Happy Halloween fellow RUWMI activists!
It’s the season for ghosts, goblins, witches, candy and indictments – who could ask for anything more?
We are co-hosting an event this week with the Pioneer Valley Women’s March. Phonebanking for the Salem Safe Communities Ordinance on Nov 6, 6:00PM-8:00PM. Salem has emerged as one of the front lines in the battle for the Safe Communities Act. State lawmakers are watching the result of Salem’s Nov. 7 ballot question that asks: Should Salem remain a welcoming city–commit to anti-xenophobia and keeping local resources local? Lawmakers are already nervous about passing SCA and if Salem’s ballot measure goes down, they will run away from support for SCA. It is CRUCIAL that this ballot measure passes in Salem. AND YOU CAN HELP! Just come to Nelson Roman’s Campaign Headquarters, 775 High Street, Holyoke and bring a charged phone and laptop or tablet to make calls. All necessary information about the SCA, Salem and phone-banking how-to will be provided.
RUWMI will also be co-sponsoring Reclaiming our Future, a campaign to highlight the United Nations Climate Talks being held in Bonn, Germany, in November. We are demanding that our country and our state reject Trump’s “Dirty Power Plan” and instead fulfill the promise of the Paris agreement and beyond. There are three scheduled events including a walk and candlelight rally in Northampton on Sunday, Nov 5, and then two separate standouts at the Springfield office of Governor Charlie Baker from 12:15 to 12:45 pm on Monday, November 6 and Thursday, November 16.
Last, but not least we wanted to send a big thank you to Joyce Hackett for giving us the benefit of her time and her knowledge at out meeting last week. Those who came left empowered with knowledge and an action item!
- RUWMOneSmallThing – By now you have all heard the story of this little girl who was taken to a detention center by border control agents as soon as she was released from the hospital following gall bladder surgery. She is now being held in a children’s detention center for immigrants, over 150 miles away from her parents, who are both undocumented. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to sign this petition by MoveOn to let her go!
- Automatic Voter Registration Actions list – From Joyce Hackett. If you missed the talk, here is a link to Joyce’s new AVR website with lots of good background information. In short, the message is simple “AVR modernizes our election systems while improving the accuracy and security of our voter rolls”. So how do we get this message out and to whom? Here are some actions you can take.
- Tweet about AVR and use #AVRinMA
- Call your MA House Rep – ask if they support it. If they do, thank them and tell them how important it is to you. If they don’t, give them they simple message above! Find the number here
- Write to your rep – using this easy Common Cause online form
- Write a letter to the editor – here is more info
- Talk about it – to your friends, your family, and ask them to call and write too!
- Act to support Dignity for Incarcerated Women – From Wall-of-Us: Have you heard of the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act? Neither had we and shame on all-of-us, given that the United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but 30% of the world’s incarcerated women. The Dignity Act was introduced on July 11th by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Richard Durbin (D-IL). The goal of the act is “to improve the treatment of Federal prisoners who are primary caretaker parents.” The Dignity Act includes provisions such as more visitation rights for incarcerated mothers and preventing shackling pregnant women (which we do, even during birth). Prisons will also be required to provide women with feminine products and basic gynecological care (which we don’t currently provide). The Dignity Act is effectively being ignored, with no hearings or votes scheduled. Alicia Keys is attempting to change that through the We Are Here Movement. All of us must raise our voices in support of incarcerated women too.
- Sign up to March On – Fellow Women’s March Supporter, On January 21, 2017, millions of people marched around the country and across the world to raise our collective voices in hope for a better future. Since that day, the work has continued in local communities and organizations. We’ve protested. We’ve made calls. We’ve started a critical discussion and asked tough questions. And now, leaders of sister marches from across the country are coming together to unite behind a political agenda. Now, it’s time to MARCH ON. MARCH ON is turning the incredible moment of the marches into a movement. First, we’ll crowdsource our political platform together, then we’ll take on a political and electoral agenda that will operate at the national, state and local levels to make real, honest-to-goodness changes. This army — women-led but open to all — is committed to taking our country in a better direction. Sign up for more information here.
- Defeat Trump’s Tax Scam – From Indivisible: After Republicans drop their bill on Wednesday. Many of our national allies are planning a national call in day on Thursday, November 2, so mark your calendars and get ready to light up those phone lines! You can find information to contact our Democratic MoCs here.
- Sign up to Get Out the Vote in Virginia from Your Home State – From Indivisible. Virginians go to the polls on November 7 in the first statewide election since November 2016. They’ve built a tool for Indivisibles ANYWHERE in the US to phone-bank or text-bank Virginians to remind them to vote. Want to help? Sign up for a volunteer shift now!
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- Jafet Robles Lobby Day – Nov 1, 7:00AM-7:00PM, Boston. Join us to honor our brother Jafet who cared very deeply about getting the Justice Reinvestment Act passed. Let’s speak to legislators about giving people a fair chance to get their lives back without imposing more barriers than we already have. Our chance to end mandatory minimum sentencing, probation and parole fees, raising the felony theft threshold from $250-$1,500 (last raised 30 years ago), investing savings from less incarceration on training and jobs for people with many barriers to employment, and more. RSVP by emailing: email@example.com.
- Sanctuary in the Streets Rapid Response Training – Nov 4, 10:00AM-4:00PM, Hampshire College, 893 West St, Amherst. From the Pioneer Valley Workers Center website: “Sanctuary in the Streets is a network of 1,800+ people who are building the infrastructure to stop state violence against working people, including immigrants and people of color, as well as to organize a powerful working-class movement. The training will be about three and a half to four hours long, with a lunch break added in. The event starts at 10:00 AM, and the training will begin around 10:20-10:30 AM. We will plan to end by around 3:30-4:00 PM. This training will be centered around very heavy topics, and will require an exertion of mental, emotional, and some physical energy. The training will require folks to move around. We will be focusing on how to interact with the police, meaning that if you plan to attend, you should be willing and able to take this training and apply it to real potential interactions with the police in this movement. This does mean that this training may not be accessible for the most marginalized groups, but it also means that those of us with privilege and ability have a responsibility to take on this work. REGISTRATION REQUIRED – Register Here
- Reclaiming Our Future Candlelight March and Vigil – Sunday, November 5, at 5:30 PM we will march with candles and banners from Northampton High School on Elm Street to City Hall. This is a replay of our hopeful march 2 years ago when we called on President Obama to stand up for the future of the world in Paris at the 2015 UN Climate Conference. We will rally with people young and old, elected officials and religious leaders and reclaim a hopeful future. View the event on Facebook.
- Seeking Justice in Healthcare: A forum on Medicare for All in MA -November 5, 2:00-4:30 PM, Jewish Community of Amherst, 742 Main Street Amherst. This forum will provide information about the movement for a Single Payer Plan in MA, and the opportunity to creates an action plan. Speakers are Senator Jamie Eldridge, Lead Sponsor of the Bill, Professor Gerald Friedman, Health Care Economist, Jackie Wolf, Mass Care, Jon Weissman, co-convener Western MA Medicare for All. View the event here.
- Reclaiming our Future Event Springfield Protest Rally – Two dates, Nov 6 and Nov 16, 12:15 – 12:45, Springfield State Office Building, 436 Dwight St, Springfield. We’ll be showing up outside Gov. Baker’s Springfield office at lunchtime. We have an executive order which we think Governor Baker should sign. We are protesting the policies even in our own state of Massachusetts that keep us on the path toward climate breakdown. The coalition asks that Gov Baker to sign an executive order, which can be found at this link: You can find more information using this link and this link.
- Longmeadow Democratic Town Committee Candidates Night – Nov 8, 7:00-9:00 PM, Greenwood Community Center, 231 Maple Rd, Longmeadow. Featuring all three Massachusetts gubernatorial Democratic candidates: Bob Massie, Jay Gonzalez and Setti Warren. Click here for more information.
- 2nd Indivisible Massachusetts Statewide Conference – Sunday Nov. 12, 9:00AM-5:00PM, Worcester State University, 486 Chandler St, Worcester. Senator Elizabeth Warren will be speaking on “The Way Forward” at this conference. Coming one year after the disastrous election of 2016 and one year before the critical midterm election of 2018, this 2nd statewide conference is focused on skills training, getting ready for the 2018 elections, and how Massachusetts can counteract the negative effects of the Trump agenda. There will be training and critical workshops to give groups the tools they need to up their activism game and to connect with other groups for more coordinated action post-conference. Register using this link.
- Town Hall with AG Maura Healey – Nov 13, 7:00-9:00PM, UMass Student Union Ballroom, Amherst. Nearly three years ago, the people of Massachusetts elected Maura Healey The Peoples’ Lawyer. As such, she takes pride each and every day to stand up for our shared values and priorities. Maura has built an office that has pursued the issues that matter most – expanding economic opportunity for everyone, advancing clean energy and combatting climate change, reforming our criminal justice system, reducing gun violence, and tackling head-on our state’s devastating opioid epidemic. These are critical times – for our state and our country – and Massachusetts needs to be the first line of defense. Our state has always led and now we must lead again, to fight for progress and stand up to anyone who wants to roll back the gains made. Hosted by the UMass Democrats. Doors will open at 6:30pm for UMass Students and the Massachusetts community. Please RSVP here.
- 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.
From Indivisible National
Trump is trying to pack the courts with extreme judges, and Senate Republicans are trying to blow up 100 years of tradition to help him do it.
Donald Trump has nominated several extremely conservative judges to fill the vacancies in the court system. But he can’t single-handedly push through nominees—the Senate has to sign off on them.
There’s a little-known process called “blue slips” that lets individual senators weigh in on the judges nominated to serve in their state. It’s a key part of the checks and balances that protect against absolute power in the hands of the president.
Unfortunately, right-wing groups and some Senate Republicans have indicated they want to abandon 100 years of tradition and eliminate this key check on Trump’s power. We can’t let that happen. Read the rest of the article here
We have troops where?
- Where does the U.S. have troops in Africa, and why?
- The US has 1.3 million troops stationed around the world — here are the major hotspots
- Why were US soldiers even in Niger? America’s shadow wars in Africa, explained
- Nearly 200,000 US troops are currently deployed around the world — here’s where
Raising globally aware kids is a great way to create a more peaceful world – CISV is one organization working on it. Check them out!