Our country is broken …
Hello fellow RUWMI activists,
“Our country is broken.” That was the pervading thought in my head as I was simultaneously glued to, and repulsed by the judiciary committee hearings last week. ‘Surreal’ is the closest word I can think of to describe the spectacle, and it doesn’t come close. And yet…
And yet… We witnessed ultimate acts of bravery by women, some of whom bared their truths on the national stage and others, no less brave, in private.
And yet… We saw local and national acts of solidarity and an outpouring of support. #WeBelieveWomen #WeBelieveSurvivors
And yet… in the 11th hour, we saw Senator Jeff Flake (who deserves less praise than he is receiving IMHO) set into motion the opening of an FBI investigation into the accusations against Kavanaugh. He did so after hearing his good friend, Senator Chris Coons (who deserves more credit than he is receiving) suggest the delay, and the stories of these brave women (who deserve the lionshare of the credit) who confronted him in the elevator.
Our country is broken, yes. But maybe, just maybe we actually do have the tools to fix it? I know I’ll be making calls to senators to #StopKavanaugh. What will you do?
THE LAST WEEKEND – RUWMI is Canvassing in the NY-19 for Antonio Delgado on Nov 3-4. Join us by taking these 2 steps:
- Sign up on the Mobilize America website to do BOTH the 10-12 and 12-3 shifts in Rhinebeck, NY on the day(s) you want to canvass: Saturday, Nov 3 or Sunday, Nov 4
- Sign up here to carpool from Springfield MA to Rhinebeck NY on the day(s) you want to canvass.
For EACH Day: Cars should leave the Springfield area at 7:30 AM to arrive in Rhinebeck by 10 AM. Bring comfortable walking shoes, plenty of water and appropriate weather apparel. If you are interested in staying overnight on Saturday, let us know when you sign up for carpooling, and we will work with the Delgado team to help find a place for you to stay.
For info about Antonio Delgado and the NY-19, click here:
For info on The Last Weekend, Swing Left, and the coalition, click here.
And, here’s a great little Facebook video on The Last Weekend you can share with your friends from, Jane, Lily and Rashida: click here
Voting and Candidate Information
Onward to November 6th! #TheVoteOfYourLife
Here are important voting related dates to put on your calendar!
- October 17th – This is the last day to register to vote in Massachusetts for the November general election!
- November 3rd-4th – “The Last Weekend” canvassing and phone banks in swing districts near us (NY-19 for Antonio Delgado and NH-02 for Annie Kuster)
- November 6th – Nationwide mid-term elections. We need to show up in record numbers to make that blue wave happen!
Here are helpful links to bookmark and share!
- Register to vote or update any information on your registration in MA (Note, young people turning 18 on or before election days can also register!)
- Find your MA voting location
- Find candidates worthy of your vote
- Download an MA absentee ballot application (You can also pick up a ballot at your local town or city hall.)
KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES – Here are the Democratic candidates who will appear on our ballot in November. Check out their Facebook pages, websites, and event links. Get to know them and where they stand on issues that are important to you and contact them if you have questions. Campaign events will be added as they become available.
** We have not included Candidates for State Rep because there are too many to list all of them and most of the races are uncontested. If there is a particular State Rep candidate you are interested in seeing listed here, please email us.
- Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate
- Richard Neal for U.S. Congress
- Jay Gonzalez for MA Governor
- Quentin Palfrey for MA Lieutenant Governor
- William Galvin for MA Secretary of State
- Maura Healey for MA Attorney General
- Jo Comerford for MA State Senate (Hampshire/Franklin/Worcester)
- Eric Lesser for MA State Senate (First Hampden/Hampshire)
- James Welch for MA State Senate (Hampden)
- Brian Ashe for MA State Representative (2nd Hampden)
- RUWMOneSmallThing – We are back on the phones this week to keep up the pressure on the Senate to #StopKavanaugh. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is to call our Senators and relay the following messages. Elizabeth Warren 413-788-2690, Ed Markey 413-785-4610
- Thank them for their steadfast opposition to Kavanaugh
- Ask them to personally speak to the other senate members (particularly those on the fence) and urge them to vote no on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
- Ask them to loudly and explicitly demand that the FBI be allowed to conduct its investigation into the sexual misconduct allegations without limitations from the White House.
- Tell Congress not to limit this FBI investigation to one week – Join Bernie Sanders who writes in part: Let me be clear: Brett Kavanaugh would push this Supreme Court even further to an extreme right wing that desperately wants to gut a woman’s right to choose, further erode voting rights, and make it easier and easier for Wall Street and the billionaire class to buy our elections. Kavanaugh has been dangerous from the beginning, and I have opposed him right from the start. Dr. Blasey Ford’s experience cannot and must not be ignored, and she deserves a full, serious FBI investigation. It should not be limited to one week. The FBI should have a reasonable time to do its job well. So that is my call today, and I hope you will join me in making your voice heard. Sign my petition: Tell Congress you believe the FBI should have the time it needs to conduct a full and thorough investigation into Brett Kavanaugh’s repeated lies before the United States Senate.
- Get your friends on the phone! – Do you know anyone who lives in Maine, West Virginia, North Dakota or Alaska? According to Vox the senators from those states haven’t announced their support or opposition to Kavanaugh. We need to get them on the record as “no” votes. Call your friends and families in those states and ask them to call (repeatedly) demanding that these senators vote no. The two red state democratic senators in this group are up for reelection this November! While we are at it, it wouldn’t hurt to have friends in Arizona, give Senator Jeff Flake a call too.
- Sign up for the Nobody Is Above the Law Rapid Response – The rapid response network from MoveOn was created to activate if Trump fires Mueller. It is also on high alert now as we await Dept. AG Rod Rosenstein’s fate. Use this link to sign up so you will receive notifications about where and when any national response actions are being called.
- Make sure you (and your kids, friends, etc. are registered to vote! – If we want a Blue Wave in Nov we need to get people to the polls. But you can’t vote unless you are registered! The deadline to register to vote in this most important election is Oct 17th. Use this link to check your MA registration status and also to register if you haven’t yet. Then share this info with all of your MA friends and family! Have friends out of state? Anyone in the US can use this link to check their voter registration.
- Help Jobs with Justice pass the People’s Agenda – MA Jobs with Justice needs your help to make sure people vote “Yes, Yes, Yes” on the 3 ballot questions in November! That means that no matter your age, experience, or abilities — whether you have a lot of time to give or just a few hours — there are important ways you can pitch in!
The 3 Ballot Questions Are:
- Safe Patient Staffing: This ballot measure will improve patient safety in Massachusetts hospitals by setting a maximum limit on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time, while providing flexibility to hospitals to adjust nurses’ patient assignments based on specific patient needs.
- Advisory Commission on Corporate Personhood and Political Spending: The Initiative asks voters to establish a non-partisan Citizens Commission to advance the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to address the undue influence of concentrated money on elections and government policy.
- Transgender Rights: This ballot initiative would uphold current legislation protecting trans people’s basic right to access public accommodations.
Here are some ways you can help:
- Check out all of the volunteer opportunities here.
- Read and share this blog post: Why the People’s Agenda ?
- Take this pledge to vote for the people’s agenda.
- Help RUWMI Spread the Word! – We can’t expect a lot of people to take the actions we post or show up to events we advertise, unless a lot of people know about them! Thus, we at RUWMI are on a mission to get this newsletter into as many inboxes as possible. Can you help?
- Forward this email to three friends and add a note telling them to click on the link at the bottom so they can sign up.
- Share this newsletter sign-up link on your own social media
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- Justice Cup 2018 * Copa de Justicia 2018 – Monday, October 8, 9:00AM-4:00PM, Florence Recreation Fields, 155 Spring St, Florence. The fourth annual Justice Cup/Copa Justicia soccer tournament will take place on October 8th, 2018, Indigenous Peoples Day. We want to reclaim this day with a festival together and honor our member-workers, many of whom are part of indigenous communities, who have resisted for generations. Whether you’re a competitive player or enjoy kicking around the ball with your friends, there is a way for you to participate. All skill levels are welcome! There will be food from local vendors, exciting prizes, activities for kids, music, and a social justice resource fair to learn about all the great organizations and businesses in the Valley! Register here. View the event on Facebook for important details.
- Millennials and Elders Working Together for Social Change – Saturday, October 13, 10:00AM-3:00PM, The Montessori School of Northampton, 51 Bates St, Northampton. In this workshop, the trainers will facilitate “cross cultural” dialogue between self-identified elders and millennials. We will ask and examine key questions: What hinders these two age groups from being co-conspirators in service to social justice? What can make intergenerational organizing happen? After a “getting to know you” portion of the workshop, we will then identify a common cause, and plan a concrete action related to that cause. Trainers are Erin Joy Seibert & Doug Renick. View the event details
- Fix-It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point – Saturday, October 13, 3:00-5:00PM, Easthampton Senior Center, 19 Union Street, Easthampton. The Easthampton Hub for Medicare for All and Western Mass Medicare for All invite you to a film and discussion about Medicare for All, led by Prof. Gerald Friedman, nationally recognized expert on Single Payer. Learn how you can support Medicare for All in the November election. Learn more about the event
- Less than Human? Perceptions of Immigrants, Muslims, Refugees – Wednesday, October 17, 7:00-9:00PM, Jones Library, 43 Amity St, Amherst. Professors Linda Tropp (UMass-Amherst) and Emile Bruneau (UPenn) will share groundbreaking research around dehumanization, what leads us to value certain communities over others, explore the social and political implications of treating some people as less “human,” and discuss ways in which we can repair and build community relations. Event details, including speaker bios can be found
- Instant Issues: Mahsa Khanbabai on the Human Face of the Travel Ban – Thursday, October 18, 12:00-1:00PM, One Financial Plaza, 1350 Main St, Springfield. Attorney Mahsa Khanbabai will speak at an Instant Issues Brown Bag Lunch event on The Human Face of the Travel Ban. Attorney Mahsa Khanbabai has dedicated her legal career to immigration and naturalization issues, representing individual, nonprofit, educational and business clients. She received international attention recently due to the case of her client Maziar Hashemi, an American citizen in need of a bone marrow transplant from his brother, who was initially denied a visa to travel from Iran. She is representing other clients in similar situations. View the event on Facebook
- West Springfield Democrat of the Year Brunch – Sunday, October 21, 9:30AM-12:00PM, Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield. Please RSVP by purchasing Tickets through Actblue, or by mailing a check to: West Springfield Democratic Committee, c/o Dan Kelly, Chair, 1583 Riverdale St., #41, West Springfield, MA 01089. Please include the names of all attendees. Please join the West Springfield Democratic Committee for our 18th Annual Democrat of the Year Brunch, Sunday, October 21st., Storrowton Village Carriage House, 1305 Memorial Ave. in West Springfield. Coffee and registration starts at 9:30am. Democrat of the Year: Dan Kelly, Advisor, West Springfield High School Democrats. View event details
- Chamber Legislative Breakfast – Thursday, October 25, 7:30-9:00AM, The Lord Jeffery Inn, n 30 Boltwood Ave, Amherst. The annual legislative breakfast brings together legislators, local officials, and business leaders to network and discuss current and upcoming policy issues. Please join us for an opportunity to reach out to other Chamber members, and enjoy our guest speakers. Senator Eric Lesser, Keynote, Remarks by: Solomon Goldstein-Rose, State Representative, Jo Comerford for State Senate, Mindy Domb for MA State Representative, 3rd Hampshire District. View the event on Facebook
- Pioneer Valley Public Hearing on Women’s Issues – Thursday, October 25, 4:30-6:30PM, Shea Theater Arts Center, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls. We want to know about the issues that affect you, your children, your family, and your community. Each year the MCSW holds hearings across the Commonwealth to hear testimony from citizens, government officials, and local organizations that provide assistance to women about the issues they are facing in their communities. The testimony presented at this hearing informs both our research and legislative work at the Commission, and is reported to our appointing authorities. Oral and written testimony will be accepted. Oral testimony should be kept to 2-3 minutes. Open to the public.
- Civics Fest 2018 – Thursday, October 25, 6:00-9:00PM, Springfield College, 263 Alden St, Springfield. Civics Fest 2018 will engage prospective voters in a fun event dedicated to fostering civic knowledge and celebrating democracy in order to build community, to increase informed voter participation, and to promote critical thinking about government as a tool for change through trivia questions. Civics Fest teams are minimum of three students, maximum of four students apiece to compete on civics topics. In addition to the student portion, the event will offer a civics trivia contest with elected officials and community-member teams. View the event on Facebook
- Sanctuary in the Streets General Assembly – Mondays, November 5, December 5, 6:00PM, The Parlor Room, 32 Masonic St, Northampton. What is Sanctuary in the Streets? Sanctuary in the Streets is a rapid response network of 2,000 people and 40 congregations mobilizing against raids and deportations, workplace abuse, and hate crimes. We have a 24-hour response hotline and have trained 800 people to rapidly mobilize as a detention is taking place. Thus far, we have accompanied over 40 individuals/families facing immigration detention and/or deportation, and have worked with dozens of workers to win justice in cases of wage theft, retaliation, and sexual harassment. What happens at the general assemblies? At our general assemblies, all our committees meet: fundraising, education and media, logistics and technology, events and training, and our newly formed mutual aid committee. If you’re new, you’ll attend an orientation to learn about the network and the current projects of each committee. You’ll then be ready to join a committee or plug into existing projects! View this recurring event on Facebook
- To get the most up to date list of events, go to Rise Up Western Mass’s event calendar here. Also bookmark the National Resistance Calendar for additional events. Also, to be “in the know” about what Indivisible groups are doing across Massachusetts, sign up for the MA ACTION newsletter by sending an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indivisible Reacts to the Judiciary Committee’s Kavanaugh Vote
September 28, 2018, Washington, DC—The Indivisible Project released the following statement:
“It is extremely unlikely that Mitch McConnell will delay this for any reason other than not having the votes. That has been true for this whole confirmation fight, and it’s true today,” said Elizabeth Beavers, Associate Policy Director of the Indivisible Project. “So any senator calling for a delay must also be prepared to vote no if McConnell pushes this forward anyway. Indivisible members in target states and around the country will continue to call their senators to demand they vote against this confirmation. Many are at their senators’ home offices as we speak. Putting pressure on these senators is more crucial now than ever.”
“It has become clear that the Republican party will gladly allow a man with a history of sexual assault to join the highest court in the land. It is now up to us to ensure they pay for their disregard for the suffering of survivors,” said Leah Greenberg, Co-Executive Director of the Indivisible Project. “We will be re-launching our nationwide phone bank to flip the Senate. Democrats need five seats to retake control. We are targeting five key states — Tennessee, Arizona, Mississippi, Texas, and Nevada — that are vital if we want to ensure a hearing like yesterday’s never happens again.”
The More You Know
Here are some resources for victims and survivors of sexual violence and those who support them
- Here is a list of MA hotlines and centers by region.
- How to Support a Survivor in Your Life
- Sharing Your Story
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