Solidarity Lowell Events and Actions

Sign the Petition and Attend the City Council Meeting on April 11th!
We will be formally presenting our petition for better treatment of unhoused persons to the City Council at their meeting this week, April 11th. PLEASE ATTEND! You can also sign up to speak if you feel so inclined, but we want to pack the house! Be at City Hall by 6pm on April 11th.

If you haven’t signed the petition, you can still do so. We’ve decided to extend the deadline for signing the petition to April 11th! Sign here: http://bit.ly/unhoused-petition.

Next Solidarity Lowell Hybrid Meeting
Sunday, April 23, 5:30-7pm
In person at Christ Church United, 10 Arlington St, Dracut
Online link to be announced
Featured speaker: TBD

We will be preparing to vote on Coordinating Committee members. Two-year terms for half of our Committee are up. We also encourage our members to run! If interested, email contact@solidaritylowell.com.

Support for Asylum-Seeker Marius
Marius is an asylum-seeker from Togo who we have assisted since he arrived here in 2018.

He and Lillian, an asylum-seeker from the Dominican Republic, had a baby last year. The baby, Yayrah, is in need of clothing (size 9mos) and diapers (size 6.)

Clothing, diapers, and gift cards can be given to Marissa Dupont.
Email marissa@solidaritylowell.com to coordinate drop-off

Cash donations may be made through GoFundMe.

Marius will be part of an immigrant discussion panel speaking at Andover Library’s Courageous Conversations series on Thursday, April 13.

Lowell Events & Actions

Khmer New Year Celebration
Tuesday, April 11, 4pm
City Hall Lobby

The event will be held at City Hall Lobby where there will be a couple of dance performances.

Indras Artistic Creations
Funan Arts School from Cambodia
Wat Buddhabhavana Cultural Dance School
Angkor Dance Troupe

Next City Council Meeting
Tuesday, April 11 at 6:30pm, at City Hall and online

Meetings are held weekly in Council Chamber Tuesdays at 6:30pm with public welcome. Attend in person or by using remote participation as follows: Members of the public may view the meeting via LTC.Org (Online; Live Streaming; Or Local Cable Channel 99).

See agenda for details:

To speak, you must register by 4pm the day of the meeting. Those wishing to speak regarding a specific agenda item must register to speak in advance of the meeting by sending an email to the City Clerk indicating the agenda Item and a phone number to call so that you may be issued a Zoom link to the meeting. Email Address is MGEARY@LOWELLMA.GOV. If you have no access to email you may contact the City Clerk at 978-674-4161.

Item of interest
Joseph Boyle will present Solidarity Lowell’s requested changes to the Lowell Unhoused Protocol. Come to the meeting and support the petition. The agenda is full, so speakers will be limited, but it would be good to see the chamber packed with supporters.

Lowell Litter Krewe
LLK is in the running for an award from the We Share a Common Thread Foundation.
Once a quarter, the Foundation donates $1500 to a worthy area non-profit as voted by the community. Whoever receives the most votes via their Give a Click site wins. Please vote, once, before June 30.

Meanwhile, the LLK has begun their regular cleanups.
To connect with them: https://linktr.ee/lowelllitterkrewe
Sign up to volunteer, check out their schedule and more.

Next events

Saturday, April 15 at 9am-12pm
Sheehy Park Cleanup
Meet at Sheehy Park, 499 Pawtucket St
With UML School of Education

Saturday, April 22, 8:30am-2:00pm
Lowell Earth Day Clean-up and Parade
Locations: Mack Plaza, Lucy Larcom Park, Downtown, Ending at Tsongas Arena

Lowell Fall Election

Campaign Treasurers Needed
Several progressive campaigns are seeking experienced treasurers.
If interested, please email Marissa at marissa.dupont @ gmail.com (delete spaces when using)

Solidarity Lowell’s Election Subcommittee gearing up
If you are interested in helping to elect/re-elect progressive candidates for Lowell City CouncilCouncl and School Committee, please email Lisa Arnold (likarnold @ gmail.com) or Dee Halzack (dee.halz @ ix.netcom.com) (delete spaces when using emails cited)

Other Events

Join Common Start roundtables this week to learn about the two bills that would help advance the Common Start vision, and to learn about how these two bills – and the Common Start vision – can bring us closer to accessible, affordable, and high-quality early education and care for all families in Massachusetts.

Early Educators Roundtable on Early Education and Care, with MAAEYC and Jumpstart
Tues 4/11, 6pm-7pm
via Zoom
RSVP for link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwtcOiprTgiG9WQpjPeUdT4GoE1igkhV6zi?link_id=0&can_id=ee66e076545e936b45bdb6f0eeb2b2ad&source=email-join-common-start-for-two-more-roundtables&email_referrer=email_1875455&email_subject=join-common-start-for-two-more-roundtables#/registration

Family Child Care Providers Roundtable on Early Education and Care with SEIU 509
Thurs 4/13, 6:30pm-7:30pm
via Zoom

RSVP for link https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYscu6grz4qGt1nu9TCzZvLGbR5zt4r7i-N?link_id=1&can_id=ee66e076545e936b45bdb6f0eeb2b2ad&source=email-join-common-start-for-two-more-roundtables&email_referrer=email_1875455&email_subject=join-common-start-for-two-more-roundtables#/registration

Courageous Conversations series includes our own Marius
Thursday, April 13, 7-8:30pm
On Zoom
To register: https://mhl.libnet.info/event/8182538

Marius, the asylum-seeker we have been helping, will be part of an immigrant discussion panel speaking at Andover Library’s Courageous Conversations series, which explores current immigrant experiences, discussing barriers, struggles, joys, and successes.

April Climate Café
Wednesday, April 19, 7pm
RSVP for link https://350mass.betterfutureproject.org/climate_cafe_apr_2023_20230419?e=ce0f72c3f8abcafae420b5e68520178c&utm_source=betterfutureproject&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=cw_4_4_23&n=4:

Searching for a supportive place to discuss climate change or climate activism? 350MA’s Climate Cafés are a welcoming place for these chats, and they’re led by experienced activists. You don’t have to put on a positive face, and you can share with people who are experiencing the same emotions and learning nurturing ways to deal with them. Come on by!

Petition Drive and Social Media Campaign – Gas is the Past
Our new Governor wants to address climate change as one of her main goals. Mass Power Forward is asking her to declare, by Earth Day, that there’s no future for gas in Massachusetts. To get her attention, we need 10k petition signatures!

Sign the petition here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/nofutureforgas

State Level Actions

Help Prevent Evictions By Supporting Access to Counsel Bills
Did you know that most landlords are able to take counsel with them when they go to Housing Court and most tenants don’t have counsel? Did you also know that when a tenant has counsel they are much more likely to avoid eviction when they go to court?

For a few years now, bills have been introduced on Beacon Hill that would help to ensure that tenants go to court with counsel. They have been introduced again in this session and have been reported out to committees.

H.1731 went to the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Eldridge and Rep. Day, a lead sponsor of the bill
S.864 went to the Housing Committee, chaired by Senator Edwards and Rep Arciero

The next steps involve getting co-sponsors lined up and presenting testimony at committee hearings.

Rep. Vanna Howard is a co-sponsor of the House bill (H.1731). None of Lowell’s other representatives are. Nor is our Senator. Write and let your representative and the senator know that you care about these bills. It is suggested you send an email and then, if possible, follow up with a phone call.

Sample text
Dear Representative/Senator_______,
(Opening sentence about who you are________). I join a coalition of 240 organizations in advocating for the passage of An Act promoting access to counsel and housing stability in Massachusetts, S.864 and H.1731, sponsored by Senator Sal DiDomenico and Representative Dave Rogers and Representative Michael Day. The bills would establish an Access to Counsel program to provide legal representation to eligible tenants and owner-occupants in eviction proceedings. Nine out of ten tenants face eviction unrepresented. As evictions climb above pre-pandemic levels, it is urgent to level the playing field. With your help we can. Please co-sponsor these S.864 and H.1731. For more see this updated Fact Sheet

(End with a thank you for their support, or their consideration, or for all that they do for Lowell.)

Testimony can also be helpful
If you have a compelling story you would like to share to help legislators understand the importance of the bills, think about how you would present it and watch for details on a hearing and how to submit testimony, which is usually possible in writing and also, sometimes, in person on Beacon Hill.

Protect new Fair Share Amendment and state revenue in the FY24 Budget
Write to your state legislators: Let them know that it’s not okay to undermine Fair Share by giving big tax cuts to the rich. Massachusetts voters were clear: we want the rich to pay their fair share so that we can invest in public education and infrastructure.

Abundant Housing Massachusetts Call to Support Affordable Housing Bills
An Act to promote yes in my backyard (HD.3252 & SD.2006)
Sponsors: Representatives Andy Vargas & Kevin Honan & Senator Brendan Crighton
Restrictive land use policies across Massachusetts have created a paper wall of zoning that limits creation of new homes. This legislation proposes innovative statewide solutions through zoning to create new homes by:

  • Setting a statewide affordable housing production goal;
  • Allowing accessory dwelling units, or small apartments, to be built in every municipality;
  • Allowing duplexes, triple-deckers, and other family-friendly housing around public transportation;
  • Making it easier to pass inclusionary zoning bylaws;
  • Repurposing vacant commercial properties like strip malls and offices into affordable homes;
  • Prioritizing state-owned land for affordable homes.

ADU is a self-contained apartment in an owner occupied single-family home/ lot that is either attached to the principal dwelling or in a separate structure on the same property.

Use this pre-written editable form to write your legislators:

Progressive Mass Lobby Day
Thursday, April 13, 10am
Massachusetts State House, Room 428

Progressive Mass has scheduled a lobby day on Thursday, April 13 to advocate for the bills on their legislative agenda.

RSVP to join: https://actionnetwork.org/events/progressive-mass-2023-lobby-day/.

To Contact the Governor
Governor’s Office of Constituent Services (617) 725-4005
Call between 9am and 5pm and leave a message.

Our State Legislators’ Info
Speaker Ronald Mariano Ronald.Mariano@mahouse.gov | 617-722-2500 | Rm 356
Senate President Karen Spilka Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov | 617-722-1500 | Rm 332
Rep. Rodney Elliott Rodney.Elliott@ma.house.gov | 617-722-2000 x7313 | Rm B1
Rep. Vanna Howard Vanna.Howard@mahouse.gov | 617-722-2060 | Rm 33
Local office: 25 Central Street, ground floor, Lowell
Rep. Rady Mom Rady.Mom@mahouse.gov | 617-722-2637 | Rm 544
Rep. Colleen Garry Colleen.Garry@mahouse.gov | 617-722-2380 | Rm 238
Senator Edward Kennedy edward.kennedy@masenate.gov | 617-722-1630 | Rm 109-E
Senator Michael Barrett Mike.Barrett@masenate.gov | 617-722-1572 | Rm 109-D
Senator Jamie Eldridge James.Eldridge@masenate.gov | 617-722-1120 | Rm 511-C
Senator Barry Finegold Barry.Finegold@masenate.gov | 617-722-1612 | Rm 511A
(… or find yours here: https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator)

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

National Actions

Looking for someone who’s trying to do something about gun violence?
Check out Everytown for Gun Safety

Join a local chapter, donate, help elect candidates who WILL work for sensible gun safety measures.

Our Federal Legislators’ Info

Senator Elizabeth Warren
309 Hart Senate Office Building | Washington, DC 20510 | 202-224-4543
2400 JFK Federal Building | 15 New Sudbury Street | Boston, MA 02203 | 617-565-3170

Senator Edward Markey
255 Dirksen Senate Office Building | Washington, DC 20510 | 202-224-2742
975 JFK Federal Building | 15 New Sudbury St | Boston, MA 02203 | 617-565-8519

Representative Lori Trahan
2439 Rayburn HOB | Washington, DC 20515 | 202-225-3411
126 John Street | Lowell, MA 01852 | 978-459-0101

Representative Seth Moulton
202-225-8020 | 978-531-1669