolds is one of the country’s leading experts on election administration and policy, and co-author of the book “When Women Vote”. Amber is the CEO for the National Vote At Home Institute and Coalition and is the former Director of Elections for Denver, Colorado. During her time there, she transformed the elections division into a national and international award-winning office. Amber serves on the National Task Force on Election Crises and the National Council on Election Integrity and she has proven that designing pro-voter policies, voter-centric processes, and implementing technical innovations will improve representation for all voters. Amber was recently nominated to serve on the Board of Governors for the United States Postal Service.

 

Justice for All: Transforming Massachusetts’ Unjust Legal System

Tuesday, April 27, 7:00pm-9:00pm
To register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvdO-srz0sEtTJ3u9P7h5EqPKXU8mFY2bq

Call2Action, along with over thirty Democratic committees across Massachusetts, invite you to join a virtual forum this April 27th on the future of our criminal justice system and opportunities to enact positive change at the local and state level. We’ll hear from Andrea James, founder of Families for Justice as Healing and the National Council For Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls; Rahsaan Hall, Director of the Racial Justice Program for the ACLU of Massachusetts; Shaleen Title, an Indian-American attorney and longtime drug policy activist who currently serves as Distinguished Cannabis Policy Practitioner in Residence at the Ohio State University College of Law Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, and vice-chair of the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition; and Sana Fadel, Deputy Director of Citizens for Juvenile Justice and lead organizer of the statewide Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Reform Coalition. Helina Fontes, community organizer and Program Director of the Northeast Recovery Learning Community, will moderate. Representative Ayanna Pressley will offer introductory remarks.

Take action to protect our democracy!

Tuesday, April 27th, 7:30PM.
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctfuyhrjMiGtfap875qdbPRc9ghtlD-9SV.

This month, as Congress considers important bills to help protect and strengthen our democracy, we’re featuring books that can help us take effective actions. Since the filibuster is a key obstacle in passing any democracy reform legislation in Congress, the IMC Book Club selection this month, Kill Switch, deals with that topic. Join the group on Tuesday April 27 to learn more about the filibuster and actions we can take to help end it.

Don’t worry if you haven’t had a chance to read the book – watch this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPrNW7Aa8fU&ab_channel=NowThisNews) of the author outlining its key points and check out this great letter to the editor (https://www.mvtimes.com/2021/04/07/end-the-filibuster/) about the filibuster by Cathy Walthers from Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard. (h/t Indivisible Mass Coalition)

The People’s House Campaign for Rules Reform

This new campaign by Act on Mass, Sunrise Boston, Mijente, and Indivisible Mass Coalition is a sequel to the previous Transparency is Power campaign. Rules reform in July, smarter and better. The House will vote on its rulebook in July.
What if we, the people, could reclaim our power to shape the policies that affect our lives? What if we could hold our state representatives accountable to actually representing their districts? What if we could make the State House work to uplift the lives of millions, fulfilling the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors? Imagine what transformative policies we could win.

Sign up for the campaign: https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/
Apply to be a Regional Organizer: admin@actonmass.org

RSVP for the Campaign Launch:  Wed Apr 21, 2021 06:30 PM https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIocuGorzsiGN2nW2zxgB1QYgFIKseeyBZH
RSVP for Textbank Tuesday 4/27: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpd-GurD0jE9W882T3bD8gt_5Z4WvE0nN3
RSVP for Textbank Wednesday 4/28: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvduGopjsvHdY9c4ScmKB-yQs54XNAXvl9

Join the Slack group: https://join.slack.com/t/actonmassvol/shared_invite/zt-oui6g99i-z5oRqWTMXRfjmirItJFGQQ

Donate: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/aom2021-q2-web

Massachusetts Redistricting

See Drawing Democracy for more info.

Last Wednesday, the state legislature’s Special Joint Committee on Redistricting began the process of redistricting the state’s legislative and congressional districts by holding a virtual hearing that can be viewed HERE.

If you want to ensure that underrepresented communities have the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice who best reflect their needs and interests, check out Drawing Democracy, a coalition of community organizations, civil rights lawyers, public policy advocates, data and mapping experts, and political scientists working on this issue. You can find resources about redistricting, sign up for their newsletter, or volunteer to help.
(h/t Indivisible Mass Coalition)

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302; Google Voice: 978-272-9078.
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

National Events and Actions

Write your Federal legislators to help Save Oak Flat! Act Reintroduced! 

This land transfer was slipped into the 2015 Defense Appropriations Committee in the wee  hours, since its supporters had been unable to get it through Congress openly. At the time, the environmental impact had not been fully reported. It is now clear that that impact would be disastrous. Efforts are under way to stop the transfer through legislation.

Please ask your congressional representatives to cosponsor and support H.R. 1884 and S.915
House Bill H.R.1884 – 117th Congress (2021-2022) To repeal section 3003 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and for other purposes. aka Save Oak Flat Act introduced | Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3]
S.915 – A bill to repeal section 3003 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and for other purposes. aka Save Oak Flat Act | Sen. Sanders, Bernie [I-VT]

Note: Senator Warren has already co-sponsored S.915. You can write to thank her. When writing to your House Rep, you could also mention that H.R.1884 recently lost a co-sponsor when the late Rep. Alcee Hastings passed. You could also mention that Senator Warren has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.

Sample text
I’m writing to urge you to co-sponsor house bill H.R.1884/Senate bill S.915 To repeal section 3003 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. This bill would cancel the land swap that was buried in the 2015 NDAA, passed in the dead of night.  The land swap it authorized now threatens Oak Flats, land sacred to the San Carlos Apache. As you know NDAA amendments are often used to pass measures that might not otherwise pass. There was opposition to the measure at the time it passed and there are questions about the way it came to be done. It is yet one more theft of land from indigenous people who stand between white men and profit.
While the San Carlos Apache may not be your constituents, there are Native Americans who live in the Merrimack Valley and we saw with the Dakota Pipeline effort that Native people remain in solidarity with each other across the country, especially on matters of land and environment.
I hope you will sign on as a co-sponsor.

Contact information:
Representative Lori Trahan: 978-459-0101 /   202-225-3411
Representative Seth Moulton: 978-531-1669  / 202-225-8020
Senator Edward Markey: 617-565-8519
Senator Elizabeth Warren: 617-565-3170

Note: You can also go to www.house.gov or www.senate.gov and click on the Representatives or Senators link to find their webform.

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

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

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

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

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

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

—-

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

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

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR APRIL 06, 2021
The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Priority Actions

LTC Community Panel on Discrimination & Racism

Thursday, April 8, 6pm

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

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Postcarding for Progress

Sunday, April 11, 3:00pm

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

Email caroline@solidaritylowell.com for the Zoom link.

Local Events and Actions

Citizens Advisory Council

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

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

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

Bi-Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, April 8, 5pm

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

978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Next City Council Meeting

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

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

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

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

Moses Harris’s Family needs the support of their community

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

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

T-shirt fundraiser

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

Support those arrested at the protest on March 20

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

Contact City Councilors to Seek Justice for Moses Harris

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

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

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

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

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

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

Voting ends June 30.

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

Other Events

Overview of State Elections Actions

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

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

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

Indivisible Acton Forum

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

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

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

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

Tuesday April 13, 7:30pm

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

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

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

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

Indivisible CD-03 Town Hall with Rep. Lori Trahan

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

State-level Events and Actions

Email Joint Rules Conference Committee about transparency

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

Addressees (leave spaces around @ out when emailing):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
<name>

 

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

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

 

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302; Google Voice: 978-272-9078.
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

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

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

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.

 Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

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

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

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

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

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 30, 2021

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 30, 2021
The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Priority Actions

Solidarity with the AAPI Community

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Postcarding anyone?

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

Local Events and Actions

March for Moses

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

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

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

Moses’ Family needs the support of their community

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

Support those arrested at the protest on March 20

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

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

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

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

https://fundrazr.com/CAJEsupports

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

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

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

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

Next School Committee meeting

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

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

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

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

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

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

Voting ends March 31.

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

Other Events

Race Amity

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

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

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

Good Friday Vigil Against the Death Penalty

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

Overview of State Elections Actions

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

State-level Events and Actions

Ask Legislators to Support an Equitable Vaccine Rollout

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

Email Joint Rules Conference Committee about transparency 

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
(name)

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

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

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

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

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302; Google Voice: 978-272-9078.
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

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

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

Solidarity Lowell is a volunteer group of community members of Greater Lowell working toward social justice by defending the human rights, dignity, and equality of all persons against all forms of hate and discrimination.

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/

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

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

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