Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR JANUARY 16, 2021

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

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

Priority Actions

March for Moses

Saturday January 16th, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date.
Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality
https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Contact Maura Healey Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact the office of Maura Healey regarding the incident with Moses Harris. If you are so moved, you should also contact your State Representative and State Senator, and our City Councilors here in Lowell (information below).

Attorney General Maura Healey (617) 727-2200

Our State Legislators’ Info:
Find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator:

State Representatives:
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov
Rep. Tami Gouveia Tami.gouveia@mahouse.gov 617-722-2011
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
State Senators:
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/…/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

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

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

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Please update your contact info!

Solidarity Lowell would like to better target our messages. In order to do so, we would appreciate having your mailing address.
https://forms.gle/2BMYRXbvRx9yVcsaA

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday January 24th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Hold the date and watch for more details.

Local Events and Actions

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Where do we go from here?

Monday, January 18, 2020, 1:00pm Channel 8 or LivingDreamPartners on YouTube

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, January 26, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, January 8.
Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, January 21, 5pm
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

Save the date: Virtual Public Meeting on Parking Study to be conducted in the city

February 2, 6:00-7:15pm
More details to follow

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.
January’s nominees are Foster Kids of Merrimack Valley, Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Food Links.

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are
The German Home
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.
International Institute of New England
Voting ends March 31.

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

City Hall Closed to Public

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

State-Level Events and Actions

Join the Transparency is Power Campaign

Act On Mass has launched a campaign to push our state reps for transparency during the next legislative session (beginning January 2021). At the beginning of each two-year session, the legislature sets its rules. It is high time that they commit to transparency in their dealings so that we know why bills we support keep failing to advance. Join a team to meet with your state rep.
https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/

The campaign is asking for 3 things:
-That all votes held in legislative committees be publicly disclosed.
-That bills be made public for 72 hours before a final vote.
-That the threshold for a vote to be publicly recorded (roll call vote) in the House of Representatives be reduced from 16 state representatives to 8 representatives.

Teams are forming to meet with all representatives. A team has already formed to meet with Representative Mom. There will also be teams to speak with Representatives Howard and Golden.

Progressive Massachusetts (Virtual) Gala

Monday, January 25, 7:00pm, $35
https://secure.actblue.com/donate/2021-pm-gala
Special guest speakers: Senator Ed Markey, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, State Representative Maria Robinson, and State Representative Lindsay Sabadosa, speaking about a progressive vision for Massachusetts and the whole country.

National Actions and Events

Write your federal representatives about abuse at the Judge Rotenberg Center

The Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA is a facility for autistic/developmentally disabled children and young adults. It uses brutal methods of restraint, deprivation, and even electroshock against its autistic and developmentally disabled residents.
Here are some more specific pieces of information (reference cited below):
– One resident was shocked over 5000 times in a single day.
– Some residents have been kept in almost constant restraint for up to 2 years
– At least 6 deaths have occurred due to abuse and negligence
– Students have been shocked for stopping work for more than 10 seconds, for reacting in fear when other students are shocked, or for screaming in pain when they are shocked
(source: https://autistichoya.net/judge-rotenberg-center/#resources)
Despite several years of petitions by disability advocacy groups as well as condemnation of the Judge Rotenberg Center by the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Torture(!), it was not until March of last year that the FDA placed a ban on the electroshock therapy. Sadly, the FDA has now filed a partial hold on this ban such that electroshock therapy can now continue as long as the covid-19 pandemic lasts (and perhaps longer). In addition, other forms of deprivation and abuse at the center are allowed to continue.
It is deeply concerning that such inhumane treatment of autistic people is allowed to continue. if you would be willing to write letters to Senators or Congresspeople, your location and residency in MA could make you deeply impactful autism advocates.

Sample message:
Dear Representative(/Senator),
I am writing regarding a human rights issue involving the treatment of people with developmental disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA. The Judge Rotenberg Center has used restraint, deprivation, and even electroshock against its residents.
Here are some more specific pieces of information (reference cited below):
– One resident was shocked over 5000 times in a single day.
– Some residents have been kept in almost constant restraint for up to 2 years
– At least 6 deaths have occurred due to abuse and negligence
– Students have been shocked for stopping work for more than 10 seconds, for reacting in fear when other students are shocked, or for screaming in pain when they are shocked
(source: https://autistichoya.net/judge-rotenberg-center/#resources)
Despite several years of petitions by disability advocacy groups as well as by the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Torture, it was not until March of this year that the FDA placed a ban on the electroshock therapy. Sadly, the FDA has now filed a partial hold on this ban such that electroshock therapy can continue as long as the covid-19 pandemic lasts (and perhaps longer). In addition, other forms of deprivation and abuse at the center are allowed to continue.
It is deeply concerning that such inhumane treatment of autistic people is allowed to continue. I firmly believe that such torture and punishment violates the inherent rights of these residents, and is deeply traumatizing. I ask you to please use your platform to stop the human rights violations occurring at this center and to help re-implement a full ban against electroshock.
Thank you for your time,

Senator Elizabeth Warren: 617-565-3170
Senator Edward Markey: 617-565-8519
Representative Lori Trahan: 978-459-0101 / 202-225-3411
Representative Seth Moulton: 978-531-1669 / 202-225-8020
To email your senator or representative go to www.senate.gov or www.house.gov and navigate to their webpage and contact webform.

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected legal expense. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – legal” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!

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 December meeting here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xP8bUZQBT3YFpoqjhszx4I-84bdEgtkk19yAC3AUB9M/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our December meeting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22Vi980aVfg
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 JANUARY 09, 2021

 

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

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

 

Priority Actions

March for Moses

Saturday January 9th, 12:00-2:00pm (rain or shine)
850 Lawrence Street, Lowell
March to Lowell Police Headquarters (JFK Plaza/Arcand Drive)
Demand justice for Moses Harris, who disappeared during an encounter with the police. No police report has been made public as of publication date.
Hosted by CAJE: Community Advocates for Justice and Equality https://www.facebook.com/CAJE.LowellMA

Contact Maura Healey Seeking Justice for Moses Harris

We ask that you contact the office of Maura Healey regarding the incident with Moses Harris. If you are so moved, you should also contact your State Representative and State Senator, and our City Councilors here in Lowell (information below).
Attorney General Maura Healey (617) 727-2200
Our State Legislators’ Info:
Fnd yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator:
State Representatives:
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov
Rep. Tami Gouveia Tami.gouveia@mahouse.gov 617-722-2011
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
State Senators:
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612
Form to contact Lowell City Councilors: https://www.lowellma.gov/…/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

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

Take action in response to the attempted coup on January 6

Text “IMPEACH” to 50409 (Resistbot) to tell Congress to impeach again.
He can be impeached even after he leaves office. The goal is to ban him ever running for or serving in elected office again.
Then text “25th” to the same number to tell Congress to invoke the 25th.
Then text “sign pzehup” to tell them to remove the seditionists from Congress.

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group Signup: New Session in January

Sign up here for Solidarity Lowell’s Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group, taking place starting in January 2021 for five weeks. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND ALL FIVE SESSIONS. Individuals committed to exploring their own racial biases are invited to participate in an Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group. The purpose of the group is to engage in supportive, structured dialogues with others to explore whiteness in contemporary society, especially to better understand the legacy and impact of white supremacy, white privilege, explicit and implicit bias, systemic racism, and microaggressions. This format is designed to provide a fruitful opportunity to engage in meaningful, difficult and engaging conversations about personal, institutional and societal responsibility in recognizing white privilege and systemic racism. Over the course of this five-week workshop, you will better understand yourself, your communities, and be prepared to work toward a diverse and equitable culture with your friends, family, Lowell and beyond. Registration is capped at 10 and, depending on interest, other groups may be formed. Dates will be scheduled ASAP and your confirmation in the group will be sent to the email address you list here.
https://forms.gle/n7pxiUfDNVZzwj1Y8

Please update your contact info!

Solidarity Lowell would like to better target our messages. In order to do so, we would appreciate having your mailing address.
https://forms.gle/2BMYRXbvRx9yVcsaA

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday January 24th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
Hold the date and watch for more details.

Local Events and Actions

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, January 12, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, January 8.
Look under City Council, look for the date of the meeting of interest, click on Download, and select the version (HTML, PDF, or packet, which includes background) you want to see.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, January 14, 5pm
Concerned about the eviction crisis in Lowell? Would you like to join a group working on ways to address it? This is the group. Current plans include publication of a resource booklet, a simple flier with steps for folks facing eviction, and neighborhood organizing.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

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.
January’s nominees are Foster Kids of Merrimack Valley, Greater Lowell Community Foundation, Food Links.

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are
The German Home
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley, Inc.
International Institute of New England
Voting ends March 31.

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

City Hall Closed to Public

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

State-Level Events and Actions

Join the Transparency is Power Campaign

Act On Mass has launched a campaign to push our state reps for transparency during the next legislative session (beginning January 2021). At the beginning of each two-year session, the legislature sets its rules. It is high time that they commit to transparency in their dealings so that we know why bills we support keep failing to advance. Join a team to meet with your state rep.
https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/

The campaign is asking for 3 things:
-That all votes held in legislative committees be publicly disclosed.
-That bills be made public for 72 hours before a final vote.
-That the threshold for a vote to be publicly recorded (roll call vote) in the House of Representatives be reduced from 16 state representatives to 8 representatives.

Teams are forming to meet with all representatives. A team has already formed to meet with Representative Mom. There will also be teams to speak with Representatives Howard and Golden.

National Actions and Events

Write your federal representatives about abuse at the Judge Rotenberg Center

The Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA is a facility for autistic/developmentally disabled children and young adults. It uses brutal methods of restraint, deprivation, and even electroshock against its autistic and developmentally disabled residents.
Here are some more specific pieces of information (reference cited below):
– One resident was shocked over 5000 times in a single day.
– Some residents have been kept in almost constant restraint for up to 2 years
– At least 6 deaths have occurred due to abuse and negligence
– Students have been shocked for stopping work for more than 10 seconds, for reacting in fear when other students are shocked, or for screaming in pain when they are shocked
(source: https://autistichoya.net/judge-rotenberg-center/#resources)
Despite several years of petitions by disability advocacy groups as well as condemnation of the Judge Rotenberg Center by the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Torture(!), it was not until March of last year that the FDA placed a ban on the electroshock therapy. Sadly, the FDA has now filed a partial hold on this ban such that electroshock therapy can now continue as long as the covid-19 pandemic lasts (and perhaps longer). In addition, other forms of deprivation and abuse at the center are allowed to continue.
It is deeply concerning that such inhumane treatment of autistic people is allowed to continue. if you would be willing to write letters to Senators or Congresspeople, your location and residency in MA could make you deeply impactful autism advocates.

Sample message:
Dear Representative(/Senator),
I am writing regarding a human rights issue involving the treatment of people with developmental disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA. The Judge Rotenberg Center has used restraint, deprivation, and even electroshock against its residents.
Here are some more specific pieces of information (reference cited below):
– One resident was shocked over 5000 times in a single day.
– Some residents have been kept in almost constant restraint for up to 2 years
– At least 6 deaths have occurred due to abuse and negligence
– Students have been shocked for stopping work for more than 10 seconds, for reacting in fear when other students are shocked, or for screaming in pain when they are shocked
(source: https://autistichoya.net/judge-rotenberg-center/#resources)
Despite several years of petitions by disability advocacy groups as well as by the United Nations Special Rapporteurs on Torture, it was not until March of this year that the FDA placed a ban on the electroshock therapy. Sadly, the FDA has now filed a partial hold on this ban such that electroshock therapy can continue as long as the covid-19 pandemic lasts (and perhaps longer). In addition, other forms of deprivation and abuse at the center are allowed to continue.
It is deeply concerning that such inhumane treatment of autistic people is allowed to continue. I firmly believe that such torture and punishment violates the inherent rights of these residents, and is deeply traumatizing. I ask you to please use your platform to stop the human rights violations occurring at this center and to help re-implement a full ban against electroshock.
Thank you for your time,

Senator Elizabeth Warren: 617-565-3170
Senator Edward Markey: 617-565-8519
Representative Lori Trahan: 978-459-0101 / 202-225-3411
Representative Seth Moulton: 978-531-1669 / 202-225-8020
To email your senator or representative go to www.senate.gov or www.house.gov and navigate to their webpage and contact webform.

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected medical expense of $300 for a one-time treatment not covered by his insurance. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – medical” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
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 November meeting here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xP8bUZQBT3YFpoqjhszx4I-84bdEgtkk19yAC3AUB9M/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our November meeting:
https://youtu.be/W2SsXJ2hrDI
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 DECEMBER 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!

Priority Actions

Contact your legislators about the Police Reform bill

Instead of passing the historic police reform bill, Governor Baker sent it back to the legislature with amendments that undercut key provisions to hold police accountable and promote racial justice. Our lawmakers must reject these harmful amendments and champion progress.

Senator Kennedy voted for the bill, but NONE of the Lowell representatives voted for it.
Contact your state legislators NOW:
http://bit.ly/reject-baker-amendments

Help Win Eviction Protections

The legislature is close to passing some important protections against eviction, but the Governor is trying to weaken those protections. A vote is scheduled in the next day or two.
You can help by contacting your legislators, by email or by phone. The following site can guide you through the process.
https://www.housingguarantee.org/

Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Solidarity Lowell General Meeting This Sunday

Sunday December 20th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84173453842?pwd=bU85K3ozOWlHN1dDaHprbk0vNG9DUT09
Meeting ID: 841 7345 3842
Passcode: 326452
Dial in: 301 715 8592 or 646 558 8656
We will celebrate victories as well as look at the work to be done in 2021. Our main speaker will be Craig Thomas, Deputy Director of Lowell DPD, talking about “Housing 101”. We will also have a discussion of the proposed new Lowell Election Districts with several concerned community members (https://yourlowellyourvote.org or https://www.facebook.com/LowellMALines).

Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group Signup: New Session in January

Sign up here for Solidarity Lowell’s Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group, taking place starting in January 2021 for five weeks. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND ALL FIVE SESSIONS. Individuals committed to exploring their own racial biases are invited to participate in an Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group. The purpose of the group is to engage in supportive, structured dialogues with others to explore whiteness in contemporary society, especially to better understand the legacy and impact of white supremacy, white privilege, explicit and implicit bias, systemic racism, and microaggressions. This format is designed to provide a fruitful opportunity to engage in meaningful, difficult and engaging conversations about personal, institutional and societal responsibility in recognizing white privilege and systemic racism. Over the course of this five-week workshop, you will better understand yourself, your communities, and be prepared to work toward a diverse and equitable culture with your friends, family, Lowell and beyond. Registration is capped at 10 and, depending on interest, other groups may be formed. Dates will be scheduled ASAP and your confirmation in the group will be sent to the email address you list here.
https://forms.gle/n7pxiUfDNVZzwj1Y8

Please update your contact info!

Solidarity Lowell would like to better target our messages. In order to do so, we would appreciate having your mailing address.
https://forms.gle/2BMYRXbvRx9yVcsaA

Local Events and Actions

Know Your Rights Campaign/Call to Action/Request for Volunteers–Stop Evictions in Lowell!!

LLAMA, in partnership with Lowell Alliance and other local groups, is planning a city-wide public information campaign to slow the wave of anticipated evictions and help families mitigate the impacts of evictions.

Volunteers are needed to help with the following:
Develop/revise informational materials-
The idea for this campaign comes from the Somerville Know Your Rights Campaign that launched last week (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w-7NJSy-KawRKJmzWQjt0hNavon_qdOA37eN3N-5rE4/edit). They have developed flyers and a resource guide which we can use as templates. So we don’t have to start completely from scratch but we do need a couple of volunteers to help with revisions and some research into Lowell-area resources. We also need help translating the materials into as many different languages as possible, at a minimum, Spanish, Khmer and Portuguese.

Outreach to community partners-
If this campaign is to be successful, we need to involve as many community partners as possible to help us get the word out as widely as possible. A broad-based coalition should include: churches/faith groups, food pantries, public institutions (LPS, library etc) social service providers, health institutions, neighborhood groups, community leaders etc. We have started a partner outreach list but we need help expanding that list and reaching out to potential partners.

Canvassing/Flyering-
We need a number of volunteers to post flyers throughout the city. We’re aiming to blanket the city with flyers posted in corner stores, hairdressers/barbershops, laundromats, restaurants etc
If you would like to play a role in this Week of Action please email Nancy Coan (ncoan@ywcaoflowell.org) to let her know what part (or parts) of this campaign you would like to help with.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, December 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.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

Free Food Saturday

Saturday, December 26, 1-3pm, location to be announced
Come for the food. Leave with information on food resources and eviction defense.
Happens every other Saturday. Next one: January 9.

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.
December’s nominees are Ella’s Way, Ruff Tales Rescue, and Lazarus House.

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are:
Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc.
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
The winner will be awarded in December.

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

City Hall Closed to Public

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

State-Level Events and Actions

Join the Transparency is Power Campaign

Act On Mass has launched a campaign to push our state reps for transparency during the next legislative session (beginning January 2021). At the beginning of each two-year session, the legislature sets its rules. It is high time that they commit to transparency in their dealings so that we know why bills we support keep failing to advance. Join a team to meet with your state rep. https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/

The campaign is asking for 3 things:
-That all votes held in legislative committees be publicly disclosed.
-That bills be made public for 72 hours before a final vote.
-That the threshold for a vote to be publicly recorded (roll call vote) in the House of Representatives be reduced from 16 state representatives to 8 representatives.

Teams are forming to meet with all representatives. A team has already formed to meet with Representative Mom. There will also be teams to speak with Representatives Howard and Golden.

National Actions and Events

Help save Oak Flat Apache Land from transfer to foreign mining companies

This land transfer was slipped into the 2015 Defense Appropriations Committee in the wee hours, since its supporters had been unable to get it through Congress openly. At the time, the environmental impact had not been fully reported. It is now clear that that impact would be disastrous. Efforts are under way to stop the transfer through legislation. You will find a petition to sign, and a message to legislators. Note: the form is wrong, as it brings up Senator Warren, who has already co-sponsored the bill, instead of Senator Markey. I just copied the sample message and pasted it into the webform on Senator Markey’s page and Rep. Trahan’s page. http://apache-stronghold.com/take-action.html

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected medical expense of $300 for a one-time treatment not covered by his insurance. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – medical” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
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 November meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xP8bUZQBT3YFpoqjhszx4I-84bdEgtkk19yAC3AUB9M/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our November meeting: https://youtu.be/W2SsXJ2hrDI

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 DECEMBER 12, 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

Virtual Fundraiser for Marius

Dec 15th, 7pm on Zoom
Free to attend, donations requested

The Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN), Merrimack Valley Project, and Solidarity Lowell present a conversation with Marius, a Togolese refugee. Host Cantor Vera Broekhuysen will lead the conversation with Marius, who will discuss his journey from Togo, a small country on the West Coast of Africa, through South America and Mexico and into the U.S. We will also hear about his experiences crossing the border and in ICE detention facilities.
To sign up: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/finding-sanctuary-marius-journey-north-tickets-128307791057

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday December 20th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
We will celebrate 2020 victories, as well as look at the work still to be done.
Watch for more information.

Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group Signup: New Session in January

Sign up here for Solidarity Lowell’s Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group, taking place starting in January 2021 for five weeks. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND ALL FIVE SESSIONS. Individuals committed to exploring their own racial biases are invited to participate in an Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group. The purpose of the group is to engage in supportive, structured dialogues with others to explore whiteness in contemporary society, especially to better understand the legacy and impact of white supremacy, white privilege, explicit and implicit bias, systemic racism, and microaggressions. This format is designed to provide a fruitful opportunity to engage in meaningful, difficult and engaging conversations about personal, institutional and societal responsibility in recognizing white privilege and systemic racism. Over the course of this five-week workshop, you will better understand yourself, your communities, and be prepared to work toward a diverse and equitable culture with your friends, family, Lowell and beyond. Registration is capped at 10 and, depending on interest, other groups may be formed. Dates will be scheduled ASAP and your confirmation in the group will be sent to the email address you list here. https://forms.gle/n7pxiUfDNVZzwj1Y8

Please update your contact info!

Solidarity Lowell would like to better target our messages. In order to do so, we would appreciate having your mailing address.
https://forms.gle/2BMYRXbvRx9yVcsaA

Local Events and Actions

Know Your Rights Campaign/Call to Action/Request for Volunteers–Stop Evictions in Lowell!!

LLAMA, in partnership with Lowell Alliance and other local groups, is planning a city-wide public information campaign to slow the wave of anticipated evictions and help families mitigate the impacts of evictions.

Volunteers are needed to help with the following:
Develop/revise informational materials-
The idea for this campaign comes from the Somerville Know Your Rights Campaign that launched last week (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w-7NJSy-KawRKJmzWQjt0hNavon_qdOA37eN3N-5rE4/edit). They have developed flyers and a resource guide which we can use as templates. So we don’t have to start completely from scratch but we do need a couple of volunteers to help with revisions and some research into Lowell-area resources. We also need help translating the materials into as many different languages as possible, at a minimum, Spanish, Khmer and Portuguese.

Outreach to community partners-
If this campaign is to be successful, we need to involve as many community partners as possible to help us get the word out as widely as possible. A broad-based coalition should include: churches/faith groups, food pantries, public institutions (LPS, library etc) social service providers, health institutions, neighborhood groups, community leaders etc. We have started a partner outreach list but we need help expanding that list and reaching out to potential partners.

Canvassing/Flyering-
We need a number of volunteers to post flyers throughout the city. We’re aiming to blanket the city with flyers posted in corner stores, hairdressers/barbershops, laundromats, restaurants etc
If you would like to play a role in this Week of Action please email Nancy Coan (ncoan@ywcaoflowell.org) to let her know what part (or parts) of this campaign you would like to help with.

Urge City Councilors and Manager to sign on to letter allowing pension funds to divest from fossil fuels

Contact city councilors and city manager via webform:
https://www.lowellma.gov/formcenter/Contact-the-City-Council-5/City-Council-Contact-Form-45

Be sure to tick all councilors you want to contact and City Manager.

Sample script:
Later in December, elected officials across Massachusetts are sending a letter to the Massachusetts Legislature urging the House and Senate to bring H4440 and S636 to a vote to protect pensions and pass legislation allowing pensions to divest from coal, oil and gas investments, in whole or in part.
The MassDivest Coalition is working together with their partners to advance this important policy measure that will empower local retirement boards to protect their portfolios from failing fossil fuel investments.
I urge you, as a representative of Lowell, to sign on as an endorser of the letter. To do so, please fill out this google form by 8am Monday, December 14. Mayors, City Managers, Town Administrators, and members of a City Council, Select Board, School Committee and Retirement Boards are invited to sign on.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf3fU1b54sPsD2LUpWbNhiuRO08tatxFPL6pp5_cXd-VQ77wA/viewform

Free Food Saturday

Saturdays from 1-3pm, South Common, South St and Summer St
Come for the food. Leave with information on food resources and eviction defense.
Happens every other Saturday. Next one: December 26.

Information session on new electoral system

Tuesday, December 15, ch. 99
5:30-6:30 English
6:30-7:30 Spanish
7:30-8:30 Khmer

Find out more about our coming hybrid district and at large city council system to be elected next fall.
Community members who wish to ask questions or provide input during the event must register to speak by sending an email containing their full name and address to yourlowellyourvote@lowellma.gov before 5 p. m. Monday December 14. Those unable to participate can submit questions and comments to the same e- mail address.

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, December 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.
978-222-7877 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

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.
December’s nominees are Ella’s Way, Ruff Tales Rescue, and Lazarus House.

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are:
Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc.
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
The winner will be awarded in December.

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

City Hall Closed to Public

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

State-Level Events and Actions

Contact your legislators about the Police Reform bill

Instead of passing the historic police reform bill, Governor Baker sent it back to the legislature with amendments that undercut key provisions to hold police accountable and promote racial justice. Our lawmakers must reject these harmful amendments and champion progress.
Senator Kennedy voted for the bill, but NONE of the Lowell representatives voted for it.
Contact your state legislators NOW:
http://bit.ly/reject-baker-amendments

Join the Transparency is Power Campaign

Act On Mass has launched a campaign to push our state reps for transparency during the next legislative session (beginning January 2021). At the beginning of each two-year session, the legislature sets its rules. It is high time that they commit to transparency in their dealings so that we know why bills we support keep failing to advance.
https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/

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 Conference 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. Now is a good time to contact legislators with your views.

Our State Reps’ Info
Find yours here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. David Nangle  David.Nangle@mahouse.gov 617-722-2520
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612

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

National Actions and Events

Help save Oak Flat Apache Land from transfer to foreign mining companies

This land transfer was slipped into the 2015 Defense Appropriations Committee in the wee hours, since its supporters had been unable to get it through Congress openly. At the time, the environmental impact had not been fully reported. It is now clear that that impact would be disastrous. Efforts are under way to stop the transfer through legislation. You will find a petition to sign, and a message to legislators. Note: the form is wrong, as it brings up Senator Warren, who has already co-sponsored the bill, instead of Senator Markey. I just copied the sample message and pasted it into the webform on Senator Markey’s page and Rep. Trahan’s page.
http://apache-stronghold.com/take-action.html

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected medical expense of $300 for a one-time treatment not covered by his insurance. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – medical” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
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)

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR DECEMBER 7, 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

Please update your contact info!

Solidarity Lowell would like to better target our messages. In order to do so, we would appreciate having your mailing address.
https://forms.gle/2BMYRXbvRx9yVcsaA

Save The Date: Virtual Fundraiser for Marius

Dec 15th, 7pm on Zoom
Free to attend, donations requested

The Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN), Merrimack Valley Project, and Solidarity Lowell present a conversation with Marius, a Togolese refugee. Host Cantor Vera Broekhuysen will lead the conversation with Marius, who will discuss his journey from Togo, a small country on the West Coast of Africa, through South America and Mexico and into the U.S. We will also hear about his experiences crossing the border and in ICE detention facilities.
To sign up: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/finding-sanctuary-marius-journey-north-tickets-128307791057

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday December 20th, 5:30pm, via Zoom
We will celebrate 2020 victories, as well as look at the work still to be done.
Watch for more information.

Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group Signup: New Session in January

Sign up here for Solidarity Lowell’s Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group, taking place starting in January 2021 for five weeks. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND ALL FIVE SESSIONS. Individuals committed to exploring their own racial biases are invited to participate in an Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group. The purpose of the group is to engage in supportive, structured dialogues with others to explore whiteness in contemporary society, especially to better understand the legacy and impact of white supremacy, white privilege, explicit and implicit bias, systemic racism, and microaggressions. This format is designed to provide a fruitful opportunity to engage in meaningful, difficult and engaging conversations about personal, institutional and societal responsibility in recognizing white privilege and systemic racism. Over the course of this five-week workshop, you will better understand yourself, your communities, and be prepared to work toward a diverse and equitable culture with your friends, family, Lowell and beyond. Registration is capped at 10 and, depending on interest, other groups may be formed. Dates will be scheduled ASAP and your confirmation in the group will be sent to the email address you list here.
https://forms.gle/n7pxiUfDNVZzwj1Y8

Local Events and Actions

Know Your Rights Campaign/Call to Action/Request for Volunteers–Stop Evictions in Lowell!!

LLAMA, in partnership with Lowell Alliance and other local groups, is planning a city-wide public information campaign to slow the wave of anticipated evictions and help families mitigate the impacts of evictions.

Volunteers are needed to help with the following:
Develop/revise informational materials-
The idea for this campaign comes from the Somerville Know Your Rights Campaign that launched last week (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w-7NJSy-KawRKJmzWQjt0hNavon_qdOA37eN3N-5rE4/edit). They have developed flyers and a resource guide which we can use as templates. So we don’t have to start completely from scratch but we do need a couple of volunteers to help with revisions and some research into Lowell-area resources. We also need help translating the materials into as many different languages as possible, at a minimum, Spanish, Khmer and Portuguese.

Outreach to community partners-
If this campaign is to be successful, we need to involve as many community partners as possible to help us get the word out as widely as possible. A broad-based coalition should include: churches/faith groups, food pantries, public institutions (LPS, library etc) social service providers, health institutions, neighborhood groups, community leaders etc. We have started a partner outreach list but we need help expanding that list and reaching out to potential partners.

Canvassing/Flyering-
We need a number of volunteers to post flyers throughout the city. We’re aiming to blanket the city with flyers posted in corner stores, hairdressers/barbershops, laundromats, restaurants etc
If you would like to play a role in this Week of Action please email Nancy Coan (ncoan@ywcaoflowell.org) to let her know what part (or parts) of this campaign you would like to help with.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, December 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 issued a Zoom link in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, December 4.

Conservation Commission to consider Gas Company Application

Wednesday, December 9, 7pm
Watch https://www.lowellma.gov/AgendaCenter for agenda.
Watch for link.

Folks are urged to attend the meeting, which concerns an expansion of the pipeline. Please see below for a link to NOI application materials for the Lowell Area Gas Modernization Project. The applicant is proposing to replace portions of an existing 6” natural gas pipeline system with new, larger (12”) diameter pipeline. The project is needed to facilitate the use of state-of-the-art in-line inspection equipment involving the internal inspection of pipelines using special tools which travel within the pipeline and can measure wall thickness, identify metal loss, and scan for cracks or crack-like defects.
The wetland resource areas impacted include Inland Bank, Riverfront Area, Bordering Land Subject to Flooding, Land Under Wetlands and Waterways, and wetlands (BVW). Black Brook and River Meadow Brook are within or adjacent to the project area.
All project materials are available online at: https://lowellma.gov/DocumentCenter/Index/1381

CMAA’s 36th Anniversary Gala “Together With A Purpose”

Friday, December 11, 6pm

This year’s Gala will be a virtual event. Youth performances and silent auction (some items from Cambodia!) will be part of an evening full of community resilience, love, and care.
Register to attend the FREE EVENT, sign up for auction items, make a donation, and become a sponsor by visiting:
https://one.bidpal.net/cmaa36

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.
November’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Lowell Association for the Blind and Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust. The third nominee is Town of Chelmsford Scholarship Fund.

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are
Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc.
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
The winner will be awarded in December.

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

State-Level Events and Actions

Join the Transparency is Power Campaign

Act On Mass has launched a campaign to push our state reps for transparency during the next legislative session (beginning January 2021). At the beginning of each two-year session, the legislature sets its rules. It is high time that they commit to transparency in their dealings so that we know why bills we support keep failing to advance.
https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/

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 Conference 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. Now is a good time to contact legislators with your views.

Our State Reps’ Info
Find yours here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. David Nangle  David.Nangle@mahouse.gov 617-722-2520
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612

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

2021 Budget Bill
Passed and waiting for the Governor’s review and signature. A number of critical issues have been included as amendments to the budget bill. And the Governor has the power of line item veto.

One such item is the Roe Act. The Massachusetts state House and Senate both voted to adopt amendments to improve abortion access in their versions of the state budget. We must ensure that when Governor Baker ultimately signs a state budget into law it includes these crucial amendments — and that means we must act now.
Please send a message to the governor urging him to support equitable abortion access. Then share this form with three friends: we can get these key components of the ROE Act passed into law, and we need everyone to get involved to do it.
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/emailcharliebaker-roeact

Police Reform Bill Passed But Needs Your Support
The Governor still needs to sign it. The margin it passed in the House, by 91-67, is well short of the 107 votes needed to override a veto by the Governor. The Senate vote of 28-12 was only 1 vote above being able to override. So if he vetoes it, there might NOT be the votes to override it and then sections of the law could be blocked.
Police unions are lobbying strenuously for him to veto the bill or at least sections dealing with police officer accountability, decertification, and qualified immunity which is at the heart of the bill.

Contact the Governor at (617) 725-4005, or using this email: form: https://www.mass.gov/forms/email-the-governors-office, and at this address: Governor Charlie Baker, State House, Boston, MA 02133

Sample Message:
Please sign the Racial Justice Policing bill, Senate 2963. It’s a fair compromise between the House and Senate versions and includes some provisions of the bill you proposed. Please sign it to keep the faith to racial justice.

Alternative sample email to Governor:
Dear Governor Baker,
This is a critical moment for racial justice in our country, and it’s time for Massachusetts to take meaningful action.
Thousands of Bay Staters took to the streets in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police, calling for accountability and reform for law enforcement. In the months since his death, we’ve also seen multiple instances of state and local law enforcement in Massachusetts committing illegal activity, violence, and evading basic accountability.
This is not just a national issue. We need police reform now, right here in Massachusetts. We need to create greater accountability, prevent police violence, and improve police-community trust.
The Legislature’s compromise police reform package builds on many of the reforms you proposed back in June and even earlier. It also includes additional reform measures like a ban on chokeholds, and giving civil-rights stakeholders equal representation with police on the police oversight board. These are common-sense reforms with broad public support.
As the end of the legislative session draws near, Massachusetts must not ask communities of color to wait any longer for safer communities, basic accountability, and meaningful reform.
We can’t miss this chance this session. I urge you to stand with the majority of Massachusetts residents, end the delays, and sign the police reform bill into law today, without amendment.
Please do not kill this careful compromise that is poised to deliver such long-overdue change for communities of color.
Sincerely,
[signer name]
Note: Senator Kennedy voted for the bill. All three Lowell reps voted against it. Let them know what you think.

Safe Communities Act (S.1402/H.3573)
This bill was voted favorably out of the Public Safety Committee, but there has been no movement to bring it to vote. It would let our police focus on what they were hired to do instead of being used to do ICE’s work for them. It may not have enough supporters to override a possible veto, but we should not give up until the legislature has shut down for this session at the end of the year.

You can help by writing your legislators in support of passing the bill with the convenient form:
https://actionnetwork.org/letters/pass-the-safe-communities-act

Work and Family Mobility Act
This bill would allow people to obtain a driver’s license without having to show immigration status, enabling them to learn how to operate vehicles safely and to work and support their families.

Email Governor Charlie Baker, your state representative and senator now and ask them to support the bill: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/dff-letter

Write letters to the editor in support of both the above bills
One of the best ways to increase public awareness and support for the Safe Communities Act and Work and Family Mobility Act is for trusted community members to submit letters to the editor of their local newspapers. If you’d like to submit a letter to the editor, please contact Karissa Hand at khand@miracoalition.org.

National Actions and Events

Join the Indivisible Truth Brigade

Propaganda, false characterizations, intentionally misleading messages, and outright lies threaten our democracy and even our lives. We can effectively combat disinformation, despite the well-funded machines that drive it. They may have money, but we have truth and we have people. People believe sources they trust. When we share and amplify unified, factual messages to those who trust us, we shift the narrative. When we do this by the thousands– we’re part of the Indivisible Truth Brigade, and we get our country back.
https://act.indivisible.org/signup/indivisible-truth-brigade

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected medical expense of $300 for a one-time treatment not covered by his insurance. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – medical” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
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 November meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xP8bUZQBT3YFpoqjhszx4I-84bdEgtkk19yAC3AUB9M/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our November meeting: https://youtu.be/W2SsXJ2hrDI

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 NOVEMBER 25, 2020

 

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR NOVEMBER 25, 2020

SOLIDARITY LOWELL EVENTS AND ACTIONS
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Please update your contact info!
Solidarity Lowell would like to better target our messages. In order to do so, we would appreciate having your mailing address. https://forms.gle/2BMYRXbvRx9yVcsaA

Save The Date: Virtual Fundraiser for Marius
Dec 15th, 7pm on Zoom
Free to attend, donations requested
The Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN), Merrimack Valley Project, and Solidarity Lowell present a conversation with Marius, a Togolese refugee. Host Cantor Vera Broekhuysen will lead the conversation with Marius, who will discuss his journey from Togo, a small country on the West Coast of Africa, through South America and Mexico and into the U.S. We will also hear about his experiences crossing the border and in ICE detention facilities.
To sign up: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/finding-sanctuary-marius-journey-north-tickets-128307791057

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting
Sunday December 20th, 5:30pm, via Zoom. 
We will celebrate victories as well as look at the work still to be done. Watch for more information.


Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group Signup: New Session in January
Sign up here for Solidarity Lowell’s Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group, taking place starting in January 2021 for five weeks. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL BE EXPECTED TO ATTEND ALL FIVE SESSIONS.

Individuals committed to exploring their own racial biases are invited to participate in an Unpacking Whiteness Dialogue Group. The purpose of the group is to engage in supportive, structured dialogues with others to explore whiteness in contemporary society, especially to better understand the legacy and impact of white supremacy, white privilege, explicit and implicit bias, systemic racism, and microaggressions.

This format is designed to provide a fruitful opportunity to engage in meaningful, difficult and engaging conversations about personal, institutional and societal responsibility in recognizing white privilege and systemic racism. Over the course of this five-week workshop, you will better understand yourself, your communities, and be prepared to work toward a diverse and equitable culture with your friends, family, Lowell and beyond.

Registration is capped at 10 and, depending on interest, other groups may be formed. Dates will be scheduled ASAP and your confirmation in the group will be sent to the email address you list here. https://forms.gle/n7pxiUfDNVZzwj1Y8


LOCAL EVENTS AND ACTIONS
Know Your Rights Campaign/Call to Action/Request for Volunteers–Stop Evictions in Lowell!!
LLAMA, in partnership with Lowell Alliance and other local groups, is planning a city-wide public information campaign to slow the wave of anticipated evictions and help families mitigate the impacts of evictions.

Volunteers are needed to help with the following: 

Develop/revise informational materials:
The idea for this campaign comes from the Somerville Know Your Rights Campaign that launched last week (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w-7NJSy-KawRKJmzWQjt0hNavon_qdOA37eN3N-5rE4/edit

They have developed flyers and a resource guide which we can use as templates. So we don’t have to start completely from scratch but we do need a couple of volunteers to help with revisions and some research into Lowell-area resources. We also need help translating the materials into as many different languages as possible, at a minimum, Spanish, Khmer Portuguese.

Outreach to community partners:
If this campaign is to be successful, we need to involve as many community partners as possible to help us get the word out as widely as possible. A broad-based coalition should include: churches/faith groups, food pantries, public institutions (LPS, library etc) social service providers, health institutions, neighborhood groups, community leaders etc. We have started a partner outreach list but we need help expanding that list and reaching out to potential partners.
Canvassing/Flyering:
We need a number of volunteers to post flyers throughout the city. We’re aiming to blanket the city with flyers posted in corner stores, hairdressers/barbershops, laundromats, restaurants etc.
If you would like to play a role in this Week of Action please email Nancy Coan (ncoan@ywcaoflowell.org) to let her know what part (or parts) of this campaign you would like to help with.

Conservation Commission to consider Gas Company Application
Wednesday, December 9, 7pm
Please see below for a link to NOI application materials for the Lowell Area Gas Modernization Project. The applicant is proposing to replace portions of an existing 6” natural gas pipeline system with new, larger (12”) diameter pipeline. The project is needed to facilitate the use of state-of-the-art in-line inspection equipment involving the internal inspection of pipelines using special tools which travel within the pipeline and can measure wall thickness, identify metal loss, and scan for cracks or crack-like defects.
The wetland resource areas impacted include Inland Bank, Riverfront Area, Bordering Land Subject to Flooding, Land Under Wetlands and Waterways, and wetlands (BVW). Black Brook and River Meadow Brook are within or adjacent to the project area.
All project materials are available online at: https://lowellma.gov/DocumentCenter/Index/1381

CMAA’s 36th Anniversary Gala “Together With A Purpose”
Friday, December 11, 6pm
This year’s Gala will be a virtual event. Youth performances and silent auction (some items from Cambodia!) will be part of an evening full of community resilience, love, and care.
Register to attend the FREE EVENT, sign up for auction items, make a donation, and become a sponsor by visiting:
https://one.bidpal.net/cmaa36

CONTACT CITY COUNCILORS TO SUPPORT HOUSING STABILITY NOTIFICATION MOTION
The following motion was made at a recent City Council meeting and was referred to the Legal Department for review.
10.7.
C. Drinkwater – Request City Mgr. Direct The Law Department To Draft An Ordinance Relative To Housing Stability Notification, Requiring Notice To Tenants Whose Tenancies Are Being Terminated On The Rights And Resources Available To Them.
This is based on an Ordinance that was passed in Somerville, the first city in the state to pass one. The City would provide information to landlords, which they then are to hand out to tenants together with the “Notice to Quit.”
We are urging you to contact all City Councilors (except Councilor Drinkwater) asking them to move forward with implementation of the motion as soon as possible, since the eviction moratorium has ended and eviction proceedings have been started against a number of people already.
You will find a mail form at:
that allows you to check off all the councilors you are trying to reach.
SUGGESTED SCRIPT
Dear Councilor,
I’m writing in support of the motion by Councilor John Drinkwater that appeared on the agenda for the October 13 City Council meeting:
10.7. C. Drinkwater – Req. City Mgr. Direct The Law Department To Draft An Ordinance Relative To Housing Stability Notification, Requiring Notice To Tenants Whose Tenancies Are Being Terminated On The Rights And Resources Available To Them.
It is urgent that the City act on this motion as quickly as possible, since the state eviction moratorium has ended and eviction proceedings have already started against a number of people. Our City does not have the resources to cope with hundreds, if not thousands, of people suddenly homeless. Councilor Drinkwater’s motion would at least provide residents with information on rental assistance, legal assistance, and the court process through which they can pursue mediation and an agreement that may keep them housed.
Thank you.
Your constituent
[name, address, phone #]

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting
Thursday, December 3, 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 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, December 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 issued a Zoom link in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.

The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, December 4.

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.
December’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Lowell Association for the Blind and Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust. The third nominee is Town of Chelmsford Scholarship Fund.

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards
Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association, The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc., and 
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.

The winner will be awarded in December. 
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
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!

Join the Transparency is Power Campaign
Act On Mass has launched a campaign to push our state reps for transparency during the next legislative session (beginning January 2021). At the beginning of each two-year session, the legislature sets its rules. It is high time that they commit to transparency in their dealings so that we know why bills we support keep failing to advance. Join a team to meet with your state rep.
https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/

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 Conference 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. Now is a good time to contact legislators with your views.

Our State Legislators’ Info:

Find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. David Nangle David.Nangle@mahouse.gov 617-722-2520
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612
Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

2021 Budget Bill
Now in Conference Committee. A number of critical issues have been included as amendments to the budget bill.

One such item is continued authorization of medication co-pay assistance programs. The law governing these programs is about to expire. The fate of the programs rests with the conference committee. Patients for Prescription Access is asking folks to email members of the Conference Committee to ask them to include an extension of co-pay assistance programs to 2023 in the budget bill.
https://app.muster.com/take-action/6utJAKHr0R/?t=cf05fa2cb8070e67724c5ea58ad01a02

Safe Communities Act (S.1402/H.3573)
This bill was voted favorably out of the Public Safety Committee, but there has been no movement to bring it to vote. It would let our police focus on what they were hired to do instead of being used to do ICE’s work for them. It may not have enough supporters to override a possible veto, but we should not give up until the legislature has shut down for this session at the end of the year.

You can help by writing your legislators in support of passing the bill with the convenient form: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/pass-the-safe-communities-act

Work and Family Mobility Act
This bill would allow people to obtain a driver’s license without having to show immigration status, enabling them to learn how to operate vehicles safely and to work and support their families.

Email Governor Charlie Baker, your state representative and senator now and ask them to support the bill: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/dff-letter

Write letters to the editor in support of both the above bills.
One of the best ways to increase public awareness and support for the Safe Communities Act and Work and Family Mobility Act is for trusted community members to submit letters to the editor of their local newspapers. If you’d like to submit a letter to the editor, please contact Karissa Hand at khand@miracoalition.org.

Housing Stability [URGENT-MORATORIUM HAS ENDED]
The bill was reported favorably out of committee and went into Conference Committee. Although the Governor announced a plan that would provide $100,000,000 to cover back rent and would also fund counsel the plan does not do nearly as much as is needed. The bill has survived as Amendment #585 / #763 to the budget bill.
Call or email in support of the amendment to prevent evictions and foreclosures. Scripts, instructions, and numbers provided:
https://www.housingguarantee.org/contact_your_legislators

NATIONAL ACTIONS AND EVENTS
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
Join the Indivisible Truth Brigade
Propaganda, false characterizations, intentionally misleading messages, and outright lies threaten our democracy and even our lives. We can effectively combat disinformation, despite the well-funded machines that drive it. They may have money, but we have truth and we have people. People believe sources they trust. When we share and amplify unified, factual messages to those who trust us, we shift the narrative. When we do this by the thousands– we’re part of the Indivisible Truth Brigade, and we get our country back. https://act.indivisible.org/signup/indivisible-truth-brigade

ONGOING SOLIDARITY LOWELL INITIATIVES
Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius
Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected medical expense of $300 for a one-time treatment not covered by his insurance. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – medical” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
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).
The RRT (Rapid Response Team) Action List compiles action items from the week into one place. If you would like to add anything to the weekly update, please send it to Dee Halzack on Facebook or at dee@solidaritylowell.com using subject line “RRT”.
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/

November meeting recording: https://youtu.be/W2SsXJ2hrDI
Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Click here to join: https://www.progressivemass.com/contribute

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team

RAPID RESPONSE TEAM ACTION LIST FOR NOVEMBER 16, 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: Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday November 22nd, 5:30pm, via Zoom

Finding Sanctuary: Marius’ Journey North – Virtual Fundraiser

Dec 15th, 7pm on Zoom
Free to attend, donations requested

The Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN), Merrimack Valley Project, and Solidarity Lowell present a conversation with Marius, a Togolese refugee. Host Cantor Vera Broekhuysen will lead the conversation with Marius, who will discuss his journey from Togo, a small country on the West Coast of Africa, through South America and Mexico and into the U.S. We will also hear about his experiences crossing the border and in ICE detention facilities.

To sign up: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/finding-sanctuary-marius-journey-north-tickets-128307791057

Local Events and Actions

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, November 19, 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
lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, November 24, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/).

Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, November 20.
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.
November’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Lowell Association for the Blind and Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust. The third nominee is Town of Chelmsford Scholarship Fund.

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are
Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc.
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
The winner will be awarded in December.

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

State-Level Events and Actions

Join the Transparency is Power Campaign

Act On Mass has launched a campaign to push our state reps for transparency during the next legislative session (beginning January 2021). At the beginning of each two-year session, the legislature sets its rules. It is high time that they commit to transparency in their dealings so that we know why bills we support keep failing to advance.
https://actonmass.org/the-campaign/

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 Conference 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. Now is a good time to contact legislators with your views.

Our State Reps’ Info
Find yours here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator

House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov  617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. David Nangle  David.Nangle@mahouse.gov 617-722-2520
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612

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

Housing Stability [URGENT-MORATORIUM HAS ENDED]
The bill was reported favorably out of committee and went into Conference Committee. Although the Governor announced a plan that would provide $100,000,000 to cover back rent and would also fund counsel the plan does not do nearly as much as is needed. The bill has survived as Amendment #585 / #763 to the budget bill.
Call or email in support of the amendment to prevent evictions and foreclosures. Scripts, instructions, and numbers provided:
https://www.housingguarantee.org/contact_your_legislators

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected medical expense of $300 for a one-time treatment not covered by his insurance. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – medical” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
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 October meeting here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1n3FECwmUrSYF2s-1oE2I01jprUBXFQ_7xylEZgBgVsA/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our October meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0cLF218xz0

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 NOVEMBER 6, 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: Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday November 22nd, 5:30pm, via Zoom

Post-Election Action Opportunities

Watch our facebook page for information. No one knows at this point what will be necessary, or when.
Meanwhile, Protect the Results Boston is asking folks to take the following action:

Ask Secretary of State Galvin to support making mail-in balloting and the extended early voting timeline permanent.
https://www.sec.state.ma.us/seccon.htm
You will find more guidelines at this link: https://rb.gy/rnykuy

They were also asking folks to contact the governor asking him to make a statement in support of counting all the votes, but he’s done that.

Local Events and Actions

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, November 12, 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 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

The MVP 8th Annual MICAH Awards Celebration

Saturday, November 7, 2020, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
This event will celebrate the work of several community members who go above and beyond to make the world a better place. MVP is offering 3 ticket options ($10, $30 with gift card, $30 without gift card) and this event is also an annual fundraiser. Purchase tickets online at:
https://givebutter.com/MICAH20
If you cannot attend the event that day but still would like to provide a tax-deductible contribution to the work of the Merrimack Valley Project, you may do so at:
https://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, November 10, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before, November 6.

Towards an Anti-Racist Tomorrow

November 15, 3pm, on Zoom
A series of short plays written by Idris Goodwin, featuring Water Gun Song, #Matter, Act Free, BLACK FLAG, and Nothing Rhymes with Juneteenth. Presented by Free Soil Arts Collective and Middlesex Community College Theater Department.
Register at https://freesoilarts.org/towards-an-anti-racist-tomorrow/

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.
November’s nominees include 2 Lowell groups, Lowell Association for the Blind and Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust. The third nominee is Town of Chelmsford Scholarship Fund.

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

Every quarter, this Jeanne D’Arc Foundation awards a grant to a local non-profit through Give-A-Click, based on community voting.
This quarter’s contestants are
Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc.
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
The winner will be awarded in December.

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

State-Level Events and Actions

Protect Our People, Grow Our Power Rally and March

Saturday, November 7, 11am
Join Sunrise Movement, SEIU 32 BJ, Unitarian Universalist Mass Action, Asian American Resource Workshop, and many other organizations as they unite in the streets to demand that our democracy be protected, our votes be counted, and our communities be served. The march will run from Copley Square to Faneuil Hall this Saturday at 11 am to protect democracy and our communities and grow our local power!
**This event is following COVID-19 safety protocols. Please wear a mask, stay socially distant, and stay home if you have had recent symptoms.**

Vigil for Racial Justice

Sunday, November 8, 2-3pm
Littleton Common and First Baptist Church

Sponsored by Greater Littleton Interfaith Council

MASKS & SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIRED

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 Conference 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. Now is a good time to contact legislators with your views.

Our State Reps’ Info:
Fnd yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator:

House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. David Nangle David.Nangle@mahouse.gov 617-722-2520
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612
Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133
Police Reform Bill

This is STILL in Conference Committee. Contact your legislators and ask them to urge the bill be brought to a vote with these four key asks:

  • Strong reforms to qualified immunity as well as the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, as in the Senate bill, to ensure that victims of police brutality can have their fair day in court
  • Breaking up the school-to-prison pipeline by granting schools discretion over whether or not to have school resource officers and ensuring that student information is not being passed on to police or ICE
  • Reinvestment in communities because strong, thriving communities are the bedrock of any real vision of public safety
  • Restrictions on the government use of facial surveillance because such tools are notoriously racist and inaccurate and violate basic privacy rights

Economic Development Bill
This bill is in Conference Committee. Tell Legislators to Invest In Our Recovery. It’s time to put the people first. 70+ percent of Massachusetts voters agree: We must invest in our public services that improve public health, grow our economy, and reduce racial inequalities. Rather than implement state budget cuts that would worsen the effects of the economic downturn and harm our recovery, legislators must raise new revenue from profitable corporations and their shareholders!

Housing Stability [URGENT-MORATORIUM HAS ENDED]
The bill was reported favorably out of committee and is now in Conference Committee. Although the Governor announced a plan that would provide $100,000,000 to cover back rent and would also fund counsel the plan does not do nearly as much as is needed.
Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act to prevent evictions and foreclosures. Scripts for both calls and emails are provided. Click on the tab of your preferred action.
https://www.housingguarantee.org/

Roe Act
This bill is still in the Judiciary Committee. 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. As things stand now, a minor in foster care must go before a judge to get permission to have an abortion. And there are still restrictions on pregnancy terminations that become medically necessary after the first trimester.
The ROE Act abolishes medically unnecessary restrictions, reforms inflammatory and inaccurate legal definitions relative to pregnancy and abortion, and eliminates unwarranted intrusions and criminal penalties for doctors that provide abortion care. The bill also codifies reproductive freedom into state law.

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

Climate Action: Still Waiting
The police reform bill isn’t the only bill sitting in conference committee, awaiting a final vote on passage. So is a climate bill that the House took up in July.
There are important provisions in both the House and Senate versions that need to make it into a final bill.
Please contact your state legislators with these four key asks:

  • Environmental justice language to protect vulnerable and historically marginalized communities that have borne the brunt of pollution and other environmental harms
  • An accelerated timeline for emissions targets because we are already so far behind
  • Increased renewable electricity generation because we need to be shifting away from fossil fuels and toward clean, green energy for us to even meet those targets
  • A clear equity focus in any carbon pricing scheme that comes out of the bill so that the communities most impacted by environmental injustices can benefit from a sustainable transition.

Safe Communities Act (S.1402/H.3573)
This bill was voted favorably out of the Public Safety Committee, but there has been no movement to bring it to vote. It may not have enough supporters to override a possible veto. But we should not give up until the legislature has shut down for this session at the end of the year.
For ways you can support the effort to pass the bill, please go to:
https://www.miracoalition.org/get-involved/join-the-fight-for-safe-communities/

National Actions and Events

Help Cure Ballots in Nevada

Friday Nov. 6 through Thursday Nov. 12
Train on line to make calls to help Nevadans whose mail votes were rejected fix any problems so their vote will count.
https://www.mobilize.us/nvdems/event/357240/
Help Cure Ballots in North Carolina
Sunday Nov. 8 through Thursday Nov. 12
Train on line to make calls to help North Carolinians whose mail votes were rejected or who had to vote with provisional ballots fix any problems so their vote will count.
https://tinyurl.com/y483fc77

NPQ Webinar: Remaking the Economy: Where to Now?–And Beyond

Looks at the state of economic democracy in the wake of the 2020 elections.
Thursday, November 12, 2pm

Dr. Gar Alperovitz, historian, political economist, and cofounder of The Democracy Collaborative, based in Washington, DC, and the author of What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk about the Next American Revolution.
Laura Flanders, an award-winning journalist based in New York City who hosts The Laura Flanders Show and was recognized this year by the Lannan Foundation for her body of work, which “helps the American public begin to imagine alternatives.”
Dr. Stacey Sutton, associate professor of urban planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she examines worker cooperatives, economic democracy, equitable development, and the racially disparate effects of place-based policy.
This webinar will explore:
What can cities do to build a more democratic economy?
What can co-ops, nonprofits, and other community-based actors contribute to the current moment marked by stark racial and economic inequality?
How can we democratize our politics as well as our economics? What new stories and narratives need to be advanced?
How can the institutional power base for a new politics be developed?
How does the state of the movement in 2020 differ from 2008? What learning has occurred in the past dozen years?
How can activists address current needs while building for the long term?
How can a “Green New Deal” be transformational?
How can the economy foster improvements in public health?
What role can philanthropy play in supporting the development of a more equitable economy?

https://tinyurl.com/y2sdjn2h

Post-election recap on “What’s Next for Refugees”

Thursday, November 12, 4pm
HIAS Post-election debrief on refugee and asylum-seekers
https://tinyurl.com/y49ldp5b

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected medical expense of $300 for a one-time treatment not covered by his insurance. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – medical” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
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)

Save The Date: Virtual Fundraiser for Marius

Dec 15th, 7pm on Zoom More details coming soon!

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 October meeting here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1n3FECwmUrSYF2s-1oE2I01jprUBXFQ_7xylEZgBgVsA/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our October meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0cLF218xz0

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 OCTOBER 30, 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: Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday November 22nd, 5:30pm, via Zoom

Election Information

Track your mail-in ballot status
https://www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/track/trackmyballot.aspx

Make a Plan to Vote

Good advice from CHN
https://www.chn.org/voices/make-a-healthy-plan-to-vote/

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) You could also be a paid poll worker or a volunteer poll watcher.

See the pinned announcement on our Facebook page for more details.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SolidarityLowell/announcements/

Post-election action

Watch our Facebook page for information. No one knows at this point what will be necessary, or when.

Meanwhile, we encourage you to take advantage of one of the many trainings being offered for how to deal with a possible post-election power grab. Better to be trained and ready and not need to do anything, than to not be ready. Any actions need to be NONVIOLENT, so training in nonviolent methods would be particularly helpful.
https://choosedemocracy.us/trainings/#.X5tfSIhKjcs

Local Events and Actions

Llama Friendly Bites

Periodic Friendly Bites events around the city, with free food and information on eviction defense
Next event: October 31 on North Common (413 Fletcher St) 3-5pm
Lowell Votes: Textbank to Get Out the Vote
Monday, November 2, 1-3pm
https://tinyurl.com/LowellGOTVfor11320

Lowell Votes seeks volunteers for other tasks

Help is sought with Khmer translation, Working Group coordination, and general help
http://www.lowellvotes.org/volunteer/

Support Endorsed Candidate Teresa English on Election Day

Tuesday, November 3

Standouts at the polls are being scheduled in shifts as follows:
7am-9am
9am-12pm
12pm-3pm
6pm-8pm

If interested in supporting this progressive candidate by holding a sign at the polls, please contact Campaign Manager Meredith Lovell at merelovell@yahoo.com

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting

Thursday, November 5, 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 lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

Watch for an announcement of the next meeting, with Zoom link at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2658623527701727/
Or contact the group via the phone number.

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, November 10, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link in to the meeting. Email address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If no access to email you may contact City Clerk at 978-674-4161.
The agenda will be posted at http://lowellma.gov/agendacenter by the Friday before.

The MVP 8th Annual MICAH Awards Celebration

Saturday, November 7, 2020, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
This event will celebrate the work of several community members who go above and beyond to make the world a better place. MVP is offering 3 ticket options ($10, $30 with gift card, $30 without gift card) and this event is also an annual fundraiser. Purchase tickets online at:
https://givebutter.com/MICAH20
If you cannot attend the event that day but still would like to provide a tax-deductible contribution to the work of the Merrimack Valley Project, you may do so at:
https://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1.

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.
October’s nominees include 3 Lowell groups, The Megan House Foundation, Lowell Transitional Living Center, Inc., and Living Waters Center of Hope.

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

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

  • Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
  • The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc.
  • Greater Lawrence Family Health Center

The winner will be awarded in December.

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

State-Level Events and Actions


Phone Bank for Safe Communities Act

Tuesday, November 3, 11am-1pm
Sign up: https://actionnetwork.org/campaigns/safe-elections-for-all

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 Conference 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. Now, before an electron, is a good time to contact legislators with your views.

Economic Development Bill
This bill is in Conference Committee. Tell Legislators to Invest In Our Recovery at the Greater Lowell meeting on the bill. It’s time to put the people first. 70+ percent of Massachusetts voters agree: We must invest in our public services that improve public health, grow our economy, and reduce racial inequalities. Rather than implement state budget cuts that would worsen the effects of the economic downturn and harm our recovery, legislators must raise new revenue from profitable corporations and their shareholders!
bit.ly/invest-lowell

Housing Stability [URGENT-MORATORIUM ENDS OCTOBER 17]
The bill was reported favorably out of committee and is now in Conference Committee. Although the Governor announced a plan that would provide $100,000,000 to cover back rent and would also fund counsel the plan does not do nearly as much as is needed.
Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act to prevent evictions and foreclosures. Scripts for both calls and emails are provided. Click on the tab of your preferred action.
https://www.housingguarantee.org/
Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act to prevent evictions and foreclosures. Scripts for both are provided. Click on the tab of your preferred action.

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

Climate Action: Still Waiting
The police reform bill isn’t the only bill sitting in conference committee, awaiting a final vote on passage. So is a climate bill that the House took up in July.
There are important provisions in both the House and Senate versions that need to make it into a final bill.
Please you contact your state legislators with these four key asks:

  • Environmental justice language to protect vulnerable and historically marginalized communities that have borne the brunt of pollution and other environmental harms
  • An accelerated timeline for emissions targets because we are already so far behind
  • Increased renewable electricity generation because we need to be shifting away from fossil fuels and toward clean, green energy for us to even meet those targets
  • A clear equity focus in any carbon pricing scheme that comes out of the bill so that the communities most impacted by environmental injustices can benefit from a sustainable transition.

Police Reform Bill
This is still in Conference Committee. Contact your legislators and ask them to urge the bill be brought to a vote.

Safe Communities Act
This bill was voted favorably out of the Public Safety Committee, but there has been no movement to bring it to vote. It may not have enough supporters to override a possible veto.

Our State Reps’ Info:
Find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):

House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. David Nangle David.Nangle@mahouse.gov 617-722-2520
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612
Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected medical expense of $300 for a one-time treatment not covered by his insurance. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – medical” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
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 October meeting here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1n3FECwmUrSYF2s-1oE2I01jprUBXFQ_7xylEZgBgVsA/edit?usp=sharing

Recording of our October meeting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0cLF218xz0

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 OCTOBER 23, 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 October General Meeting – This Sunday!

Sunday October 25th, 5:30pm, via Zoom

  • Lowell City Councilors Vesna Nuon and John Drinkwater will be speaking on the impending eviction crisis.
  • 350MA – ballot initiative in the 16th district (Tom Golden)/question 3, do citizens want to instruct their state reps to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050.
  • Possibly LowellLines re: new District Maps

Meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88185105639?pwd=S2plTStiMjNmMDRoVUVZM0FBR2podz09
For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/730423721017695/

Election Information

Track your mail-in ballot status
https://www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/track/trackmyballot.aspx

Make a Plan to Vote
Good advice from CHN
https://www.chn.org/voices/make-a-healthy-plan-to-vote/

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) You could also be a paid poll worker or a volunteer poll watcher.

See the pinned announcement on our Facebook page for more details.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/SolidarityLowell/announcements/

Local Events and Actions

October 24: Last day to register to vote

…and to change party enrollment for state election.
Register or update or check registration online:
https://www.sec.state.ma.us/OVR/

Early Voting In Progress

Friday, October 23: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Saturday, October 24: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Sunday, October 25: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Monday, October 26: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday, October 27: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday, October 28: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Thursday, October 29: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday, October 30: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

At the Senior Center, 276 Broadway Street, Lowell

Lowell Votes: Get Out the Vote Phone Banks

Saturday, October 24, 1pm (Spanish only)
Monday, October 26, 1pm
Monday, November 2, 1pm
Looking to volunteer locally for GOTV efforts but don’t know where to get started? Lowell Votes NEEDS your help! They’re looking for at least 50 volunteers over the next 3 weeks.
The Massachusetts Voter Table is providing tools training sessions every Tuesday at 1pm until the election.
https://tinyurl.com/LowellGOTVfor11320

Weekly LLAMA Housing Advocacy Meeting:

Thursday, October 29 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 or lowellhousingaction@riseup.net

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/

Llama Friendly Bites

Periodic Friendly Bites events around the city, with free food and information on eviction defense
Next event: October 31 on North Common 3-5pm

Next City Council Meeting

Tuesday, October 27, 6:30pm
At the beginning of the emergency, the City Council voted to meet every 2 weeks to facilitate safe distancing. Watch the meeting on LTC (Channel 99 or https://www.ltc.org/watch/channel-99/). Members wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item shall register to speak in advance by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda item and a phone number to call so that they may be issued a Zoom link 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.

The MVP 8th Annual MICAH Awards Celebration

Saturday, November 7, 2020, 6:00 to 9:00 PM
This event will celebrate the work of several community members who go above and beyond to make the world a better place. MVP is offering 3 ticket options ($10, $30 with gift card, $30 without gift card) and this event is also an annual fundraiser. Purchase tickets online at:
https://givebutter.com/MICAH20
If you cannot attend the event that day but still would like to provide a tax-deductible contribution to the work of the Merrimack Valley Project, you may do so at:
https://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1.
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.
October’s nominees include 3 Lowell groups, The Megan House Foundation, Lowell Transitional Living Center, Inc., and Living Waters Center of Hope.

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

We Share a Common Thread Foundation Awards

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

  • Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association
  • The Center for Hope and Healing, Inc.
  • Greater Lawrence Family Health Center

The winner will be awarded in December.

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

City Hall Access Limited

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

State -Level Events and Actions

Uniting Against White Supremacy: A Conversation with Integrity First for America and JStreet

Tuesday, October 27, 3:00-4:00pm
In August 2017, hundreds of white supremacists and neo-Nazis invaded Charlottesville, Virginia in a meticulously planned, racist conspiracy to cause violence. Since that time, two deadly and unprecedented attacks against synagogues have taken place in the U.S., fueled by a toxic combination of anti-Semitism, racism, and anti-immigrant hate. Join Amy Spitalnick, Executive Director from Integrity First for America, as she talks about her organization’s landmark lawsuit against the neo-Nazi and white supremacist leaders and hate groups responsible for the Charlottesville attack. The call will be moderated by Rabbi Rachel Grant Meyer, rabbi-in-residence from HIAS, who will open by marking the passage of two years since the attack in Pittsburgh and will moderate a conversation about larger patterns of anti-Semitic and anti-refugee hatred.

To register: https://www.hias.org/get-involved/events/uniting-against-white-supremacy-conversation-integrity-first-america-and-hias
AFSC Nonviolent Training
Tuesday, October 27, 7:30-9:30, on Zoom
To register: https://tinyurl.com/y2gz5qzj

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 Conference 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. Now, before an electron, is a good time to contact legislators with your views.

Phone Bank for Safe Communities Act
Tuesday, October 27, 11am-1pm
Wednesday, October 28, 5-7pm
Thursday, October 29, 5-7pm
Tuesday, November 3, 11am-1pm
Sign up: https://actionnetwork.org/campaigns/safe-elections-for-all

Text Bank for Safe Communities Act
Wednesday, October 28, 4-5pm
Sign up: https://actionnetwork.org/campaigns/safe-elections-for-all

Economic Development Bill
This bill is in Conference Committee. Tell Legislators to Invest In Our Recovery at the Greater Lowell meeting on the bill. It’s time to put the people first. 70+ percent of Massachusetts voters agree: We must invest in our public services that improve public health, grow our economy, and reduce racial inequalities. Rather than implement state budget cuts that would worsen the effects of the economic downturn and harm our recovery, legislators must raise new revenue from profitable corporations and their shareholders!
bit.ly/invest-lowell

Housing Stability [URGENT-MORATORIUM ENDS OCTOBER 17]
The bill was reported favorably out of committee and is now in Conference Committee. Although the Governor announced a plan that would provide $100,000,000 to cover back rent and would also fund counsel the plan does not do nearly as much as is needed.
Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act to prevent evictions and foreclosures. Scripts for both calls and emails are provided. Click on the tab of your preferred action.
https://www.housingguarantee.org/
Call or email in support of the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act to prevent evictions and foreclosures. Scripts for both are provided. Click on the tab of your preferred action.

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

Climate Action: Still Waiting
The police reform bill isn’t the only bill sitting in conference committee, awaiting a final vote on passage. So is a climate bill that the House took up in July.
There are important provisions in both the House and Senate versions that need to make it into a final bill.
Please you contact your state legislators with these four key asks:

  • Environmental justice language to protect vulnerable and historically marginalized communities that have borne the brunt of pollution and other environmental harms
  • An accelerated timeline for emissions targets because we are already so far behind
  • Increased renewable electricity generation because we need to be shifting away from fossil fuels and toward clean, green energy for us to even meet those targets
  • A clear equity focus in any carbon pricing scheme that comes out of the bill so that the communities most impacted by environmental injustices can benefit from a sustainable transition.

Police Reform Bill

This is still in Conference Committee. Contact your legislators and ask them to urge the bill be brought to a vote.

Our State Reps’ Info:
Find yours here https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator):

House Speaker Robert DeLeo: Robert.DeLeo@mahouse.gov 617-722-2500
Senate President: Karen E. Spilka: Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov 617-722-1500
Rep. Thomas Golden Thomas.Golden@mahouse.gov 617-722-2263
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov 617-722-2460
Rep. David Nangle David.Nangle@mahouse.gov 617-722-2520
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov 617-722-2380
Rep. Tram Nguyen tram.nguyen@mahouse.gov 617-722-2425
Sen. Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov 617-722-1630
Sen. Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov 617-722-1572
Sen. Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov 617-722-1120
Sen. Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov 617-722-1612
Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133

Ongoing Solidarity Lowell Initiatives

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Our guest, asylum seeker Marius, has encountered an unexpected medical expense of $300 for a one-time treatment not covered by his insurance. If you are able to contribute towards this, please donate using the link below and write “asylum – medical” in the “special notes” part of the donation form. Any and all contributions will be gratefully welcomed!
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