RUWMI Weekly Email – 12/17/18

Hello fellow RUWMI activists!

“You are not obligated to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it” (Pirke Avot 2:21)

Sometimes the enormity of what we have to do overwhelms me and I am almost paralyzed into non-action because there are simply so many actions to take.   At those times (as corny as it may sound) this Jewish teaching helps me keep my perspective.  

RUWMI Announcements

January 3rd at noon – mark your calendars and clear your lunch hour; we have a date at Representative Neal’s office! As part of a joint effort with FCCPR (and other Indivisible groups in our district) and in following with Indivisible National’s call to action, we are planning a friendly stand-out at Neal’s office on January 3.  Why January 3?  Because it is the first day of the new (much bluer) congress.  Why Representative Neal? Because he is our Rep for CD-1 AND because he will hold the significant position as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

More details will be coming soon – As Rachel Maddow would say “watch this space”!

Action Items

  • RUWMOneSmallThing – As you know, with Neal at the helm, we here in CD-1 will have important voices in what happens on the Ways and Means committee.  One important first step will be to make sure the committee membership reflects that of the general democratic caucus.  That means, adding several progressives.  One of the progressive voices seeking to join is progressive champion Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to add your name to this petition, urging incoming-speaker Nancy Pelosi to put Ocasio-Cortez on the committee.
  • Speak up to protect our right to choose – The Trump-Pence administration has released a new rule designed to undermine private insurance coverage of abortion. They’re trying to stigmatize abortion care — pushing insurance plans to drop coverage of abortion altogether and harming patients who need access to this basic reproductive health care. It’s all part of the Trump-Pence administration’s broader campaign to eliminate access to and coverage for reproductive health care — and we have to speak up. Submit your comment to the Department of Health and Human Services to voice your dissent for this new ruling limiting access to abortion via Planned Parenthood, using this link.
  • Tell Congress: Don’t fund Trump’s border wall – Donald Trump is now threatening a government shutdown unless Congress gives him $5 billion for his border wall. This is a ridiculous idea that even many Republicans are against. Mexico isn’t paying for the wall, and we shouldn’t have to either. Tell Congress to stand up to Trump and oppose funding for his stupid, wasteful border wall! Sign this petition from MoveOn here.
  • Share this opportunity – Are you (or do you know) a student who has a message they want to spread? Share this opportunity with them. NPR is inviting students around the country to create a podcast, then — with the help of a teacher — compete for a chance to win the grand prize and have their work appear on NPR. Be a part of the first-ever NPR Student Podcast Challenge. Click here for more information.
  • Join our Facebook Group – 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. Use this link and send a join request.  You will be directed to two screener questions and then admitted into the group.  Let’s connect!
  • 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.

Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events

  • Demilitarize Our Community: 2nd Strategy Session – Thursday, December 20, 6:00-7:30PM, The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, 2 Conz St, Ste 2B, Northampton. Countless companies in our hometowns are contracted with the Department of Defense. We’ve seen the data, we know the numbers, and now we have a plan. But to move forward, we need your help. Our Demilitarization Committee is holding our 2nd open strategy session on 12/20 at 6pm. Let’s put an end to the military industrial complex in Western Mass. Can we count on you to join us? RSVP at contact@theresistancecenter.org There will be pizza!
  • New Americans Voter Registration Drive (Boston Event) – Thursday, December 20, 1:30-2:30PM, Between Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, 4 South Market Street, Boston. One of the best parts of becoming a U.S. citizen is being able to vote. So every time that newly naturalized U.S. citizens are sworn in at Faneuil Hall (2-3 times a month), we greet them at the door and invite them to register to vote right there. Join our next voter registration drive and help us ensure that all U.S. citizens make their voices heard – whether they’re citizens by birth, or by choice.  No prior experience necessary; we’ll train you! If you want to bring a group, email jrivera@miracoalition.org. View details here.
  • Indivisible National Day of Action – Thursday, January 3, (time and location TBD). As part of Indivisible National’s day of action, RUWMI (in combination with other local Indivisible groups) will be hosting a “Friendly Action” at Neal’s Springfield office. We expect this action to be small, but vocal with press releases and speakers.  Stay tuned for more updates.
  • Fund Our Future Community Forum – Wednesday, January 9, 6:00-7:30PM, Community Room, Eastworks, 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton. Massachusetts loves its public schools and colleges, but too many students are being left behind by inadequate state support. Come learn how much is owed to your city, town or campus. Learn when and how the funding crisis began. Learn what can be done to invest in the schools and colleges our communities deserve. Join educators, parents, neighbors, elected officials, and local leaders for an evening of action, information and support. Free childcare and pizza dinner will be provided. Snow date January 10th. View the event on Facebook here.
  • Sexual Health Lobby Day 2019 (Boston Event) – Thursday, January 17, 10:00AM-2:00PM, Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston. At Sexual Health Lobby Day, advocates from across the state will come together to declare: access to sexual and reproductive health care is a basic human right. The day will begin with a tabling fair and short speaking program to get you fired up, followed by a training to prepare you to hold effective conversations with your lawmakers. Then we’ll send you off to meet with your state representative and senator to advocate for a new bill to boldly and proactively expand access to safe, legal abortion; legislation that expands access to comprehensive sex education; and funding for Massachusetts family planning, teen pregnancy prevention, and HIV/AIDS prevention programs. The event will begin in the Great Hall of the State House at 10 AM. RSVP here
  • 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. Here also is the link to the sister march in Northampton
  • 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

Indivisible Explains HR-1: Strengthening our Democracy

Now that the Blue Wave has turned control of the House of Representatives over to the Democrats, they have the opportunity to use their new powers to demonstrate a big, bold, progressive vision for the future. This is exactly the strategy that we call for in our new guide, Indivisible on Offense.

There’s good news: they plan to do exactly that. We expect the very first bill in the Democratically-controlled House to be a democracy reform package, focused on voter empowerment and access, getting big money out of politics, and cracking down on corruption.

We’re planning a day of action on January 3 to urge the House to pass H.R. 1 as soon as possible without watering it down or breaking it up. Here’s what you need to know.

The More You Know

There has been a lot of talk lately about the Green New Deal – let’s learn what it is and why we want it.

Check This Out

If you watch MSNBC you’re undoubtedly familiar with frequent guest, Jill Wine-Banks. You may also have noted that she always wears a unique lapel pin.  Those aren’t just fashion statements.  Read about the pins here and here.

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