What Does Bravery Look Like?
Hello fellow RUWMI activists,
What does bravery look like? It looks like Anita Hill, in 1991, facing an all-male panel of senators asking her questions like this.
It looks like Christine Blasey Ford, having to move out of her home to avoid threats of harm, and hearing GOP comments like this BEFORE she even testifies.
There are just over 40 days until the election on November 6th. We are all looking forward to that big, blue wave, results are never guaranteed (we learned that on election day 2016)! The only way to ensure the Blue Wave will happen is if we make it happen. Over the next few weeks we will be asking each of you to do some real work. We know you are busy (believe me, we are too), we know you are tired (we are too) but can you think of anything more important than ensuring that we take back the House and the Senate this November? (No, neither can we). We are committing to step up and we are asking each of you to do the same.
Stay tuned both here and on Facebook for our RUWMI Blue Wave Calls to Action (and for actions from other groups that we will amplify) because WE NEED YOU!
THE LAST WEEKEND – RUWMI is Canvassing in the NY-19 for Antonio Delgado on Nov 3-4. Join us by taking these 2 steps:
- Sign up on the Mobilize America website to do BOTH the 10-12 and 12-3 shifts in Rhinebeck, NY on the day(s) you want to canvass: Saturday, Nov 3 or Sunday, Nov 4
- Sign up here to carpool from Springfield MA to Rhinebeck NY on the day(s) you want to canvass.
For EACH Day: Cars should leave the Springfield area at 7:30 AM to arrive in Rhinebeck by 10 AM. Bring comfortable walking shoes, plenty of water and appropriate weather apparel. If you are interested in staying overnight on Saturday, let us know when you sign up for carpooling, and we will work with the Delgado team to help find a place for you to stay.
For info about Antonio Delgado and the NY-19, click here:
For info on The Last Weekend, Swing Left, and the coalition, click here.
And, here’s a great little Facebook video on The Last Weekend you can share with your friends from, Jane, Lily and Rashida: click here
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)
- November 6th – Nationwide 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.
- Elizabeth Warren for U.S. Senate
- Elizabeth’s Facebook page
- Elizabeth’s Website
- Elizabeth’s events
- Sept 29@ 2:30PM – Holyoke Town Hall with Elizabeth Warren
- Richard Neal for U.S. Congress
- Jay Gonzalez for MA Governor
- Quentin Palfrey for MA Lieutenant Governor
- William Galvin for MA Secretary of State
- Maura Healey for MA Attorney General
- Maura’s Facebook page
- Maura’s Website
- Maura’s events
- Sept 27@ 6:00PM – BBQ&A with AG Healey in Northampton!
- Jo Comerford for MA State Senate (Hampshire/Franklin/Worcester)
- Eric Lesser for MA State Senate (First Hampden/Hampshire)
- James Welch for MA State Senate (Hampden)
- Brian Ashe for MA State Representative (2nd Hampden)
- RUWMOneSmallThing – While we are all focused on the upcoming election, our family and friends to the south are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and they could use our help. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is to make sure we keep this story in people’s minds amid the flurry of all the political noise going on. You can do this by sharing this story. Also, if you are able, consider taking one of these other actions.
- Send a donation to one of these organizations.
- Shop the Amazon Wish List from The Diaper Bank of North Carolina, based in Durham. They are collecting donations for diapers and feminine hygiene products for people displaced by the storm. If you don’t want to use Amazon you can check their website for other ways to contribute.
- Consider donating blood to help keep the Red Cross supply from becoming depleted.
- Speak Up Against Kavanaugh and For the VAWA – From Rogan’s List via Indivisible MA: Due to pressure, Congress decided to postpone the Thursday Kavanaugh vote and now there will be additional hearings next week. While there was talk that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford would also be part of the hearings, given the harassment she has received, including death threats and needing to move out of her house and hiring security, she wants the FBI to investigate Kavanaugh first. In an ironic juxtaposition, the Kavanaugh allegations are playing out at the same time that the Violence Against Women Act ( VAWA, HR 6545) is up for reauthorization. Let’s tell our members of Congress that we want the VAWA reauthorized and we don’t want Kavanagh.
- Tell DHS to #DefendFlores – From Families Belong Together: The Flores Agreement limits the detention of children for their immigration status and sets standards for adequate food and water, medical care, temperature control, etc. The Trump Administration is intentionally defying the Flores Agreement, arguing for the indefinite detainment of children. The period for public comment is open until November 6, 2018. Visit the Federal Register rule proposal page for full details. Then, tell DHS – #DefendFlores. You can also email Regulations@ice.dhs.gov. YOU MUST include DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002 in the subject line of the message. All comments submitted must be IN ENGLISH in order to be accepted. Not sure what to say? View a template on this page.
- Thank Anita Hill – From Rogan’s List via Indivisible MA: In a New York Times op-ed, Anita Hill writes, “It’s impossible to miss the parallels between the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing of 2018 and the 1991 confirmation hearing for Justice Clarence Thomas. In 1991, the Senate Judiciary Committee had an opportunity to demonstrate its appreciation for both the seriousness of sexual harassment claims and the need for public confidence in the character of a nominee to the Supreme Court. It failed on both counts.” Hill suggests that while we can’t redo 1991, “there are ways to do better.” Let’s send postcards of thanks to Anita Hill for her courage and our promise that we will work hard to do better. Address: Dr. Anita Hill, Heller-Brown Building, 374, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02453. While we are at it, lets thank Dr Christine Blasey Ford and let her know we support her! Dr Christine Blasey Ford, Palo Alto University, 1791 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94304 (h/t Sarah Buttenwieser for this part of the action).
- Urge Congress to address racial disparities in maternal health and improve hospital protocols – From MomsRising: Black women have consistently experienced an almost fourfold greater risk of death from pregnancy complications than white women, independent of age, parity, or education. Legislation that addresses maternal mortality and morbidity and the racial disparities driving this issue have been introduced in Congress. Sign this petition now to tell your members of Congress to support the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (CARE) Act (S.3363) and the Modernizing Obstetric Medicine Standards (MOMS) Act (S.3392).
- 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:
- 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.
Here are some ways you can help:
- Check out all of the volunteer opportunities here.
- THIS THURSDAY, 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.
- Read and share this blog post: Why the People’s Agenda ?
- Take this pledge to vote for the people’s agenda.
- Join our Justice4All Team – Last Friday marks the third shift of “Court Watching” we’ve done in the Hampden County Court as a part of the ACLU’s “What a Difference a DA Makes” campaign. We observed a total of 33 cases that came before the Judge for criminal arraignments on Friday. The reason we watch criminal arraignments is because that is the point in the process where the DA could suggest a harsh bail which may result in putting someone in jail before they are convicted, or could suggest jail for a drug addict instead of rehab. We collect data on the cases we see, send it to the ACLU, and they track it along with the other cases in the state.
- Join us! If you want to help make our “justice” system truly just for all, regardless of skin color or wealth, join the Justice4All Team. Contact Erin at email@example.com.
- 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?
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- 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
- Backpack Full of Cash: Film & Panel Discussion – Wednesday, September 26, 6:00-8:00PM, Bay Path University, 588 Longmeadow St, Longmeadow. Narrated by Matt Damon, this feature-length documentary, Backpack Full of Cash, explores the growing privatization of public schools and the resulting impact on America’s most vulnerable children. Filmed in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Nashville and other cities during a tumultuous school year, this timely new documentary takes viewers into the world of market-based education “reform” where public education, starved of resources, hangs in the balance. Post-screening panel discussion with Q&A exploring the key issues at the heart of the film, including charter schools, vouchers, and privatization, will follow. Event details can be found
- 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. This will be our RUWMI monthly meeting for September. Join us and bring a friend. View the event on Facebook here.
- Holyoke Town Hall with Elizabeth Warren – Saturday, September 29, 2:30PM, Holyoke City Hall Auditorium, 536 Dwight Street, Holyoke. Elizabeth Warren is hosting a town hall in Holyoke on Saturday, September 29, 2018! She’ll be talking and answering questions about how she’s holding the Trump Administration accountable and fighting for Massachusetts families in the Senate. Come meet our team and learn how you can get in this fight in 2018! If you need ADA seating or any other accommodation at the event, please let us know in the comment section of our RSVP form and we will work to make our event as comfortable as we can for you. Doors open at 2:30 PM and the town hall will begin at 3:30 PM. Admission is first come, first served and signing up does not guarantee entry. We’re sorry, but signs/posters will not be permitted inside the event. This event is free and open to the public, but please RSVP here. You can view the event on Facebook
- 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
- Sanctuary in the Streets General Assembly – Mondays, October 1, November 5, December 5, 6:00PM, The Parlor Room, 32 Masonic St, Northampton. What is Sanctuary in the Streets? Sanctuary in the Streets is a rapid response network of 2,000 people and 40 congregations mobilizing against raids and deportations, workplace abuse, and hate crimes. We have a 24-hour response hotline and have trained 800 people to rapidly mobilize as a detention is taking place. Thus far, we have accompanied over 40 individuals/families facing immigration detention and/or deportation, and have worked with dozens of workers to win justice in cases of wage theft, retaliation, and sexual harassment. What happens at the general assemblies? At our general assemblies, all our committees meet: fundraising, education and media, logistics and technology, events and training, and our newly formed mutual aid committee. If you’re new, you’ll attend an orientation to learn about the network and the current projects of each committee. You’ll then be ready to join a committee or plug into existing projects! View this recurring event on Facebook
- Justice Cup 2018 * Copa de Justicia 2018 – Monday, October 8, 9:00AM-4:00PM, Florence Recreation Fields, 155 Spring St, Florence. The fourth annual Justice Cup/Copa Justicia soccer tournament will take place on October 8th, 2018, Indigenous Peoples Day. We want to reclaim this day with a festival together and honor our member-workers, many of whom are part of indigenous communities, who have resisted for generations. Whether you’re a competitive player or enjoy kicking around the ball with your friends, there is a way for you to participate. All skill levels are welcome! There will be food from local vendors, exciting prizes, activities for kids, music, and a social justice resource fair to learn about all the great organizations and businesses in the Valley! Register here. View the event on Facebook for important details.
- Millennials and Elders Working Together for Social Change – Saturday, October 13, 10:00AM-3:00PM, The Montessori School of Northampton, 51 Bates St, Northampton. In this workshop, the trainers will facilitate “cross cultural” dialogue between self-identified elders and millennials. We will ask and examine key questions: What hinders these two age groups from being co-conspirators in service to social justice? What can make intergenerational organizing happen? After a “getting to know you” portion of the workshop, we will then identify a common cause, and plan a concrete action related to that cause. Trainers are Erin Joy Seibert & Doug Renick. View the event details
- West Springfield Democrat of the Year Brunch – Sunday, October 21, 9:30AM-12:00PM, Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield. Please RSVP by purchasing Tickets through Actblue, or by mailing a check to: West Springfield Democratic Committee, c/o Dan Kelly, Chair, 1583 Riverdale St., #41, West Springfield, MA 01089. Please include the names of all attendees. Please join the West Springfield Democratic Committee for our 18th Annual Democrat of the Year Brunch, Sunday, October 21st., Storrowton Village Carriage House, 1305 Memorial Ave. in West Springfield. Coffee and registration starts at 9:30am. Democrat of the Year: Dan Kelly, Advisor, West Springfield High School Democrats. View event details
- Chamber Legislative Breakfast – Thursday, October 25, 7:30-9:00AM, The Lord Jeffery Inn, n 30 Boltwood Ave, Amherst. The annual legislative breakfast brings together legislators, local officials, and business leaders to network and discuss current and upcoming policy issues. Please join us for an opportunity to reach out to other Chamber members, and enjoy our guest speakers. Senator Eric Lesser, Keynote, Remarks by: Solomon Goldstein-Rose, State Representative, Jo Comerford for State Senate, Mindy Domb for MA State Representative, 3rd Hampshire District. View the event on Facebook
- Pioneer Valley Public Hearing on Women’s Issues – Thursday, October 25, 4:30-6:30PM, Shea Theater Arts Center, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls. We want to know about the issues that affect you, your children, your family, and your community. Each year the MCSW holds hearings across the Commonwealth to hear testimony from citizens, government officials, and local organizations that provide assistance to women about the issues they are facing in their communities. The testimony presented at this hearing informs both our research and legislative work at the Commission, and is reported to our appointing authorities. Oral and written testimony will be accepted. Oral testimony should be kept to 2-3 minutes. Open to the public. RSVP here. For more information view event details
- Civics Fest 2018 – Thursday, October 25, 6:00-9:00PM, Springfield College, 263 Alden St, Springfield. Civics Fest 2018 will engage prospective voters in a fun event dedicated to fostering civic knowledge and celebrating democracy in order to build community, to increase informed voter participation, and to promote critical thinking about government as a tool for change through trivia questions. Civics Fest teams are minimum of three students, maximum of four students apiece to compete on civics topics. In addition to the student portion, the event will offer a civics trivia contest with elected officials and community-member teams. 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. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Connecting with voters the Indivisible Way – Indivisible National is offering two great tools to help you do your part to get voters to the polls.
- Sign up to phone bank. We’re calling out the vote for IndivisiCandidates across the country, and we need your help to reach as many votes as we can. Sign up for an upcoming shift (or two, or more… but really, there are shifts every night between now and election day) at org/phonebank.
- Register: Direct Voter Contact Through a Racial Equity Lens webinar – We’re very excited to introduce our new, special webinar series, “Direct Voter Contact Through a Racial Equity Lens.” In the webinar, we’ll have a facilitator join us to cover topics like microaggression, implicit bias, true ally-ship, and how to properly support communities of color. Learning and talking about these subjects will be integral for leaders and members, as most of you hit the streets in the next few weeks to talk to voters. Join us next week, Thursday September 27 at 7pm ET/4pm PT, for this important webinar. RSVP here and we can’t wait to see many familiar faces there!
The More You Know
Are our efforts working? Did we get more people to vote in the primary?
- Turnout in this year’s U.S. House primaries is up, especially on the Democratic side
- Democrats’ 2018 Primary Turnout Mirrors Previous Wave Elections
- Turnout exceeded 1 million in Massachusetts primary
Check This Out
#WhyIDidntReport – This hashtag is trending as thousands of women respond to Trump and GOP Senators and give them a lesson in why incidents sexual assault and harassment most often go unreported.