An unintentional metaphor
I’m almost afraid to type the words “it seems like spring is actually here” (especially given the snow I saw on Friday night), but it’s hard to look outside, see the sun and breathe the air and not believe it! Spring has always been my favorite time of year. To me it’s filled with anticipation of better days to come; it’s a season of looking ahead to sunnier skies and warmer days. Hmmm maybe this is an unintentional metaphor but it’s hard not to be at least slightly more optimistic about everything in spring.
We had a great first RUWMI -Swing Left Action Party kick-off, and ended the meeting by writing our first round of letters, working to get voters in key states registered for the 2020 election cycle. If you missed that first meeting, no worries! This, like everything else in politics it seems, is going to be a marathon not a sprint, so this is an ongoing project. Take a minute though and watch this brief video from Swing Left that explains their strategy.
We plan to gather monthly to help send targeted mailings. Here are some reasons you should join us!
- It’s easy! We provide everything, including printed letters! We just help personalize and send them!
- It’s convenient! We will do this monthly – come just once or become a regular. Stay for the whole time (usually 90 min) or stay as long as you can. Every bit helps!
- It’s fun – we write but we also chat and we laugh and we bond (also sometimes we eat!)
So why not join us for our next writing gathering? Mark your calendars, May 11, 1:00-2:30PM, Gateway City Arts, Holyoke (more details in the event section below).
- RUWMOneSmallThing – We believe it is our job to push our MoCs when they aren’t doing what we think is right, but also to thank them when they do! Last week, Congressman Neal sent a letter requesting Trump’s Tax returns! By all reports the letter was well thought out, well-worded and made a fairly airtight case for the request (which could end up in the supreme court). So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference, is to call Richie Neal’s office and say THANK YOU! tel:(413) 785-0325. Our MoCs need to hear from us just as much when they do the right thing.
- Support prevention of hate crimes. [h/t Muslim Advocates via AoC Checklist]. Write to FBI Director Christopher Wray, FBI Headquarters, 935 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20535-0001 using this script: “Dear Director Wray, I am greatly concerned about increasing violence by white nationalists against houses of worship. I support stricter enforcement of existing law to address to this public safety threat. I urge you to meet with religious leaders who wish to advocate with you directly in the near future. My neighbors’ lives are [or my life is] at stake. Thank you.”
- Sign this ACLU Petition – (h/t ACLU) Protect the lives and dreams of friends, family members, and neighbors who have made this country home. There is new legislation moving through the House and Senate that would provide Dreamers and recipients of TPS and DED with permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship. These protections are a necessary step forward in defending immigrants’ rights – without furthering the administration’s outrageous demands for increased border militarization. We must safeguard the lives and dreams of our friends, family members, and neighbors who have made this country home. Sign the petition here, urging legislators to pass positive immigration reforms.
- Release the Report – Last week we rallied – but the need for us to be VERY VOCAL about the need for Barr to release the Mueller report continues. We cannot let this issue get buried. We, as social media users have a lot of power to keep up the pressure. Post and tweet regularly about the need for transparency and that WE THE PEOPLE deserve to know what Mueller actually said (not Barr’s Cliff Notes version). If you have friends on the other side of the aisle ask them what their opposition is to seeing the whole truth? If the report is a favorable as Barr says it is, the GOP should be joyous to release it!
- Tell Congress to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act – (h/t Women’s March). The House just voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), but the real fight is getting it through the Senate. Reauthorization is just the bare minimum. We’re calling on Congress to expand VAWA to address the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women and girls by recognizing tribal protective orders, and granting tribal access to the national criminal database. This legislation is front and center on Women’s Agenda for 2019, and we MUST pass it. Add your name and tell Congress we want #VAWA4All now!
- Tell advertisers to stop funding the bigotry and racism spread by Fox News – (h/t MoveOn). Not only is the network’s programming becoming increasingly extreme, deceitful, and racist, but Fox News is also functioning as Donald Trump’s personal propaganda operation. We need to call on its major advertisers to drop the network. Right now, companies that do business with Fox News are financially supporting bigotry, dangerous lies, and harmful conspiracy theories. Since the network is a propaganda operation, these companies are also financially supporting and enabling Trump’s politics. We need to pressure them to drop Fox News.
Click here to add your name to this petition.
- 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
- WMA Health Equity Policy Assembly – Wednesday, April 10, 3:00-6:00PM, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, 60 Congress St, Fl 1, Springfield. Come learn about state policy priorities and how you can help advocate for them to advance health equity in Western Massachusetts! View the event on Facebook here.
- Anti-Oppression Series: Screening of ‘The New Jim Crow’ – Wednesday, April 10, 4:30-7:30PM, DeCice Hall at the Marian Center, 1365 Northampton Street, Holyoke. This session will include a screening of Michelle Alexander’s talk speaking about her book, ‘The New Jim Crow’, followed by community dialogue as led by local anti-racism consultant, Kent Alexander. The New Jim Crow is described as “a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face”. View event details here.
- From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement – April 12 – April 14. Join us April 12-14th for a weekend of powerful reproductive justice organizing, strategizing, and networking with other student and community activists! Registration for CLPP’s 33rd annual conference, From Abortion Rights to Social Justice: Building the Movement for Reproductive Freedom, is now open online! Longtime activists, students from across the country, newcomers finding their place in the movement — join us to create the world that we need. All attendees must register in advance.
- 2019 Fair Housing + Civil Rights Conference – Friday, April 12, 8:30AM-4:00PM, Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. Now in its 13th year, the Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference continues to bring together people who share a commitment to protecting and furthering the rights of all Americans, both regionally and nationwide. The conference provides an opportunity to hear speakers from a wide range of disciplines discuss the state or fair housing and civil rights in America today and share their ideas on how to effectuate change on both a local and national level. For workshop descriptions, conference schedule, presenter bios, and more please visit www.fhcrconference.com. You can also view the event on Facebook here.
- Spring Issues Forum – Saturday, April 13, 9:00AM-3:00PM, Carpenters’ Training Center, 13 Holman Rd, Millbury. We are planning an exciting day. The focus will be on three key issues relating to education: reforming the foundation budget formula to ensure equitable and adequate state funding of K-12 education; providing quality, affordable early childhood education and care for all families; and guaranteeing that all interested students have access to quality programs of career and technical (“vocational”) education.
In addition, we will again devote lunchtime to our “Issues Speed-Dating” program, to let you connect with people about a range of other important policy issues. And the day will also include a workshop on effective grassroots strategies for lobbying for legislative action. Use this link for tickets.
- Earth Dance, People’s March and Green New Deal Forum – Monday, April 22, 2:00-8:00PM, First Churches, Northampton. Beginning in front of First Churches let’s dance to the music of: Stephen Katz, Climate Healing Band, Radio Free Earth & Expandable Brass Band, Let’s be moved by: Been Around, Still Around Flash Mob Dancers, MuZen Theater Giant Puppets & Ritual Theater…and more! and then let’s march, to the Northampton High School with the Berkshire Bateria to the Green New Deal Forum led by NHS Environmental Students! For more information view the event on Facebook here.
- RUWMI-Swing Left 2020 Monthly
Action – Saturday,
May 11, 1:00-2:30PM, Gateway City Arts, 92 Race Street, Holyoke. Want to help
UNIFY DEMOCRATS and build an even BIGGER BLUE WAVE in the 2020 election? Come
and spend an hour and a half with us to impact the 2020 elections using the
“Super State” Strategy developed by Swing Left. Check out this 5-minute video.
We will bring all the letter writing materials, including pre-printed letters,
and you add your comments and inspirational messages! Donations of $10 or so to
cover the cost of stamps and printing are appreciated, but not required. You
can sign up for the event on Facebook here. Don’t like
Facebook? Sign up through the Action Network, instead 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.
Your thoughts needed: Do you support impeaching Trump?
With the Justice Department’s intransigence in releasing the full Mueller report, and Congresswoman Tlaib’s recent introduction of a resolution of impeachment, there’s been a renewed discussion in our movement on the topic of impeachment and potential removal of Trump from office.
We know working on impeachment would be no small thing, and we want to make sure we’re hearing from Indivisibles directly on the issue. That’s why we’ve put together a quick survey to collect your thoughts on an impeachment campaign. We’re asking everyone (including group leaders, group members, and general supporters) this month to complete the survey individually. Click here to review the survey and share your thoughts.
The More You Know
Stories of ordinary people doing some extraordinary things to renew your hope in humanity!
- 95-year-old man catches four buses to join march against racism
- Austin siblings hand-delivering gerrymandering boardgame to Texas lawmakers
- Protestors ‘shed light’ on Homestead detention center for migrant children — literally
- Check This Out – Our featured graphic for this newsletter is a graphic for our times!