Happy Monday fellow RUWMI activists!
Between the frigid bomb cyclone and Trump’s Tweets, it’s been a week of crazy storms to say the least. Time to get out those knitting needles, whip up a pussy hat (see link to pattern below) and get ready show the GOP that winter is here and we snowflakes are ready for it!
And the survey says…
For the past several weeks we’ve been asking you to fill out our survey of priorities for the coming year. We received 30 responses (in addition to the input from those at the original planning meeting) and here is what the survey said.
Question 1: Which cause or issue would you most like to see Rise Up Western MA Indivisible engaged with next year? The top responses were:
- Voting Rights and Voter Mobilization (EX: Automatic Voter Registration, Get Out to Vote)
- Racial Justice (EX: Criminal Justice Inequality, etc.)
- Elections and Campaigning for Candidates (EX: Maura Healy, Elizabeth Warren, NOT Baker, etc.)
- Immigration Rights (EX: Safe Communities Act, Temporary Protective Status, DACA, etc.)
Question 2: Is there something not listed above that you would like to see the group focus on?
- LGBTQ rights was the only topic to receive more than one mention.
Question 3: What type of group events would you be interested in attending?
- Town halls and forums
- Post card writing
- Marches and rallies
Question 4: Are there any Massachusetts candidates you would like to volunteer for or campaign for as a group in the coming year?
- The most popular response by far was Senator Warren. Two other mentions were Maura Healy and whomever is the democratic candidate for Governor.
Question 5: Are there any candidates you’d like to volunteer for (post cards or phone banking for instance) outside of Massachusetts?
- The only candidate to receive more than one mention was Kirsten Gillibrand.
- RUWMOneSmallThing – We are all aware of the risk of Trump firing Mueller, and there are national rapid responses (via MoveOn.org) planned should this happen. The organizer of our local Springfield response has contacted our Members of Congress and asked them for support of this protest. Both Senator Warren and Markey’s offices were supportive. Congressman Neal’s office was not. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to call Neal’s office at (413) 785-0325 and voice your disappointment in that decision. If you do call, kindly also send an email to Stephen M Harvester (our local event organizer) at email@example.com and let him know so he can report back to MoveOn.
- Help make getting out to vote easier – These ideas comes from Wall-of-Us.
- If you work for a company, ask your employer to make election day a company holiday. You can share these resources from electionday.org with your HR department/company leadership.
- If your company isn’t willing to give employees election day off, don’t stop there. Convince your company to encourage employees to take time to vote on election day.
- If you are a parent of a child in high school, contact your school’s administration and confirm that they will have a voter education event that includes voter pre-registration. Call your local school board (you don’t have to be a parent to do this) and confirm that schools in your district are prioritizing voter education and especially voter pre-registration.
- 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.
- Support Clean Energy in MA – Talk to your State Representative about Carbon Pricing. Not sure who your rep is? Use this link to find out.
- These Western Mass State Reps need a nudge to Support a Carbon Fee and Rebate bill (Nicholas A. Boldyga, Michael J. Finn, William “Smitty” Pignatelli, Todd Smola, John Velis, Joseph E. Wagner, Bud Williams. If one of them is yours, call or write!
- These Reps already support the legislation. Brian M. Ashe, Carlos Gonzales,Thomas M. Petrolati, Angelo Puppolo Jr, John W. Scibak, Jose F. Tosado, Aaron Vega. Call or write and thank them!
- Sign this petition to Tell Congress: Release the Fusion GPS transcripts – Three Congressional committees have heard over 21 hours of testimony from Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned the collection of intelligence reports about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. Much maligned by the President, some GOP members of Congress and the right-wing media, it is time to set the record straight. Congress should release transcripts of the Fusion GPS testimony, so that the American people can learn the truth about its work and most important, what happened to our democracy. Sign this petition from MoveOn here.
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- Rise Up Western Mass Meeting – January 10th, 6:30-7:30 PM, Springfield Central Library, Community Room (lower level). Come and join us as we re-engage for the new year and make signs for the march on Jan 20th! View the Facebook event here.
- Women’s March 2018 Northampton – January 20th 11:00AM – 1:00 PM. The March will begin at Sheldon Fields and culminate at Northampton City Hall, where we will rally with inspiring speakers and performers. This is a peaceful, family-friendly event. Parking is available at Sheldon Fields as well on-street parking throughout Northampton. As a group, RUWMI we will be gathering in the northwest corner of the main parking lot at Sheldon Field (Old Ferry Road, first parking lot on the right) at 10:30 AM so we can march together as a group. Following the march we will head to Haymarket in Northampton. See more information about the Northampton March here.
- Women’s March – other locations. Here is information about some other area marches.
- Hartford – Women’s March-Second Annual-Marching On (Hosted by Women’s March CT – We March On)
- Providence – Women’s March – 2018 (Hosted by Women’s March on Washington – Rhode Island)
- New York – 2018 Women’s March on NYC (Hosted by Women’s March Alliance)
- WSDC Meeting – Guest Speaker Jimmy Tingle, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor – January 24 at 7 PM, West Springfield Public Library, 200 Park St, West Springfield. Hosted by West Springfield Democratic Committee. View the event on Facebook
- Voices for Sanctuary Benefit Concert – January 28 at 4 PM – 6 PM, Jewish Community of Amherst, 742 Main Street, Amherst. The Leverett Chorus will perform a benefit concert, “VOICES FOR SANCTUARY”, in collaboration with the First Church Amherst’s Immigrant Sanctuary Fund. This concert is a benefit to support the family of Lucio Perez who is in Sanctuary at First Church Amherst. In addition to raising much needed funds for Lucio’s family, struggling economically without Lucio’s income, the concert will celebrate through song the loving, generous, strong community that continues to grow in support for Lucio, immigrant justice and resistance to cruel deportation policies. Suggested $10 donation (or more if inclined) at the door. Donations will go to the First Church Amherst’s Immigrant Sanctuary Fund, are tax deductible, and will go to Lucio’s family. View the event on Facebook here.
- Secrecy, Surveillance, and National Security – January 30 at 7 PM – 9 PM, Jones Library, 43 Amity St, Amherst. Since 9/11, successive U.S. administrations have kept Americans in the dark about controversial and sometimes illegal counterterrorism programs. In 2018, as the Trump administration doubles down on its national security strategy, how do we ensure the rights of all Americans are protected? How can we hold the government accountable when it resists oversight and transparency? How should we understand the tradeoff between security and privacy? What models do other democracies offer to guarantee government accountability and the rule of law when it comes to national security? Join us on January 30 to hear constitutional law expert, Sudha Setty, unpack this complex issue.This event is co-sponsored by Critical Connections and Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. For more information view the Facebook event
- Automatic Voter Registration – Lobby Day – January 31 at 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM, 24 Beacon St, Boston, Room 428. The Election Modernization Coalition will be hosting a lobby day on January 31st to convince legislators to make Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) a top priority in 2018. Lobby day is a day when members of the public meet with their representatives at the State House to explain why an issue (in this case, AVR) is so important. We will spend an hour teaching you the tips and tricks to speaking with legislators before sending you off to attend scheduled meetings with your representatives to advocate for this vital reform. Registration begins at 9:30, and the program will run from 10:00-12:30. Sign up here. Get more information in the Facebook event
- 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’s Tweets of Support for Iran Don’t Hold Up. Let’s Stop Him From Making Things Worse.
There’s something happening in Iran.
Amidst a complex background of economic and political grievances, droves of protesters have taken to Iran’s streets. As the movement grows and intensifies, so does the debate over the United States’ foreign policy and its role with Iran.
Coincidentally, the Trump administration will soon have to make some high-stakes decisions about Iran. Here’s why it all matters, and what you need to know.
Keep Your Eyes On
Our local 2018 elections have just gotten a bit more interesting. This November, Congressman Richard Neal (MA District 1) is being challenged in the primaries by Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, a local Springfield attorney.
- Springfield Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud to challenge US Rep. Richard Neal in 2018
- Springfield attorney to challenge Democrat Rep. Richard Neal
- Springfield Attorney to Challenge Democrat Rep. Richard Neal
- Tahirah Amatul-Wadud announces 2018 run for Congress
Check This Out
Need a pussy hat for the march? Here are a few ways to get one.