Hello fellow RUWMI activists,
Woot! Woot! Great news hot off the press! We just got word from Indivisible National that Tahirah Amatul-Wadud’s application for national endorsement was approved. Now its up to us to VOTE to make it happen. The first step is to register to vote by 5/30 (you must be a resident of MA-District 1 to vote). You can register using this link! You will then get a ballot via email to vote (5/31-6/3). Let’s do this!
This past weekend, steering committee member Jackie Neiman attended a regional conference this weekend put on by Indivisible. The conference included group leaders from MA, CT, VT, ME, and NY, and was run by the leadership at Indivisible National. The conference aimed to teach the leaders skills to strengthen their own groups as well as to help those groups create clear goals and frameworks to achieve those goals. The conference was two jam-packed 9-hour days but well worth the time and energy to attend. Each week for the next few weeks we will share some of the things we learned at the conference. This week let’s talk about the amazing Leah Greenberg. Leah (along with husband Ezra Levin) co-authored the Indivisible Guide and co-founded Indivisible National. She kicked off the with an inspiring talk. Here are some quotes from her:
- On DACA/Dreamers: “When 800,000 young people have their futures’ threatened, it’s not just a crisis for immigrants, it’s a crisis for who we are as a country”
- On voting: “How do we make politics and civic engagement part of everyone’s lives such that voting is just a natural extension of that?”
- On the Resistance: It’s not just about resisting Trump, it’s about resisting the ideals that allowed him to rise”.
- On resources, she shared a joke: A minister speaking to his congregation about the new roof they need says, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we already have the money we need for the roof. The bad news is that it’s still in your pockets”. Leah noted that the same is true for the activism skills and manpower needed in this resistance; we have it, we just need to use it.
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- The Blood is at the Doorstep (Film) – May 24, 6:30-9:00PM, Griswold Theater @AIC, 1000 State Street, Springfield. With special guests, Maria, Daemion, & Nate Hamilton. On April 30, 2014, in the broad daylight of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, an officer responding to a complaint from a Starbucks employee approached Dontre Hamilton, an unarmed black man with a psychiatric diagnosis who was resting in a nearby park. Minutes later, the officer shot Dontre 14 times. Filmed over the course of three years, The Blood Is at the Doorstep follows Dontre’s family (including his mother, Maria, and brothers, Dameion and Nate) and surrounding community through their struggle to find answers and challenge a criminal justice system full of bias, abuses of power, racism, and psychiatric oppression. View the event details
- Improving Relations Between Communities of Color and Police – May 25, 8:30AM-4:00PM, Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke. Critical Connections, Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, and the League of Women Voters/Springfield invite you to a day-long symposium to improve understanding of the structural and societal factors that adversely affect relations between law-enforcement and communities of color. The symposium will examine local initiatives that increase police accountability, highlight community perspectives on gaps and challenges, and identify opportunities to address them collaboratively. Panel presentations will be followed by small group and plenary discussions on best practices and next steps. Join community leaders, activists, civil rights experts, and law-enforcement personnel for a day of reflection and conversation on strengthening community-police relations. For more details check
- Springfield Gubernatorial Meet & Greet – May 26, 12:00-1:45PM, Café Christo, 513 Belmont Ave, Springfield. Join the Ward 6 Democratic Committees as well as the Springfield Ward 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, & 8 committees and the West Springfield Democratic Town Committees for a meet and greet with Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie. Hear the candidates’ pitch, chat with them, and meet up with local delegates to the Democratic Convention. Light refreshments will be served. View the event on Facebook
- Community Forum: Single Payer Health Care – May 26, 1:00-4:00 PM, Rebecca M Johnson School, 55 Catherine St, Springfield. Join us for a conversation about the healthcare concerns of people in our local communities and the importance of winning health care as a human right. Hosted by Jobs with Justice, Western Mass. Medicare for All, and Springfield League of Women Voters, this lively program will include presentations about the problems and inequities in our current health system and how Medicare for All in Mass. would make big improvements. For more information view the event on Facebook
- Springfield Town Hall Meeting – May 31, 5:30-8:00PM, Brightwood Branch Library, 359 Plainfield St, Springfield. Join At-Large City Councilor Jesse Lederman, Ward 1 City Councilor Adam Gomez, Ward 3 City Councilor Melvin Edwards, State Representative Carlos Gonzalez, District 1 School Committeewoman Maria Perez, and At-Large School Committeewoman Latonia Monroe-Naylor for a Town Hall Style Meeting in the Community Room at Brightwood Library. Panel of elected officials still forming. Others are expected to join and will be announced in the coming days. Come share your questions, concerns, and ideas with your elected officials. View the Facebook event
- 2018 Mass Democratic State Convention – June 1-2, DCU Center, 50 Foster St, Worcester. The Massachusetts Democratic Party will hold its 2018 State Convention on Friday & Saturday, Jun 1 & 2 at the DCU Center in Worcester! #mapoli. Sign up to attend as a guest here. View the event on Facebook
- National Gun Violence Awareness Day – June 1, 4:00-5:00PM, Holyoke City Hall, 536 Dwight St, Holyoke. On Friday, June 1st, Mayor Alex Morse will host the event to bring awareness to gun violence. Citizens from across the country will be participating in the “Wear Orange” campaign in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, a teen shot and killed in Chicago just one week after performing at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade in 2013. Mayor Morse encourages all attendees to wear orange in solidarity with those who have lost someone to gun violence. The event will follow a program of speakers including the Mayor who will issue a proclamation declaring June 1st as Gun Violence Awareness Day in Holyoke. Anne Thalheimer, a survivor of a college shooting and gun violence activist, will speak on their experiences and the impact gun violence has made on their lives. Click here for more details.
- Outrun Hunger ’18 – 5K run/walk – June 3, 9:00AM-12:00PM, Rachel’s Table, 1160 Dickinson St, Springfield. Join to alleviate childhood hunger! 5K run timed by Greater Springfield Harriers, 5K walk, and one-mile walk! Presented by the Rachel’s Table Teen Board and the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation. For more information, contact Rachel’s Table-413-733-0084 or view the event here or sign up to run/walk
- Organizational Meeting – We need you and your input! – June 5, 7:00-8:30PM, Chicopee Public Library (Community Room – lower level), 449 Front Street, Chicopee. We need you and your input! As RiseUpWesternMass Indivisible continues to grow and expand we are finding the need to add more people to leadership positions. Most other similar groups are organized into committees, with one member being the leader/liaison for each committee. We’d like to explore the viability of this model and gauge interest of members to step into these leadership roles. The focus of our June meeting will be to discuss this organizational model and gather ideas as we move forward. We welcome your input and your energy! Please join us and help us build a stronger and more efficient organization! View 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. 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.
- Meet Lindsay Sabadosa! – May 22 at 7 PM – 8:30 PM, Lindsay Sabadosa for State Representative, 1st Hampshire. Haymarket Café, 185 Main St, Northampton. Details can be found here.
- Tahirah Amatul-Wadud Volunteer Information Call – May 22nd @ 7:00pm – 8:00pm. Register for the call here.
- Amaad Rivera PhoneBanking for Change – May 24 @5:30-7:30PM and May 26 @3:00-6:00PM. 15 Crescent Hill, Springfield. Details can be found here.
From Indivisible National
Announcing Indivisible’s State & Local Program!
We are excited to announce that we are launching a state & local program to support our groups as they take their engagement to the state level! Our program will focus on two major goals:
- Demystifying state legislative advocacy and equipping our groups with the resources and strategies they need to take their activism to the statehouse.
Later this year, we will release a Guide (surprise surprise) that details everything our groups need to know to get started in doing state advocacy. We’ll bring resources to learn about state legislative processes and tactics for engagement. We’ll also bring toolkits about progressive policy implementation at the state level so that Indivisibles are well-equipped with the policy knowledge they need to lobby their state lawmakers.
- Directly supporting the groups that work on state legislative campaigns by helping groups coordinate and providing extra resources when available to make those campaigns a success.
As highlighted, some of our groups are already engaging at the statehouse by coordinating groups across the state for advocacy, but many are not. We will try to facilitate statewide coordination so that Indivisibles can leverage their maximum power at the state level. When groups have statewide coordination structures in place and are engaging in a coordinated campaign around a specific issue or piece of legislation, we will try to provide additional resources (e.g. policy explainers, communications support, etc.) to help win campaigns! Read more here.
The More You Know
The Convention is coming! The 2018 Massachusetts Democratic Convention is coming.
- 2018 Convention Details and Documents
- 2018 Massachusetts Democratic Party State Convention Guest Registration
- Event link on Facebook
- Mass Democratic Party Platform
Check This Out
Why Is This Happening? Check out this new podcast with Chris Hayes. You can listen to it here.