Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
Every once in while we stumble across something that resonates with us in such a way that we know it will stay with us, guide us, and even shape us. For me, one such thing was learning about Ubuntu, the African philosophy of common humanity. It is a word meaning essentially “I am because you are”. It is the idea that my humanity is inextricably tied to your humanity; when one of us is uplifted, we all are uplifted, and when one of us diminished, we all are diminished. So in the wake of the tragedy in Christchurch, NZ and the subsequent absence of a statement of solidarity from Trump to Muslims in our country and abroad, I’m just going to leave this picture right here and hopefully send a bit of Ubutnu into the universe.
RUWMI and Swing Left Working Together!
Now is the time to start working on 2020! In 2019, we get started by registering voters … and not just anywhere, but in the 11 MOST IMPORTANT states. How do we know which states are the most important? Because we are partnering with Swing Left, which has done the research to target critical states to (1) elect a Democratic president, (2) flip the Senate to a blue majority, (3) hold the blue majority in the House and (4) neutralize extreme right-wing gerrymandering. It turns out, it’s the same 11 states to impact all of these.
Join us for the RUWMI-Swing Left 2020 Kickoff Meeting, on Saturday, 4/6/19, 1:30 – 3:30 PM, Chicopee Library, 449 Front St, Chicopee, and signup for our Monthly Action Parties on the 2nd Saturday of each month starting on April 13th.
Also, please make sure to check the event section below for details about the second Town Hall for Constituents of Richie Neal, hosted by the CD1 Progressive Coalition (of which RUWMI is an active part).
- RUWMOneSmallThing – Yesterday there was a well-attended vigil at the Islamic Society in West Springfield. It was wonderful to come together with our Muslim community members at this time and in this way. However, we need to make sure that we show our connection and support on more than just one night! So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to send a note of solidarity to the Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts, 377 Amostown Road, W. Springfield, MA 01089.
- Help the victims of the Christchurch, NZ mosque shootings – If you are interested in making a financial donation to aid the victims of the White Nationalist Terrorist Attacks in NZ, here are some agencies that have set up donation sites (info provided by: New York Times)
- Encourage Rep. Richie Neal to Attend the Town Hall – For the second month in a row, the CD1-Progressive Coalition is hosting a Town Hall for constituents. At the time of the writing of this newsletter, Rep. Neal has not responded to the invitation to attend this event. He did not show up to the February event, nor has he scheduled any of his own Town Hall meetings during these congressional recesses specifically designed for our elected officials to meet in-district with constituents! Give Rep Neal a call at (413) 785-0325 and tell him that we expect him to meet, in-person, with us his constituents so we can get our questions answered and comments heard.
- Become a Community Co-Sponsor of the federal Equality Act – From: The Human Rights Campaign. LGBTQ people deserve full legal protections against discrimination — not just in Massachusetts and a patchwork of other states, but nationwide. HRC was proud to help fund and support the YES on 3 campaign last year and we’re proud to be a leader in the fight for the Equality Act. As the nation’s largest organization working for LGBTQ equality, we’re working everywhere from coast to coast … and, of course, with our pro-equality leaders in Congress to get this passed. But we’re missing one thing: your voice! Use this link to sign-on as a Community Co-Sponsor of the Equality Act, or text “MASS” to 472472 to get the link on your phone.
- Take the State Legislative Strategy Survey from Indivisible MA – Indivisible MA wants to understand what state legislation is most important to you and your Indivisible group. Please take this short State Legislative Strategy survey so we can coordinate with the people who want to work toward the same legislative goals. So far, 40 people from 28 groups have responded. Let us know what you think! Please complete survey by Tuesday March 19, 2019 at 10 PM.
- Restore Net Neutrality – From: Indivisible MA. A bill has been introduced in both the House and Senate which that would fully restore net neutrality. The Save the Internet Act is a short bill that will overturn the FCC’s ruling that killed net neutrality, and restore the strong Open Internet Order of 2015, which we fought so hard to enact. Sign this petition to tell your Representative and Senators to stand up for net neutrality and support the Save the Internet Act today.
- 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
- A Conversation with Congressman Richard Neal – Tuesday, March 19, 4:30-6:30PM, Great Hall (2nd Floor), Old Chapel, UMASS, 144 Hicks Way, Amherst. Congressman Richard E. Neal represents the First Congressional District of Massachusetts in the United States Congress. He was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1988. Since January 2019, he is the Chairman of the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. Brought to you by the Office of the Chancellor, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the School of Public Policy. View the event on Facebook here.
- WSDC Monthly Meeting – Tuesday, March 19, 7:00PM – 8:15PM, West Springfield Public Library, 200 Park St, West Springfield. Join the West Springfield Democratic Committee Tuesday, March 19th at 7pm in the West Springfield Public Library Rotary Conference Room. Our speakers will be School Committee members, rescheduled from our February meeting. We will discuss issues facing West Springfield Public Schools. All are welcome. View event details here.
- Rally for a Fair Contract – Support Stop & Shop Workers – Wednesday, March 20, 12:00-3:00PM, Stop & Shop, 672 Memorial Drive, Chicopee. More than 30,000 UFCW members and workers across New England are negotiating with Stop & Shop, owned by Ahold Delhaize, a global retailing giant whose revenue increased by more than 15% last year. Though the company is making more, they want the employees to make less than they ever have before– proposing cuts to current benefits, including health and welfare and pension plans, replacing Sunday time-and-a-half pay with a smaller wage premium, and cutting paid holidays, vacations and sick days for new hires. But the brave workers in Western Mass, members of UFCW 1459, are saying enough is enough. This Wednesday March 20th, please join us at 672 Memorial Drive, Chicopee, to stand in solidarity with Stop & Shop workers for a fair contract! Click here for more information.
- Tarana Burke – Wednesday, March 20, 7:00-10:00PM, Smith College, 10 Elm St, Northampton. Tarana Burke—social justice activist and founder of the ‘me too.’ Movement—will give a talk at Smith College at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, in John M. Greene Hall. The event—which marks the dedication of Smith’s Wurtele Center for Leadership—is open to the public at no charge. No tickets are required. Burke’s talk will take place in John M. Greene Hall, which seats approximately 2,000 people. Doors will open to current Smith and Five College students, faculty and staff at 6:20 p.m. Smith alumnae and members of the general public will be admitted at 6:40 p.m. View event details here.
- Chicopee Area Fund Our Future Community Forum – Thursday, March 21, 5:30 – 7:00PM, Chicopee High School, 820 Front St, Chicopee. All students deserve a great public education. We’re proud of the public schools and colleges in our communities, but we could do even more for our students if the state provided us with adequate funding. Fund Our Future legislation would increase funding for public education, from prekindergarten through college. Join a community conversation about what we can do together to make sure the Legislature approves more funding for public schools and colleges. View the event on Facebook here.
- My Beloved Springfield 2019 – Thursday, March 21, 5:30-7:30PM, Mason Square Branch Library, 765 State St, Springfield. Save the date for this year’s highly-anticipated My Beloved Springfield event. Explore local leadership development opportunities aimed at women at our information fair (5:30 to 6), then join us to be inspired by a panel of prominent local women as they tell us about their different paths to leadership. Time for questions and answers as well as light refreshments will be included. Click here for more information.
- Meeting With Massachusetts Parents United – Thursday, March 21, 6:00-8:00PM, Massachusetts Parents United, 20L Maple Street, Springfield. Join our Pioneer Valley local group as we meet with Massachusetts Parents United. We will discuss educational outreach opportunities and to find ways for our organizations to support each other. All are welcome! RSVP here.
- Documentary Screening open to the public-Baltimore’s Strange Fruit: A Story of Food Apartheid & The Struggle for Sovereignty – Thursday, March 21, 7:00-9:00PM, Miller Worley Center for the Environment at Mount Holyoke College, Dwight Hall, 50 College St., South Hadley. Join us for a night exploring the intersections of food, land, and race and class politics through a screening of this documentary produced by Black Yield Institute followed by a Q&A Sessions with the film maker, Eric Jackson and Lee Jordan of Black Yield Institute and local BIPOC* community members: Neftali Duran of I-Collective, Ibrahim Ali of Gardening the Community, and Elizabeth Wills-O’Gilve of Springfield Food Policy Council, CitySoul Farmers Market, & Pioneer Valley Grows. View the event on Facebook here.
- Town Hall for Constituents of Richie Neal – Saturday, March 23, 1:00-3:00PM, Berkshire Museum, 39 South St, Pittsfield. Join the CD-1 Progressive Coalition as we host our second town hall for residents of MA CD-1, as constituents represented by Chairman Richard Neal. We have once again invited Rep Neal to join us, and will update this event when we hear back from his office. If Chairman Neal cannot meet with us during this time, which has been designated specifically for reps to do in-district work, we can support each other and make sure he knows we are here, waiting.
We will join together to discuss issues we want our Congressman to address, particularly given his role as Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Ample time will be allowed for us to gather your questions and concerns which we will compile and send to the Congressman. Use this link to RSVP for the event.
- Speak up! Speak Out! – Saturday, March 23, 2:00 – 4:00PM, Springfield City Hall, 36 Court Street, Second floor, Springfield. Springfield Medicare for All, a Hub of Western Mass. Medicare for All (www.wmMedicareforall.org), invites you to join with others in the greater Springfield community to speak out about your health care concerns. We have invited elected officials to listen to what their constituents have to say. Later we’ll ask our state legislators to meet with local delegations about action steps to improve health care in our community and to strengthen the statewide campaign for Medicare for All in Massachusetts. Please come to listen, to raise your own voice, and to support others who speak out! View the event details here.
- Senator Ed Markey’s Green New Deal Town Hall – Northampton – Sunday, March 24, 6:00-7:30PM, Northampton High School, 380 Elm St, Northampton. In February, Senator Ed Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the historic Green New Deal resolution, a bold set of goals that calls for a national mobilization to transform the economy, fight climate change, and create millions of jobs. In the Senate, Ed is fighting for the climate action we need to avert a catastrophe. Central to the Green New Deal resolution is ensuring a democratic, inclusive process for determining how we move forward as a nation. Ed invites you to join him in Northampton for a town hall discussion on the Green New Deal and more. Doors open at 5:30. View more details here.
- Medicare for All Phonebank – Tuesday, March 26, 5:00– 8:00PM, 125 Casino Ave, Chicopee. Join us to phone bank and talk to voters about Medicare for All! We’ll talk to residents about Medicare for All, ask for their support, and ask them to call their Representative. Please be sure to bring a laptop/tablet, your cell phone and charger to make calls with! This phone bank is one of hundreds of events that are happening across the country as activists come together to win Medicare for All. View event details here.
- Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group – Wednesday, March 27, 7:00 PM, Longmeadow High School Auditorium, 20 Williams Street, Longmeadow. Join us for a public hearing by the FERC. Please come and bring neighbors. For more information, view the event on Facebook here.
- 2019 Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC) – Friday, March 29, 7:30AM-4:30PM, MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St, Springfield. Now entering its 24th year, the WLC is the region’s premier women’s leadership event for professional and personal networking, skill-building and enrichment, attracting up to 2,000 attendees annually. The WLC has featured over the years, 160 prominent speakers including Barbara Walters, Arianna Huffington, Queen Latifah, and Dr. Madeleine Albright. In addition to keynote speakers, 4 focus sessions with nationally recognized speakers will be offered throughout the day. Stay tuned for updates on our speakers. Get tickets here.
- Keep SNAP Accessible Postcard Writing Party – Friday, March 29, 6:00-8:00PM, Lindsay Sabadosa, State Representative, 1st Hampshire District, 76 Gothic Street, Northampton. This past December, Sonny Perdue, the Trump-appointed Secretary of the USDA, proposed a rule that targets “able-bodied adults without dependents” between the ages of 18 and 49. The new rule states that this demographic can’t access SNAP benefits for more than 3 months during a 3 year period unless they’re working 20 hours a week or are in school. Help keep SNAP benefits accessible to those in need! Stop by my office for a postcard writing party to let your federal-level elected officials know you do not support this rule. Light refreshments will be served, and please feel free to bring snacks! Kids are always welcome! View event details here.
- Join the Bail Fund in Hampden County! – Sunday, March 31, Make-It-Springfield, 168 Worthington Street, Springfield. The cash bail system currently keeps thousands of people in jail awaiting trial, simply because they can’t afford to pay bail. Learn how you can join the Western Mass Prison Abolition Network and Massachusetts Bail Fund and work to end this system so that people can be with their families and communities while they resolve their cases. This event is free and open to the public. Make-It Springfield is located on the first floor. There is free street parking. 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: email@example.com.
The Indivisible Project’s Statement on the Terrorist Attack in New Zealand
March 15, 2019
Contact: Emily Phelps | firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, DC — Today, Leah Greenberg, Co-Executive Director of the Indivisible Project, issued the following statement:
“Our hearts are breaking for our Muslim friends and neighbors, and our global community. We see you, we love you and we stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the fight for a future without fear.
“We absolutely must recognize that the motivation for this horror was rooted in Islamophobia and white nationalism, poisons that are actively being spread by elected officials, pundits, and a rising white nationalist movement here in our own country and around the world.
“We recommit ourselves to fighting hate and white supremacy from our leaders and in our communities, and to being forces for solidarity and inclusion at every opportunity.”
The More You Know
Is White Nationalism really on the rise?
- Fact-checking Trump’s notion that white nationalism is not a rising threat
- Trump doesn’t think white nationalism is a threat — but data says otherwise
- White Nationalist – Southern Poverty Law Center
- Documenting the Rise of White Nationalism
Check This Out
This is really going to piss Trump off!