Hello fellow RUWMI activists! Once again, this week we march!
Members of RUWMI will likely be marching at various locations on Saturday. In doing our due diligence into the controversy surrounding the march, we spoke to a variety of people and did even deeper research. As promised last week, we are sharing what we learned.
- The Nation of Islam will NOT be providing security at the DC march. There is no connection between the NOI and the DC march.
- The original leaders of the Women’s March are not stepping down from their leadership.
- The National Women’s March leadership has apologized and has denounced anti-Semitism and homophobia and rewritten the Unity Principles to be more inclusive.
- While the original march was led by 4 co-chairs, the 2019 Women’s March is being led by a steering committee of 32 women from a wide range of backgrounds that more fully represents the diversity and vibrancy of the Women’s March movement. From Women’s March state organizers to former elected officials to the leaders of organizations, this steering committee is made up of visionary women — cis and trans, straight and queer, disabled and non-disabled, white, Asian and South Asian, Black, Latina, Arab, Indigenous, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, spanning the ages 24-70. Meet them here.
- The Northampton march (put on by the Pioneer Valley Women’s March), while listed as an official “sister march” of the DC march, is locally led and locally run and is independent of any national organization.
- The Boston march is hosted by MarchOn, a group not affiliated with the National Women’s March.
- There is evidence of deliberate amplification of this controversy to sow division into this movement. We must do everything we can to resist this.
- Bottom Line – The most important thing of all is to march SOMEWHERE on 1/19
It would be disingenuous for us to say we didn’t struggle with our own choices about where to march. However, after weighing all that we learned we have concluded that there is no wrong place to march (including DC). Many of us will march in Northampton, some of us will be in Boston, and some (including 2 RUWMI Steering Committee members) will be in D.C. In the wise words of Rachel Maiore, lead organizer of the Pioneer Valley Women’s March, “If we do not allow our allies to evolve, nothing can change.”
- RUWMOneSmallThing – There is less than a week until the 3rd annual Women’s March and it’s time to get ready. The theme of this year’s march is the “Women’s Wave” So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to decide where you will march, make your travel plans and make your signs! Here are some sign ideas to get you started.
- Women’s Wave 2019
- Strong Women, Strong World
- My Body, My Choice – My Country, My Voice
- Together we rise!
- Check in with our MoCs – Our congressional members are scheduled to be in district from Jan 19-27 (source: Indivisible National). This is a great time to make an appointment for a visit, make a phone call or send a letter. If you’ve never contacted your MoCs before, take a moment to store this contact information in a handy place.
- Senator Ed Markey – Springfield Office: 1550 Main Street, 4th Floor, Springfield, MA 01103 Phone:413-785-4610
- Senator Elizabeth Warren – Springfield Office: 1550 Main Street, Suite 406, Springfield, MA 01103 Phone: (413) 788-2690
- Congressman Richard Neal – Springfield Office: 300 State Street, Suite 200, Springfield, MA 01105 Phone: (413) 785-0325
- Join MoveOn’s Crisis Response Network – MoveOn has activated its (Nobody is Above the Law) Crisis Response once already, and they are prepared to do it again if Trump declares a state of emergency to get his wall. If Trump takes this extraordinary step, it may also allow him to enact other brazen anti-democratic policies, which is why hundreds of thousands of MoveOn members are ready to mobilize in protest if Trump tries to seize broad new authorities by declaring a state of emergency to build his wall. In order to be notified of the specifics of the response near you, you need to sign up with the network ahead of time. There are two local ones in our area. You can use this link to sign up for the Springfield based response and this link for the Longmeadow based response.
- Know your media bias – With so much information available to us 24 hours a day via a myriad of platforms, it’s hard to sort fact from fiction and even harder to separate fact from opinion. One way to ensure you are reading (and spreading) fact-based information is to know your sources. We’ve found this resource to be a helpful guide when searching sources. Of course, we recommended that you get your news from fact-based sources but it is also helpful to make sure that not all of your sources skew toward one side of the political spectrum.
- Help Federal Workers Going Without Pay – (From: The Nation via Indivisible MA). As federal workers go weeks without pay, there are plenty of ways we can help. Consider amplifying the stories of furloughed workers on social media by using the hashtag #ShutdownStories. Also check GoFundMe, which currently features hundreds of emergency fundraisers relating to the shutdown.
- Protect Title IX – (From: Rogan’s List) The Trump administration, specifically Betsy DeVos, has issued new Title IX regulations that would make it harder for students who are sexually assaulted to report the assaults. We can speak out against this by writing public comments opposing the new rules by Jan. 28. We can also join Enough is Enough in advocating for survivors by completing handwritten postcards telling DeVos to keep her #HandsOffIX. When you click this link you’ll get a toolkit with postcards and scripts.
- 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!
- 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.
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- 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
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast 2019 – Saturday, January 19, 9:30-11:30AM, Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, 1 Monarch Pl, Springfield. Come and celebrate The 37th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Breakfast! The Scholarship Breakfast features engaging speeches, food, live music, and is attended by a diverse gathering of civic, community, and religious leaders and members from Western Massachusetts. View event details here.
- The Women’s Marches – Saturday, January 19, various locations nationwide. 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 cities nationwide! (please read the RUWMI Announcements section above for more about the marches). Here are links to some of the locations.
- 7th annual Dr. King Day Celebration – Monday, January 21, 11:00AM-1:00PM, MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St, Springfield. The event is a collaborative celebration hosted by Martin Luther King Jr Family Services, Community Music School of Springfield, D.R.E.A.M Studio and Springfield College. This year’s theme is “In the Words of Dr. King.” The Springfield celebration is one of the largest Dr. King Day events in the state with over 2,500 people in attendance. The event will feature local gospel choirs, distinguished community leaders, as well as music, dance and oratorical performances that engage over 500 Springfield youth to share in community uplift and reflect on the legacy of Dr. King. The Dr. King Day Celebration is free and open to the public, handicapped accessible, accessible to the hearing impaired and open to all ages. Click here for more information.
- And Still We Rise: Leadership Forum for Women of Color Leaders – Saturday, January 26, 9:00AM-1:30PM, Wesley United Methodist Church, 741 State Street, Springfield. This is a 6 part series which starts on 1/26. And Still We Rise is a monthly leadership forum series that begins with a 4-hour introductory session followed by five monthly, 4-hour sessions with facilitated discussions and food. We will have guest presenters for some of the sessions. Since this is a program with an emphasis on community-building and deepening relationships, participants are asked to commit to all 6-sessions. A FREE offering of the Truth School. Registration is required at truthschool.org
- Springfield Democratic City Committee Meeting – Saturday, January 26, 11:00AM, Mason Square Branch Library, 765 State St, Springfield. Join Chairman Jesse Lederman and the Executive Board of the Springfield Democratic City Committee for our first meeting of 2019! All are welcome! Whether you are already involved in the Democratic Party, or are fired up and ready to learn how you can get involved. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information contact Chairman Lederman at 413-285-3041 or view the event on Facebook
- March for Our Lives: Springfield General Meeting + Phonebanking – Saturday, January 26, 12:00PM, Sixteen Acres Library, 1187 Parker Street, Springfield. March for Our Lives: Springfield will be holding a general meeting as well as phonebanking to advocate for these pieces of legislation: H.2093: Same day voter registration, H.3704: Healthy Youth Act, H.119: Commission relative to gender-responsive programming for juvenile justice system involved girls, H.120: Social Status of Black Men and Boys. View addition details
- Western MA Birddog Activism Training – Sunday, January 27, 3:00-5:00PM, Faculty Lounge, Franklin Patterson Hall, Hampshire College, Amherst. Birddogging is when you ask a political official or candidate to do something you care about, in-person and in-public. Birdoggers apply pressure directly to a targeted person who has the power to give us what we want. Feeling overwhelmed by our political system? Want to create change but not sure how to organize? Interested in advocating for the issues that matter to you, but not sure how to do it effectively? Join us! This FREE training can help.
- Women Leading Western Mass.: Campaigns, Policy & Public Service – Monday, January 28, 4:00-5:00PM, UMASS Amherst, Old Chapel, Amherst. Newly elected state Senator-Elect Jo Comerford, Natalie Blais – Representative Elect – 1st Franklin District, Lindsay Sabadosa, State Representative-Elect, 1st Hampshire District, and Mindy Domb, State Representative-Elect, 3rd Hampshire District, MA will speak about gender representation in government and public service and their priorities in the Massachusetts Legislature and offer advice to future leaders at “Women Leading Western Mass.: Campaigns, Policy & Public Service.”
The event is sponsored by the School of Public Policy at UMass Amherst and UWiL (UMass Women into Leadership). Free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required. View details here.
- Instant Issues After Hours: Eric Lesser on Leadership & Negotiation – Tuesday, January 29, 5:30-7:00PM, Merriam-Webster Inc, 47 Federal Street, Springfield. The World Affairs Councils of western Massachusetts is a nonpartisan international affairs organization that serves the community through monthly events featuring speakers with international expertise, a school partnership program to enhance the classroom experience including our annual Academic WorldQuest competition for area high schools, and the United States Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program. The World Affairs Council will present Massachusetts State Senator Eric Lesser in conversation with Dr. Joshua Weiss, program director for Bay Path University’s Master of Science in Leadership and Negotiation, at an Instant Issues After Hours event on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 5:30 p.m at Merriam-Webster, Inc. 47 Federal Street in Springfield on Leadership & Negotiation Challenges in the World of Politics: International Relations Edition. Please RSVP by Friday, January 25, 2019. Light refreshments will be available. Free parking is available. Please enter at the front of the building.
The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Wilbraham & Monson Academy and Sir Speedy. View the event on Facebook 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.
The State of Play
We already know Donald Trump is a wannabe authoritarian who praises dictators and and routinely makes us less safe. In fact, we’re tracking the #TrumpThreatLevel here.
We also know that Trump’s bigoted authoritarian agenda was just dealt a massive blow by the swearing in of a new Congress, including a Democratic-led House of Representatives that was swept in by a Blue Wave that you helped build.
As a result, you may have noticed that the federal government is currently shut down because Trump hasn’t gotten his way on his unnecessary and xenophobic border wall (see our explainer here).
Predictably, because the American people have shut down his bad ideas, Trump the would-be tyrant is now threatening to go around Congress, go around the will of the people, subvert democracy, and abuse the powers of the presidency to move forward on the wall anyway. Continue reading here.
The More You Know
Which Dems have thrown their hat into the 2020 race? It looks like the Democratic Primary for the 2020 Presidency will be a crowded race. Here are some links to help you keep track of who has thrown their hat in the ring and who may be thinking about doing so.
- Presidential candidates, 2020 (BallotPedia)
- 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries (WikiPedia)
- 2020 presidential election: Track which candidates are running (Axios)
Check This Out