Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
Each year, during Black History month, I am reminded of how very little I know about Black History. This is likely a reflection of the failings of both my formal education and my personal self-education. This year, I am going to do better. Check out our RUWMOneSmallThing below for more info.
We are now a few weeks into the new year and with so much going on at both the state and national levels, it is easy to get overwhelmed. So, we decided to take a step back and set some priorities for the coming months. Here is what we are planning to focus our energy on.
- CPC – As a founding member organization of the MA CD-1 Progressive Coalition (CPC) we will of course be active participants in the planning and participating in its actions to engage our Representative, Richard Neal. Most recently the CPC sent him a letter urging him to take action and get Trump’s tax returns. You can read the letter on the CPC Facebook page.
- Swing Left – After winning back the House in 2018, Swing Left has adopted a “Super State” strategy. By focusing on just those states, we can maximize the impact of our efforts. To get involved, check our future newsletters for “Super State” letter-writing and phone banking parties. If you’d like to help organize these parties, contact Erin@riseupwesternmass.com.
Here are the Swing Left Super States:
- Primaries – We are not endorsing any 2020 presidential candidates at this stage however we will work to share information about all Democratic candidates as they enter the race and make their policy positions known.
Is there something on this list that particularly piques your interest? Let us know and we will help you become more involved.
Is there something you want to work on that isn’t on this list? Let us know and we can work together to add it.
- RUWMOneSmallThing – February is Black History month, and we could likely all use some more education in this area. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to take the time to fill in the gaps of your own history education. Here are some links to get you started.
- Call your members of Congress EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. From Indivisible National: We need every office, including the Democrats, to hear from activists demanding they keep the government open without $1 more for Trump’s racist border wall. Click here to call now.
- Follow up with the Women’s March – From The Women’s March: The Women’s Agenda is a tangible declaration of how we will protect and defend our rights, safety, health and communities. Our Agenda will serve as a work plan to Congress and will create the roadmap we will use to mobilize our constituents into 2020 and beyond. Let’s read up on it here.
- Send a message to Rep. Richard Neal – From Our Revolution: The following representatives have co-sponsored Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare for All act.
Rep. Richard Neal’s name is not on this list. Let’s call his office (413) 785-0325, and ask him to sign on as a co-sponsor.
- Protest the Trump Emergency Declaration, 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.
- 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.
- Interfaith Jericho Walk for Immigrant Justice – Wednesday, February 6, 11:00-12:00PM, 1550 Main St, Springfield. Join us Wednesday 2/6 for a winter Jericho Walk to call for liberation and justice for immigrants. End Eduardo’s deportation, bring him home! We circle the Old Federal Building 7 times as did Joshua, to bring the walls tumbling down. Bring your rage, your sorrow, your hope. Bring your snow boots, your singing voice, and a reflection if you wish. View the event details here.
- Fund Our Future – Thursday, February 7, 5:30-7:30PM, Forest Park Middle School, 46 Oakland Street, Springfield. Join with other Springfield community members to find out what you can do to end the generations long underfunding of local public schools and public colleges and universities this year. For decades, Massachusetts has failed to address the persistent education inequality that often exists between students in one community and those in the city or town right next door. It’s wrong, we know it’s wrong, and we can’t wait another year for our state leaders to provide the funding they promised to fix it. View event details here.
- Section 7 Organizing and Community Supported Unionism – Saturday, February 9, 1:00-2:30PM, St. Philip’s Church, 128 Main Street, Easthampton. Despite the weakness of U.S. labor laws, Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act does protect “concerted activity” by workers with or without a union, citizen and non-citizen alike. This workshop is for non-union workers (alas, the majority of us) and students going into the workplace. While getting into the details of asserting their rights, it also introduces the role of Jobs With Justice and community organizations in their defense and helps them decide when to actually form a union.
- Springfield Area National Medicare for All Week of Action – Sunday, February 10, 2:00-4:00PM, American International College, 1000 State Street, Springfield. Join as part of the National Medicare for All Week of Action. Hundreds of events are happening across the country as activists come together to win Medicare for All. We’ll talk about what’s at stake, our plan to win, and what you can do to take action and get involved. RSVP here. For more details, view the event on Facebook here.
- On The Exhale (play) – Sunday, February 10, at 2:30pm (*with post show discussion led by Dr. Bindu Kalesan- Sunday ONLY), and Monday February 11 at 7:30pm, A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main St., Northampton. A conversation centered around current gun violence in America. Serious Play Theatre Ensemble presents-Staged Reading of compelling new script discovered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last August. The play gets inside the steps a grieving mother takes to cope with her extreme loss. It creates a visceral experience as opposed to the often-intellectual experience of gun violence and human life lost. We will list ways to take constructive action on the program too. Tickets can be purchased here. $20 General, $18 Students / $24 at the door. Performances for 14 yrs.& up
- Our Revolution’s Medicare for all Barnstorm! – Tuesday, February 12, 6:15PM, Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St, Chicopee. Our Revolution Chicopee will coordinate with National Nurses United, and other Our Revolution chapters all over the country, to host a Medicare for all Barnstorm. This will be a video viewing event, helping us to prepare and organize for Medicare for All advocacy & education in 2019 & beyond. This topic will continue to be widely discussed on local and national platforms as we enter a new election season, making this the perfect opportunity to spread the word about about Medicare for all! View event details here.
- How to Apologize for Slavery – Wednesday, February 13, 7:00-9:00PM, Jones Library, 43 Amity St, Amherst. Throughout U.S. history, ongoing resistance to offer a state apology for slavery and Jim Crow has served to deepen divides and continues to adversely impact our nation’s social fabric. Join us to hear Dr. Theodore R. Johnson, a public policy expert on race and social justice, explore these questions and more. This event is part of our Spring 2019 Event Series, “Rehumanizing and Restoring Relationships: The Role of Apology, Memorialization and Reparation in Redressing Historical Injustice”, a collaborative effort hosted by Critical Connections and The Karuna Center for Peacebuilding. View the event on Facebook here.
- 2nd Annual Black Issues Summit – Friday, February 15, 1:00-5:00PM, Alumnae Library, Elms College, 291 Springfield St, Chicopee. Register now for this free conference that engages us all in pertinent issues in today’s climate using this link. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host the 2nd annual Black Issues Summit on Friday, Feb. 15, in Alumnae Library. This year’s theme is “Equity in Justice.” The summit, which provides an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about pertinent issues affecting the black community, takes place within the larger context of Black History Month celebrations at Elms College. You can also view the event on Facebook here.
- Reparations? Why? How – Sunday, February 17, 3:00-5:00PM, Unitarian Society, 220 Main Street, Northampton. The wounds of slavery and ongoing institutional racism are well documented. Many in the African American community have called for reparation from the white community. In this highly participatory workshop, we will begin with mindful sharing got our connections to this topic and then will explore ways to make personal reparations. Participants will leave with resources for continuing education and actions on personal, community and societal reparations. A free offering of the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership. Register (required) using this link.
- 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.
Support Progressive Legislation in MA|
There is a lot going on in the State House these days! Thanks to the activism and advocacy of folks like you, lawmakers have filed some very exciting bills that, if they get passed, could hold Massachusetts accountable to defending workers on the job and investing in the communities we live in. Jobs with Justice is supporting several bills this year: Fair Scheduling legislation to establish basic protections for worker schedules (SD.1881/HD.3384) Fund our Future legislation to invest in public education (The Promise Act and the Cherish Act) The Fair Share Amendment to place an additional tax on people who make over $1 Million per year (SD. 1709/HD. 3300) Work and Mobility legislation to ensure all qualified MA residents can obtain a driver’s license, regardless of immigration status (SD.1143/HD.1719) Safe Communities Act to stop local police from collaborating with ICE (SD.926/HD.1520) Will you pitch in by contacting your State Rep and Senator about these important bills? It only takes 5 minutes to call or email your legislators, but every contact we have with the State House helps our chances of winning these victories for working people.
Don’t know how to reach your State Senator and Rep, or even who they are? Find their names and contact information here.
The More You Know
Did 58,000 people vote illegally in Texas?
- 58,000 non-citizens voted in Texas (Trump Tweet)
- Trump Says 58,000 Texans Voted Illegally. Here’s What Actually Happened.
- Did Texas Discover 58,000 Cases of Voter Fraud by Non-Citizens?
- Texas Voter-Fraud Claims Don’t Have to Be True to Achieve Their Goal
Check This Out
Overlooked – These remarkable black men and women never received obituaries in The New York Times — until now. We’re adding their stories to our project about prominent people whose deaths were not reported by the newspaper. Check it out here.