Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
“Our squad is big. Our squad includes any person committed to building a more equitable and just world, and that is the work we want to give back to. And given the size of this squad, and this great nation, we cannot — we will not — be silenced.” – Ayanna Pressley
Speaking of squads…
What does it mean to be part of the RUWMI squad? It means that you are sharing your time and energy, in whatever way makes sense for you – to help keep our organization going. Maybe you are interested in working on a particular issue area (climate change, healthcare, treatment of refugees, etc.), maybe you want to organize around election actions (registering voters, canvassing, etc.), maybe you want to join state or national conference calls on behalf of RUWMI, or maybe you are able to be one of those people we can always count on to show up at actions and events.
We have room for you in our squad – join us. Contact us at Jackie@riseupwesternmass.com
- RUWMOneSmallThing – So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is to
- Support Equal Pay – (h/t Indivisible) Senator Joe Manchin introduced a bill that would guarantee #equalpay for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and this is the moment we were born for. Text Equal Pay to 977-79 and we’ll give you a short script and connect you to your senators.
- Support Great Falls Books Through Bars – (h/t Great Falls Books Through Bars) Great Falls Books Through Bars is an all-volunteer group inspired by prison book initiatives around the country. They distribute free books to contribute to the education, entertainment, and support of incarcerated people. They are located in Turners Falls, MA and have volunteer days at least every second Saturday of the month. All books are donated, and their biggest fees are postage and packaging. You can learn about the program here or visit them on If you are able to contribute you can donate to their Gofundme or shop from their wishlist of highly requested books.
- Tell your MoC: Defund Hate – (h/t Indivisible) The biggest fight on immigration this year will be over funding. The appropriations process, where Congress decides how much funding agencies will receive for the year—including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—is underway. Now, the fight will move to the full House, which has to act by September 30 to pass funding bills for the entire government. The appropriations process is our best chance to act to stop Trump’s deportation machine. Use this link to call today and tell your Member of Congress (MoC) to cut funding for ICE and CBP, and get rid of the slush fund that will allow ICE to continue terrorizing immigrant communities. Use this link to get all the information you need to contact your MoC!
- Tell Your MoC: Co-sponsor the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act – (h/t Indivisible) Americans spend more on prescription drugs than residents of other countries. Despite this, the government is not allowed to use its position as the largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the country to bargain for lower prices for patients. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) has introduced the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act (H.R. 1046) to give Medicare the power it needs to effectively negotiate with drug companies and bring drug prices down. Call your MoC and tell them: reject bills that would use arbitration to bring down drug prices, and co-sponsor H.R. 1046, the Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act!
- Share this information from – (h/t NILC). With news about Trump’s deportation force possibly carrying out raids this weekend, it’s important for allies to remember that we all have an important role to play in ensuring that all of our communities are safe — both if you see an ICE raid taking place, and in your everyday environment. Here are some ways that you can help keep your community safe:
- Download the Notifica app to report ICE raids in your community.
- If You Are A Student – Advocate for your school to pass a “school safe zone” policy. We have resources for K-12 schools, colleges, & universities. Click here.
- If You Are An Educator – Join your students in passing a “school safe zone” policy! You can also distribute Know Your Rights information to your students. We have printable materials in several languages. Click here.
- If You Are An Employer – Train your workers to NOT talk to ICE agents and to NOT allow ICE to enter your workplace. Read our guide here for more information.
- Demand the DNC host a climate crisis debate! – (h/t Our Revolution). There is NO debate — the climate crisis is here and is impacting communities across the world. That’s why Our Revolution is calling on the Democratic National Committee to hold a debate focused solely on the climate crisis. We know the current debate format does not allow in-depth conversations on ideas or solutions, and we can’t afford to keep ignoring a crisis that puts every living being on earth at risk. Sign your name here if you agree we need a climate debate.
- 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
- Swing Left Postcard Writing – Tuesday, July 23, 4:00-5:15PM, Holyoke Library in the boardroom. This event is hosted by a local Swing Left member. They will be writing postcards or GOTV letters and all materials are provided (donations for stamps are welcomed but not required). If you are interested in joining or want more information please email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a second event at the Barnes and Noble Cafe in Hadley July 28 5-7pm. You can view more information about that event
- Western Mass Young Dems Meeting (Region 1) – Wednesday, July 24, 6:00-7:00PM, Springfield Central Library, Springfield. Join us for our monthly meeting to discuss initiatives in Western Mass. We will also be continuing to fill some of the open leadership positions within our chapter. Click here for more details.
- Driver’s License Advocacy Day at the Statehouse – Tuesday, July 30, 8:00AM-4:00PM, Boston. Carpool and bus from central location. Come to Boston for an Advocacy Day to call for driver’s licenses for all Massachusetts drivers, regardless of immigration status. Being pulled over for driving without a license is the beginning of the deportation pipeline. New York passed this law last month–let’s show our lawmakers that we need this here in Massachusetts too! Join immigrant leaders from the Pioneer Valley Workers Center in calling for this important protection! Sign up using this link below to show your interest, further details to follow by email.
- The Inhumanity of Detaining Children – Tuesday, July 30, 6:30-8:00PM, Edwards Church of Northampton, 297 Main St, Northampton. Listen to witness reports and analysis about detention centers in the USA. Shel Horowitz was part of a group visiting Homestead, Florida. This center has become the nation’s biggest location for detaining immigrant children. Javier Luengo-Garrido from the ACLU Immigrant Protection Project visited facilities in Texas. Laura Briggs from UMass Amherst will be able to provide historical context of child internments in the USA. Her forthcoming book is titled, Taking Children: An American History of Terror from Slavery to the Border. This is a free event. Everyone is welcome, detail can be found
- Mayoral Race Public Forum – Thursday, August 1, 6:00-7:30PM, Mason Square Branch Library, 765 State St, Springfield. Youth for Action will be holding a mayoral candidate public form for Springfield youth & other Springfield residents to talk with current candidates for mayor, with the hope of educating the community about the 2019 mayoral race. The community will be allowed to submit questions ahead of time for the candidates to answer during the forum. Candidates that are attending:
Yolanda Cancel, Linda OConnell, Jeffery Donnelly. Candidates that have not been confirmed: Mayor Dominic Sarno. View event details here.
- 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).
- 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.
Let’s review just a few highlights from a week of Trump’s racist, xenophobic agenda:
✔️ Reports from the concentration camps at the border continue to be horrific with immigrants in overcrowded conditions pleading with Vice President Pence during his visit for showers and toothbrushes.
✔️ Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids continue (as they do every day in this country) to separate families.
✔️ In a move that is not only immoral but illegal, Trump moves to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants.
✔️ Trump tweets (and double downs on) racist attacks on courageous women of color leading the fight in Congress to speak truth to power.
All of these things have one thing in common: cruelty is the point. And they all serve as a reminder of why this fight to demand more moral clarity of the leaders working to hold him accountable is so important (looking at you, House Democrats).
We know Indivisibles get it. On Friday, you showed up with tens (and tens and tens) of thousands of people at more than 817 vigils across 5 continents for Lights of Liberty to call on Congress to #CloseTheCamps and end detention (if you missed some of our favorite highlights, click here).
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