Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
What a head-spinning week it has been, and we are all experienced enough now to know that coming week is likely to be no less newsworthy. We are angry and we are tired, but we need to rally; the tax bill isn’t law yet so that means we still have work to do!
We hope you are all planning to join us on Thursday when we meet to talk about what RUWMI will focus on in the coming year. We want to create a 2018 plan of action that best represents what matters to you and where you think we should focus our collective energy. Come with your ideas and let your voice be heard. December 7th @ 6:30 PM, Forest Park Library, Springfield (additional details in the events section below).
- RUWMOneSmallThing – this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to not remain silent about the GOP’s Tax Scam that passed the Senate this weekend. Voice your disgust loudly and from every platform. Call, post, text, tweet, and write! Encourage friends whose Senators voted to pass this disgrace to do the same; remind them that 2018 elections are coming. And for those of us lucky to have Democratic Senators, call them and thank them for standing strong against this heinous bill. You can use this resource to see how each Senator voted on each amendment of the bill.
- Join the “if Trump fires Mueller” Rapid Response Team – Sign up to join our local MoveOn.org’s “Mueller Firing Rapid Response” campaign. It’s at 50 State St (Springfield MA U.S. District Court Building) in Springfield. This is one of 350 events planned nationwide if Trump fires Mueller. But, it’s not just a reactive plan—our efforts are already making news, helping show that there will be an immediate backlash if Trump fires Mueller. RSVP here to join.
- Text and Phone Bank for Doug Jones – From Indivisible: Indivisibles across Alabama are using the power of our movement — combined with the best new digital tools — to reach the voters who can elect Doug Jones, a man of principle and action and defeat Roy Moore in the Senate race on 0n December 12. And YOU! can support their organizing from Massachusetts. We’ve set up a text-banking program where Indivisibles anywhere can help our Alabama groups get out the vote for this important election. Election Day is December 12, which means we have less than two weeks to make a big impact. Additionally, from NAACP there is this opportunity for phonebanking specifically to African-American Alabama voters whose support will be vital in this Senate race.
- Demand support for the DREAM Act – These key lawmakers are the swing votes we need to secure passage of the Dream Act (with no compromises!) and provide Dreamers with a pathway to permanent legal status and citizenship. Call and tweet at them now to let them know Dreamers are not bargaining chips! If you have friends who live in their states/districts forward this to them as well. Also use this tool to tell our MoCs to stand up for DREAMers.
- Sign this petition – from MoveOn to tell the Justice Department to launch an investigation into claims of sexual assault against Donald J. Trump. Twenty women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment or assault against Donald Trump. As the nation grapples with allegations against Roy Moore, Senator Al Franken, and Representative John Conyers, it’s past time for the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into these allegations against Trump. You can view and sign the petition here.
- Send a letter to your Representative – to reject H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. This bill would gut state gun laws and force states to accept weaker concealed carry standards of other states. If passed, this law would allow dangerous individuals — including people with dangerous histories and many domestic abusers — to carry a loaded, hidden handgun across the country, putting the safety of our families and communities at risk. Use this easy tool to send a letter to your Rep.
- Help support the upcoming vote on Automatic Voter Registration – Help is needed to call about 7500 people by Dec 8th. If you can help with this effort, please email us at email@example.com and we will put you in touch with Joyce Hackett who is organizing this action. Also check out this event which you can attend virtually via Zoom.
- Tell Congress to Keep Trump’s Hands off our Lands – Today, Trump signed to roll back federal protection of millions of acres in Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. The Sierra Club is filing suit with their partners, and will defend our lands in court. They are asking activists like you to keep the pressure on Congress. Tell them to protect our public lands and reject any attempts to weaken the Antiquities Act using this tool.
- Sign this petition – Support the Sanders Plan for Puerto Rico Climate Justice and Rebuilding by signing this petition from MoveOn. Senator Bernie Sanders introduced legislation to mobilize all the resources and assets needed to restore electricity, provide clean water and food, a safe haven and access to medical care. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Ed Markey, and Richard Blumenthal are original co-sponsors.
The plan includes a total waiver of the cost of matching funds to receive federal assistance, rejects privatization efforts, and promotes a new resilient, decentralized and renewable energy-based grid.
- Keep fighting for Net Neutrality – Protect your right to access to the internet, before the FCC vote on December 14 to roll back net-neutrality rules. This impacts EVERYBODY. Here are some actions you can take
- Educate yourself – learn about net-neutrality and how why we need to protect it. Watch this video and read this article.
- Attend this protest at the Hadley Verizon store on Dec 7th at 3:30. (If you watch the video above – you’ll hear John Oliver explain Verizon’s connection)
- Call congress, click here to use this easy call tool from Common Cause.
- Sign this petition from Senator Kamala Harris
- Call these FCC Commissioners (info from Rise Stronger) and tell them to VOTE NO and save Net Neutrality. Here’s who to call:
- Donate to Enlace de Familias – This Holyoke based organization is helping to support Puerto Rican evacuees from Hurricane Maria. They are seeking donations of winter clothing (and monetary donations). If you are able to contribute you can drop off your donations at 299-301 Main St, Holyoke. You can find out more about Enlace de Familias here.
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- MA AVR Campaign Update, National News and Phone Bank Meeting – December 5, 6:00-8:00. Presented by Joyce Hackett. You can attend virtually using your computer by registering with this link. Our MA legislators are on recess until the New Year, so this is the little interlude where we help them get their 2018 priorities in order. Come learn what you can do, and learn how to do things you haven’t done before. For more information view the event on Facebook.
- Resistance Resolutions: Plan for 2018 – December 7, 6:30-7:30 PM, Forest Park Branch Library. Come join us for our December meeting as we make our group ‘Resistance Resolutions”. We are hoping to follow the lead of Indivisible National, who this coming year will be focusing on more than just resistance work (adding electoral politics, building a nationwide progressive network, etc.) To that end we need to sit down together and discuss where we’d like to see RUWMI headed and what we want to focus on in the new year. But we need YOU to be a part of that discussion and help us set our agenda for 2018! During this meeting we will discuss a variety of possible focus areas, and then narrow the list down to some manageable goals for the coming year. Come with your ideas and let your voices be heard. View the Facebook event here and let us know you’re coming.
- Protest to Save Net Neutrality – December 7, 3:30 PM, Verizon Store, 360 Russel St. Hadley. Internet users outraged by top Verizon lawyer turned FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to gut net neutrality are planning to protest at Verizon retail stores across the country on Thursday, December 7th, one week before an expected vote at the FCC. Protesters will make it clear to members of Congress that the time is now to stand for net neutrality, not Verizon’s bottom line. And please remember, this event is about protesting actions of Verizon executives, lobbyists and their supporters in Washington, not the employees at these stores. Please make and bring signs calling to protect Net Neutrality and stand in solidarity with us for an open internet for ALL. Look here for more information
- Building Inclusive Communities: The Role of Faith Leaders – December 8, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke. How can faith leaders address racism, homophobia and religious intolerance within their communities? How do they reconcile theological beliefs with secular laws? What risks do they take? What are the challenges and opportunities they grapple with to promote inclusion and diversity, and what are effective strategies to develop empathy and understanding? Join Critical Connections and Karuna Center for Peacebuilding for a day of reflection and sharing of best practices with local multi-faith clergy. This event is free and open to the public Hosted by Critical Connections and Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
- Senator Ed Markey Holding Town Hall – December 10, 5:00-6:30PM, Moloney Hall at University Crossing at UMass Lowell, 220 Pawtucket St, Lowell. View the event on Facebook here.
- Massachusetts Civics Day – December 15th, 9:15AM-12:30PM, MA Statehouse, 24 Beacon Street, Boston. Generation Citizen is looking for judges to serve at Massachusetts Civics Day. Join 100 select MA leaders to meet and advise middle and high school students who are leading real community change here in MA. Civics Day Judges listen to student presentations and provide feedback and suggestions. The Civics Day Judge experience is a unique opportunity to learn from young people, provide advice and coaching, and become inspired by a new generation of community leaders. Sign up using this form.
- Truth School: And Still We Rise: Leadership Forum for WOC – Part 4 – December 16, 9:00AM-12:00PM, 741 State St, Springfield. This is part 4 of a 6-session series, which will meet on the third Saturday of each month through February 2018. Because this is a program that emphasizes community building and deepening relationships, participants are asked to commit to all six sessions. Register here
- Boricua Care Packages Project: A Journey of Love and Hope – December 17, 6:00-7:30 PM, El Mercado Holyoke, 413 Main Street, Holyoke. Presented by Holyoke City Councilor Jossie Valentin. Join us for a community presentation where we will share stories and visuals about our 3-week journey in Puerto Rico. Please bring a gift card to CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart (these are all stores that are in several towns in Puerto Rico) if you would like to donate towards Christmas gifts for Puerto Rico. View the Facebook event page
- 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
The Tax Scam Passed the Senate. What Now?
Republicans have jammed the Trump Tax Scam through the Senate, by a vote of 51-49. It’s hard to imagine how this bill could be worse: not only does it give massive tax cuts to the rich and corporations, it also allows drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, exacerbates growing inequality, and adds $1 trillion to the deficit—which will force deep cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security down the road.
The Tax Scam is not yet law. Republicans have two options for how to get the Tax Scam across the finish line, and then they have to immediately attend to funding the government. Here’s what comes next. continue reading here
Keep Your Eyes On
Why is this in a tax bill??? Info on the unexpectedly incongruous items in the GOP #TrumpsTaxScam.
- These controversial items tucked into the Senate tax bill have little to do with taxes
- Hidden in GOP tax bill: A plan to turn churches into dark-money spigots
- The House tax bill contains language about unborn children, but is it an attempt to ban abortion?
- Major conservation group blasts GOP tax bill for allowing Arctic drilling: ‘Simply shameful’
- Commentary: The Hidden Victim of Trump’s Tax Plan: Your Health Insurance
- What the hell did Michigan’s Hillsdale College have to do with the GOP tax bill?
Check This Out
Learning the power of activism at an early age – Check out this video from actress and future royal, Meghan Markle.