Vote. Them. OUT!
Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
What a brutal week it was.
Take your anger and grief to the polls (and work every day until then to make sure others do the same!)
Just a quick note to let you know that your newsletter editor will be taking a vacation and so there will be no newsletter next week.
The newsletter will return to your inbox on the 19th
This Sunday – Postcards at Gateway City Arts! – It’s time for our next post-card writing event with Swing Left. Join us at 10:00AM at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke. We will continue writing to registered democratic voters in FL who did not vote in the last election. Last month we also met on Sunday morning and our hosts at Gateway City Arts had the most wonderful brunch menu (pro tip: you should definitely order the popover). See the events section below for more details!
- RUWMOneSmallThing – THREE mass shootings in the last week; the last two within 13 hours of each other! Once again those of us who know this is a GUN issue are called on to convince others. So this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is to share this video with responses to typical pro-gun lobby arguments.
- Demand Gun Control Now – (h/t MoveOn/Everytown For Gun Saftey). Sign this petition from MoveOn.Org, to be delivered to President Donald Trump, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate. Tell them we demand commonsense gun control now. Then sign this one from Everytown for Gun Safety.
- Let Enterprise Know That ICE Rentals are Not Welcome – (h/t Indivisible MA). Enterprise is still allowing ICE to rent vans to round up immigrants. Let’s contact them and voice our outrage. Phone: 314-512-5000, Twitter@Enterprise, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Enterprise/
- Urge your U.S. Senators and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to secure our elections – (h/t MomsRising). A bipartisan U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee just published its report on Russian efforts to influence our election and the conclusions are frightening. Among other findings, the bipartisan Committee concluded that the Russians probably targeted election systems in all 50 states and that non-Russian hackers are targeting our election infrastructure. Congress must take strong action to deter foreign nations from attempting to disrupt our elections and ensure that states secure their elections and have a paper ballot trail that can be audited if questions arise about the legitimacy of an outcome. Sign now to tell your U.S. Senators and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take action to secure our elections!
- Comment to Save Nondiscrimination Protections in the ACA – (h/t Indivisible MA) Tell the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) what you think of the administration’s proposal to remove nondiscrimination protections for gender identity from the Affordable Care Act regulations. Submit a comment on the Federal Register using these tips:
- Introduce yourself
- State why you oppose the proposal based on your values
- If applicable, share a personal story about about how you or a loved one are impacted by gender-based discrimination in health care.
- Tell MA Lawmakers to Protect Immigrants – (h/t Indivisible MA). Tell MA state legislators that it is time to make sure that we protect immigrants. The Safe Communities Act is back before the Mass. Legislature, as S.1401 (Sen. Jamie Eldridge) and H.3573 (Reps. Ruth Balser and Liz Miranda). It’s simpler and more succinct, but has the same strong provisions, backed by a broad-based and diverse coalition. Here’s an easy way to contact your state reps about this.
- Want even more action items? You can get additional action items delivered directly to your inbox by signing up with Rogan’s List, and Americans of Conscience Checklist.
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- Pioneer Valley Project Summer Leadership Institute – Two evenings: Tuesdays August 6 and 13, 6:00-8:00PM, South Congregational Church, 45 Maple St, Springfield. Join us for a training that will ground you in the principles of relational community organizing for racial and economic justice. This training will offer an opportunity to develop skills for what it takes to build collective power and win systemic change in our community! Please reserve your spot for either the Saturday session or the Tuesdays (Aug. 6th and 13th) session. Light refreshments will be served. Child care is available if requested before training date. View the event on Facebook
- Swing Left – Voter Registration By Mail Event – Wednesday, August 7, 4:00-6:00PM, 180 Pleasant St, Suite 217, Easthampton. In the 2020 presidential election, 90 percent of registered voters are likely to vote, but many people who agree with Democratic policies are not yet registered to vote. Swing Left is working to increase registration among unmarried women, people of color, and millennials in key states. Can you help reach these likely-Democratic voters? Please join us at Mill 180 Park to send out brief messages to encourage these people to vote. Sandwiches, salads, snacks, wine, beer and coffee are all available for purchase. Scripts and other materials will be provided. Donations for stamps are encouraged but not required. Parking can be found in the lot on Pleasant St or along the street. This is an easy way to make a difference with a group of friendly like-minded people. Hope to see you there! RSVP here.
- Demonstration Calling on Mass Dems to Support a Climate Debate – Saturday, August 10, 9:00AM-2:00PM, Easthampton High School, Easthampton. Climate change is an emergency that impacts every aspect of our lives, and it’s about time the Democratic Party started to act like it. We need a climate debate! Join us showing up at our local Democratic office, where we’ll tell our stories, bring our signs and demand our local Democratic Party committees join us in calling on the DNC to host a #ClimateDebate. RSVP here and let us know you’re coming. View the event on Facebook
- RUWMI-Swing Left Monthly Action – Sunday, August 11, 10:00-11:30AM, Gateway City Arts, 92 Race Street, Holyoke. Come join us for our August postcard-writing event! It’s fun, easy, and effective. We’ll supply postcards and stamps and all the information you will need. You just bring yourself (and maybe a friend), good cheer, and a limber writing hand! (Donations of 35-cent postage stamps, or cash to cover stamps greatly appreciated but not required). Election Day 2020 seems a long way off, but now is when we need to begin making sure that Democratic voters show up at the polls! We will continue writing to registered democratic voters in FL who did not vote in the last election. You can sign up here so we’ll know how many people to expect and you can view the event on Facebook Also did we mention the brunch?!! Last month we met on Sunday morning and our hosts at Gateway City Arts had the most wonderful brunch menu (pro tip: you should definitely order the popover).
- From Gentrification to Reparations – Sunday, August 11, Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton. Join Maria Salgado-Cartagena, The Puerto Rican People’s Historian of Holyoke, and Western Mass chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) for a presentation on the gentrification
The event will explore topics such as: What does gentrification look like presently and historically amidst the segregation and inequity in the region? Why is a historical analysis of population and migration in the area necessary in understanding the current dynamics of gentrification and inequity? What role could reparations play in repairing the harm of gentrification and displacement? View the event on Facebook for more information.
- Single Payer Healthcare Roundtable Discussion – Sunday, August 18, 1:00-3:00PM, Massachusetts Green Computing Center 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke. You’re invited to share your perspectives on why Improved Medicare for All is an idea whose time has come and how to get the full support of Representative Richard Neal. A roundtable discussion by community leaders Dr. Marty Nathan, Jerry Friedman PhD, Hon. Alex Morse, Stephanie Nakajima, Larry Cervelli, Russell Freedman and Judith Atkins.
- Meet the Candidates for Mayor & City Council – Tuesday, August 20, 5:30-7:30PM, Mason Square Branch Library, 765 State St, Springfield. Get to know the candidates for Mayor and City Council. Find out where they stand on the issues and let them know your concerns before you cast your vote in the Preliminary Election. Register to vote, make sure your registration is active, and confirm where your polling place is. The Mason Square Branch Library will be closed for regular business but the doors on the State Street and Monroe Street sides will be open for you to come in. View event details
- 13th Annual Democrats of Distinction Awards Banquet – Wednesday, August 28, 6:00-9:00PM, Springfield Lodge of Elks #61, 440 Tiffany St, Springfield. Please join the Springfield Democratic City Committee as we revive and celebrate the 13th Annual Democrats of Distinction Awards Banquet, honoring Democratic activists in our community for their commitment to advancing the ideals of the Democratic Party and moving our City of Springfield forward. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased View event details 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CD1 Progressive Coalition
Constituents Meet with Congressman Neal
(Springfield, MA Tuesday, July 30, 2019) – Six members of the CD-1 Progressive Coalition (CPC) met with Congressman Richard Neal for a half hour to discuss issues of grave concern to his constituents. The meeting was an opportunity for constituents to engage with Neal, hear his perspective and response to requests regarding Trump’s New York State taxes, the impeachment of the President, ICE and concentration camps on the border and corporate contributions. A focus of the discussion was improving communication between Neal and his constituents, especially by holding Town Hall meetings throughout the District.
Neal responded to a request for an update on obtaining Trump’s NYS taxes, saying, “why would I not want them if they can make a difference.” Rep. Neal has the authority to make the request in his role as Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Neal elaborated that given his experience and the advice of House Counsel, constituents should trust his judgment as well as appreciate the complexity of the issue. He expressed confidence that the lawsuit he filed will prevail because it is based on policy and not politics.
“We are not there yet, but could get there,” said Neal on his position on beginning impeachment proceedings. He supports Speaker Pelosi’s position that it will be more effective to vote Trump out of office but he is also waiting to see if Congressman Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, opens up official impeachment proceedings. He was unmoved by constituents’ concerns that it is Congress’ obligation to hold the chief executive accountable for abuses of power.
Congressman Neal agreed that comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship and worker passes, is needed. He has already signed onto Keep the Families Together Act and is likely to support Merkley’s Shut Down Child Prison Camps Act and Harris’ Families, Not Facilities Act. Neal envisions a “Marshall Plan” for Central America to address the serious economic, climatic and social issues driving Central Americans to migrate.
According to one member in attendance, Neal refuses to stop taking corporate PAC money. He disagreed that the time spent courting wealthy donors is at the expense of his constituents, and dismissed that there could be a perception of a conflict of interest in taking corporate money in his role as Chair of Ways and Means.
While the CD-1 Coalition members did not get Neal to agree to hold Town Hall meetings in the District, he expressed a willingness to meet with small groups of constituents in different parts of the District. Our Team is Growing!
The More You Know
Media Coverage of Mass Shootings
- Is it time for “strategic silence” in news coverage of mass shootings?
- How the Media Can Help Prevent Mass Shootings
- How Mass Media Shapes Perceptions of Mass Shootings
- How media coverage contributes to white supremacist rhetoric
Check This Out
Mass shootings since Sandy Hook, in one map – Vox: After Sandy Hook, we said never again. – And then we let 2,191 mass shootings happen. (this is a repost, but an important one to share).