Press Release: Monday, April 16, 2018

Mass Action Newsletter

Editor's Note
The information is organized to make it easy to scan and pick up on the issues, actions, and events of interest to you.
  • If you want pithy action items, see these sections with ACTIONS in the title.
    - Quick MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
    NATIONAL and OUT of STATE ACTIONS
  • Looking to connect in person? See the MA EVENTS CALENDAR.
  • See NEWS FROM the BERKSHIRES to BOSTON for local success stories and deep dives into issues.
Use this information any way you'd like: forward the whole thing to other folks, or include some items in your own group newsletter.
FEATURE ARTICLE
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SPOTLIGHT ON GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION

We are grateful to Devesh Pathak, LHS Sophomore and Co-founder of Lexington Says Enough, for providing us with this terrific summary of Sunday's Gun Violence Prevention Forum in Lexington

Hundreds of concerned citizens came out on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Temple Emunah Lexington to participate in the Forum for Gun Violence Prevention. The forum was organized and sponsored by Follen Church Gun Violence Prevention Group along with the student led community group Lexington Says Enough. Rev. Claire Feingold Thoryn from Follen Church moderated the forum. MA Attorney General Maura Healy, Chaplain Clementina Chéry, President of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and young activists My'kel McMilen of Mack’s Soles and LHS Sophomore Emily Weinberg were panelists.

Chaplain Clementina Chéry kicked off the forum highlighting the valuable work of Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in healing and rehabilitating families impacted by murder, trauma, grief and loss. It was eye opening since we almost always hear about a shooting but most of the time the conversation ends. She spoke about the importance of breaking the cycle of violence by engaging families who are impacted by murder on both sides. She encouraged the community to engage in conversation with compassion and without being judgmental.

My'kel McMilen shared a moving personal story of his friends John Silva and Thomas Web -- one killed by gun violence and the other so impacted by violence that he felt the need to get a gun for protection. He shared his insight into how unfortunate circumstances lead young individuals to feel the need to own and eventually use a gun. It is very easy to judge these youth, but in reality until we improve conditions for inner city youth and children, the cycle of violence will continue. My'kel is a founder of Mack’s shoes. The organization collects clean wearable footwear and gently-worn clothing to redistribute them to impoverished youth and adult individuals as well as families who are homeless or in dire need.
AG Maura Healy spoke about existing gun safety laws. She also discussed last week's Federal Court decision upholding the Assault Weapons Ban affirming the right of the people of Massachusetts to protect themselves from these weapons of war. She spoke about her office’s efforts to enforce the law and the need to have a holistic approach towards gun related violence prevention in our communities. She also encouraged communities to have tough conversations and bridge gaps with folks who have differing opinions on issues/policies where both sides have strong feelings.  
Emily Weinberg spoke about her experience as an activist and her passion to make schools safer for children. Students from Lexington Says Enough representing LHS, Diamond and Clarke had opportunities to ask thought provoking questions along with the audience.

It was evident that gun violence prevention is both a social justice issue and public health problem. Many topics were touched upon including requiring universal background checks, banning some semi-automatic weapons and large-capacity magazines, instituting "red flag" laws, introducing/expanding restorative justice programs, providing social-emotional learning in all grades K-12, and identifying/addressing community stressors that contribute to violence, etc. 
Temple Emunah was jam-packed with members of the Lexington community and it was heartening to witness the community come together to participate in this important conversation. Thanks to Ann Grady, Chair of the Follen Church Gun Violence Group who has been working for about a year to bring this event together. Thank you to all the members of Community Coalition who volunteered and made this event a success.
 
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!

Call your MoC and tell them to do everything in their power to rein in Trump’s Syrian escalation. 
Urge the Administration to lead with diplomacy to help the people of Syria. You can view the national Indivisible resource, and call script, here.


Voice your objection to having a torturer lead the CIA
To replace Pompeo at the CIA, Trump has nominated Gina Haspel, a war criminal who personally helped torture detainees in a secret CIA-run prison in Thailand during the Bush Administration. Alberto Mora, former chief counsel of the Navy in the Bush administration, argues that there’s nothing else senators need to know to make their decisionHaspel is a torturer and is therefore unfit to lead the CIA. Her committee hearings, and a Senate vote, will likely come after Pompeo’s. But it’s never too early to read our resource and use our call script to let your MoCs know you don’t want a torturer to run the CIA.
Continue to Oppose Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State
Tell your Senators to oppose the nomination of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State by voting no on his confirmation. Pompeo would help Trump take us closer to war with Iran as well as possibly making our relations with North Korea worse.  He doesn’t believe in climate change, supports torture and is Islamaphobic.  For all those reasons and more, call your Senators using Indivisible's link.

Submitted by Kristan Smith-Park, Indivisible Acton
Support Housing Equity in the Boston Area
Consider donating to Black Lives Matter Boston's Campaign 21, which supports families who are fighting for housing equity in the Boston area.  BLM Boston currently has requests from 7 families with children who need immediate assistance in accessing permanent, sustainable housing.

Submitted by Kristan Smith,-Park Indivisible Acton
Protect the Integrity of the Census
Ask your senators to block the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census by clicking on 5calls website.  You’ll help prevent dramatic negative effects on the drawing of political districts, allotment of congressional representatives, and fair distribution of federal funds for education and social services.

Submitted by Kristan Smith-Park, Indivisible Acton
Support the Student Non-Discrimination Act
Call or email your Members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor the Student Non-Discrimination Act. It prohibits discrimination against students in grades K-12 because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Since no federal law protects LBGTQ youth and they are at greater risk of suicide, this legislation would help make a positive difference in our schools.

Submitted by Kristan Park-Smith, Indivisible Acton
Ask Your Rep to Vote Yes for Clean Diesel
S1447, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, has passed in the Senate and now awaits a House vote. This would allocate funds to extend the successful Clean Diesel program of the EPA which has been subsidizing the swap of high-emission diesel engines, like those typically found on school buses, with modern, low-emission engines.  Please ask your House rep to vote YES on S1447/HR3107.

Submitted by Kristan Smith-Park, Indivisible Acton
Act on Mondays to Support Mass Power Forward Priorities
Contact your Reps and the House Speaker every Monday to keep the pressure on the 5 Mass Power Forward priorities.
  1. Contact Senate President Harriette Chandler and ask her to bring the Senate’s Omnibus bill (S.2302), An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future (with gas leaks consumer protection in it) to the Senate Floor for a vote. 
  2. Since the House isn’t ready to address the Senate bill yet, it may be most productive to lobby our Reps to ask Golden’s Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy (TUE) to favorably report on Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Solar, while also telling them we want to revive the Department of Public Utilities Reform that was “sent to study” but is in the Omnibus along with our other bills. Find your legislator here
  3. Please sign on to this letter​ to support the Environmental Justice Act.  When you click on the letter, you will be able to read more on the subject.

Submitted by Catherine Loeb and Kristan Smith-Park, Indivisible Acton
 
MA EVENTS CALENDAR
EC6: Social Justice & Activism Conference, April 21
Essex County 6 Indivisible Social Justice & Activism Conf Info
Day
    April 21
Time   9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Place   Salem, MA
Find out what’s happening in the grassroots movement for social, economic, racial, and environmental justice in our North Shore communities. Let’s talk strategies for building a powerful movement for change with our neighbors. Get information, make connections, and be inspired! *EC6 is a co-sponsor of this conference* and will be hosting a workshop. The conference is Saturday, April 21, in Salem, MA, from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Three Forums With CD-3 Candidates
The 13 candidates for congressional district 3 (CD-3) will meet for an open debate and question period at Fitchburg State University. Candidates will be asked to focus on domestic issues, including the economy, immigration, education and national security.

This debate is organized by The Sun of Lowell, Sentinel & Enterprise of Fitchburg and Nashoba Valley Voice, in partnership with Fitchburg State University and Nashoba Valley

The public is enthusiastically encouraged to attend.
Day     Wednesday, May 9
Time   5:00 PM
Place   Fitchburg State University 160 Pearl Street, Fitchburg

Two other debates with CD-3 candidates are scheduled, with the public invited to attend.

Day      Sunday, April 29
Place   UMass Lowell's Durgin Hall, 35 Wilder Street, Lowell

In June, the focus will be on foreign affairs, including trade, treaties and military defense.

Day      Tuesday, June 5
Time    10:00 AM
Place    Devens Commerce Center (33 Andrews Pkwy, Ste 207, Devens, MA).

Submitted by Margaret Scarsdale
Join a Great Big Canvass For a State Senate Candidate
Please join us in Natick for a Great Big Canvass for Becca Rausch for MA State Senate - Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex.

We've set an ambitious goal for number of doors to knock on, and welcome volunteers of all ages (kids too!) to help us get the word out about Becca's campaign. No experience required - we'll provide training and snacks.

RSVP at bit.ly/GreatBigCanvass. Thanks, and hope to see you there!

Day     Sunday, April 15
Time   1:00  PM- 4:30 PM
Place   Natick
 
Submitted by Becca Rausch
Volunteer With the Environmental Voter Project This Earth Day
We are celebrating Earth Day at the Environmental Voter Project this year by taking action! Please join us on April 19 as we gather in full force to text, call, and knock on the doors of environmental voters in the Boston area and across the country.

This is a great opportunity to get involved, meet new people, enjoy some food, and make an important impact this Earth Week.

Sign up here to volunteer with EVP this Earth Day!

Day    Thursday, April 19
Time  2:00 to 5:00 pm. There are two shifts: 12:00 to 2:30 pm and 2:30 to 5:00 pm.
Place  Meet at the Environmental Voter Projectr office located at 55 Court Street, Suite 520,  just off of the Government Center T stop.

Submitted by Catherine Loeb, Indivisible Acton
Billionaires Are Stealing Our Democracy
A discussion of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer, co-sponsored by Progressive Watertown and the Watertown Public Library, featuring these panelists:
  • Joan Vennochi, Associate Editor and Columnist of the Boston Globe
  • Dr. Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer of Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government
  • Prof. Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University
Day     Sunday, April 22
Time   2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Place  Watertown Public Library 123 Main St., Watertown 

Submitted by Lisa Baci, Minuteman Indivisible
Meet the Candidates for Lt. Governor and Secretary of State
Meet Quentin Palfrey and Jimmy Tingle (candidates for Lt Gov) as well as Bill Galvin and Josh Zakim (candidates for Sec of State).

Make an evening of it: you can head over to this event after attending the fundraiser in Brookline for Brendan Kelly (IL-12).

Day     Monday, April 23
Time    7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Place   Brookline Town Hall, 333 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Third District Congressional Candidate Forum
Joint candidate forum with Indivisible Westford and the Littleton Democratic Town Committee.  

Each candidate will have 20-25 minutes, scheduled between 1:30- 3, to speak and answer questions.
  • 1-1:30pm General announcements for the group
  • 1:30-1:55- Dan Koh, speech and Q & A
  • 2:00-2:25- Barbara L’Italian speech and Q & A
  • 2:30-2:55- Bopha Malone, speech and Q & A
Day          Saturday, April 28
Time        1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Place       Ruben Hoar Library, 41 Shattuck St, Littleton
                Meeting room in the rear of the building

Submitted by Beth Morrison, Indivisible Westford, Progressive MA Chapter
Meet Brendan Kelly, Running in IL-2
Participate in a fundraising event to support flipping a House district for Brendan Kelly (IL-12) from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. This district is in that “sweet spot” for support—it is neither a long shot nor one of a handful of races that are virtual sure things.
Brendan was born in the 12th and is currently the State’s Attorney in St. Claire County. The IL12 has historically been a democratic district, but narrowly went for Republican Mike Bost in 2014 and 2016. Brendan, a Navy Vet, is a good match for his opponent, Bost, who is a Marine Vet.

$100 (suggested to attend, but give what you can) RSVP: tom.hallock2@gmail.com.

Organized by Brookline DTC and Force Multiplier.

Make an evening of it: after the fundraiser, head over to the Brookline Town Hall for a candidate forum with candidates for MA Secretary of State and Lt. Governor.

Day    Monday, April 23
Time   5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Place  Home of Marc Foster & Andrea Roberts, 122 Naples Rd, Brookline

Submitted by Monica Burke, Indivisible Acton
Have Breakfast With Elissa Slotkin, Running in MI-8
Elissa Slotkin is running against Republican Mike Bishop in Michigan’s 8th congressional district. Many believe that Elissa has the skills and experience to flip this Republican-leaning district. As a veteran, she has been endorsed by Congressman Seth Moulton, and by the DCCC who made her one of their first choices in their “Red to Blue” campaign.
Sign up to have breakfast with Elissa on April 24 or to make a contribution at any level.

Elissa is a third-generation Michigander who, after growing up on her family's farm, chose a career in public service. Until January 2017 she served as Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, where she oversaw policy at the Pentagon on Russia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She served three tours in Iraq, where she met her husband Dave, an Apache helicopter pilot.

You will want to meet this candidate! Join us on April 24. You can donate to her campaign here.

Day      Tuesday, April 24
Time    8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Place    49 Oliver Street, Watertown

Submitted by Susan Labandibar, Indivisible Somerville
Learn About Carbon Pollution Pricing
Join Marc Breslow of ClimateXChange and leading author of Massachusetts State Clean Energy Plan for a discussion on CARBON POLLUTION PRICING -- Climate Change and our Economy. 

Carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels, which is the primary cause of climate change, is the greatest environmental and economic threat facing the planet. Adding a pollution charge to fossil fuel prices is the most cost-effective way to cut carbon pollution and strengthen our economy. Such a charge would give energy producers and consumers a strong incentive to shift from fossil fuels to clean energy while having the freedom to decide how to do so.

Marc Breslow will be available for a Q&A following his presentation, during which he will answer any questions about carbon pricing or how to approach your legislator. For more information visit: www.Climate-XChange.org

Sponsored by:  No Canton Gas Pipeline; Toward an Equitable Sustainable Future, and Canton Indivisible

Day      Tuesday, May 1
Time    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place    Unitarian Church;  1508 Washington St. Canton

Submitted by Denise Falbo, Indivisible Canton

NEWS FROM the BERKSHIRES to BOSTON

Links to Local Newsletters From Around MA
Indivisible-Acton Weekly Newsletter 4/10/2018
April 8 - This week's news @ Indivisible Andover