Hello fellow RUWMI activists!

March Madness is upon us – and no we aren’t talking basketball!  Between surprise North Korea summit announcements, hush payments to porn stars, impromptu tariffs, and a pivotal congressional race in PA, it’s enough to make our heads’ spin!  So, we need to work extra hard to stay focused on the important work we have to do this month.

 

RUWMI Announcements

DC Bus Trip Changes – and it’s still not too late to sign up and join us!

We have learned that there were several buses planned from our area to DC. So, we are all working together to consolidate the buses and travel as one group.

Here are the new details:
We will be taking the RallyBus through March for Our Lives down to DC. This bus will leave Springfield at 2:10 AM on Saturday to arrive in DC by 10:00 AM. The bus will leave DC at 6:45 PM and return to Springfield at 2:34 AM (the next day).

Use this link which will take you to the March for Our Lives ride webpage. Once on the page just select “Massachusetts” and then “Springfield” from the drop-down menu near the bottom of the page. From there you will be able to register for the bus.

THIS TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE AN OVERNIGHT IN A HOTEL – the bus will go and return within 24 hours.

The price for the round-trip bus fare $125 per person. We recognize that this may be cost prohibitive for students and people with low incomes. So, we are raising additional money through a GoFundMe to defray the cost for those who would like to attend but wouldn’t otherwise be able to.

If you’re a student or have a low income and would like to go on this bus, contact erin@riseupwesternmass.com right away!  We have enough funds to cover a limited number of people, but it’s going fast!

 

Action Items

 

  • RUWMOneSmallThing – We are committed to making the bus trip to DC, for the March for Our Lives accessible to anyone in our area who wants to go, regardless of their ability to pay.  Thus, we are fundraising to subsidize the cost for students and people with low incomes.  But we need your help. Thus, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to help in whatever way you can.
    • If you are able to make a financial contribution (in any amount) please do so via our GoFundMe here.
    • Please share the GoFundMe link on your own social media or with anyone you think might be able to donate.
    • If you know a someone who would want to come on the trip but would need financial assistance to do so, please let them know about our plan and share the details of the trip.

 

  • Phonebank for Connor Lamb – (through March 13) From Wall-of-US: Democrat Connor Lamb is running an extremely close race with a Trump-backed Republican in a Pennsylvania special election on March 13. Although it’s a bit of a longer shot, let’s do what we can to help him. Use this link to make some calls and help continue the blue wave in PA!

 

  • Black Census Project – Black Lives Matter co-creator Alicia Garza launched the Black Futures Lab and the Black Census project to build and mobilize Black political power and push for policies that help strengthen Black communities. The Black Census Project will conduct the biggest national survey of Black people across class, disability, gender, geography, immigration status, and sexuality. The collected information will clarify the diversity of wants and needs that Black people imagine for our communities and be the first step in transforming Black communities into constituencies that build power in cities and states. Fill out the census here.

 

  • Submit a public comment to the EPA – The EPA is collecting public comments on the planned repeal of the Clean Power Plan, and we need everyone to speak out against this egregious assault on our climate and health. You can submit your comment here.

 

  • Demand that Wendy’s take action to prevent sexual assault and harassment. – For generations, the women who harvest the fruits and vegetables that we put on our families’ tables have faced a daily barrage of sexual abuse in the fields. Today, under the groundbreaking protections of the Fair Food Program, the story has changed, and that change is spreading. The Presidential Medal-winning Fair Food Program extends beyond Florida tomatoes to seven states and three crops. All the major fast-food companies – McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell, KFC, and Chipotle – are fully on board, having signed binding Fair Food agreements. All except Wendy’s. Instead, in response to pressure to join the Fair Food Program, Wendy’s abandoned its longtime Florida tomato suppliers and shifted its purchases to Mexico, where sexual harassment and assault in the fields are endemic and go unchecked. Farmworkers from Immokalee are launching the five-day Freedom Fast outside the Manhattan hedge fund offices Wendy’s largest shareholder and Chair of its Board of Director. Sign this petition to support the fasters and demand that Wendy’s join the Fair Food Program. #TimesUpWendys

 

  • Support Civics Education in MA – Bill S.2306, has been introduced by the Massachusetts Senate President Harriette Chandler to ensure that every student receives an effective civics education, preparing them with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to be engaged citizens throughout their lives. You can help support this measure by contacting your State Senator and Rep and asking for them to support this bill.  You can write a letter using this template.  Or call using this script.

 

  • Share this info from Senator Warren – Fully aware that the banking bill in the Senate, S. 2155: The Economic Growth and Recovery Act (a rollback on Dodd-Frank bank regulations), will roll back protections that are designed to forgo another recession like we had in 2008, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has released these 17 amendments to the bill. Share them with your friends who don’t live in MA and urge them to call their own senators and support these amendments.  Also feel free to contact Senator Warren 413-788-2690, and thank her for her work on this!

 

Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events

 

  • See Us, Save Us- Action to End Gun Violence at Smith and Wesson – March 14, 3:00-4:00 PM, 2100 Roosevelt Avenue, Springfield. Did you know that the gun used in the Parkland school shooting was made by Smith & Wesson, right here in Springfield? From Parkland, Florida to Springfield, Massachusetts, gun violence impacts all communities. ALL STUDENTS, FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES DESERVE TO BE SAFE. We need solutions now for both suburban communities AND urban communities and we’re going directly to Smith & Wesson to demand change. Join students from Springfield, Holyoke and across the state, along with educators and faith leaders as we name the impact of gun violence in urban communities and tell Smith & Wesson to SEE US AND SAVE US! You can learn more about the event

 

  • Sign Making for the March For Our Lives – March 18, 10:30-12:00, Click Workspace, 9 1/2 Market Street, Northampton. Make Some Signs. Join this sign-making event hosted by the Badass Activists. See the Facebook event

 

  • Meet Congressional Candidate Tahirah Amatul-Wadud – March 19, 7:00-8:30PM, Chicopee Public Library, Community Room, 449 Front St, Chicopee. RUWMI is hosting Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, candidate for Congress, MA-Dist. 1. She will speak about her platform and her vision for Western MA, and answer your questions. You can learn more about Tahirah on her website.  For more information and to RSVP please view the event on Facebook.

 

  • March for Our Lives – March 24. The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida have called for a nationwide day of action to protest the unending gun violence in the U.S. There are many marches nationally. Here is the info for some you might be interested in
    • Springfield – 12:00 PM, Court Square, Springfield. On March 24th, we will fill the streets of Springfield to March For Our Lives to make sure no student or teacher will have to risk their lives waiting for change to happen. It is not okay for Smith and Wesson, who have their corporate headquarters in Springfield, to be selling assault rifles, such as the AR-15 that was used in the Stoneham Douglass shooting, to the public. Through this march we will demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues. We will demand that our voices be heard and that our safety and lives become a priority. As students we should not be worrying about what we would have to do during an active school shooting. We should be learning, playing, and growing. RUWMI is proud to co-sponsor this event. For more information click here.
    • Northampton – 12:00 PM Northampton High School, 380 Elm St, Northampton. Meet at Northampton High School and march to Pulaski Park in downtown Northampton. Hear from high school students who have been failed by politicians, gun companies, and the NRA. The march will also feature a “lie in” in Pulaski Park to symbolize the needless deaths of high school students and other victims of American gun violence. View the event on Facebook here.
    • Boston – 12:00 PM, Boston Common, Boston. View the event here.
    • New York – 10:00 AM, Location TBD. View the event here.
    • Washington D.C. – We coordinating a bus to DC. For more information about the bus trip click here. For info on the DC event click here.

 

  • Springfield Community Briefing – (RESCHEDULED FROM 3/13). March 27, 5:30-7:30 PM, South Congregational Church, 45 Maple St, Springfield. The legislature needs to hear from us, in every corner of the Commonwealth, that it’s time to pass Paid Family and Medical Leave and a $15 Minimum Wage. Now that we’ve collected enough signatures to put both of these questions on the ballot, our message to the legislature is clear: let’s do this. Join us with legislators from across the region to make 2018 the year that these campaigns are realized for all workers and families across Massachusetts! For more information view the 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.

 

From Indivisible National

 

Register to vote on Indivisible’s national endorsements  

 

Indivisibles across the country changed how politics works in 2017. This year, we’ll change how elections work. Our first step: endorsing progressive champions in House, Senate, and gubernatorial races!

Indivisible Project’s endorsement process will be driven by, and voted on, by Indivisible groups who live in the district or state of the race. Every local Indivisible group who has gone through their local endorsement process (submitted candidates to their group members for review, held a vote with their membership, and announced their endorsements locally) can submit a candidate for national endorsement.

Here’s how it’ll work:

  • Local Indivisible groups will nominate House, Senate, and gubernatorial candidates for National endorsement.
  • Indivisible’s National Political team will vet the candidates.
  • Vetted candidates will be voted on by our supporters in the districts or states they hope to represent.
  • After voting, Indivisible Project will announce our national slate of candidates on a rolling basis.

Want to vote in Indivisible’s national endorsement process? Enter your information in this form here. You’ll be added to our email list and we’ll send you opportunities to take action to resist Trump’s agenda. When there’s a nomination in your area, we’ll email you an online ballot, and ask you to weigh in on whether or not Indivisible should endorse in that race!

 

Keep Your Eyes On

 

Trump’s impromptu North Korean summit – what could possibly go wrong?

 

Check This Out

 

Animator Brilliantly Explains the Gun Control Debate Using Cats

 

 

 

 

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