Next Up – Ballot Initiatives!

Hello fellow RUWMI activists,

RUWMI Announcements

With the primary behind us, we’ve turned our attention to the general election on November 6th.  In addition to electing candidates, we will be voting on three very important ballot questions.  They are so important in fact that we are dedicating our next meeting entirely to them.  Join us as we welcome Jobs with Justice to learn about the questions and why JWJ is supporting a campaign of YES to all three.  We will meet on Thursday, September 27th, 6:30 PM at the Chicopee Public Library.  Details in the event section below.

Voting and Candidate Information

Onward to November 6th!  #TheVoteOfYourLife

Here are important voting related dates to put on your calendar!

  • October 17th – This is the last day to register to vote in Massachusetts for the November general election!
  • November 6thNationwide mid-term elections. We need to show up in record numbers to make that blue wave happen!

Here are helpful links to bookmark and share!

  • Register to vote or update any information on your registration in MA (Note, young people turning 18 on or before election days can also register!)
  • Find your MA voting location
  • Find candidates worthy of your vote
  • Download an MA absentee ballot application (You can also pick up a ballot at your local town or city hall.)

KNOW YOUR CANDIDATES – Here are the Democratic candidates who will appear on our ballot in November.  Check out their Facebook pages, websites, and event links.  Get to know them and where they stand on issues that are important to you and contact them if you have questions. Campaign events will be added as they become available.

** We have not included Candidates for State Rep because there are too many to list all of them and most of the races are uncontested.  If there is a particular State Rep candidate you are interested in seeing listed here, please email us.

Action Items

  • RUWMOneSmallThing – All eyes are on the SCOTUS hearings of Brett Kavanaugh and we need to do all we can to stop his confirmation. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is to do take these two fast and easy actions.
    • First, since we are lucky enough that both of our Senators strongly oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation, we need to contact them and thank them for their unwavering opposition and urge them to go one step further and highlight the fact that Kavanaugh lied under oath. Edward J. Markey 413-785-4610, Elizabeth Warren (413) 788-2690
    • Second, we need to motivate our friends and family in other states to call their senators. Share this link from Indivisible with them so they can see where their senators stand on Kavanaugh. Their calls are most important if their senators fall in the “lean oppose” and “neutral/waffle” category.  We need to ensure that those who lean oppose, become strong opposers and try to move some wafflers into the oppose category.
  • Comment to protect immigrant families – From Rogan’s List: The Trump administration on Thursday said it is seeking to indefinitely jail migrant children with their families. Detaining children for more than 20 days is illegal, but the administration says it will terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement that has governed the detention of migrant children since 1997. Detaining families indefinitely is not the answer for protecting our borders. We need to use the 60-day public comment period to make our concerns known. We can register comments
  • Sign this petition to Block Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination – This petition comes to us from MoveOn. We have a clear path to blocking Kavanaugh: We need just one Republican to join a unified front of all Democrats to oppose his confirmation. And to make that happen, a huge number of us have to get involved and stay involved, pressuring key senators to vote the right way. That’s how we defeated Trumpcare, and it’s how we can protect the Supreme Court from Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh. Add your name to block his confirmation the petition
  • Phonebank to #StopKavanaugh – Sign up to phone bank with Indivisible National. Use this link to sign up for an upcoming phone bank.
  • Got Graphic Design Skills? Use them to fire up first-time voters – From Wall-of-Us: Engaging in our democracy is beautiful, but sometimes we all need a little inspiration and encouragement to get out there and rock the vote. The American Institute of Graphic Arts and Nonprofit VOTE are on it. AIGA is calling for designers to submit social media content that will be made available for use by the general public to encourage first-time voters to cast their ballot in the midterm elections this fall. Millennials could be the largest voting block this year, and many will be voting for the first time. Let’s get them inspired. If you are a graphic designer enter the contest here, deadline is September 25.
  • Can’t wait to vote? Share your reasons – From The #CantWait2Vote Panic Button is not only a stress reliever that keeps a record of your moments of frustration, but also serves as a powerful tool for generating voter momentum as we approach Election Day! HOW IT WORKS: When news or other information flying across your timeline, tv screen, radio broadcast or newspaper makes you want to scream I CAN’T WAIT TO VOTE!, fill in the reason why, then punch your #CantWait2Vote Panic Button. Once you press the button to the right, your reason is then recorded on your own personalized #CantWait2Vote page, which keeps a running list that you can check at any time to motivate you to the polls. Read more and find the button
  • Help RUWMI Spread the Word! – We can’t expect a lot of people to take the actions we post or show up to events we advertise, unless a lot of people know about them! Thus, we at RUWMI are on a mission to get this newsletter into as many inboxes as possible. Can you help?
    • Forward this email to three friends and add a note telling them to click on the link at the bottom so they can sign up.
    • Share this newsletter sign-up link on your own social media
  • Learn about The People’s Agenda 2018 – MA Jobs with Justice is working to get the word out to voters about the 3 Ballot questions this November. Read about them here and then share the information with your friends. Remember want to vote YES, YES, YES on all 3!
    • Safe Patient Staffing: This ballot measure will improve patient safety in Massachusetts hospitals by setting a maximum limit on the number of patients assigned to a nurse at one time, while providing flexibility to hospitals to adjust nurses’ patient assignments based on specific patient needs.
    • Advisory Commission on Corporate Personhood and Political Spending: The Initiative asks voters to establish a non-partisan Citizens Commission to advance the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to address the undue influence of concentrated money on elections and government policy.
    • Transgender Rights: This ballot initiative would uphold current legislation protecting trans people’s basic right to access public accommodations.

Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events

  • 2 Mile Walk in Honor of Jafet Robles – Tuesday, Sept 11, 5:30-8:00PM, Szot Park, Palmer Avenue and Bemis, Chicopee. “We need to come together and unite, organize and strategically plan… Never underestimate the power of people who organize. Life is short, this is a short ride.” – Jafet Robles. Friends and Family of Jafet Robles invite you to our first 2 mile walk to honor Jafet on Tuesday September 11th at 5:30pm, Szot Park Pavilion in Chicopee. We will then walk to the Chicopee Police department and make our presence known, and then return to Szot Park for a candlelight vigil. Please join us in peaceful remembrance and solidarity as we walk to honor his legacy. View the event details
  • Holyoke Canvass for the People’s Agenda – Wednesday, September 12, 5:30-7:30PM, 295 High St, Holyoke. Join Jobs with Justice for an evening of advocacy for the 2018 People’s Agenda to combat the Corporate Agenda by getting out the vote for the 2018 ballot questions. We’ll provide an overview of the campaign, training and a partner so you can get on the doors to get out the vote. Can’t canvass on Wednesday? No problem!! Just stop by or let us know what works for you and we can arrange it. Canvassing is a team sport and our team is here to make it work for you and the location and time of your choosing. View the Facebook event
  • Monthly Meeting in Northampton Western Mass. Medicare for All – Wednesday, September 12, 6:30-8:00PM, Community Room at 20 Hampton Ave., Northampton. Agenda includes discussion of WMM4A activism this summer, the primary elections, launching our outreach campaign for the Single Payer non-binding ballot question, and more.  Join other single-payer advocates for a lively exchange of information, resource-sharing, and action. Help build the movement for health care as a human right.  New folks welcome!  RSVP and questions:
  • Longmeadow Dems Meeting – Wednesday, September 12, 7:30PM, Greenwood Center, 231 Maple Road, Longmeadow. Our September meeting will include an update from Senator Elizabeth Warren’s campaign featuring a regional field organizer and State Representative Brian Ashe. Rep. Ashe has served as our State Rep since 2008. He represents the towns of East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow, and Monson. Rep. Ashe will provide us with an update from Beacon Hill and all of his great work on our behalf.
  • Chicopee Democratic City Committee Monthly Meeting – Thursday, September 13, 6:30PM. Community Room of the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St., Chicopee. Chicopee Dems meet on the second Thursday of every month. For more info contact CDCC Chair Meghan Balakier at
  • Third Western MA Health Equity Summit – Friday, September 14, 8:00AM-3:30PM, Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center, 1 Campus Center Way, Amherst. The Summit will bring together practitioners, students, planners and community leaders from across sectors and our four counties. We’ll work, learn, and take important steps toward creating greater health equity in Western MA. Participate in unique networking and collaboration opportunities. Attend workshops and roundtables on policy, power, the toxicity of racism, and data & analysis challenges. For details including speaker list, view the event details
  • Springfield Canvass for the People’s Agenda – Saturday, September 15, 11:00AM-2:00PM, 129 Spruceland Ave, Springfield. Jobs with Justice is hitting the doors on Saturday to get the word out about the 2018 ballot questions so we can win these campaigns and fight back against corporate agendas and continue fighting for the people!!! We’ll provide an overview of the campaigns, training and a partner so you can get on the doors to get out the vote. As always, feel free to let us know if you would like to canvass at an alternate time or in another location. We can arrange all the details to make it work for you. See you in the streets!! View the event on Facebook
  • Town Hall Meeting with Jim McGovern & Pramila Jayapal – Saturday, September 15, 4:00-6:00PM, First Churches of Northampton, 129 Main St, Northampton. Join Congressman Jim McGovern and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) for a Town Hall Meeting. Congresswoman Jayapal has represented Washington’s 7th District since 2017. She was the first South Asian American elected to the Washington State Legislature. She has been called “a leader of the resistance” and a rising star in the Democratic caucus. Jayapal is the Vice-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Event is co-hosted by the Progressive Democrats of America Massachusetts. Event detail can be found here.

  • Jay Gonzalez at the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade – Sunday, September 16. The Parade starts at Wason Ave., at the corner of Main St. in Springfield. Participants need to arrive before 10:00AM for the Parade line up. The Parade will kick off at 11:00AM and march two miles down Main St., ending at Tower Square, and will take place rain or shine. Democratic candidate for Governor, Jay Gonzalez will be march with the Massachusetts Democratic Party contingent. If you would like to join please email, as they are purchasing Puerto Rican flags for participants and want to have enough for everyone!
  • Immigration Talk “What’s Going ON?” and Potluck with Lucio – Monday, Sept 17, 5:30-8:00PM, First Church Amherst, 165 Main St, Amherst. Please join us on Monday, September 17 at 5:30 pm for our next Potluck Dinner with Lucio Perez Featuring a Guest Speaker at First Church Amherst. Lauren Burke will present on the topic of “What’s Going ON? A Look at Our Country’s Immigration Past, Present and Hopes for the Future” at 5:30 in the First Floor Main Sanctuary, followed by dinner in the lower level dining room at 6:30. Details can be found
  • September Legislative Breakfast – Tuesday, September 18, 7:00-9:00AM, Chez Josef, 176 Shoemaker Ln, Agawam. Hosted by West of the River Chamber-WRC Agawam/West Springfield. Join us for an informative morning with our local legislators and Mayors and hear a panel discussion and Q&A on topics that relate to our local business economy. View the event on Facebook
  • How To be A Muslim: An American Story with Haroon Moghul – Sunday, Sept 23, 1:00-3:00PM, Longmeadow Community House, 735 Longmeadow. Please join us in September to hear renowned author and scholar, Haroon Moghul, speak about his book, ‘How to be a Muslim: An American Story’, teaching Islam at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and the challenges and opportunities of navigating Jewish-Muslim relations here in the U.S. and in Israel/Palestine. This event is hosted by Critical Connections. For more information view the event details
  • Medicare for All: A Forum for Health Care Providers – Monday, Sept. 24th, Bangs Community Center, 70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Free public discussion about what Single Payer would mean for health care providers. Panelists include Prof. Gerald Friedman, nationally-recognized expert on health care financing; Beth Eisenberg, Medicare for All advocate and mental health provider with more than 40 years experience in agency and private practice; and Deborah Levenson, Co-convener of Western Mass. Medicare for All.    Contact Melanie:
  • The People’s Agenda: Understanding the 2018 Ballot Questions – Thursday Sept 27, 6:30-8:30 PM. Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front Street, Chicopee. Join us as we welcome Jobs with Justice to discuss the 3 questions that will be on our ballots in November. Learn what the questions are about and why MA Jobs with Justice is supporting “Yes” votes on all three.  View the event on Facebook here.
  • Western Mass Prison Abolition Network, House Party and Fundraiser – Saturday, September 29, 4:00-8:00PM, 20 Highland Ave, Northampton. Since we launched in May, we’ve bailed out over 35 people! And so, in recognition of the amount of work we’ve done together and to help sustain us through the work ahead, we wanna throw a party! We’ll be raising money for the MA Bail Fund (the more $ we have, the more people get out), eating delicious food (there will be a grill!) and getting some time to connect with each other. View event details
  • Chicopee Democratic City Committee Breakfast – Sunday, Sept 30, 9:30AM-12:30PM, Castle of Knights, Memorial Drive, Chicopee. The Chicopee Democratic City Committee is proud to honor: Democrat of Distinction – Suzanne Bump, Democrat of the Year – Karen Hansmann, Activist of the Year – Shanique Spalding, Special Guest Speaker – National Presidential Advisor Nick Carter. Join us at 9:30 for coffee. Program and breakfast at 10 AM, $30. View event details
  • 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:

Indivisible National

A Message about our work on Tahirah’s campaign – Marguerite Suozzo-Gole is our regional representative from Indivisible National.  She sent this lovely message to us via email to us shortly after the primary last week. It is shared here with her permission.

Dear all,

I wanted to thank you for your endorsements and for truly #doingthework for Tahirah, but also knocking doors and making calls for state level and local candidates all over.  I’ve seen your pictures and heard your stories of talking to voters over the past few months (well, months, really) and it’s been absolutely inspiring.

It is rare that Democrats from the old boys’ club in Massachusetts get a run for their money — from a Black, Muslim, female, no-PAC-money, unapologetic progressive candidate at that. I hope you see, as I do, that this is not a loss but rather a huge win for increased representation and leadership across the district. There are more and more Tahirahs to come, and more and more folks like yourselves to bolster them up.

I couldn’t be prouder to be your neighbor and to be part of this movement with you.

Thank you,


The More You Know

What is Ranked Choice Voting? Check out the information from these RCV dedicated websites, articles and videos to learn more.

Check This Out

Make Canada Great Always!Praise for Canadian health care “take that America”.  This is funnier every time I view it!

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