It’s not a sprint, it’s a relay

Hello fellow RUWMI activists,

In MA this weekend the weather was glorious! But while we soaked up the warmth of last few days of summer, our hearts were heavy knowing how devastating the weather was for those further down the east coast.  Our activist friends in those areas will need time to focus on their storm recovery, so those of us unaffected by Florence need to redouble our efforts – remember it’s not a sprint (it’s a relay).

RUWMI Announcements

An update from RUWMI’s Justice for All Committee – Help us build equal treatment by law enforcement for everyone! Join the Justice for All committee.

  • We’re working with the ACLU on Court Watch because of the huge Difference a DA Makes. We go into the Springfield courts every week to collect data on how our Hampden County DA, Anthony Gulluni, is giving people bail (whether or not they can pay it), incarcerating drug addicts instead of getting them into rehab, and treating black and brown skinned people differently than white skinned people, poor people differently from rich people … and doing it with our tax dollars.
  • GET INVOLVED: Contact Erin Freed at ebfreed15@gmail.com to get Court Watch training and get involved with the Committee.

Also – don’t forget to mark you calendars for our monthly meeting on Thursday, September 27th, 6:30 PM at the Chicopee Public Library where we will learn all about the ballot questions that we will vote on in the general election.  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 3rd-4th – “The Last Weekend” canvassing and phone banks in swing districts near us (NY-19 for Antonio Delgado and NH-02 for Annie Kuster) – Check this newsletter next week for carpools to swing districts.
  • 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 – We’ve packed up our college kids and moved them into their dorms. We’ve made sure they have all the supplies they need for a successful school year.  But, have we made sure they have all the tools they need to vote in November? This week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is to make sure your college student can navigate voting from college. Share this website with them so they can look up all the vital information they need such as: registration deadlines, where and how to register, and where and how to vote. Don’t have a college-aged child of your own? Share this with a friend who does!
  • Speak Up for Mexican Americans Being Denied Passports – From Rogan’s list via Indivisible MA: Some Americans of Mexican heritage delivered by midwives, especially those living in the Rio Grande Valley, are being denied passports because the State Department questions their state-issued birth certificates and is demanding obscure documentation, like records of the mother’s prenatal care or rent agreements from the 1960s and ’70s. Like Trump’s other attacks on immigrant and Latinx people, we must object vehemently to this one: call 202-647-6575 or write to the Bureau of Public Affairs, US Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Room 2206, Washington DC 20520-2204.
  • Tell Trump: No Hurricane Money for ICE – From the ACLU: This is dangerous: Newly leaked documents show that the Trump administration funneled almost $10 million from FEMA – in the middle of hurricane season – to ICE, the agency responsible for carrying out his inhumane family separation policy. The news broke just before one of the worst hurricanes in decades was slated to make landfall on the East Coast. Sign this petition Trump that diverting money from hurricane relief to ICE’s abusive treatment of immigrants is shameful – and we won’t allow it to continue.
  • Help Jobs with Justice pass the People’s Agenda – MA Jobs with Justice needs your help to make sure people vote “Yes, Yes, Yes” on the 3 ballot questions in November! That means that no matter your age, experience, or abilities — whether you have a lot of time to give or just a few hours — there are important ways you can pitch in!

The 3 Ballot Questions Are:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Transgender Rights: This ballot initiative would uphold current legislation protecting trans people’s basic right to access public accommodations.

Here are some ways you can help:

  • Check out all of the volunteer opportunities here.
  • 9/27, 6:30 PM – Join us for our monthly RUWMI meeting at the Chicopee Library where Alicia Fleming from Jobs with Justice will answer your questions about the People’s Agenda.
  • Join one of the canvass opportunities
    • Northampton – Thursday, September 20, 5:30-7:30PM, Pioneer Valley Workers Center, 20 Hampton Ave Suite 200, Northampton.
    • Holyoke – Friday, September 21, 5:30-7:30PM, 295 High St, Holyoke.
    • Northampton – Saturday, September 22, 11:00AM-1:00PM, Pioneer Valley Workers Center, 20 Hampton Ave Suite 200, Northampton.
  • Drop off a letter to WellsFargo & JPMorgan Chase to stop financing detention centers – From MomsRising: Every child deserves to be tucked into a safe bed to sleep. But for-profit prison and detention corporations are profiting off taking parents away from children, incarcerating children, and putting families behind bars. It’s time for Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase to stop financing Geo Group and and CoreCivic, two of the largest for-profit prison and detention corporations. Sign on here to let us know you’re interested in dropping off a letter, and a small item relating to children sleeping like a pacifier or stuffed toy that you might have in your home, to your local Wells Fargo or JPMorgan Chase bank branch on September 26th, urging them to stop financing Geo Group and Core Civic. We’ll email you all the information you need after you sign on as interested.

 

  • 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
    • Share our RUWMI events (like this upcoming one) on your Facebook page!

Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events

  • 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
  • Northampton Canvass for the People’s Agenda – Thursday, September 20, 5:30-7:30PM, Pioneer Valley Workers Center, 20 Hampton Ave Suite 200, Northampton. Jobs with Justice is hitting the doors in Northampton on Thursday to get the word out about the 2018 ballot questions so we can win these campaigns, fight back against the corporate agendas and continue fighting for the people!!! We’ll meet up at the Pioneer Valley Workers Center where we’ll provide an overview of the campaigns, training and a partner so you can get on the doors to get out the vote. View the event
  • Feinberg Series Keynote: Rev Dr William J Barber II – Thursday, September 20, 6:00-7:30PM, UMass Fine Arts Center, 151 Presidents Dr, Amherst. Keynote Address and Inaugural James Baldwin Lecture. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II is president of Repairers of the Breach, national co-chair of the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign, and leads an alliance of more than 200 progressive organizations best known as “Moral Monday.” As the architect of the Moral Monday he stands for a multi-racial, multi-faith movement fighting for voting rights, public education, universal healthcare, environmental protection, and the rights of women, labor, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ community. This event is free and open to the public. Find more details
  • Civic Engagement in Diverse Latinx Communities – Friday, September 21, 9:00AM-4:00PM, UMASS AMHERST, Murray D. Lincoln Campus Center, Amherst Room. “Civic Engagement in Diverse Latinx Communities: Learning from Social Justice Partnerships in Action” Symposium and Dialogue. Join us for a day of presentations and dialogue between local community leaders/partners, faculty, staff and students who are developing social justice approaches to university-community partnerships within Latinx communities in Western Massachusetts. Community members will be co-presenting with their academic collaborators, and each panel will highlight the importance of developing collaborative pedagogies that recognize Latinx communities as specific sites of creative and dynamic civic engagement.

Free and open to the public but registration is required. You may register for the entire day or for specific panels. Details and Registration link here. Facebook event link here.

  • Holyoke Canvass for the People’s Agenda – Friday, September 21, 5:30-7:30PM, 295 High St, Holyoke. Jobs with Justice is hitting the doors in Holyoke on Friday to get the word out about the 2018 ballot questions so we can win these campaigns, fight back against the corporate agendas and continue fighting for the people!!! We’ll meet up at the Jobs with Justice Holyoke office where we’ll provide an overview of the campaigns, training and a partner so you can get on the doors to get out the vote.

 

  • 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:  melaniewlewis@gmail.com

 

  • Stop Local Pipeline Expansion: An Organizing Forum – September 25, 7:00-8:30PM, First Churches of Northampton, 129 Main St, Northampton. Columbia Gas plans to build new fossil fuel infrastructure here at ratepayer expense. A panel of speakers; Q&A; how and why on getting involved in our local effort to stop new fossil fuel infrastructure. Join experts in pipelines, climate change, and public health to explore alternatives and learn how to get involved. View the event on Facebook

 

  • 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’s Alicia Fleming to discuss the 3 questions that will be on our ballots in November. Learn what the questions are 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: news@indivisible-ma.org.

 

Indivisible National

And now, without further ado, check out our final list of candidates for 2018!–

Thursday night, we closed out our primaries for this cycle, with a lot of victories and our fair share of losses too. Any endorsement program that wins 100% of the time is a bad endorsement program. Yes, we endorse to retake power. But we also endorse to shift the national debate. We endorse to put entrenched power structures on notice that their time is limited. We endorse to provide cover to other candidates to push harder and rise higher than they otherwise might. We think we certainly accomplished that in the primaries, and with your help, we’ll do the same in the general election too.

The movement we’re part of isn’t about one issue or one candidate. It’s about challenging the status quo and changing what’s politically possible. Yes, we have electoral and policy goals, but we believe that if we empower a progressive community-level infrastructure of Indivisible groups across the country, that movement will win its own electoral and policy victories.

Thank you to all of you who have participated throughout this process — from nominating the candidates and making local endorsements, to voting in your local group’s endorsements, to supporting our endorsed candidates now. Together, we’re going to elect an amazing slate of Indivisibles and build a true, blue wave for 2018.

In solidarity,

The Indivisible Team

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