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

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 23, 2021

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

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

Priority Actions

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting – This Sunday!

Sunday March 28, 5:30pm, via Zoom

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

Solidarity with the AAPI Community

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Postcarding anyone?

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

Local Events and Actions

Next City Council Meeting

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

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

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

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

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

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

Monthly Sustainability Council Meeting

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

March for Moses

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

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

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

Moses’ Family needs the support of their community

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

Support those arrested at the protest on March 20

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

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

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

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

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

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

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

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

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

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

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

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

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

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

Voting ends March 31.

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

Other Events

Be an Agent of Change: Achieve Health Justice

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021 07:00 PM

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

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

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

Indivisible: State Advocacy Training

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

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

(h/t Indivisible National)

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

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

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

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

Massachusetts Town Hall on Anti-Asian Racism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT: WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN

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

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

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

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

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

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

March Movie Night Series

Sunday nights at 7pm ET
March 28

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

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

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

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

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

March 28th

Mississippi’s War: Slavery and Secession – 1hr

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

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

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

Race Amity

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

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

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

State-level Events and Actions

Ask Legislators to Support an Equitable Vaccine Rollout

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

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

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

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

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

Our State Legislators’ Info

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

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 20, 2021

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

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

Priority Actions

Inspiration and Gratitude: Winter 2021 Experiences from Marius

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

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

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

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

Ask Legislators to Support an Equitable Vaccine Rollout

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

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday March 28, 5:30pm, via Zoom

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

Are you interested in joining the Committee?

Email us at contact@solidaritylowell.com

Postcarding anyone?

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

Local Events and Actions

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

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

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

Next School Committee meeting

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

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

March for Moses

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

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

Moses’ Family needs the support of their community

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

Next City Council Meeting

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

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

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

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

Monthly Sustainability Council Meeting

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

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

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

Other Events

Lucy Stone: Make the World a Better Place

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

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

Climate Action and the Next Generation Roadmap Bill   

Friday, March 19, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

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

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

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

March Movie Night Series

Sunday nights at 7pm ET
March 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disinformation and Democracy: Soros and the Fight for Open Societies

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

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

SPEAKERS:

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

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

Be an Agent of Change: Achieve Health Justice

Tuesday, Mar 23, 2021 07:00 PM

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

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

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

State-level Events and Actions

Support 3 bills introduced by the Massachusetts Renews Alliance 

Advocacy training March 22 6-8pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our State Legislators’ Info

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500

Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500

Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov  617-722-2800 x7302; Google Voice: 978-272-9078.
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR MARCH 6, 2021

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

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

Priority Actions

Ask Golden to co-sponsor the resubmitted Safe Communities Act

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

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

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

Contact information: 

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

Demand that Charlie Baker Prioritize Equity in Vaccine Rollout

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday March 28, 5:30pm, via Zoom

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

Local Events and Actions

City Hall Open to the Public Again as of March 1

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

March for Moses

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

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

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

Next City Council Meeting

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

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

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

Citizens Advisory Council

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

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

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

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

Next School Committee meeting

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

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

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

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

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

Other Events

Symposium on Resisting new Norfolk County Women’s Prison

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

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

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

Register for the symposium today!

Meredith, SURJB Prison Abolition Action Partnership (edited)

Resilience and Regeneration: A Racial Justice and Feminist Recovery 

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

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

Elders Climate Action Massachusetts

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

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

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

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

___

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

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

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

Indivisible Mass Coalition (IMC) Statewide Call

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

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

March Movie Night Series

Sunday nights at 7pm ET
First one March 7

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

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

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

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

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

March 7th – Double Feature:

1. Freedom or Death – 15mins

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

2. Own The Change – 30mins

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

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

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

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

State-level Events and Actions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pass Legislation to Seal Eviction Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our State Legislators’ Info: 

Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Ronald Mariano: Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov  508-633-8005
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612
——
Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—-

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

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR FEB 27, 2021

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

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

Priority Actions

Demand that Charlie Baker Prioritize Equity in Vaccine Rollout

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

 

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell General Meeting This Sunday (Today)!

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

Local Events and Actions

March for Moses

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

City Hall Open to the Public Again as of March 1

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

Special Joint Meeting of City Council and School Committee

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

Lowell Votes

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

Next School Committee meeting

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

Next City Council Meeting

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

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

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

Next Sustainability Council Meeting

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

DEI Lowell Survey on Experiences in Lowell

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

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

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

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

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

Other Events

Fair Fight National volunteer call with Stacey Abrams

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

CITIZEN BALLOT INITIATIVES: A NEW TOOL FOR ELECTION REFORM

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

Standing Up For Democracy

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

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

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

State-level Events and Actions

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

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

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

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

Comment on the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

 

Help Pass Legislation to Seal Eviction Records

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

Our State Legislators’ Info:
Please contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):
House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov 508-633-8005
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

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

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

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

 

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website: http://solidaritylowell.com
For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar: http://solidaritylowell.com/events/
For volunteer opportunities, visit our Volunteer page: http://solidaritylowell.com/volunteer-opportunities/
View the notes from our January meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Vcq_XUI2YXU4Qnb2lD8OuX7TPs-8JpWcDZ5IuRNb9e4/edit?usp=sharing
Recording of our January meeting: https://youtu.be/pxqVzfcN31A

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

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR FEB 19, 2021

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

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

Priority Actions

Help Pass Legislation to Seal Eviction Records

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

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

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

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

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

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

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

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

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

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

Local Events and Actions

March for Moses

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

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

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

Wrongly Convicted: The Story of Victor and Beverly Rosario

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

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

For more information, contact FAHSS@uml.edu.

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

Tuesday, February 23, 6:30pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

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

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

Or contact the group via the phone number.

 

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

Thursday, February 25, 6:30pm

 

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 3, 6:30pm

DEI Lowell Survey on Experiences in Lowell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact City Councilors Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

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

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

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

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

City Hall Closed to the Public

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

Other Events

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

Friday, February 23, 1pm EST

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

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

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

Environmental Voter Project Phonebank

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

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

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

No previous phone banking experience required.

Film Premiere: Oh Mercy!

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

Hosted by the Refugee Services of Texas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exploring the Legacy

Feb 25, 2021 07:00 PM  on zoom

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

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

This event is offered in collaboration with area libraries.

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

Plastic: Recycle, Reuse, Refuse

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

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

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

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

Fair Fight National volunteer call with Stacey Abrams  

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

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

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

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

State-level Events and Actions

Comment on the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2030 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team