Things of Note


The Primary will be held this upcoming TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6th! Remember to vote!

Solidarity Lowell announces endorsements in four State Representative races, by vote of their members.

All four endorsees have shown they embody the values that Solidarity Lowell fights for and will work to improve our cities and state for all. We are proud that all our endorsees reflect the diversity of our state and the progressive value of equity. Focused on their constituents, they want to give back to the community and ensure they communicate with and serve the people of their district transparently.

Zoe Dzineku for State Representative in the 16th Middlesex District: Zoe has a strong work ethic and is dedicated to improving the lives of all in her district. Zoe understands the varied needs of the district. She raised two girls as a single mother, moved through the ranks in the corporate world, built her own business, and transitioned to Constituent Services Director for Senator Edward Kennedy. As Chair of Lowell’s Election Commission, Zoe successfully fought plans to reduce the number of polling places. One of her main focuses is mental health awareness and support, which she believes affects all parts of our society.


Vanna Howard for State Representative in the 17th Middlesex District: In just her first term, Representative Howard has impressed us with her sponsorship of important legislation for our community, and with her tireless constituent advocacy.  She has co-sponsored more than a dozen Progressive Massachusetts priority bills. Representative Howard is a strong advocate on Beacon Hill for educating our kids, preserving and protecting women’s rights, addressing the needs of our refugee and immigrant communities, expanding the reach of healthcare and housing to all, childcare availability and affordability, social and economic justice, and protecting and preserving our environment and climate.  She regularly meets with her constituents in her Lowell office and is a constant presence in community activities, including the Lowell Litter Krewe and Downtown Adopt a Street.  Solidarity Lowell looks forward to working with Representative Howard to get even more done in her next term.


Tara Hong for State Representative in the 18th Middlesex District: Tara earned a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Political Science and a minor in Criminal Justice from UMass Lowell. He served as Civic Engagement Coordinator for the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association and currently serves as a board member for both Lowell Litter Krewe and Mill City Grows. Tara’s platform includes a focus on adequate funding for schools, constituent services, affordable healthcare and housing, support for local business, and addressing climate change. Tara is a strong advocate for transparency in legislative work and will actively seek constituents’ opinions to help inform his decision making.


Teresa English for State Representative in the 22nd Middlesex District: Teresa’s experience as  a veteran and a teacher have led her to develop leadership skills and become a force for change. She is passionate that each child receive the education that is best for that specific child. Teresa is also interested in protecting the environment and working for affordable healthcare and housing. Her platform specifically includes attention to the needs of seniors and veterans. Teresa was endorsed by Solidarity Lowell in 2020, when she earned an impressive 45% of the general election vote through a write-in campaign.


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

For more events not listed here, visit the full Events calendar:

June meeting notes:

June meeting recording:

See recordings of past Solidarity Lowell meetings in our YouTube channel at:

For positive news visit Solidarity Lowell Upbeat on Facebook:

Solidarity Lowell is a chapter of Progressive Massachusetts. Join at:


Posted by Caroline Snow in Things of Note, Voting


Attention: Billerica members especially, but any member with free time to help our endorsed progressive candidate get elected are welcome. Saturday, July 23, starting at 10 am Day of action canvassing for Teresa English, candidate endorsed by Solidarity Lowell and Progress Massachusetts Register:

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team, Things of Note

This Sunday – Rally for the Right to Choose and Updated SL Meeting Time!

Reproductive Rights Rally Sunday at 5pm

Rally for the Right to Choose

Sunday June 26, 5-6 pm
Lowell City Hall, 375 Merrimack St.
Organized by: Lowell Democratic City Committee, Lowell Community Health Center, and others
Co-sponsored by: Solidarity Lowell

Outraged by today’s SCOTUS decision in Dobbs that overturned Roe v. Wade? Join us at Lowell City Hall in front of the Ladd-Whitney Monument on Sunday, June 26 at 5:00 pm as we rally for the right to choose. Bring pro-choice/pro-abortion signs if you have them.


Solidarity Lowell General Meeting Sunday at 6:30pm

SL General Meeting new start time: 6:30pm

Sunday June 26, 6:30-8 pm

To accommodate the rally in response to the Supreme Court decision, the SL General Meeting will be pushed back an hour. Please come to the rally, then join us online for this important meeting! We will be hearing from three State Representative candidates who are seeking endorsement from Solidarity Lowell and Progressive Massachusetts.

Zoe Dzineku for 16th Middlesex (Lowell)
Tara Hong for 18th Middlesex (Lowell)
Teresa English for 22nd Middlesex (Billerica)

Reminder: This is in preparation for voting members receiving a ballot on their endorsement next week.

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team, Things of Note

Make your voice heard on polling location plans!

Local Events and Actions

Make your voice heard on polling location plans

Thursday, July 22, 6:00pm
City Council Chambers

A special City Council meeting has been called to review the plan for 16 or more polling locations so  that we can keep polling locations open and not create any undue barriers to voters in this year’s election. We need you there!

Please call the Clerk’s office by 3pm Thursday to register to speak: 978-674-4161. The meeting will be in chambers. Please come in person if you can. Please wear a mask if you are not vaccinated.

Agenda for tomorrow’s meeting is here:

There’s a Facebook event here:

Updates are here:
Lowell Sun 7/20/21:
Lowell Sun 7/19/21:

Posted by Caroline Snow in Rapid Response Team, Things of Note

Racism is a Local Public Health Crisis

As an organization working for social justice for all in our city, Solidarity Lowell feels called to write in support of the Lowell Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consortium and its letter to the city.

It is good to see the City Council taking the Consortium’s letter seriously enough for there to be several motions before the Council this week to address racism in the city. Some of the motions may be mutually exclusive; none of them address all of the Consortium’s concerns.

The Consortium has stated that “Racism is a local public health crisis.” Stating a problem is the first step to addressing it. As various authorities have written, it IS a HEALTH crisis. Dealing with racism throughout life is stressful and contributes to chronic health problems in communities of color, including a form of PTSD. Racism is directly causing deaths by the way some situations involving people of color are handled, or not handled. Racism has been demonstrated to be contributing to the established susceptibility of people of color to the novel coronavirus.

The Council clearly cares about the people of color in this city. It is spending a considerable part of this week’s meeting on the issue of racism, but being a good ally means listening. When people of color express a need, allies must amplify their words, not change them. The Consortium used the words “Racism is a local public health crisis”. The Council needs to use those words in its response. We consider anything else to be disrespectful. We thank the Mayor for recognizing that.

The first Consortium ask of the city is to “Articulate and communicate the City of Lowell’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, its objectives, and its strategies to reach these goals.” The mayor’s proposal for a Task Force is a good start to this. Good management practice also requires setting specific measurable goals. Without specific measurable goals, it is virtually impossible to discern steps to achieve progress. We are glad to see that the Mayor expects the Task Force to recommend ways in which success can be measured.

The second Consortium ask is “Protocols for Data Equity and Integrity”. This is necessary in order to be able to measure where we are and to measure our progress in moving toward our goals. There are examples from other cities available. We need to admit that there is a need for this and commit to including it in our data handling. We believe it is important for the proposed Task Force to make recommendations on this as soon as possible.

The third ask is “Bi-Annual Anti-Racism and Anti-Bias Training for all City Employees including City Council and School Committee”. City Manager Donoghue said (at the June 9th CC meeting) that “all City employees receive diversity training”, but according to the Consortium’s letter, “an informal survey of past and current City employees suggests that not all City staff receive this training.” We know from our own work as a majority-white organization that work on anti-racism involves a commitment to ongoing education, not once and done. It is not the responsibility of people of color to educate the rest of us as situations arise. THAT is a source of exhausting stress. It is better to prevent the situation from arising at all by educating people to see what is hard to see without help. This is especially true if anti-racism work is new to them, as it is to so many of us because of the nature of our world. Funding and content will have to be worked out by the city, meaning the community and not just the government, but the commitment to do it has to come first.

The fourth ask is “an independent Civilian Advisory Committee to monitor and address police misconduct and join Massachusetts lawmakers in creating steps towards change.” We join the Consortium in applauding Superintendent Richardson’s announcement of a Citizens Advisory Committee. We agree that such a Committee needs to have some independence. Members of the committee need to be acceptable to the community and need to feel free to speak their truths. We also agree that the Council needs to join other Massachusetts lawmakers in seeking ways to change our approaches to community security. By being part of the process, the Council will better understand all the ramifications of various measures and be better able to address them in our community. Being in an environment where new ideas are discussed and innovation can happen is always beneficial.

The fifth ask is to “Reallocate resources and establish an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to promote and advance racial equity in the solicitation of vendors and recruitment and retention of personnel and Board and Committee members.” We know that funding new measures is an issue as our city has less resources than others doing this work. The City Council clearly recognizes the same thing, since the motions include creating funds to receive grants from outside sources. But reallocation of whatever city resources can be reallocated is a concrete demonstration of commitment to the process, one the community really needs to hear.

As to the creation of an Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, there are two competing motions before the Council this week, one to create a Mayor’s task force and another to create a Commission. We like that the Mayor’s proposal specifically mentions including community input and specifies a person of color who resides in Lowell as chair, task forces are usually ad hoc temporary organizations. The Task Force is a good organization for making recommendations to fulfill the various community needs expressed by the Consortium and not yet addressed by the City Council’s motions. The nature and operation of racism in our society makes the need to address it long-term. We would like to see the creation of a permanent organization that is charged with helping the city live up to its commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by helping the city establish best practices and by addressing violations of those best practices. We hope the Task Force will do that.

We recognize that it is a serious step to make commitments like these and that it is important not to make promises that cannot be kept. But we believe this point in time requires a commitment to take some concrete steps rather than falling back on the same reasons we always use to not act. Instead of letting funding issues stop us, we need to figure out how to make positive change happen. It starts with a commitment to making concrete changes.

–Solidarity Lowell Coordinating Committee

Posted by Marissa in Local Justice, Things of Note

Got Questions on the Lowell Voter Lawsuit?

You may have heard something about the lawsuit being filed against the City of Lowell’s all at-large local voting system for City Council and School Committee. You might be wondering, why a lawsuit? And how is an all citywide at-large local government discriminatory? You can download this PDF, which answers a lot of these questions.

As a long time observer of city politics, I know that running an at-large campaign citywide is daunting, very difficult, and expensive. It’s prohibitive for many, especially people who come from different backgrounds such as immigrant communities. The outcome of many decades of an at-large system speak for themselves; with few exceptions, the city is largely represented by white, mostly male electeds residing in very specific areas of the city.

Download the PDF below to get more answers!

10 Things to Know about At-Large Voting in Lowell and the Voting Rights Lawsuit

For more info you can read the Ropes & Gray announcement on their website, as well as the text of the lawsuit (translations in Spanish and Khmer).


Posted by Lynne in Local Justice, Things of Note, Voting