Hello fellow RUWMI activists!

Sometimes writing these introductions is hard, because as I admit to the things that are on my mind, I worry that I am the only one who feels the way I do!  This week is one of those times, but since I always try to keep it real, here goes…

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I am still an undecided voter.  This wouldn’t be a problem if we lived in a state that where the primary was later in the season and I had more time to decide.  But here in MA we vote on SuperTuesday (March 3). Even more difficult is the fact that I will be away then, so I have vote even sooner! I have my absentee ballot. It’s been sitting on my coffee table, mocking me since the end of January; I just don’t know what to write in it!  I vacillate between two candidates and I’m running out of opportunities gather info with which to make my decision. At least I’m not as undecided as these folks in this video!

RUWMI Announcements

Just a note to let you know that your newsletter editor will be away for the next couple of weeks.  The newsletter will be in very capable hands so your inboxes will not be empty! Please note however that if you contact RUWMI during this time, there may be a delay in us getting back to you. 

Action Items

  • RUWMOneSmallThing – We can all help get more people to the polls by reaching out to friends (in person and on social media) and asking if they are planning to vote.  Then ask if they know their voting location. This is especially important for people newly registered or those in new locations (like college students). This week’s #RUWMOneSmallThing, one small thing you can do to make a difference is to share this resource so friends in any state can easily looking up their polling locations.  
  • Vote Early – Did you know that you can vote before Super Tuesday in MA?  Early voting starts today (Feb 25). You can vote early at any early voting location in your community, by mail, or at your polling place on Election Day. When early voting in person at an early voting location for your municipality, the election officials will check you in, similar to the process used on Election Day. After voting, you will enclose your ballot into an envelope to be counted on Election Day. Get details here.
  • Vote for UltraViolet to win a grant – (h/t UltraViolet).  UltraViolet is up for a major grant from CREDO, and they need your vote to help them continue their work in 2020. This grant–of up to $150,000–would go a long way toward making sure they have the resources needed in 2020 to keep fighting for feminist cultural and political changes. Can you take a minute now to vote for UltraViolet?
  • Demand your Representative defund Attorney General Bill Barr. – (h/t Indivisible).  The Department of Justice is not a private law firm. The Attorney General is not the president’s personal lawyer. Yet Bill Barr is exploiting his position to run favors for the president. Call your representative, Democrat or Republican, and demand that Congress investigate Bill Barr, and defund his office until he recuses himself from any Trump-related investigations or prosecutions. Use this link for scripts and specific asks for both Senators and Representatives.
  • Respond To Immigration Raids in MA – (h/t Rogan’s List) The Trump administration is cracking down on municipalities with sanctuary policies protecting immigrants. Boston is among them.  A rapid-response hotline, 617-863-7783, has been set up for reporting raids. If we are in the Greater Boston area, let’s put the number in our cell phones in case we ever have to use it.  
  • 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 riseupwesternmass@gmail.com and we will connect you with the campaign. 

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)
    • 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.
  • City of Chicopee 2020 U.S. Census Kick-off Event – Wednesday, February 26, 5:30-7:30PM, Community Room, Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front Street, Chicopee. This event is designed to generate awareness about the 2020 Census and encourage residents to participate in it. Along with informative remarks, the event will include a question-and-answer period.  Light refreshments will be offered. Read more here.
  • WMYD February Meeting – Wednesday, February 26, 6:00-7:00PM, Springfield City Library Central Library, 220 State St, Springfield. Monthly Meeting of the Western Mass Young Dems. Please join us! Our meeting will be located downstairs in the Computer Lab. View the event on Facebook here.
  • Repro Rights & Justice Stories: From Roe v. Wade to Young v. UPS – Thursday, February 27, 4:00-6:00PM, Bernie Dallas Room, Goodell Hall, UMass Amherst, 140 Hicks Way. Amherst. Attacks on reproductive rights and justice are in the news daily—from the rollback of abortion rights and contraception access to the separation of children from their parents at the border. Come hear renowned legal scholars discuss the movement and litigation stories behind important reproductive rights and justice cases and what we can learn from them in this current political moment. Panelists will discuss their recently released book Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories and topics ranging from coerced sterilization, abortion, and pregnancy discrimination. View the 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.
  • Winter Fare: Climate Focus – Saturday, February 29, 10:00AM-2:00PM, Winter Farmers Market at the Hampshire Mall, 367 Russell St., Hadley. Join the Center for Eco Technology, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the Red Brigade and Extinction Rebellion Western Mass, and other area climate groups, as we focus this year’s Winter Fare on our ever-changing climate.   The seeds of change are sown, commit to helping them grow! View details on Facebook here.
  • Public Higher Ed Advocacy Day 2020 (Boston) – Monday, March 2, 10:00AM-3:00PM, Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St, Boston. It’s time to Fund Our Future and build a Debt Free Future for every student and family in Massachusetts! Join students, people with student debt, staff, faculty, and community activists for Public Higher Education Advocacy Day 2020 at the Massachusetts State House. Please RSVP here
  • RUWMI Freedom Writers – Monthly ActionSaturday, 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. View the event on Facebook here.
  • 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).  
  • Resisting White Supremacy: A Talk By Lecia Brooks (SPLC) – Wednesday, March 25, 7:00-9:00PM, Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley Street, Northampton. Lecia Brooks is the chief workplace transformation officer for the SPLC. She has a wealth of experience in diversity advocacy training for corporations and nonprofit organizations and has a degree in political science from Loyola Marymount University. Ms. Brooks’ talk will focus on the rise of antisemitism and racism in the United States. She will suggest actions to strengthen alliances among diverse communities to stand together against hate. View event details 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: news@indivisible-ma.org.

Indivisible National

D.C. Statehood Now 

D.C.’s population of more than 702,000 people—larger than both Wyoming & Vermont—does not have full representation on Capitol Hill, despite paying federal taxes. It’s time to change that. Part of protecting our democracy means equal representation. 

Watch this video to learn more.

The More You Know

 Should caucuses be a thing of the past?

Check This OutLetters from an American – We post Heather Cox Richardson’s amazing daily updates on our Facebook page from time to time.  Now you can get them direct to your inbox as a daily newsletter. Sign up here.

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