RUWMI Weekly Email – 12/3/18
Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate!
Guess what we did last night? We phone-banked for the Georgia Secretary of State run-off vote. Did the phone-banking go off without a hitch? Nope! Did we persevere, get some calls done and have fun? Yup! Even more importantly a few more people (yours truly included) gained some important phone-banking know-how. Keep watch for upcoming opportunities to join us as we learn these tools of activism together!
Also, we have a new way for members to connect! RUWMI is growing and we now have over 950 followers on our Facebook page. This is great as the format allows us to get important events and action items to a large group of people and amplify our impact. But it’s hard to have a conversation with that many people. So, RUWMI is proud to announce the creation of Rise Up Western Mass Indivisible Community– Facebook group. This ‘group’ format allows members to easily share information, opinions and ideas, and engage in real conversations.
- RUWMOneSmallThing – We have launched our new community Facebook group and we need your help to bring it to life! This group will allow you, our members, to share information and engage in conversations. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is join our new group using this link!
- Stand together against anti-Semitism this Hanukkah – From We Stand Together: As a response to the massacre of 11 people at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Hanukkah Ally Action is a statement of unity with and support for the Jewish community. We welcome both Jews and allies to join together in showing solidarity. Jews, allies, and supporters are invited to display a menorah in your window during the month of December in solidarity with the Jewish community. To participate in this Ally Action download the free Hanukkah Ally Action Menorah here, print it out, and put it in a visible window during the month of December.
- Deliver petitions to protect Mueller – From Common Cause: As you all know, groups that have helped coordinate this effort have collected millions of petitions from Americans to protect the investigation. Can you sign up to organize a delivery to make sure everyone’s voice is heard across the country. We will send you a flash drive with all the petitions, help coordinate other activists in your community, and send you materials to make a show of your delivery. Sign up here if you can deliver petitions to your Senator’s office between December 16 and 23rd.
- Help Suffering People in Yemen – From Indivisible MA: The crisis in Yemen continues to deepen, and since Trump won’t hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its actions, we continue to be complicit. Three years of fighting between Saudi-backed government forces and Houthi rebels have created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Yemen, the region’s poorest nation even before the war, now faces potential famine. The United Nations warned this week that half its population may soon rely entirely on humanitarian aid to survive. But we can try to help. Here’s a good list of charities and organizations who are still able to work in the country, to support.
- Get the word out about ACA enrollment – It is not too late to take advantage of the Affordable Care Act. Open Enrollment for health insurance purchased via the ACA ends January 23, 2019 in MA (and on December 15th in most other states). To enroll in MA you can use this link or call 877-623-6765 to sign-up, and then share this information with friends and family. You can get more information and details for other states here.
- Prison Book Program’s Wish List 2018 – From American’s of Conscience Checklist: Prison Book Program is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization in Quincy, Mass. They send free books to people in prison to improve their lives and to reduce the likelihood of their return to the prison system. This list includes special requests and books that are often requested but rarely donated. Used and new paperback books are greatly appreciated. Please include your name and email address on the gift receipt so we can thank you! All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Click here for more details.
- Want even more action items? You can get additional action items delivered directly to your inbox by signing up with Rogan’s List, Americans of Conscience Checklist or Wall-Of-Us.
- Interrupting Racism – Tuesday, December 4, 8:30AM-12:00PM, Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont Realtors, 112 Main Street, Northampton. This Ethical Upstander Training teaches participants skills to effectively respond to and prevent incidents of racism and social bias. Supported by historical and current data, our interactive training includes videos, partner and small group activities and meaningful discussions to create social norms based on diversity, equity and inclusion. You can register for the training here
- PVP Immigrant Justice Paint Night Fundraiser – Friday, December 7, 6:30-9:00, South Congregational Church, 45 Maple St, Springfield. PVP’s immigrant organizing along with organizing immigrant allies seeks to protect and defend the dignity and humanity of our immigrant community. Want to support this movement? Join us for an evening of fun, creativity and community with local artist Juan Rodriguez! All proceeds will benefit PVP’s Immigrant Justice Fund to support our immigrant, sanctuary and solidarity organizing. Painting materials will be supplied and participants get to take their art home. Tickets are $50 and light refreshments will be served. To register, please go to this link. For more details view the event on Facebook here.
- March for Our Lives Springfield: 2019 Planning Meeting – Saturday, December 8, 1:30-3:15PM, Springfield Central Library, Springfield. March for Our Lives: Springfield will be hosting a public meeting to get the community involved in our efforts. We will be discussing new action plans against gun violence and other issues, as well as seeking input from new members. We will also be conducting a phone bank to support legislation that is currently up for debate in MA. For more information, view the event on Facebook here.
- 2018 Sustainability Summit & Annual Meeting – Saturday, December 8, 2:30-8:30PM, TechSpring – The Baystate Health Technology Innovation Center, 1350 Main St, Fl 5th, Springfield. Co-op Power along with a number of local organizations have organized a Sustainability Summit here in Springfield! Co-op Power’s Annual Sustainability Summit is a great opportunity to share ideas with like-minded people on topics from green business development and community finance to grassroots activism and social justice. We expect vibrant discussions about our society and our environment centered around our theme, “Energy Democracy”, with 2 dynamic keynote speakers and workshops throughout the day. If you are passionate about the environment and social justice then you have a place at the Summit to add to the excitement and expertise! Use this link to read more and to RSVP.
- The Power of Peace: A Taste of Rwanda – Sunday, December 9, 3:00-6:00PM, South Congregational Church, 45 Maple St, Springfield. Following a trip to Rwanda with a U.S. Department-sponsored fellowship program in August, 2015, Ken Chartrand and Tara Parrish both knew they needed to act. They returned having experienced first-hand the deep commitment Rwandans have made to moving forward together in peace and in relationship with one another. You are invited to be part of their effort to build capacity both in Rwanda and in the U.S. for a more peaceful future for all of us. The evening will feature a sampling of traditional Rwandan foods, stories and perspective from Rwandan friends, handmade items from Rwanda available for purchase (think Holiday gifts!) and the chance to try out some traditional Rwandan dancing. All proceeds will support Peace in Place. View the event here for more details.
- Election Security Webinar Slash Klatch! – Sunday, December 9, 7:30 PM, from your computer. In this meeting, you’ll hear highlights from MIT’s Election Lab Audit Summit. And we’ll provide some initial education resources, and ask for your thoughts as we begin to formulate how we want to help secure our elections in 2020. What projects do we want to work on? Which are the biggest bang for the buck? Which have the best chance of succeeding? You can register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. This event is hosted by Joyce Hackett from Lift+Every+Vote.
- The #WomensWave – We are outraged. We are organized. They forgot that 5 million women lit the world on fire two years ago. On January 19, 2019, we’re going to remind them when we flood the streets of Washington, D.C., and with sister marches in cities across the globe. Save the date: The #WomensWave is coming, and we’re sweeping the world forward with us. Trump is obsessed with crowd size so we need to show up in masses in D.C. Join the wave by signing up 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to Expect in the Next Congress
The blue wave delivered control of the House of Representatives back to the Democrats for the first time in eight years. In some ways, that totally changes the game: Democrats now control the agenda in the House, which means they have an institutional check on Trump they didn’t have the last two years. But Republicans still control the Senate and the White House, which means our collective nightmare isn’t over yet.
You can read our strategic framework for this new Congress here. It answers questions like: How can Democrats go on offense? Why do we still have to play defense? How should Democrats use their new oversight and investigatory powers?
Here, we explore what we expect to happen in the next Congress. Trump and the Republicans have undermined our democracy at every opportunity; they’ve rigged our economy and our health care system so that power is concentrated among the wealthy; they’ve shot fear into the hearts and souls of immigrants and refugees. We expect Democrats will use their control of the House to try to undo some of this horrible damage and present the American people with an alternative vision — but Republicans will use their control of the Senate to continue advancing the Trump agenda where they can. Here’s what you can expect in the 116th Congress.
The More You Know
- Analysis: Neal, as Chair, Will Be in Spotlights of Friends & Foes Alike…
- US Rep. Richard Neal says Ways and Means Committee will request President Donald Trump’s tax returns
- Rep. Neal, Poised To Chair Ways And Means, Will Prioritize Health Care And Trump’s Tax Returns
- Democrat Neal Aspires to ‘Finding Agreement’ at Ways and Means
- Here’s the lawmaker who can request Trump’s tax returns
Check This Out
Check out these great holiday ads.