Dessert, Debate, and #DefundHate

Hello fellow RUWMI activists!

Last night I had dinner with a Republican friend.  She did not/does not support Trump and is looking for a “D” candidate she can she can vote for in 2020. We had a good in-depth discussion about the debate and we agreed on almost nothing; me championing the progressive candidate I like and she looking for a moderate she can support.  But she talked and I listened, and I talked and she listened.  We agreed to disagree. Then we ate dessert. That’s it, no revelations, no resolutions.  Just to friends who maybe got to understand a little bit more about each other.

RUWMI Announcements

Last week we took part in our local #DefundHate event, hosted by the CD1 Progressive Coalition.  We were part of a small but mighty group who rallied outside of Congressman Neal’s office to demand that he vote against any additional funding for ICE and CBP.  Mayor Alex Morse, who is running to challenge Neal for his seat in 2020 came, as did Yolanda Cancel, Springfield mayoral candidate.  You can watch the video of our rally here.




Action Items

  • RUWMOneSmallThingGoods Unite Us tells us that they have “spent thousands of hours vetting companies’ political expenditures in federal elections. We’ll tell you what we know about the donations made by the organization and its senior employees along with each company’s exclusive Campaign Finance Reform Score.” Consumers like us vote everyday with their wallets. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do that will make a difference is to check out their site and spend wisely.


  • Learn where candidates stand on white supremacy – (h/t Bend the Arc). Tens of thousands of Americans asked the moderators of the last debate to address white supremacy, white nationalism, and the threats to our communities — and they sparked the beginning of a conversation that we need to continue. Click here to see what some of the candidates said about the topic and then sign on to the petition to demand that debate moderators fully address the threat of white nationalism at future debates.


  • Tweet at Debate Moderators – (h/t RepresentUS). “Last week, ABC asked us what we wanted to hear from presidential candidates at the third debate. Thousands of us told them: We want to know what candidates will do to fix our corrupt political system. But despite our overwhelming response, moderators ignored our corruption crisis and failed to ask candidates what they will do about it. Silencing this problem is unacceptable – and the media decides what issues get airtime, and what politicians have to respond to. Next Saturday, Renaldo will arrive on the steps of the U.S. Capitol after an incredible 600-mile journey from Atlanta, and demand action on America’s corruption crisis. Send a Tweet to debate moderators urging them to cover the Democracy911 walk, and stop silencing America’s demand to fix our corruption crisis.


  • Tell the media Stop Playing Videos of Trump’s Lies – (h/t MoveOn). Sign this petition from MoveOn, to be delivered to CNN. It says: In the 2016 campaign, TV stations covered Trump every day. WE ARE SICK OF IT. Now we see him telling lie after lie and TV stations should not allow him to control the media. Stop giving Trump free press for his lies.  Sign on


  • Tell Your U.S. Senators: States and Localities Need Funding to Secure Our Elections – (h/t Mueller Book Club), Call Your U.S. Senators at 833-413-5906 and urge them to pass the $600 million House funding bill for election security or more. You’ll be given talking points and then be connected to the Capitol Switchboard. Send a Letter to the Editor to your local paper using this Easy to Use Tool. You can also click here and learn what you can do to in your own town to secure our election process.


  • Tell Congressman Neal to Support the Lower Health Care Costs Act – (h/t Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing). Call Congressman Neal and urge him to take swift action to help families by supporting the Lower Health Care Costs Act (S. 1895). Parents shouldn’t face financial hardship due to unforeseen medical issues. We need to end surprise billing by enacting local, market-driven benchmarks. Congress has an opportunity to lower health care costs while ensuring fairness and transparency in the health care system for all families. We urge leadership to pass legislation that meets these goals! You can reach Congressman Neal at (413) 785-0325.


  • Speak Out for Detained Bahamian Child Kaytora Paul – (h/t IndivisibleMA)

After fleeing Hurricane Dorian with her aunt, Kaytora Paul, a 12-year-old Bahamian girl, has been separated from her family and put in detention. Her mother has been told she has to apply to claim her, a process that can take longer than the time she is permitted to stay here and requires documents that probably have been destroyed. Let’s urge DHS to reunite Kaytora Paul with her parents as soon as possible. Phone: (202) 282-8000, EmailWebFacebook, Twitter



Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events


  • 2020 Census: Let’s talk about it! Springfield, MA – Wednesday, September 18, 6:00-8:00PM, 191 Chestnut St, Springfield. Join Neighbor to Neighbor to learn more about the census and how to make sure our community gets counted! We will be holding a training here in our chapter for trusted messengers about the 2020 Census, leaders, volunteers, and activists who interact with people in historically under counted communities. We will get equipped to have 10-minute or 2-minute conversations with the community about the census, its importance, fears and realities of the census.


  • Climate Emergency March for a Just Future – Friday, September 20, 4:15-6:00PM, Sheldon Park, 269 Bridge St, Northampton. (march to Rally on Steps of Northampton City Hall). This powerful march in solidarity with the Global Youth Climate Strike will to respond to the climate crisis here in Northampton. It’s time for our government, institutions, corporations, and all people to take action to scale with the enormity of the problem and acknowledge the urgency of our situation.  View event details


  • We the People Solidarity Rally – Saturday, September 21, 1:00-2:00PM, Pulaski Park, Northampton. We the People are rallying to be seen and heard. We are here to remind our elected officials that they work for us. We are here because the current regime is a threat to our democracy and values. We are here to demand action. Silence and inaction are complicity. For a list of speakers and general information view the event on Facebook.


  • Breaking Hate: Helping kids push against white nationalism – Tuesday, September 24, online Webinar. White nationalism is in the news and our kids are listening. In addition to the anxiety and anger provoked by the headlines, kids are also encountering this hateful ideology online, at school, in their peer groups and communities. Parents and youth workers need to know how to recognize signs of recruitment efforts, as well as the vulnerabilities that might leave a young person susceptible to recruitment. Join teacher Nora Flanagan and youth worker Christian Picciolini for a discussion of how our children can be stronger upstanders if they see signs of hate, how they can resist increasingly insidious attempts to engage them in organized bigotry, and how every adult can help strengthen their communities against white nationalism. Register for the free online event


  • Preparing to Run for Office: A Workshop for Potential Candidates and Their Support Teams – Thursday, September 26, 6:00-8:00PM, Arise for Social Justice, 38 School Street, Springfield. If you or someone you know is considering running for office, come learn from a pair who, through lived experience, know what works and what does not when organizing a campaign. Take this opportunity to talk in-depth with Tahirah and Yasmin and learn from their experience. Participants will come away with practical steps to guide you, and will gain insight into how to shape a run for elected office and what is the most important work of a support team. You can find more information, and register


  • Springfield Solidarity Training: RideShare, Court Accompaniment – Thursday, September 26, 6:30-8:30PM, Trinity United Methodist Church, 361 Sumner Ave, Springfield. Put your solidarity into action by becoming part of the Sanctuary in the Streets Rideshare and Court Accompaniment networks. Sign up View the event on Facebook here for more information.


  • Rebellion Begins – Friday, September 27, 11:00AM-2:00PM, The Rebellion has landed in Western Massachusetts. Beginning with UMass, we call on the five colleges to declare a climate emergency and take immediate action. Join us for a funeral for our futures. Wear black. Further details to come! If you or an organization you’re part of is interested in supporting, performing, or speaking as part of this event, fill out the form here. View the event on Facebook for coming details.


  • Escalating Resistance: Training and Book Signing of Shut It Down – Monday, September 30, 5:30-8:30PM, Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton. Lisa Fithian is an anti-racist organizer who has worked for justice since the 1970s. As part of her tour to support the release of her new book, “Shut It Down: Stories from a Fierce, Loving Resistance,” Lisa will be offering training to hone our strategies and tactics to impact power holders and create social disruption at increasingly larger scales One of the goals of this training is to build a foundation for an alliance of movements with thousands of people for a coordinated mass disruption nationwide that goes beyond what we have done before. Come learn strategies and tactics to impact power holders and create social disruption at increasingly larger scales. Click here for more details.


  • GOTV VA Letter Writing – Sunday, October 6, 4:30-6:00PM, Barnes and Noble Café, 7 Holyoke Street, Holyoke. Why are writing to voters in Virginia? The GOP holds slim majorities in both the State Senate (21 -19) and the State House of Delegates (51 – 49.) All of these seats are up for election this November. In the Pioneer Valley we can help Virginia Democrats win majorities in both houses with our letters to potential Democratic voters. A victory will mean that Democrats can address gerrymandering and bring the state’s focus to important climate and immigration issues. Sign up here to help Virginia Democrats take back two houses.


  • RUWMI-Swing Left 2020 Monthly Action – Sunday, October 13, 10:30AM – 12:00PM. Gateway City Arts, 92 Race Street, Holyoke. Come join us for our October postcard/letter-writing event! It’s fun, easy, and effective. We’ll supply postcards/letters 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 in critical swing states, get registered and show up at the polls! You can 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:


Indivisible National

Take Indivisible’s Post-Debate Survey

10 candidates, 3 hours, and a LOT of discussion about the future of our country. That’s what happened at the third Democratic presidential debate. If you’ve tuned in on social media or watched the news since, you’ve probably seen a lot of takes on how the candidates fared.

After the last two debates, we asked Indivisibles to weigh in and give us your thoughts on the Democratic presidential candidates. The results we saw proved what we already know — that across our grassroots movement, there’s a wide variety of perspectives, thoughts, and preferences. But different opinions are NOT a bad thing — and we’re here to help ensure that this primary allows us to push boundaries, test ideas, and build power to get our candidates and movement ready to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.

In order to do that, we’ve got to make sure folks know where we stand. Indivisibles have helped lead the resistance, won important battles at state and local levels, and continue to be on the front lines of solidarity in our communities fighting for our shared values. We need to take a seat at the table.

Will you weigh in on the 2020 candidates in our post-debate survey?


The More You Know

Who is Mayor Alex Morse and why is he challenging Congressman Neal?

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