Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
Like many of you, I spent every free moment this week watching the Senate Impeachment Hearings. After 3 days of testimony from the House Managers I was awed at the mountain of evidence and the clear and sometimes poetic way it was presented. I was also genuinely moved more than once by Adam Schiff’s closing statements. However this ultimately ends up (and I can’t say I am hopeful any GOP senators will embrace a moment of moral clarity when they vote), I do feel comforted by the fact that we were on the side of truth and we still believe that “right matters”.
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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!
Update on endorsement of Senator, Ed Markey: We did not get enough people responding to the vote (even though those that did respond were in favor of endorsement), thus we will not be making an official endorsement in the senate race at this time.
- RUWMOneSmallThing – As Adam Schiff so eloquently said during the impeachment trial “If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost. Framers couldn’t protect us from ourselves, if right and truth don’t matter. And you know that what he did was not right.” He also implored the senate to “Give America a fair trial. She’s worth it.” Those words were powerful, and it is up to us to make sure they do not fall on deaf senatorial ears. This week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing you can do to make a difference is to reinforce this message to as many GOP senators as possible. We all have friends in red and purple states; call them, text them, email them, ask them to call their senators and demand that we get a fair trial – with witness and documents! Then call our senators and remind them that we need them to be as vocal as possible about this too! You can share this link so everyone you speak to can look up their senators’ contact info!
- Make Calls to Ensure a Fair and Open Impeachment Trial in the Senate – (h/t Indivisible). We’ve got to demand that Senators publicly support a fair and open impeachment trial. Use this form to sign up for a shift making calls to voters in key areas to connect them directly to their Senators to make this important ask. You can volunteer from anywhere, and we’ll follow up and make sure you have everything you need to contact voters once you sign up. In order to volunteer, folks will need access to a computer or tablet to log in to our remote phone-banking system as well as a phone to actually make the calls. RSVP for one or multiple shifts — any amount of time you can commit to calling makes a real difference in this critical fight to protect our democracy.
- Submit a Letter to the Editor on Impeachment: Nobody is Above the Law – (h/t Indivisible). Letters to the editor might not seem like the flashiest way to get your Senator’s attention. But there’s something about a sharp letter to the editor in a hometown paper that can really get under the skin of the most powerful lawmaker– and you can be sure your Senator sees them in their daily press clips. Right now is a critical moment to take control of the narrative on impeachment. It’s more important than ever that we turn up the heat on our elected officials to uphold the oath they took to the Constitution and hold Trump accountable for his crimes. Use our tool to find your local paper, write your letter (or use our suggested text), and submit.
- Spread the word about LYFT relief rides – (h/t Ysabel Garcia) MASS 2-1-1 and LYFT are partnering to fill the gaps in transportation needs with RELIEF RIDES. These rides are available for non-emergency medical appointments, transportation to food pantries or to apply for SNAP benefits, and for appointments to apply for certain other financial assistance and public benefits. Rides are available in the following communities: Springfield, Agawam, Chicopee, Feeding Hills, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, West Springfield. Call 211 to for more details and to find out if you are eligible. Please share this to help spread the word to those who may need this service.
- Donate to Mass Jobs with Justice – (h/t MA JWJ). Massachusetts Jobs with Justice recently posted that they are seeking donations, including monthly “sustainers”. Click here if you are able to make a donation to help them build the movement and take on corporate greed, bad bosses, and ICE.
- 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:.
- 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
- Lobby Day for Election Day Registration – Tuesday, January 28, 9:30AM-1:00PM, State House Room 428, 24 Beacon St., Boston. Every election, Massachusetts disenfranchises thousands of its own citizens by denying eligible voters the ability to register or update their information on Election Day. Two out of three of those prevented from casting a ballot are actually registered but rendered ineligible because their registration contains simple and fixable errors. EDR is a basic reform with a 40-year proven record that has allowed millions of voters across 20 states that have implemented it to cast a ballot by registering or updating their registration to vote on election day. Now, we must act to ensure that EDR legislation gets sent out of committee and to a vote. Register here.
- Campaign Kick-Off Meeting: Stop Selling Cargill’s Deforestation – Tuesday, January 28, 6:30-7:30PM, 70 Boltwood Walk, Amherst. It’s time Stop and Shop cut ties with Cargill. Cargill has driven the destruction of millions of acres of grasslands and rainforests to grow soy in South America. Producing feed crops, raising livestock, and processing meat rank among the top sources of greenhouse gas emissions and water pollution around the world. However, a future with a sustainable food system is still possible – clean air, clean water, and a livable climate are not too much to ask. We need to show Stop & Shop that their customers here in their home state of Massachusetts don’t want to buy meat that is contributing to deforestation and water pollution. View the event details here.
- Voter Choice Hampden & Hampshire County Regional Meeting – Wednesday, January 29, 6:00-8:00PM, Pathways Cohousing, Florence. We’ll be discussing immediate next steps for volunteers and supporters about how we’re building our grassroots operation here in Hampden and Hampshire County. We can’t win without your support, so please mark this date on your calendars! RSVP here.
- Anthony Jack at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Symposium – Thursday, January 30, 7:00-8:30PM, Mount Holyoke Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, South Hadley. Please join us as we welcome Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack, Author of The Privileged Poor to speak at our inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Week of Human Rights and Social Justice co-sponsored with the Division of Student Life. Click here for more details.
- W Mass Organizers’ Kickback – Saturday, February 1, 12:30-3:30PM, Holyoke Public Library Central Library, 335 Maple St, Holyoke. Join us for a casual + organic get together where you’ll meet and get to know activists in the Western Mass area. In response to the concerns of student organizers across the valley, this kickback aims to foster increased communication and collaboration between Western Mass communities, all of which are organizing in their areas around a number of issues. We win together, so let’s MOVEMENT-BUILD! For more details and to RSVP click here.
- Alex Morse for Congress Holyoke Organizing Summit – Saturday, February 1, 2:00-3:30PM, Spark Cowork, 193 High Street, Holyoke. Come meet Holyoke Mayor and Congressional Candidate, Alex Morse! Learn about this people-powered movement and how you can be a part of it. Together, we’ll take a look at the state of play, establish goals to win this race, and lay out a plan to bring change to our district. AND we’ll hear directly from Alex and the Team. Here’s your first chance to meet other volunteers, get a feel for the campaign, and be a part of the grassroots movement we’re building. RSVP here. View the event on Facebook here.
- Writing for Social Change – Saturday, February 1, 2:00-4:00PM, Arise for Social Justice, 38 School St, Springfield. As activists and social change leaders, we must often write words that inspire, clarify, take a position, or set the record straight. We often over‐labor our writing projects and then are less productive and prolific than we might be. The focus of this workshop will be on getting over the I‐cannot‐start hurdle, and the I‐am‐bogged‐down problem. We will discuss what people are writing or have written in the past and cover tips for writing often, writing with ease, and writing with power. All writing abilities and experiences welcome. Led by Tanisha Arena, M.S., Executive Director, Arise for Social Justice, Springfield, MA. Click here for more information.
- South Hadley Sister District Postcards at the Odyssey – Sunday, February 2, 2:00-5:00PM, Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley. Do GOTV postcards get infrequent Democratic voters out to the polls? Sister District is hitting the ground running in 2020 with a special project focusing on primary elections in North Carolina. Join volunteers in South Hadley to get started! View the event on Facebook here.
- Rapid Response Training 2.0 – Monday, February 3, 6:00-8:00PM, Parlor Room, 32 Masonic St in Northampton. Join our Rapid Response 2.0 Squad! Come learn about how to post bond and how to support people through court hearings. Together we will come with some protocols and systems for communicating in moments of crisis. 6-7PM Panel of members, volunteers and lawyers to explain the situation. 7-8PM: If you are already a trained rideshare and court accompaniment member you will go to part 2 and get trained for the Rapid Response 2.0 Squad. 7-8PM: If not trained already in rideshare and accompaniment meet to learn about next steps for the driver’s license campaign and sign up for a training to be able to join the rapid response squad. View event details here.
- Meet Candidate Alex Morse at Indivisible Northampton – Monday, February 3, 7:30-8:45PM, 25 Mountain Laurel Path, Florence. Come and meet Alex Morse, candidate for Congress in MA’s first congressional district. Alex Morse was recently endorsed by Indivisible National. View the event on Facebook here.
- 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.
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bird-Dogging Guide: Get them on the record!
Bird-dogging is a powerful tactic used by grassroots activists to get candidates and elected officials on the record about important issues. Indivisible activists have bird-dogged visibly and effectively since Indivisible’s inception. Did you ask a question about the ACA at a town hall? Did you ask a congressional candidate to commit to a position on democracy reform? Or make the local news for not letting your MoC off the hook on immigration? Have you shared a recording of your interaction publicly? You are already an Indvisi-birddogger.
Grassroots constituents like you can often get officials to say things they would never reveal in a more structured interview. Such revelations are vital as we turn our attention to the presidential candidates and attempt to learn what they really think, and will really do, about core issues like health care, democracy reform, immigration and climate. Let’s bird-dog our candidates out of the bush and into the light of accountability.
Whether you’re an experienced or fledgling Bird-Dogger, these instructions and reminders will help you corner those candidates with confidence. Read more here.
The More You Know
Ratifying the ERA
- The US might ratify the ERA. What would change?
- ERA Ratification Info State by State
- What does Equal Rights Amendment ratification in Virginia mean for its chances?
- Here’s a map of all the states for (and against) the constitutional amendment that would outlaw sex discrimination
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