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.


Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Meeting with Senator Kennedy to discuss the Progressive Mass Agenda

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

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

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

Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

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

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Donations are needed to assist Marius, the Togolese asylum seeker whom the Merrimack Valley Interfaith Sanctuary Network (MVISN) is sponsoring. With generous support from people like you and MVISN member groups like ours, Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, exponentially increasing his possibility of ultimately winning his case. Until Marius receives legal authorization to work, our network has committed to financially supporting him with $500/month. Please chip in towards the $500 we need to meet our commitment to him. Any amount will be gratefully accepted.
Donate here: http://www.merrimackvalleyproject.org/donate-1/ (please write “asylum” in the “special notes” part of the donation form)

Local Events and Actions

Upcoming DEI Consortium Meetings 

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

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

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

March for Moses

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

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

Open until Midnight on May 24, 2021

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

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

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


State-level Events and Actions

VOTES Act Hearing and Call for Testimony

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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