Hello fellow RUWMI activists!
This week I fell (well climbed actually) down the rabbit hole – by signing up for emails from the Trump Campaign. I did it for the same reason I try to occasionally watch Fox News. I think it’s important to know what Trump supporters are hearing and seeing. If we witness firsthand the misinformation and bias, we may be better able to counter it.
So far, I’ve received two emails from the campaign and the bias staggering. See for yourself. We have a lot of work to do –
Introducing the RUWMI Freedom Writers!
Thus far our committed group of letter writers have sent approximately 2,100 letters/post cards! We had our biggest turn out for letter writing this past weekend (over 20 people!) as we continued writing postcards to voters in Texas who may have been purged from voter lists. This month’s group had such great energy and enthusiasm that we decided we needed a more official name. So (drum roll please) – from now on we will be meeting monthly as the RUWMI Freedom Writers!
Join us for our next event on March 15 (details in the event section below)
P.S. We are still seeking donations for stamps (postcard and letter). If you would like to donate stamps but cannot attend a letter writing event, you can mail the stamps to us at Rise Up Western Mass Indivisible, P.O. Box 60533, Longmeadow, MA 01116.
- RUWMOneSmallThing – Super Tuesday is only a few weeks away (March 3) and that’s when those of us in MA will vote in the primary. So, this week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do to make a difference is to make your voting plan. Do you know your voting location? Have you figured out how you are getting to the polls? Can you offer a ride to any friends or co-workers? Will you be out of town and in need of an absentee ballot? Plan ahead and make sure you are ready to vote on March 3! You can use this link to find all of your needing voting day information.
- Help collect signatures to get Alex Morse on the ballot – The next step in getting Alex Morse elected is to get his name officially on the ballot. To do that we need to collect signatures from registered CD1 voters. Collecting signatures is easy and can be done in your spare time on your own schedule. If you are interested in helping to collect signatures just email us at email@example.com and we will connect you with the campaign.
- Send Postcards of Thanks for US Attorney Who Resigned in Protest – h/t Rogan’s List. Assistant US Attorney Jonathan Kravis just resigned from the Washington Bureau of the DOJ rather than carry out Barr’s slashing sentencing recommendations for Roger Stone. We can send him postcards of support at this address where he is teaching a course this semester: Jonathan Kravis, Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University, 2000 H Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20052
- Support Great Falls Books Through Bars – (h/t Sara O). Great Falls Books Through Bars sends free books to incarcerated individuals nationwide. They have sent over 5000 free books to people in 36 states. Attend a volunteer day every second Saturday at La Mariposa in Turner’s Falls from 1-4 pm. Also please consider donating to their Patreon.
- Speak Out Against Corruption of the Department of Justice – (h/t Rogan’s List) Tuesday, as the NH primary was taking place, an emergency was unfolding at the Department of Justice. On Monday, the DOJ made their sentencing recommendations in the Roger Stone case. Overnight on Monday, Trump tweeted out the unfairness of the sentencing recommendation. Tuesday, the DOJ announced a revision to the recommendation. Then, the four DOJ prosecutors resigned from the case in protest of the intervention of Attorney General William Barr. Then Barr announced that that he will be controlling all aspects of cases related to Trump (like the Stone case). Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on March 31, but that seems much later than needed. Regardless of Barr’s willingness to testify, this is a disturbing and dangerous politicization of the DOJ and is not the behavior of democracies. Let’s call the Department of Justice Comment line to leave a brief message demanding Barr’s resignation 1-202-514-2000 (press 4 – voicemail box). After the beep we can say, “I am calling for Attorney General Barr’s resignation due to his corruption.” Let’s call the White House to demand Trump’s resignation. These are volunteer operators – please thank them for their service. You need not give your name. The person who answers will say “may I please take your brief message for the president?” and you can say “I am calling for his resignation. Thank you for volunteering.” 1-202-456-1111.
- Take this survey from Indivisible – The 2020 presidential primaries have begun! With Iowa and New Hampshire now in the rear-view mirror, all attention turns to Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Tuesday states where a more diverse electorate will have a heavy impact on the race. Now that we’re in the full swing of the contest, it’s important for grassroots communities to do some self-evaluation: What do your preferences look like today? Are you still considering your options, or are you locked in on the candidate you’re supporting? And where are you feeling the most excitement and energy now that voting has begun? Fill out the survey here and tell us about how your positions have changed (or not) after the Iowa and New Hampshire results.
Mark Your Calendars – Upcoming Events
- 2020 Democratic Town Caucus Dates – (please let us know if you are aware of other scheduled town caucuses and we will add them)
- Chicopee – Saturday, February 22, 9:30-11:30AM, Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St. View event details here.
- Holyoke – Saturday, February 22, 10:00–11:30 AM. Holyoke Public Library 250 Chestnut Street. View event details here.
- West Springfield – Tuesday, February 25, 6:30-8:00PM. West Springfield Public Library, 200 Park St. View event details here.
- Longmeadow – Saturday, February 29, 1:00-4:00PM, Longmeadow Community House, 735 Longmeadow St. View event details here.
- Agawam – Saturday March 7, 10:00AM, Agawam Public Library,
- Springfield Ward 6 – Saturday, March 7, 11:30AM-2:00PM, Forest Park Library, 380 Belmont Ave. View details here.
- Towards Freedom, Justice, and Peace – Wednesday, February 19, 6:30-8:30PM, Integrative Learning Center, Communication Hub, 3rd Floor. UMass Amherst. The Stand with Kashmir chapter at UMass Amherst is happy to invite you for their inaugural event. The desire for freedom and peace unites the Kashmiris, Kurds, Palestinians, Syrians and many others living under military tyranny, political oppression and occupation. What also connects them is their resilience and their will to fight for freedom, peace, justice, and the right to self-determination. The fight for daily survival forms the basis for the affinities and unities among these struggles. This panel brings together coalitions of scholars and activists from Kashmir, Syria, Rojava, and Palestine to talk about their histories of resistance, imaginaries of liberation and decolonization. View event details here.
- Postcard writing opportunity with Sister District – Wednesday, February 19. 6:00PM, 44 Bircham Street, Springfield. It’s increasingly clear that we must take control of the states to fight voter suppression, we must take control of the Senate to pass progressive legislation, and we have to have to have to get out the vote. We’ll continue writing to FL to encourage voters to sign up for Vote-by-Mail (VBM). And we’ll also continue with the Sister District project to write to low propensity North Carolina voters to let them know about the primary in March. For more information contact Ellen Schwartz here.
- Alex Morse for Congress South Hadley Signature Drive – Thursday, February 20, 5:30-6:30PM, Thirsty Mind Coffee and Wine Bar, 23 College St, Ste 6, South Hadley. Come join the #MorseForce for a coffee and a brief training to help collect signatures to get Alex on the ballot for September 1st. You’ll get a thorough overview on how to have your own events, or you can just drop in and add your name to our grassroots support. We appreciate your RSVP.
- Dinner and Dialogue: Discussing Black Health – Thursday, February 20, 7:00-10:000PM, American International College, 1000 State Street, Springfield. Dinner Dialogue – Conversation on Black Health. This discussion is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the black community. Study after study has shown black people have questionable health outcomes. In the U.S., black women are three to four times more likely to die from complications of childbirth than white women. Black people are 70 percent more likely to be diabetic than white people. And the list goes on… We’re Going to Talk About What We Can Do About it!!! Dinner & Dialogue, is a round table gathering which brings people together to discuss the world we’re living in. We’ll unpack what we think we know, analyze it, discuss it, and then come up with new answers. Free and open to the public. You can find more information here.
- Springfield Democratic City Committee Winter Meeting – Saturday, February 22, 1:00-2:30PM, Springfield City Library Central Library, 220 State St, Springfield. Join the Springfield Democratic City Committee for our Winter Meeting. All are welcome. View event details here.
- Winter Leadership Summit – Sunday February 23, 11:00AM, Mount Holyoke College, 50 College St, South Hadley. Presented by College Democrats of Massachusetts. This year, our annual Winter Summit will focus on building leadership skills. We’ll have trainings, discussions, and speakers focused on leading the charge towards a successful 2020 election. View event on Facebook here.
- What’s going on in Venezuela? – Thursday, February 27, 7:00-8:30PM, Treehouse at Easthampton Meadows, 1 Treehouse Cir, Easthampton. What’s going on in Venezuela? Why has the US put deadly sanctions on the country? Is it about oil? Join The Resistance Center and the Latin American Solidarity Coalition of Western Mass for a conversation and film screening. We will show “Venezuelans Under Siege,” and be joined by co-director, Professor Kevin Young from UMass Amherst to lead us in discussion. This event will take place in the Community Room at the Treehouse Community in Easthampton. It is free and open to the public.
- RUWMI Freedom Writers – Monthly Action – Saturday, March 15, 10:00AM-11:30AM, Panera Bread, 601 Memorial Drive, Suite G, Chicopee. Come join us for our March postcard/letter-writing event (our first as the newly named RUWMI Freedom Writers! It’s effective, it’s easy, and it’s fun. We’ll supply postcards/letters, pens, 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! Donations of stamps or cash to cover stamps is always appreciated (and much needed). We will update the event with specifics about who we are writing to and why, as soon as that information becomes available from our partners at Swing Left. Election Day 2020 is getting closer and closer and now is when we need to begin making sure that Democratic voters show up at the polls! View the event on Facebook here.
- White Identity Politics and the 2020 Election – Wednesday, March 18, 7:00-9:00PM, Edwards Church of Northampton, 297 Main St, Northampton. Join us for a conversation with Dr. Debbie Schildkraut (Tufts University) who will discuss the political consequences of white identity politics and what this means for the upcoming presidential election.
- Take Back Our Democracy Summit – Saturday, March 21, 1:00-3:30PM, Smith Vocational High School, 80 Locust St, Northampton. Join activists from the 413 area to support efforts to Take Back the Senate, dump Trump, and preserve hard-won gains in the US House. We’ll hear about key races, how to plug in to local activities, and we will take action at the Summit. Guest speakers include our incomparable U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, the Political Directors from the Maine and New Hampshire State Democratic Parties, Susan Labandibar (the New England Organizer from Swing Left), and others. This is the time for us to take back our Democracy! Pre-register for the summit here. On-site registration is available, but pre-summit registration is encouraged to help with planning (and light snacks).
- 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.
New Bylaws Adopted (h/t Indivisible Noho for the summary)
By vote of our members, Indivisible MA has adopted a new set of By-laws, changed its name to Indivisible Mass Coalition and will be holding an election for a new board. Over 63% of members participated in the voting, (surpassing the quorum of 60% required to make this change) and the yes vote for the new By-laws was 97% (308 “yes” votes, 9 “no” votes).
All this is, we hope, excellent preparation for mobilizing the largest possible number of Indivisible activists to defeat Trump, flip the Senate, hold the House and take as many state legislatures as possible. The new Coordinating Board, like the out-going Board exists to support and assist local groups to be as effective as possible. Your next vote using OpaVote will be for your Coordinating Board representative from your Congressional District starting on Feb 19th!
The More You Know
What form of Government do we have anyway?
- Is the U.S. a Democracy? A Social Studies Battle Turns on the Nation’s Values
- Is the US a Democracy or a Republic?
- Is America a Democracy or a Republic?
Check This OutThis was an important episode on the Rachel Maddow Show.Experts Warn Democracies Facing Autocracy: Protect Your Institutions | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC