Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR OCTOBER 14, 2020

 

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Next SL General Meeting

Sunday October 25th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Watch for more details

Local Events and Actions

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Special Eviction Defense Training Offered by City Life/Vida Urbana
Thursday, October 15 6-8pm

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

Use this form: https://lowell-mutual-aid.com/form/ to submit needs or offer help.

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

Or contact the group via the form or the phone number.

MVP Annual Meeting

Saturday October 17, 9:30am-12noon
Over the past seven months, MVP has been engaged in an online listening campaign to hear about the challenges and concerns of our communities. They will be wrapping up this campaign at the Annual Convention. MVP is inviting members as well as allies and partners to join in this critical conversation about the state of our region. To confirm your attendance, email MValleyPR@gmail.com and share the MVP region (Greater Lowell, Greater Haverhill, Lawrence/Andover/North Andover) in which you reside.

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

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our September meeting here:

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

Recording of our September meeting:
https://youtu.be/xVlMDNIWrXQ

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

SOLIDARITY LOWELL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR OCTOBER 2, 2020

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Next SL General Meeting
Sunday October 25th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Watch for more details

Important Election Dates

Vote as early as you can, ESPECIALLY if you’ll be voting by mail.

The state has not said when mail ballots will be mailed out to those who requested them already.
October 17: In-person early voting begins.
October 24: Last day to register to vote and change party enrollment for state election.
October 28: Last day to submit Vote by Mail application or Absentee ballot application for mailed ballot for election. (The state recommends doing it by October 20.) They will not be accepted after this date.
October 30: In-person early voting for state election ends.
November 3: Election Day (mail-in ballots must be postmarked by this date)
November 6: Mail-in ballots must be received by this date.

Mail-in ballots may be returned by drop box or mailed. The drop box is located at City Hall. Unless things change from the primary, the drop box will be located INSIDE the back entrance facing JFK plaza. Ballots may be deposited through the mail slot in the door when the door is locked.

If you’re voting by mail be sure to read and follow ALL instructions. 2% of Primary ballots were rejected because they arrived too late or some instruction was not followed.

Election Action Opportunities

You have a choice of textbanking, phonebanking. postcarding, or letterwriting to get out the vote or to support specific candidates, to your contacts or to a list provided to you, in your state or in a battleground state. Most of the campaigns that have you send letters or postcards require you to pay for the postage (though some don’t; some will provide packets of all needed materials and script and talking points and addresses along with postage; some only provide the script and talking points and addresses and you even buy the postcard)

Working Families Party
While they don’t have a branch in MA, they do national campaigns and one of them is about getting folks in certain states to contact their senators about the Supreme Court seat. They also do campaigns supporting progressive candidates in states where they have branches, two of them in New England (CT and RI).

https://www.mobilize.us/workingfamilies/

Currently they do textbanking on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, but said they will be doing them more often soon. They also do phonebanking. The training is great. The software they use (on line) for the texting is great (Spoke). You do have to join Slack, if you haven’t already. After training, you have to take and pass a quiz before they’ll let you do your first texting. And they review your replies to your first session to make sure you’re doing okay before they let you have more to send. Training for people new to their campaigns is Sundays 3-6; training actually lasts about an hour and then you actually start texting. You participate via Zoom and while you’re texting, there is both the zoom call, where you can ask questions live (though if it’s busy, it may take a while to get an answer) or if you just need a straight answer and no discussion, you can ask the question on Slack. There is a way to tag text response that you can’t answer right away so you can move on and then after you have an answer, handle the response when it comes up again.

The group is well organized. The mobilize bot can be annoying, so I’d recommend not ticking the box to receive more text messages from them.

Curated Get Out the Vote and Blue Campaigns:
These two pull together information on various campaigns. You can choose by WHAT action you want to take (text, phone, postcards, donate) or by state and then select an action. So you can choose to work in your state, or since MA is a safe state, you can choose to work on a battleground state.

https://togetherfor2020.org/

https://swingleft.org/

Election Protection Volunteer

Find the best way to get involved — whether that’s monitoring polling places (from your vehicle, or with proper personal safety equipment), watchdogging social media for disinformation, or reaching out to voters to make sure they know their rights. You’ll connect voters with trained legal professionals who can help them navigate the voting process and cast their ballots safely and securely. https://protectthevote.net/

Windivisible Phone Bank
Call voters in key states with Indivisible using Hubdialer https://2020.indivisible.org/phonebank/

Turnout2020 Turnout Thursday Phonebanks
Phonebank inconsistent PA voters to walk them through requesting a mail-in ballot https://www.mobilize.us/turnout2020/event/292970/

LiftEveryVote Postcard campaigns https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifteveryvoter/

Resistance Labs
Various text campaigns. They use the program Spoke for texting, which is the same one Working Families Party uses. They offer a variety of campaigns on their website https://resistancelabs.com/text/

Vote Forward/Daily Kos Letter writing campaign to voters https://votefwd.org/

Local Events and Actions

Documentary Screening: The Merrimack: River at Risk

Friday, October 2, 7-8pm
The Merrimack: River at Risk looks at one of the country’s most threatened watersheds and the towns and cities that have relied on it throughout history.

Watch the documentary online or tune in to LTC’s Channel 8 on Friday, October 2 at 7:00 pm (at the same time, you can watch live at https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-8/)

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, October 8 at 5pm
Concerned about the looming eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing. 978-222-7877

At either this meeting or the next (October 15) City Life/Vida Urbana has agreed to offer a training in eviction defense. It will last approximately 2 hours.

Use this form: https://lowell-mutual-aid.com/form/ to submit needs or offer help.

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

Food Not Bombs/LLAMA

Saturday, October 3, 2-4pm, Roberto Clemente Park
LLAMA will offer free food and information on efforts and resources to defend against eviction.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, October 6, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be conferenced in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.

The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, October 2.

At the last meeting, they asked the Legal Department for a report on taking over some or of the powers of the School Committee.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, October 8, 5pm
Concerned about the looming eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877

At either this meeting or the next (October 15) City Life/Vida Urbana has agreed to offer a training in eviction defense. It will last approximately 2 hours.

Use this form: https://lowell-mutual-aid.com/form/ to submit needs or offer help.

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

Sinking Columbus: Boston Marches for Indigenous People’s Day

Saturday October 10th, 12:00pm-3:00pm
Boston, Tremont Street by Park Street Station (eastern end of Boston Common)

The MVP 8th Annual MICAH Awards Celebration

Saturday, November 7, 2020, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
It’s that time of year, time to buy your ticket to the annual Merrimack Valley Project fundraiser, MICAH Awards Celebration
https://givebutter.com/MICAH2020

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

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

September’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen and D’Youville Life and Wellness Community.

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

State-level Actions and Events

Homes For All Massachusetts – Week of Action for Housing Stability

Monday October 5 – Sunday October 11
Working draft list of action options:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CHkUg7zcmBmKVKwh8t7iq8fN3rRkoEY9z1tOEE3lBe8/edit

For more on Homes For All Massachusetts: http://www.bitly.com/hfamass

350MA Monthly webinar Series

Monday, October 5, 7-8:30pm (tentative)
To sign up: https://350mass.betterfutureproject.org/webinar_series_2020

The second of a series of webinars exploring how to effect change through the legislative process.

Phone bank for Yes on 2 – Ranked Choice Voting

Weekdays 5:30pm-7:30pm
Weekends 11am-1pm

https://www.yeson2rcv.com/phones/

Phone Bank for Safe Communities Act

Tuesday, October 6, 5-7pm
RSVP: https://actionnetwork.org/events/phonebank-for-safe-communities-oct-6
Thursday, October 8, 5-7pm
RSVP: https://actionnetwork.org/events/phonebank-for-safe-communities-oct-8

Boston Community Briefing: Invest in Our Recovery

Wednesday, October 7, 6:30 pm
Progressive Massachusetts, in partnership with the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition. Join us as we deliver testimonials from working people directly to our state lawmakers and stand in solidarity with us as we ask them directly where they stand on the Invest in Our Recovery campaign and what they’ll do to ensure the MA Legislature passes a just recovery for working people.

Register for link: https://actionnetwork.org/events/invest-boston

Refugee Resilience and Mental Health During COVID-19

Tuesday, October 13, 12:00pm Webinar

Hailing from countries with extreme hardships in the form of war, dictatorships, and oppression, refugees often show true resilience, rebuilding their lives despite the adversities they have faced. One of the main pillars of HIAS’ work is to help our refugee clients work through the psychological distress they have experienced in order to settle into their new communities. Join us in marking World Mental Health Day and learn more about how HIAS and our partners build community-based mental health programming for refugees, and how this work has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To register: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/refugee-resilience-and-mental-health-during-covid-19

Pending Legislation

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

Roe Act
The deadline for reporting this bill out was extended to November 12. Considering the state of the Supreme Court it is urgent that our legislature pass this additional protection for reproductive rights in our state.

https://action.aclu.org/send-message/tell-massachusetts-lawmakers-honor-rbg’s-legacy-pass-roe-act

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

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

2) Contact the Conference Committee Members:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Right to Counsel
Progress Democrats of Massachusetts is urging folks to contact Governor Baker about the urgency of having a comprehensive plan for tenants and homeowners for the end of the moratorium on evictions.

Sample message:
Dear Governor Baker,
Time is of the essence. Courts alone cannot handle the eviction crisis and protect people in our communities from being evicted. Massachusetts needs a comprehensive plan for tenants and homeowners to prevent mass eviction and we urge you to:

Fund rental assistance to stabilize people’s housing and prevent homelessness.
Adopt a framework to provide time, protection, and housing assistance to tenants, homeowners, and landlords to keep people housed.

Implement a statewide right to counsel program to prevent eviction and preserve tenancies.

Tenants, landlords, municipal leaders, health care professionals, and advocates are scared about what will happen when the eviction moratorium ends. The CDC moratorium is not enough. We urge you to use COVID relief funding to prevent housing instability and keep Massachusetts residents safe. We need your leadership to get us through this. Thank you.
Your Name and Organization
Email the governor via this form: https://www.mass.gov/forms/email-the-governors-office
Call the Governor’s office (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Main Office 617-725-4005
Toll-free 888-870-7770
TTY 617-727-366

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

National Actions and Events

Become a community co-sponsor of the Breathe Act

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

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

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

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

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

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our September meeting here:

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

Recording of our September meeting: https://youtu.be/xVlMDNIWrXQ

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR SEPT 25, 2020

 

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

September SL General Meeting

Sunday September 27th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84882886426?pwd=Z1A1RTlWWDhsbm4zMUcybWUvbjlVdz09

Meeting ID: 848 8288 6426
Passcode: 730130
Dial-in:  646 558 8656 or 301-715-8592

Main topic: presentation by Tracy McKay, of Greater Boston PFLAG.
PFLAG stands for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It is a national organization with branches around the country, including greater Boston and the Merrimack. Tracy is from the Greater Boston office. They are known for helping family and friends learn how to be supportive of their LGBTQ+ family and friends and for teaching the cisgender heterosexual community how to be good allies. Our meeting falls between two dates important to the LGBTQIA+ community, International Celebrate Bisexuality Day (September 23) and National Coming Out Day (October 11).

Home

Resources

Also, Teresa English, candidate to represent the 22nd Middlesex District in the MA House will be introduced. After the meeting, you will be asked to vote online on whether or not Solidarity Lowell will endorse Teresa’s candidacy.

Important Election Dates

Vote as early as you can, ESPECIALLY if you’ll be voting by mail.

The state has not said when mail ballots will be mailed out to those who requested them already.
October 17: In-person early voting begins.
October 24: Last day to register to vote and change party enrollment for state election.
October 28: Last day to submit Vote by Mail application or Absentee ballot application for mailed ballot for election. (The state recommends doing it by October 20.) They will not be accepted after this date.
October 30: In-person early voting for state election ends.
November 3: Election Day (mail-in ballots must be postmarked by this date)
November 6: Mail-in ballots must be received by this date.

Mail-in ballots may be returned by drop box or mailed. The drop box is located at City Hall. Unless things change from the primary, the drop box will be located INSIDE the back entrance facing JFK plaza. Ballots may be deposited through the mail slot in the door when the door is locked.

Election Action Opportunities

You have a choice of textbanking, phonebanking. postcarding, or letterwriting to get out the vote or to support specific candidates, to your contacts or to a list provided to you, in your state or in a battleground state. Most of the campaigns that have you send letters or postcards require you to pay for the postage (though some don’t; some will provide packets of all needed materials and script and talking points and addresses along with postage; some only provide the script and talking points and addresses and you even buy the postcard)

Working Families Party
While they don’t have a branch in MA, they do national campaigns and one of them is about getting folks in certain states to contact their senators about the Supreme Court seat. They also do campaigns supporting progressive candidates in states where they have branches, two of them in New England (CT and RI).

https://www.mobilize.us/workingfamilies/

Currently they do textbanking on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, but said they will be doing them more often soon. They also do phonebanking. The training is great. The software they use (on line) for the texting is great (Spoke). You do have to join Slack, if you haven’t already. After training, you have to take and pass a quiz before they’ll let you do your first texting. And they review your replies to your first session to make sure you’re doing okay before they let you have more to send. Training for people new to their campaigns is Sundays 3-6; training actually lasts about an hour and then you actually start texting. You participate via Zoom and while you’re texting, there is both the zoom call, where you can ask questions live (though if it’s busy, it may take a while to get an answer) or if you just need a straight answer and no discussion, you can ask the question on Slack. There is a way to tag text response that you can’t answer right away so you can move on and then after you have an answer, handle the response when it comes up again.

The group is well organized. The mobilize bot can be annoying, so I’d recommend not ticking the box to receive more text messages from them.

Curated Get Out the Vote and Blue Campaigns:
These two pull together information on various campaigns. You can choose by WHAT action you want to take (text, phone, postcards, donate) or by state and then select an action. So you can choose to work in your state, or since MA is a safe state, you can choose to work on a battleground state.

https://togetherfor2020.org/

https://swingleft.org/

Turnout2020 Turnout Thursday Phonebanks
Phonebank inconsistent PA voters to walk them through requesting a mail-in ballot
https://www.mobilize.us/turnout2020/event/292970/

LiftEveryVote
Postcard campaigns.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifteveryvoter/

Resistance Labs
Various text campaigns. They use the program Spoke for texting, which is the same one Working Families Party uses. They offer a variety of campaigns on their website

https://resistancelabs.com/text/

Vote Forward/Daily Kos
Letter writing campaign to voters.

https://votefwd.org/

Local Events and Actions

National Public Lands Cleanup

Saturday, September 26, 9am-12pm
Meet at Middlesex Community College, 33 Kearney Sq, Lowell
Hosted by Lowell Canalwater Cleaners
https://www.facebook.com/events/2366999023616106/

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, October 1, 5pm
Concerned about the looming eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877

Use this form: https://lowell-mutual-aid.com/form/ to submit needs or offer help.

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

Food Not Bombs/LLAMA

Saturday, October 3, 2-4pm, Roberto Clemente Park
LLAMA will offer free food and information on efforts and resources to defend against eviction

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, October 6, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be conferenced in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.

The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, October 2.

At the last meeting, they asked the Legal Department for a report on taking over some or of the powers of the School Committee.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting – Eviction Defense Training

Hold the date: Thursday, October 8, 5 or 5:30pm (time TBD)
City Life/Vida Urbana has agreed to offer a training in eviction defense. It will last approximately 2 hours.

Sinking Columbus: Boston Marches for Indigenous People’s Day

Saturday October 10th, 12:00pm-3:00pm
Boston, Tremont Street by Park Street Station (eastern end of Boston Common)

The MVP 8th Annual MICAH Awards Celebration

Saturday, November 7, 2020, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
It’s that time of year, time to buy your ticket to the annual Merrimack Valley Project fundraiser, MICAH Awards Celebration
https://givebutter.com/MICAH2020

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

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

September’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen and D’Youville Life and Wellness Community.

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

State-level Actions and Events

Phone bank for Yes on 2 – Ranked Choice Voting

Weekdays 5:30pm-7:30pm
Weekends 11am-1pm

https://www.yeson2rcv.com/phones/

Driving Families Forward – Let Our Families Drive Rally

Saturday, September 26, 2pm
Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) located at 136 Blackstone St, Boston (by the Haymarket T Station)
Meet at the Registry and March to the State House in support of the Driving Families Forward Coalition and passage of the Work and Family Mobility Act

RSVP to register: https://www.facebook.com/events/3306616586122711

If you can’t make it in person for the full event, the March and Rally will be broadcast via Facebook Live on the Driving Families Forward Facebook page.
https://tinyurl.com/y6q9db7w

Phone Bank for Safe Communities Act

Thursday, October 1, 5-7pm
https://actionnetwork.org/events/phonebank-for-safe-communities

National Medicaid Army March Caravan

Friday, October 2, 11:30 AM, John Eliot Sq, 10 Putnam St, Roxbury, MA
Masks required! Organized by MA Poor People’s Campaign.
Rallying for Healthcare as a Human Right

Pending Legislation

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

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

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

2) Contact the Conference Committee Members:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roe Act
The deadline for reporting this bill out was extended to November 12. Considering the state of the Supreme Court it is urgent that our legislature pass this additional protection for reproductive rights in our state.

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/contact-your-state-lawmakers-about-the-roe-act-2

National Actions and Events

Become a community co-sponsor of the Breathe Act

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

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

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

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

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

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our July meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K4F3LJ0grKGlc2-752dQ-x8d3KtQAJGkEVjnFDj9QDM/edit?usp=sharing

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

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR SEPT 21, 2020

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

September General Meeting

Sunday September 27th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
To RSVP to event and get Zoom link: https://www.facebook.com/events/749991979178206/

Main topic: presentation by Tracy McKay, of Greater Boston PFLAG.
PFLAG stands for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It is a national organization with branches around the country, including greater Boston and the Merrimack. Tracy is from the Greater Boston office. They are known for helping family and friends learn how to be supportive of their LGBTQ+ family and friends and for teaching the cisgender heterosexual community how to be good allies. Our meeting falls between two dates important to the LGBTQIA+ community, International Celebrate Bisexuality Day (September 23) and National Coming Out Day (October 11).
https://gbpflag.org/
https://gbpflag.org/resources/

Local Events and Actions

The MVP 8th Annual MICAH Awards Celebration

Saturday, November 7, 2020, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
It’s that time of year, time to buy your ticket to the annual Merrimack Valley Project fundraiser, MICAH Awards Celebration
https://givebutter.com/MICAH2020

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, September 24, 5pm
Concerned about the looming eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
Call: 978-222-7877 or Visit: https://lowell-mutual-aid.com/form/ to submit needs or offer help.
Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.
September’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen and D’Youville Life and Wellness Community.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, Sep 22, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be conferenced in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before.

State-level Actions and Events

Phone bank for Yes on 2 – Ranked Choice Voting

Weekdays 5:30pm-7:30pm
Weekends 11am-1pm

https://www.yeson2rcv.com/phones/

Phonebank for Census 

If people aren’t counted, we lose Federal funding for the next TEN YEARS. The last Census cost MA a representative. People in communities hit hardest by COVID-19 need a voice in what resources are needed for recovery. That’s why MA Voter Table and Masscounts are calling residents in communities of color, working-class neighborhoods, and more to participate in the 2020 Census.
http://bit.ly/vbm-signup

350MA Monthly webinar Series

At Long Last, Strong Climate Legislation in MASS: What’s on the Table and What Can I Do?”
Monday, September 21, 7-8:30pm
To sign up:
https://350mass.betterfutureproject.org/webinar_series_2020

The first of a series of webinars exploring how to effect change through the legislative process.

ACLU Week of Action on Police Reform Sept 21-25

https://www.aclum.org/en/police-violence-happens-here-week-action
A week of action to make it very visible that police violence DOES happen here in Massachusetts, to keep it in the forefront as legislators decide on a final version of the police reform bill.

September 21 Kick-Off Rally 6:30 on line
September 22 Phone Bank 5:30-7:30pm
September 23 Mapping Police Violence in Action (stand on the spots!)
September 24 Social Media Action ALL DAY
September 25 Phone Bank 11:00am-1:00pm

Driving Families Forward – Let Our Families Drive Rally

Saturday, September 26, 2pm
Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) located at 136 Blackstone St, Boston (by the Haymarket T Station)
Meet at the Registry and March to the State House in support of the Driving Families Forward Coalition and passage of the Work and Family Mobility Act

RSVP to register: https://www.facebook.com/events/3306616586122711

If you can’t make it in person for the full event, the March and Rally will be broadcast via Facebook Live on the Driving Families Forward Facebook page.
https://tinyurl.com/y6q9db7w

Register for Climate Preparedness Week

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

Pending Legislation

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

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

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

2) Contact the Conference Committee Members:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Actions and Events

Become a community co-sponsor of the Breathe Act

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

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

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

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

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

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our July meeting here:

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

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

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR SEPT 14, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR SEPT 14, 2020
The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Save The Date: September General Meeting

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

Local Events and Actions

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, September 17, 5pm
Concerned about the looming eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
Call: 978-222-7877
or
Visit: https://lowell-mutual-aid.com/form/ to submit needs or offer help.

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

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.
September’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen and D’Youville Life and Wellness Community.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, Sep 22, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be conferenced in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before.

State-level Actions and Events

Register for Climate Preparedness Week

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

Pending Legislation

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

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

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

2) Contact the Conference Committee Members:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Phonebank for Census 

If people aren’t counted, we lose Federal funding for the next TEN YEARS. The last Census cost MA a representative. People in communities hit hardest by COVID-19 need a voice in what resources are needed for recovery. That’s why MA Voter Table and Masscounts are calling residents in communities of color, working-class neighborhoods, and more to participate in the 2020 Census. http://bit.ly/vbm-signup

National Actions and Events

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

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

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

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

Become a community co-sponsor of the Breathe Act

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

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

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

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

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

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our July meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K4F3LJ0grKGlc2-752dQ-x8d3KtQAJGkEVjnFDj9QDM/edit?usp=sharing

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

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 31, 2020

 

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

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

Phonebank for our Endorsed Candidate Lisa Arnold

Last chance to make a difference for the Primary! Join a phonebank for Lisa Arnold, who is running for State Rep in the 17th Middlesex district. No special equipment or software is required, just a computer with microphone and speakers (though a headset is helpful).
Tonight, Monday Aug 31 from 6 – 9pm
Election Day, Tuesday Sept 1 from 1 – 7pm
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up!

Sign holding for Lisa Arnold

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

No August SL General Meeting

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

Local Events and Actions

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.
August’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Coalition for a Better Acre and Project Learning.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

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

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

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, Sep 8, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be conferenced in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before.

State-level Actions and Events

Fight for the Strongest Police Reform Bill

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

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

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

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

Fight for Housing Stability

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

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

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

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

Support the Citizen’s Commission

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

National Actions and Events

Speak out against attempt to undo HUD protections for transgender people

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

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

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

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

 

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

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our July meeting here:

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

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

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 21, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 21, 2020

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Phonebank for our Endorsed Candidate Lisa Arnold

Join a phonebank for Lisa Arnold, who is running for State Rep in the 17th Middlesex district. No special equipment or software is required, just a computer with microphone and speakers (though a headset is helpful).
Every Thursday 6-9pm and every Saturday 1-4pm.
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up! Last date August 29th.

Sign Holding for Lisa Arnold

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

No August SL General Meeting

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

Local Events and Actions

Find out more about Lowell’s Redistricting Process

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

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.
August’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Coalition for a Better Acre and Project Learning.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

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

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

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, August 25, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be conferenced in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, August 21.Watch for Joe Boyle’s reports on the last meeting and on the agenda for the next meeting Open Meeting Law Complaints have been filed regarding the July 14 City Council meeting and the way the motions on racism were handled. The City had 14 days to respond to the complaints but filed for, and was granted by the Attorney General, an extension on the response time.

State-level Actions and Events

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

Support the Citizen’s Commission

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

National Actions and Events

Moveon #SavethePostOffice Action

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

Medicare For All Action

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

Speak out against attempt to undo HUD protections for transgender people

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

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

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

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

 

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

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our July meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K4F3LJ0grKGlc2-752dQ-x8d3KtQAJGkEVjnFDj9QDM/edit?usp=sharing

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

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 18, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 18, 2020

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell – No August General Meeting

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

Local Events and Actions

Phonebank for our Endorsed Candidate Lisa Arnold

Join a phonebank for Lisa Arnold, who is running for State Rep in the 17th Middlesex district. No special equipment or software is required, just a computer with microphone and speakers (though a headset is helpful).
Phonebanks happen every Thursday from 6pm to 9pm and Saturday from 1pm to 4pm.
RSVP to volunteer@lisaforstaterep.com to sign up!

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.
August’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Coalition for a Better Acre and Project Learning.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

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

Interested in Voter Outreach?

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

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, August 25, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be conferenced in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, August 21.Watch for Joe Boyle’s reports on the last meeting and on the agenda for the next meeting
Open Meeting Law Complaints have been filed regarding the July 14 City Council meeting and the way the motions on racism were handled. The City had 14 days to respond to the complaints but filed for, and was granted by the Attorney General, an extension on the response time.

State-level Actions and Events

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

National Actions and Events

Speak out against attempt to undo HUD protections for transgender people

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

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

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

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our July meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K4F3LJ0grKGlc2-752dQ-x8d3KtQAJGkEVjnFDj9QDM/edit?usp=sharing

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

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 11, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR AUGUST 11, 2020
The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell – No August General Meeting

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

Local Events and Actions

Phonebank for our endorsed candidate Lisa Arnold

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

Mill City Nonprofits Nominated for Donations by MillTown Helping Hands

MillTown Helping Hands is a community give-back program. Each month, from all nominations received, MillTown will select 3 – 4 well-deserving local charities that could use a little help. Voting takes place throughout the month, and the nominee with the most votes will receive $1,000 donation.
August’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Coalition for a Better Acre and Project Learning.
To vote for one, go to: https://milltownplumbing.com/milltowns-helping-hands/

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

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

State-level Actions and Events

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

Massachusetts Against Solitary Confinement Coalition Action Request

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

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

State Legislator contact information:
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. David Nangle David.Nangle@mahouse.gov 617-722-2520
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572

National Actions and Events

Speak out against attempt to undo HUD protections for transgender people

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

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

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

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

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

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our July meeting here:

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

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

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR JULY 31, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL
RAPID RESPONSE TEAM
ACTION LIST FOR JULY 31, 2020
The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week and upcoming events into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack at dee@solidaritylowell.com.

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell August General Meeting – TBD 

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

Local Events and Actions

Progressive Mass Phonebank for endorsed candidate Lisa Arnold

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

The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

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

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, August 11, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. City Hall is closed to the public. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be conferenced in to the meeting.  Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV.  If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at  http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, August 7.

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

State-level Actions and Events

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

National Actions and Events

Speak out against attempt to undo HUD protections for transgender people

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

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

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

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

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

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

Visit the Solidarity Lowell website at solidaritylowell.com

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

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

View the notes from our July meeting here:

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

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

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

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team