Hello fellow RUMI activists
Last time I wrote, I had been having a rough time and it made me think of the children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. This week it was like that again…except it was Donald, not Alexander (or me!) who was having the bad time. I am back in the groove but it seems that 45 may be in for many more terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.
Let’s keep in touch – If you are reading this you are already on our mailing list (yay you!), but there are other ways to keep connected with RUWMI. We are trying to build and strengthen our network and would love if you joined us on all the platforms and then shared this information with a friend or two you think might also be interested.
On Facebook – you can find our Facebook page here. If you like and follow our page you will see our posts on your feed. On this page we post action items, events and articles.
Also on Facebook – you can join our Facebook group here. If you would like to join this group you just need to respond to two screener questions (which you will see as soon as you ask to join the group). This group is where you can post information, events and articles relevant to our district. It is also where you can post questions and engage in conversations.
On Twitter – you can find and follow us on Twitter here or by searching for us @RiseUPWMass.
By Email – you can always contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- RUWMOneSmallThing – RAICES has seen more than two dozen clients held at the Karnes Detention Center in Texas in the last five months who are less than three years old; the majority are less than 18 months old, and two are just a year old. This is the youngest population they have ever documented in immigrant detention. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to Join RAICES in demanding the Department of Homeland Security stop this practice by signing this petition.
- Make a Call to Get Big Money Out of Politics – From: Indivisible MA. The We the People Amendment (HJR 48), which ensures constitutional rights for people, not corporations, was filed in the U.S. House on February 25 by Representative Pramila Jayapal. Here’s the link to the text and a list of co-sponsors on the House web site. There are 10 initial co-sponsors. Let’s get MA representatives on board. (The weaker HJ Res 2 now has 77 co-sponsors, including McGovern, Moulton and Kennedy from MA.) Call your member of Congress to co-sponsor HJR 48 to demonstrate strong support for this measure.
- Oppose Drilling in ANWR – From: Rogan’s List. Submit a comment to the Bureau of Land Management opposing oil drilling and exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, especially in view of the BLM’s recent Environmental Impact Statement which many find inadequate and incomplete in its assessment of how drilling will impact wildlife and climate change. The deadline for comments has been extended until March 13.
- Tell ICE to release these asylum-seeking parents – From: Together Rising via Rogan’s List. 29 formerly deported parents have been allowed back into the country to go through the asylum process and hope to be reunited with their children who were taken from them. ICE is making custody determinations on whether the families will be detained or released to the sponsor families who are ready and eager to receive them. Please call 1-855-681-1349 and tell Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE) to do the right thing: Release these asylum-seeking families to their sponsors immediately so they may reunite with their children.
- Add your name: Hold Senate Republicans accountable for working to tear down our progress to address climate change. – From DSCC: The EPA administrator that the Senate GOP just confirmed is a former lobbyist for corporate polluters. His name is Andrew Wheeler, and all of our Democratic Senators voted against him because he’s deep in the pockets of corporate polluters and could dismantle the crucial environmental safeguards that President Obama — and this grassroots team — have fought so hard for.
Add your name here if you agree that we need to fight like hell to protect President Obama’s environmental legacy and combat climate change!
- Don’t be fooled by fake images and videos online – From: Rogan’s List. We all know that imaging and audio technologies develop and change quickly, but it may come as a shock to realize how much those developments have changed what we must do to consume news responsibly. Just 2 years ago we heard Trump’s infamous “grab ’em by the…” interview clip, and while much was said about it, the legitimacy of the clip itself was not questioned. Those days are gone now, and we must learn how to better verify these types of information before believing or sharing them. You can start by reading this.
- 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
- MLK Lecture: Journalism and Civil Rights – Tuesday, March 5, 6:30-9:30PM, Springfield College Appleton Auditorium, Fuller Arts Center, 263 Alden St, Springfield. Springfield College and the community are invited to join the Division of Inclusion and Community Engagement in honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., H’64, who received an honorary degree from and was Commencement speaker at Springfield College in 1964. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gilbert King will discuss his latest book, Beneath a Ruthless Sun, which focuses on injustices in the state of Florida at the start of the Civil Rights Movement. This event is free and open to the public. For more information contact the Division of Inclusion and Community Engagement at email@example.com or (413) 748-3050. View event details here.
- Urgent Forum: The Crisis in Venezuela and the Role of the US. – Tuesday, March 5, 7:00 PM, Northampton Friends Meeting House, 43 Center Street, Room 202. Please join us for this forum featuring Hector Figarella, Local Venezuelan-American social justice activist and Vijay Prashad, Executive Director of Tricontinental Institute for Social Research and Chief Editor of LeftWord Books, just back from Caracas. We will discuss: What is at issue, Democracy or oil? The role of US sanctions in the economic crisis. Who has the right to choose a Venezuelan President? And How can we counter Washington’s disinformation? For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-584-8975. View details here.
- Movement Voter Project Kick-off Party – Wednesday, March 6, 7:00-9:00PM, Smith College Conference Center, 49 College Lane, Oak Room & Lounge, Northampton. Join the Kickoff of Movement Voter Project Western Mass! Movement Voter Project is transforming political activism by directing funds to local grassroots social change and vote-mobilizing organizations in crucial election districts. We want you to be a part of this transformation! 2020 (and beyond) starts now. Please join local activists and change makers to meet the national MVP organizers and learn how you can help harness Western Mass’s powerful progressive energy to impact elections nationally. Donations always welcome, but this is a strategy briefing NOT a fundraiser, Post-dinner drinks and treats. Please RSVP Here
- In-District Immigrant/Worker Speak-out w/ Lindsay Sabadosa – Thursday, March 7, 10:00 – 11:30AM, Pioneer Valley Workers Center, 20 Hampton Ave Suite 200, Northampton. The week of March 4th is Immigrants week at the statehouse! Join us for an in-district immigrant and workers day at our office! Join with immigrants, workers and those who want the state of Massachusetts to pass important bills to protect immigrants and workers!
Immigrant and worker members will speak about the Drivers License Bill for All, The Wage Theft Bill, the Safe Communities Act, and the Fair Scheduling Bill. Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa will be with us to take these messages back to the statehouse with her. View the event on Facebook here.
- Bay Path: 3rd Annual On the Move Forum – Friday, March 8, 11:00AM-1:30PM, Bay Path University, 588 Longmeadow St, Longmeadow. Join us for lunch, leadership, networking, and dialogue as we welcome Harvard University’s Barbara Nobles Crawford to speak on the United Nations Women’s Day them “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate Change.” Now in its third year, the forum explores the timeline of women’s history and the women’s rights movement, encouraging a community conversation about gaps in that history, including the contributions of underrepresented groups of women from Western Massachusetts. This event is free but registration is required.
- All-PV Ranked Choice Voting Legislative Strategy Meeting – Saturday, March 9, 4:00-6:00PM, Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center, 100 Bigelow St, Holyoke. Bring a laptop and get involved with other nearby Ranked Choice Voting activists, to continue our legislative push to pass not one but TWO ranked-choice voting bills by the end of this summer. Pizza and refreshments will be served, so it would be a big help to us if you RSVP as “Going” in the Facebook event to allow us to provide more than enough for everyone. For a preview of the agenda, please email: email@example.com
- Confronting Our Past: The Role of Memorials and Memorialization – Wednesday, March 13, 7:00-9:00PM, Edwards Church of Northampton, 297 Main St, Northampton. Public monuments and memorials reflect the values and attitudes of communities that build them, and shape the way societies choose to remember particular moments in their history. How should a country memorialize aspects of its past that are shameful and regrettable? What should be done with public symbols of slavery? What lessons can we draw from other countries that have addressed injustices of the past through memorializations that heal? Please join us for an in-depth discussion on the role of memorials in confronting America’s legacy of slavery and its potential for inter-communal healing with Professor James Young (UMass, Amherst) and others. View event details here.
- LDTC March Meeting: The Green New Deal – Wednesday, March 13, 7:00-8:30PM, Longmeadow Adult Center, 231 Maple Rd, Longmeadow. Join the Longmeadow Democratic Town Committee for our March meeting where we will discuss the #GreenNewDeal, a package of legislation aimed at creating jobs and reducing pollution and transitioning from a fossil fuel based economy to a renewable energy based one. Click here for more information. We will be joined by Melissa Olesen, Regional Director for Central and Western Massachusetts in the office of United States Senator Edward J. Markey, the Senate sponsor of this legislation.
- 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 is a motion to recommit?
The minority party in the House does not have many tools available to slow down business, but recently Republicans have been making use of the “motion to recommit” to thwart passage of progressive priorities. Bottom line: Democrats shouldn’t let Republican procedural tricks get in the way of their bold agenda.
The More You Know
If you watched the Cohen hearing last week, you will recall that Rashida Tlaib called out Senator Mark Meadows for using black woman as ‘a prop’ at hearing. It seemed, from Sen. Meadows’ reaction, that he was unclear as to why his actions were racist. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tweeted her support of Tlaib noting that “tokenism is racism”. She then suggested reading this 1962 NYT article by Dr. Martin Luther King.