Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
We have crossed the Rubicon. “Right” no longer matters; this is not hyperbole. If we held a shred of hope that at least some members of the GOP had a line which they would not cross in sycophantic service to Trump, we now know that it not so. So here we are, in full blown constitutional crisis mode. All our checks have failed, and there is only one last fail-safe we have in our toolbox; to VOTE THEM OUT. True, effortful, boots-on-the-ground activism is no longer optional; it is critical. Those of you reading this newsletter are already more engaged than most, and since I have your attention, I am imploring you; do more. Get involved with a campaign, call, text, and canvass to get moral people elected. Help register people to vote; write letters and make phone calls to get people to the polls. Reach out to your non-politically engaged friends and invite them to an event or action you are taking part in. Above all make sure everyone you know is registered to vote and will turn out to polls! Quite literally our democracy depends on it.
Join our Zoom call tomorrow!
2020 is a critical election year and we know it is going to require a lot of work on our part. To that end we are looking to expand our leadership team. Have you wanted to get more involved with RUWMI? Are you interested in learning about RUWMI’s 2020 plan and want to be a bigger part of it? If so then we invite you to join our upcoming leadership conference call. This call is informational and does not commit you to joining our team (though of course we hope you will want to!). Please join us on Tuesday, February 4, from 7:00-8:30PM!
- RUWMOneSmallThing – Young people make up a large portion of eligible voters who haven’t historically turned up at the polls. Young voters have the potential to make a large impact in the 2020 election. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do to make a difference is to check out this college voting reference and share it with the young voters in your life!
- Help Transcribe Anti-Slavery Manuscripts – (h/t Indivisible Ventura). Honor Black History Month, by helping to transcribe abolitionist documents for the Boston Public Library. A Boston Globe article noted that “one of the library’s most popularly searched collections, the antislavery manuscripts include letters, newspapers, pamphlets, and more from abolitionists speaking out against slavery in the mid-19th century. The documents are already housed online in Massachusetts’ library database. But because the documents are handwritten, there’s no way to search their content. Transcription would change that, Content Discovery Manager Tom Blake said. But it isn’t a task that can be done by a machine.” You can get started in helping with this transcription here.
- Follow Heather Cox Richardson – (h/t Rogan’s List) Heather Cox Richardson is a history professor at Boston College who has taken it upon herself to give us a daily account, with a historical perspective, of what is happening in Washington. Richardson’s cogent and compelling daily entries are beneficial to those of us trying to understand. Let’s follow her on Facebook, or Twitter @HC_Richardson, or by subscribing to her daily email:.
- Check out this handy reference about voting in MA – Check out Vote Save America, where you can find all sorts of helpful voter information including candidate and general election FAQs and state-specific info including registration deadlines and election dates. Click here to access information specific to Massachusetts.
- Volunteer to work on the campaign to elect Alex Morse – As you know both RUWMI and Indivisible National have endorsed Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse in his bid to challenge Neal for the MA-1 House seat. This is a perfect chance for you to be part of a grassroots campaign and take action locally while making a national impact. You can join this organizing meeting on Feb 15, or email us at email@example.com and we can connect you to the campaign to learn about volunteer opportunities.
- Host a house party for Movement Voter Project – (h/t MVP). Movement Voter Project is a national organization, based in Northampton, that is trying to support and build the capacity of grassroots groups in high-population, low voter turnout areas in key swing states. Increasing the number of voters, mostly people of color and young people, in these communities could make a big difference in the 2020 elections. MVP’s strategy is to provide financial and organizing assistance to these groups and help them build a long-term base of voters that will be there for the long-term. Rather than donate to campaigns or candidates or send people to different states (which is important) to door-knock in key elections, MVP invests in local community organizations. Currently MVP is looking to hold house parties in the Longmeadow/East Longmeadow area. If you are interested in hosting one please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will connect you to MVP.
- Help register friends and family to vote – (h/t Indivisible) Indivisible makes registering to vote easy. Click this link and follow the steps to get registered or apply for an absentee ballot. Bookmark this handy page on your phone and ask friends and family at your holiday gatherings if they are registered or will be able to vote. Then just pull out your phone and have them do it right there!
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- Rally to condemn the coup in Bolivia, US sanctions in Venezuela – Wednesday, February 5, 4:00-5:00PM, 1550 Main St, Springfield. We will hold a rally outside of Senator Warren and Markey’s offices to ask both Senators to condemn the coup in Bolivia and the sanctions in Venezuela. You can find our organizing principles here. View more event details on Facebook here.
- Mighty Earth Strategy Meeting – Wednesday, February 5, 6:00-7:00PM, 49 S Pleasant St, Amherst. Mighty Earth is working in the Pioneer Valley to get Stop & Shop to cut tie with its meat producer, Cargill, which is polluting our waterways and contributing to deforestation around the world. Help us to plan for our upcoming social media day of action, strategize how to spread the word about the campaign, and meet other people interested in cleaning up the meat industry. You can view event details here.
- BLM at School: A Day with Pa’lante & Ethnic Studies – Saturday, February 8, 9:00AM-5:00PM, Pa’lante RJ, 500 Beech Street, Holyoke. Join the Pa’lante Restorative Justice and Ethnic Studies programs at Holyoke High School for a daylong convening of students, educators and organizers interested in learning about these two innovative models for working toward racial justice in schools. This event is part of the Black Lives Matter at School national week of action, a nation-wide movement of young people fighting for a more just schooling system. At Holyoke High, we already have implemented two of this movement’s core demands– restorative justice and ethnic studies– and we are excited to share about our work. To get more details and to register, view the event on Facebook.
- Community Forum on Solid Waste and Recycling – Saturday, February 8, 10:00AM-12:00PM, South Hadley Town Hall, South Hadley. The South Hadley Select board will host a forum about solid waste and recycling. The forum’s focus will be trash and recycling issues on both the local and national levels. Steve Ellis, of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, will conduct a presentation, and there will be a discussion about local issues related to trash pick-up. View event details here.
- Mighty Earth Day of Action – Friday, February 14, 2:00-4:00PM, at UMASS in Amherst. Join us to generate 50+ social media posts tagging Stop & Shop and Cargill to put pressure on both companies to clean up their meat production practices. Mighty Earth is working in the Pioneer Valley to get Stop & Shop to cut tie with its meat producer, Cargill, which is polluting our waterways and contributing to deforestation around the world. Click here to view the event details.
- RUWMI-Swing Left 2020 Monthly Action – Sunday, February 16, 10:00-11:30 AM, Panera Bread, 601 Memorial Drive, Suite G, Chicopee. Come join us for our February postcard/letter-writing event! It’s effective, it’s easy, and it’s fun. We’ll supply postcards/letters and all the information you will need (from Swing Left). You just bring yourself (and maybe a friend), good cheer, and a limber writing hand! We will have stamps to use but donations of stamps, or cash to cover stamps is always appreciated. Election Day 2020 is getting closer and we need to make sure that Democratic voters show up at the polls! We will be meeting at Panera in Chicopee, so food and beverages will be available for purchase. Click here to view the Facebook event.
- 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.
What the sham impeachment trial tells us about our democracy
The events of the last week are devastating. They’re also totally unsurprising. We knew heading into the Senate trial that the odds of conviction – or even just hearing from witnesses! – were grim. Republicans weren’t interested in the truth. They were interested in covering up the truth to save their own political hides. And that’s what they’ve been doing.
What this trial demonstrates is a clear and terrible truth: the threat to our democracy is much, much bigger than just Donald Trump. If Trump were just an aberration, then there would have been bipartisan outrage at the revelation of his crimes. That didn’t happen. Republican politicians have rallied around him at every step of the way.
That shouldn’t be a surprise. We’ve seen the warning signs for a long time. We saw Mitch McConnell stonewall President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. We saw McConnell on the Senate floor early last year, declaring that voting rights were “socialism” and a “power grab.” We saw House Republicans work in lockstep to oppose all election security legislation. We saw Republicans rely on voter suppression nationwide in 2018 – most devastatingly, in Georgia, where Republican Secretary of State Jack Kemp secured his own election to the Governorship by kicking hundreds of thousands of voters, largely voters of color, off the rolls.
The modern Republican party has decided that it can’t stay in power if it plays by the rules. So, they’re rigging the rules to win.
Does that sound radical? Don’t just take it from us. Evan McMullin, a former senior Republican congressional staffer who now leads Stand Up Republic, is someone we disagree with on most social and economic issues. But McMullin never threw his lot in with Trump – not in the 2016 primary, not after Trump clinched the nomination, and not after Trump became President. McMullin has a unique perspective about what’s going on right now – and it goes far beyond Trump. Here’s what he said this week: “Republican leaders in Congress believe—and privately say—that they fear the country is quickly changing in ways that may soon deprive them of power, and that they must use the power they have now to delay it as long as possible, even by harming the Republic if necessary.”
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: a healthy democratic society would have rejected Donald Trump, the same way a healthy body fights off a virus. What this week confirms is that our democracy is very, very ill.
The More You Know
Black History Month
- Black History Month
- Black History Month 2020: African Americans and the Vote
- How February Was Designated Black History Month
- Black History Month – February 2020
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