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

Next Solidarity Lowell General Meeting

Sunday, August 22, 5:30pm – 7pm
Save the date!

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius

Marius has retained an immigration lawyer, filed an application for asylum, and successfully moved his case to the Boston immigration courts from El Paso, but until he 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

Deadline for candidates to file signatures

August 3, 5pm
City Council and School Committee candidates have until Aug. 3 at 5 pm to return their 150 signatures.

State-level Events and Actions

Change the Democratic Party Platform

Info from posts from Jeanne Krieger, Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts & Larry Pareles, Indivisible Massachusetts

As you know, the MA Legislature does NOT currently operate in a democratic and transparent manner. The concentration of power in the hands of leadership produces a closed, hierarchical organization that disempowers rank-and-file Members and the public. But this August we have an organizing opportunity available only once every four years: we can change the official platform of the Massachusetts Democratic Party.

Progressive Democrats of MA (PDM) and others are proposing adding a plank to the Democratic Party platform calling for reform of the Legislature. Testimony advocating for this plank can be presented in writing or at hearings being held between Aug. 2 and 14. You can find proposed language, draft testimony, and a link to the Democratic Party site for registering to participate in a hearing and for submitting written testimony on the Progressive Democracts website at https://www.progressivedemsofmass.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/PDM_Dem_Platform_Change_Flyer_v3.pdf

The goal is to get the good governance reforms at the center of The People’s House campaign explicitly included in the Party platform. This would be great leverage in the battle for State House reform – if the MA Democratic Party explicitly supports transparency measures, it becomes much harder for the Democrats in the State House to oppose it.

We encourage you to submit testimony to the platform process. You may also want to advocate for keeping the last 2 bullets in the 2017 platform’s Ethics and Transparency section that address the operation of the Legislature, pages 7-8, https://massdems.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2017-Platform-Massachusetts-Democratic-Party.pdf

All registered Democrats may testify. If you’re not registered as a Democrat, but would like to be, you can register or revise your registration at https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/ .

Never testified before, or even attended a Mass Dems meeting? No worries! Here is a handy Platform Testimony Toolkit https://tinyurl.com/yzuacf4f. This has everything you need to make your voice heard in this process, including the official recommended platform “planks” and a sample script you can use to testify orally.

If you do testify, in writing or at a virtual hearing, please let Progressive Democrats know so they can track the number of supporters for use in advocacy later in the process. Please email them  at info@progressivedemsofmass.org email to let them know that you testified.

You can submit testimony in two ways:

Attend a virtual Platform Hearing and testify orally. All hearings are during the first two weeks of August. Check out the hearing dates and times below. Lowell is Congressional District 3.

Submit written testimony (i.e. a PDF of this document https://tinyurl.com/3558wfbk) through this form https://tinyurl.com/nj33wt33. Note: the deadline to submit written testimony is August 14th. Even if you can’t attend any of the hearings, please take a minute to submit written testimony.

This effort is all about volume. If dozens of people show up at these hearings asking for the exact same planks, it will make a splash that they can’t ignore.

MassDems CD-2/CD-3 Platform Hearing

Wednesday, August 4, 6:30 PM
Register to attend remotely: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZclduisqTkrGdHfrFAyzoaPpLWJih9ulsY3

Registered MA Democrats may offer testimony on the 2021 MDP Platform.

MassDems All Districts Platform Hearing

Saturday, August 7, 10 AM
Register to attend remotely: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYld-uorT0pGdPnj44q1ccj8iRWxOhFz2Qu

Registered MA Democrats may offer testimony on the 2021 MDP Platform.

Fair Share Amendment Pledge Drive

Raise Up Mass is kicking off the Fair Share Amendment campaign early with a pledge card drive! The Fair Share Amendment, which has already secured its spot on next year’s ballot, would create a surtax of 4% on income above $1 million to create a dedicated fund for education and transportation spending. You can sign on to the Solidarity Lowell digital pledge card at: https://raiseupma.us/solidaritylowell.

– – – –
Contact your state representative and state senator (email preferable at the moment)
(Find yours here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator)

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

Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 0213

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 June meeting: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1LzPJupD5TZmWn3saGi2iwkxIEVPbTwZP_NVAnqewkyI/edit?usp=sharing

Watch the video from our June meeting: https://youtu.be/Qx3YWeCtBNw

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