Hello fellow RUWMI activists,
Our heads are still spinning from all of the newsworthy things that happened on Friday. In a constantly chaotic time such as this, it is difficult to focus on just one thing and so often easier to decide to just tune it all out as white noise. Let’s commit to spending our energy wisely and not losing sight of our goals.
!!! TOMORROW !!! Meeting Your Legislators Face to Face: “How-To” Panel Discussion. Having an in-district meeting is often the most effective way to communicate with your state legislators about issues that are important to you. However, the idea of meeting in person can be intimidating, especially to first-time activists like many of us. Even seasoned activists can use some insider information about the process and talking points about the issues, to make their visits as effective as possible. Join us for this panel discussion, designed to give you the tools you’ll need to hold successful meetings with your state legislators.
We’ll do a deep dive into how to schedule an In-District meeting and what to do when you get there. It is a must not miss event if you have ever thought about meeting with your legislators. Details are in the event section below. Join us!
- RUWMOneSmallThing – Last week we endorsed Tahirah Amatul-Wadud for Congress. Our endorsement joined that of another local Indivisible group (FCCPR) who then nominated Tahirah for endorsement by Indivisible National. Getting this national endorsement would be a boon to her candidacy. The nomination process is complete and now the next step is to ensure that all of our Indivisible members are registered to vote on the national endorsement. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is to, use this link to register You will then receive a ballot to vote by email between 4/24 and 4/27. If Tahirah gets a majority of “yes” votes from MA-District 1 residents, she gets the national endorsement. Let’s make it happen!
- Give this application to a teen you know ASAP! – MassLive seeking young participants for national gun dialogue project. The national dialogue project “Guns, An American Conversation” is coming to Massachusetts in the form of a special two-day program led by Essential Partners and MassLive. We are seeking diverse participants of all ages, including Massachusetts high school and college students, to talk about guns in America on May 4-5. Learn more The application can be accessed via this link – but hurry, it looks like they are only taking applications for another day or two.
- Urge the U.S. government to accept more Syrian refugees – There is a refugee crisis happening right now and the U.S. needs to show leadership and kindness by accepting these refugees from Syria and elsewhere. One of the most shocking and telling statistics about this current moment is that the S. has only admitted 11—yes, 11—Syrian refugees in the past year. Add your name to this petition from MoveOn and demand that the U.S. welcome more Syrian refugees. are only accepting in the few thousands.
- Sign up for the Nobody Is Above the Law rapid response – We need to be prepared to mobilize and take action quickly if Trump fires Mueller or Rosenstein. MoveOn.org has organized a national rapid response action being planned and these “Nobody Is Above the Law” rallies will occur in every state. Here is the link to sign up the Springfield event. If you want to sign up for the Longmeadow, Belchertown, Northampton, Hartford, Amherst or Greenfield event, use this link and just type in the correct zip code. More towns may have been added by the time this newsletter is sent. If Trump attempts to fires someone in the line to Mueller before 2 PM on any day, the action will take place at 5:00 PM that day. If it happens after 2 PM, the action will take place at Noon the following day. The location of the action may be found on your town’s event page (using the links above).
- Lift the Cap on Kids – One issue the League of Women Voters, Springfield is supporting is Lifting the Cap on Kids. The Cap on Kids – also called the Family Cap – denies TAFDC (welfare) benefits to children conceived while the family received assistance. 8,700 Massachusetts children are currently harmed by this outdated policy that many other states have done away with. Representative Marjorie Decker is filing an amendment to the House FY 2019 budget to Lift the Cap on Kids. Please pick up the phone and call your state Representative today to ask them to co-sponsor this budget amendment!
- Write a letter to your editor to prevent a constitutional crisis – From Wall-of-Us: We need to use all of the tools in our activism toolkit to protect Mueller. One tool that we’d like to dust off is the pen, which is mightier than the sword. Our friends at Lawyers for Good Government are on it and have prepared sample letters aimed at a targeted campaign to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Fill out this formfrom Lawyers for Good Government and they will get back to you with a tool-kit to get you started. Or find your own local paper here and go for it on your own.
- Tell Facebook: Our Data is our Property #OwnYourData – Facebook, along with other digital platforms and big data aggregators, make billions out of us and our data – and they cannot even keep it safe. They collect information about who we are, our friendships and how we view the world. Then they use our own data to sell to us – from pharmaceuticals to political campaigns. We’re just now realizing the bad news: we’re the product they’re selling. Our data has been exposed without our real consent. Sign this petition, written by a former employee of Cambridge Analytica, and tell Facebook we want control of our own data.
- Tell Mitch McConnell that we need to protect the special prosecutor – From Rogan’s List: Despite the president specifically saying earlier this week that he might fire Robert Mueller, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still insisting that there is no need for legislation to protect the special prosecutor. Since Senator McConnell will ultimately decide what can come to the Senate for a floor vote, we need to tell him that this legislation is needed to prevent a constitutional crisis. Call Senator McConnell at (202) 224-2541 or via this form if his voicemail is full.
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- Meeting Your Legislators Face to Face: “How-To” Panel Discussion – April 17 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM, Chicopee Public Library – Conference Room, 449 Front Street, Chicopee. Having an in-district meeting is often the most effective way to communicate with your state legislators about issues that are important to you. Join us for this panel discussion, designed to give you the tools you’ll need to hold successful meetings with your state legislators, including some insider information about what works and what doesn’t, and talking points for vital bills that need support in MA. Panelists are Michael Clark, Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Engagement at Office of Senator Eric P. Lesser and Olivia Santoro, Volunteer Coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. There will be ample time for Q and A following the panel. Hosted by Rise Up Western Mass Indivisible. For more information and to RSVP see the event here.
- Phone Bank for Raise Up Massachusetts – April 19, 5:30-7:30PM, The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, 2 Conz St, Ste 2B, Northampton. It’s time to build on our progress and to continue our legislative campaign in support of Paid Family Leave and $15 Minimum Wage. Join us to phone bank as we unite to ensure Massachusetts continues to be a great place to live, work, and raise a family. All you need to bring is a LAPTOP/TABLET and a CELL PHONE! Have more questions about the Raise Up Campaigns? Check out the website Can’t make this Phone Bank event? Then join the event on April 24, 5:00-7:30, 1199SEIU 20 Maple St. Springfield
- Community Discussion with a Parkland Father – April 20, 7:30 PM, South Congregational Church, 45 Maple St, Springfield. Join us for a community dialogue about gun violence and how to combat it. Manuel Oliver, father of Joaquin Oliver, one of the victims of the tragic Parkland shooting, will be the keynote speaker, and members of the community will be able to engage in a productive discussion with speakers. Let’s work together to keep our community and schools safe! Hosted by Springfield Teens for Our Lives and Change the Ref. View the event on Facebook
- Combatants for Peace in WesternMass – April 22, 4:00-7:00PM, Islamic Center of Western Mass, 377 Amostown Rd, West Springfield. Combatants for Peace, founded in 2006, is a non-profit, volunteer organization of ex-combatant Israelis and Palestinians, men and women, who have laid down their weapons and rejected all means of violence. Their mission is to build the social infrastructure necessary for ending the occupation and conflict. Come here their powerful story. Hosted by American Friends of Combatants for Peace and Critical Connections. For more information view the event here.
- Abortion Access Bowl-A-Thon – April 24, 6:00-8:00PM, Spare Time Northampton and City Sports Grille, 525 Pleasant St, Northampton. The Abortion Right’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and Pioneer Valley Women’s march are hosting this year’s Bowl-a-thon. Family Friendly! Childcare will be provided! Prizes for top fundraisers, top teams, top individual, best team name and more! Pizza and Light Refreshments will be provided! Look here for more information.
- An evening in Holyoke with Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz – April 25, 7:00-8:30 PM, Gateway City Arts, 92 Race St, Holyoke. Join us for an evening in Holyoke with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. Mayor Cruz will speak about the transformation of Puerto Rico after hurricanes Irma and Maria. This event is free and open to the public. Please note that in order to allow the highest number of attendees, this will be a standing room event. There will be no tickets in advance: first come, first serve! Maximum capacity is 500 attendees. Doors will open at 6:00 pm. The restaurant and bar at GCA will be open for the entire evening. There will be limited seating prioritized for attendees needing accommodations. Hosted by Jossie Valentin. View the event on Facebook
- Great American Clean-Up – April 28, 8:00AM-12:00PM, 2705 Main St, Springfield. Hosted by Keep Springfield Beautiful. KSB with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) will be facilitating the Great Americas Clean-Up in Springfield. KSB will provide gloves, trash bags, and water for volunteers. There will be several staging areas. Join me at Medina’s Supermarket, 2705 Main Street, Springfield. Contact: Ivette Hernandez: 413-238-4141. Event link
- Special Meeting – Anne Thalheimer – Everytown for Gun Safety – April 29, 10:30AM-12:00PM, Click Workspace, 9 1/2 Market Street, Northampton. Join the Badass Activists and Indivisible Noho for our special guest speaker:Anne Thalheimer is a local artist and educator based in Holyoke. She works with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety in a number of capacities, but most prominently as an Everytown Survivor Fellow, which is a national leadership program that helps train survivors of gun violence to share their stories, raise awareness, change legislation, and move the needle on gun violence prevention. She’ll speak about her own story of surviving gun violence and discuss ways folks can get involved to make change in gun legislation both locally, at the state level, and federally. View the Facebook event 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. 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: email@example.com.
From Indivisible National
Trump Just Dangerously Escalated the Situation in Syria
Donald Trump has again ordered an illegal strike on Syria. Nearly one year to the day after his last unlawful strike, Trump deployed missiles against Syria without congressional authorization, without explanation of his legal justification, and with no apparent strategy for what happens next.
Donald Trump has made a mockery of his solemn duties by launching missiles as impulsively as he launches tweets. Congress, and not the President, holds the authority to determine if and when the United States goes to war. It is Congress’ responsibility to prevent Trump’s belligerence and volatility from escalating this conflict and dragging us into another open-ended and disastrous war in the Middle East.
Make no mistake, the use of chemical weapons in Syria is a grave atrocity. As international investigators continue to gather evidence to assess whether there was indeed a chemical strike and whether the Assad regime carried it out, one thing is clear: a new war will not stop the bloodshed, and instead will escalate the suffering further.
The Trump Administration has failed on multiple fronts with this strike: more
The More You Know
Congresswoman Barbara Lee – An Army of One
Check This Out
Best meme we’ve seen all week!