Hello fellow RUWMI activists!

We ended this past week with the renewed energy of the Women’s March and we began this week with the wisdom of Martin Luther King Jr.

“We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.”

What other possible motivation could we need to take action? So, let’s get to it. We have work to do!

RUWMI Announcements

CD1 Progressive Coalition

In a previous newsletter we introduced the CD1 Progressive Coalition, a newly-formed group whose goal is to engage with Congressman Neal to ensure that he supports the needs and aspirations of us, his constituents. As one of the founding members of this coalition, RUWMI has been working on forming the structure and organization of the group and formulating ways in which we can effectively interact with Rep. Neal on a regular basis.  We will keep you all updated via this newsletter on the CPC’s actions and progress.  In the meantime, if you are part of a group in Neal’s district who would be interested in joining the CPC, please email us at Riseupwesternmass@gmail.com.

One other small note, last week we posted an action item to contact our MoCs while they were scheduled to be back in district.  However, due to the #TrumpShutdown the recess has been cancelled.  Please note that district offices will still be open, so if you planned to call or show up, do so!

Action Items

  • RUWMOneSmallThing – Indivisible is hosting a National Call-In Day, this Wednesday (1/23).  If the government is shut down, calls should be happening everywhere.  So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to call our Senators on the 23 and thank them for holding firm on “no money for the wall”.  You can use this number 844-236-2373, from Indivisible to be connected to our Senator’s offices.  Click here for a call script from Indivisible.
  • Volunteer your time locally – In the spirit of celebrating MLK day, why not volunteer some of your time locally this week?  Here are some organizations looking for volunteers in our area.  Also check this link and enter your zip code to find local volunteer activities.
  • Support Gillette – From Indivisible MA: Gillette has been getting some pushback for its recent ad that speaks out against toxic masculinity (including calls to boycott its parent company, Proctor and Gamble) of being too “politically correct.” Let’s thank Gillette for taking this stand and let them know we have their back. We can reach them on Facebook, Twitter, or on their website contact page.
  • Have a young climate change activist in the family? – The League of Women Voters of MA is sponsoring a “Climate Change Challenge” for MA high school students. The challenge is to create a 30-second video hat highlights one aspect of climate change and suggests a solution. The LWV-MA will use the videos to help educate the public and elected officials about the dire threat of climate change. And you could win a cash prize! Click here for more information.
  • 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!

Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events

  • Massachusetts Single Payer Lobby Day (Boston) – Wednesday, January 23, 11:00AM-3:00PM, Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston. Brief rally at eleven o’clock featuring key legislative and movement leaders, followed by small-group visits to legislators’ offices to ask their support for our Massachusetts single-payer bill. View the event here.
  • Revolutionary Intersectional Feminism Panel – Wednesday, January 23, 7:00-9:00PM, 1 Campus Center Way (rooms 174-176), Amherst. Eight incredible working-class activists are coming together to speak and engage in discussion about Black Trans Socialist Feminism, Immigrant and Undocumeted Women’s Rights, Neoliberal Imperialism and Feminism, “Zionist Pseudofeminism” and Palestinian Women’s Liberation, Fat Liberation, and 2018 Women’s Strikes. View the event on Facebook for more details.   
  • Demilitarize Our Community: January Meeting – Thursday, January 24, 6:30-8:00PM, The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, 2 Conz St, Ste 2B, Northampton. We can think of countless issues our government ought to invest in. We need affordable healthcare, education, and a clean energy economy. We don’t need investments in war and violence. The Department of Defense has hundreds of contracts with businesses and companies in our backyards. The Resistance Center’s Demilitarization Committee has big plans. We’ve reviewed the contracts in Western Mass. Next, we spread the word and build power. Join us on Thursday January 24th at 6:30pm to learn how you can help. 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 www.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 here.
  • 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 here.
  • 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: news@indivisible-ma.org.

Indivisible National

Indivisible Responds to Trump’s Sham Border Wall Offer

January 19, 2019 – Washington, DC—The Indivisible Project’s national policy director Angel Padilla released the following statement in response to Trump’s phony border wall offer:

“What we saw tonight was another sham offer by Donald Trump that proves that he’s still not serious about ending the crisis that he created. Nearly a month into the longest government shutdown in history, he continues to get in the way of paychecks for thousands of American families. We need to open the government first, before talk of anything else.

“The fact is this is just another desperate attempt by Trump to use immigrant youth as hostages in order to force Congress to pay his ransom. It wouldn’t even provide real relief for them. It doesn’t provide permanent relief for the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers that he single-handedly put in jeopardy. It provides no permanent relief for hundreds of thousands of TPS holders whose protections Trump revoked. He doesn’t need Congress to provide relief to these families — he could do it today, if he wanted to. The fact is, he doesn’t.

“The price for this is too high to accept. Trump is asking for more money to cage and separate families. He is asking for Congress to pay for a useless wall that would devastate border communities and the environment. It’s a bad offer, plain and simple. And, taking it would reward his hostage-taking approach to legislating. If we don’t stop him now, he’ll just continue to take more hostages. 

“In his speech today, Donald Trump called for political courage. He’s right, we do need political courage. We need Republicans to stand up to his racist, anti-immigrant agenda, and demand that Mitch McConnell immediately vote to reopen the government without paying Trump’s ransom. The most urgent thing we need to do right now is end Trump’s shutdown.”

The More You Know

Buzzfeed, Impeachment, Mueller – Let’s make sense of what happened.  

First, here is a link to the Buzzfeed story that broke last Thursday, President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project. The story appeared to be the “smoking gun” needed to prove Trump had broken the law and was headed to impeachment.

Next, Mueller’s team issued a rare statement saying “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate.”

Buzzfeed responded and still maintains their sourcing is solid and the story is accurate.   

Stay tuned….

Check This Out

Watch these Freshman Congresswomen make their first speeches!

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