Volume 2, Issue 16 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible April 17, 2018
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
This week's Muster highlights the possible threats to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Investigation and describes what to do if Trump fires Mueller or takes other steps to impede the investigation - both the Spotlight and Recommended Reading sections focus on these issues as does the first action in the Morning Coffee Action section. Treat this threat like a Nor'Easter and BE PREPARED!
This Muster also contains a diverse selection of other actions from helping to protect affordable healthcare or support climate legislation to phonebanking for candidates or registering voters. There continue to be lots of interesting events to attend including a discussion on Dark Money with an impressive panel of speakers next Sunday and climate change and candidate forums this week and next. There are so many opportunities to meet or support out-of-state candidates that we've created a new section for this type of event.
Rain forced the cancellation of our planned march in Lexington's Patriots' Day parade, but as you can see from the MI Happenings section, our members were busy with lots of other activities this past week.
Hope to see you at one of our team meetings or events this month!
Your Devoted Muster Editors
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Sign Up Now for the Mueller Rapid Response Rallies!
Trump called last week's FBI raid on the office of his attorney, Michael Cohen “an attack on our country,” increasing the likelihood that he might try to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller or take other steps to impede his investigation such as firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees the investigation. Use this link to sign up for one of the Mueller Rapid Response rallies that will take place all over the country within 24 hours if Trump fires Mueller or Rosenstein or takes other steps that interfere with the investigation, then see the Spotlight section in this issue and the “This Week’s Actions” page on our website for other many other important things you can do to protect Mueller's investigation.
Oppose Expansion of Short Term Health Insurance Policies
ACA mandates will be removed effective January 1 2019. As part of ACA sabotage, the Trump administration is proposing changes to short term health insurance policy rules, that will increase the 3-month limit to up to a year. The expanded policies would likely attract more enrollees who cannot afford full term policies. The rise in short term enrollees will increase premiums in individual full-term markets, expose consumers to coverage gaps, and undermine market reform to comprehensive coverage. Please submit comments to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services by April 23rd to oppose the changes. You can find suggested comments here.
Phonebank for Dr. Hiral Tiperneni Dr. Hiral Tiperneni is running in a special House election in Arizona's 8th district on April 24th. She really needs a calvary to swing in like we did for Conor Lamb so she can win! Please consider phone banking for Hiral using this link; these phone banks are run by National Voter Corps and the NAACP.
The majority of this district votes by mail, and most voters have received their ballots. Arizona has specific voter ID requirements for in-person voting. Our calls can help voters navigate their options and remind them to vote by April 24th.
Sign Up to Register Voters
Our members have been volunteering with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) to register new American citizens just after they are sworn in. Interested in joining us? You can see what's involved on MIRA's website, then sign up for specific days using this link. Volunteers are typically needed for an hour or so on Thursday afternoons in Boston and a coordinator is at every event to answer any questions and provide brief training on the day of the event. Next week's event is already full, but there are many more events scheduled from May through September.
Get State Climate Legislation Brought Up For A Vote
Mass Power Forward is a strong coalition of dozens of environmental groups that is trying to get the Senate Omnibus Climate Bill (S.2302) and other environmental legislation passed in Massachusetts. Please call your state senators and ask them to urge Senate President Chandler to bring S.3203 up for a vote. See this fact sheet for more information on the many issues the bill covers, including provisions on climate policy, renewable energy, and transportation.
Since the House isn’t ready to address the Senate bill yet, please ask your state representatives to encourage Rep. Golden, Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, to report favorably on Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Solar and revive the Department of Public Utilities Reform that was “sent to study” but is included in the Senate Omnibus bill.
Mass Power Forward is encouraging constituents to call on Mondays for greater effect, but calls are welcome anytime! See this link for a sample call script.
Give Prrrs and Grrrs to Governor Baker
Prrrs to Governor Baker for signing the criminal justice bill - thank him for helping to improve the criminal justice system by eliminating mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses, keeping younger children from facing criminal sanctions, and requiring statewide collection and posting of arrest data.
But please also let him know that his recent defense of Vertex Pharmaceuticals' prices for new drugs is concerning. Defending Vertex for charging up to $300,000 a year for its cystic fibrosis treatment after he and his running mate recently received $7500 in donations from them can appear to be a conflict. Everyone, including Governor Baker, should be trying to make life saving drugs more affordable.
Protect the Integrity of the Census
The Department of Commerce recently decided to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census, prompting public outcry from many officials (including our Senators, MoCs, and MA Secretary of State Galvin). MA Attorney General Maura Healey has joined many other states in a lawsuit and several Senators, including Senator Markey, have co-sponsored a new bill (S.2580) to block the change and ensure an accurate census count. Please thank these officials for speaking out and taking action. You can also call the Department of Commerce, Office of Public Affairs at 202-482-4883 to express your opposition to including this question in the census. See the Recommended Reading section below for links to several articles on this issue.
SPOTLIGHT ON PROTECTING MUELLER's INVESTIGATION
When it comes to Mueller, let's be Girl (or Boy) Scouts - Be Prepared!
If President Trump fires Mueller (or crosses other red lines), it represents a constitutional crisis and we all must be prepared to mobilize. Luckily, Indivisible and other organizations have joined together and given us a path to follow. We urge all members to be ready to act if the event happens – don’t wait for the crisis to happen – prepare NOW!
3. Know the red lines that trigger national action
Right now, these are the red lines, which if crossed, could trigger the call for national actions, communicated by national partners to hosts:
Pardons of key witnesses
Actions that would prevent the investigation from being conducted freely, such as replacing Mueller’s current supervisor, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, or repealing the regulations establishing the office.
Sign up for the Mueller rapid response, protests that will be held if Mueller is fired or other red flags are crossed; events are planned all over the state – just pick one and get your sign ready. Since we don't know if or when this might happen, the way the protests will work is as follows: if Mueller or Rosenstein is fired before 2pm, organized protests will begin at 5pm local time. If either of them is fired after 2pm, organized protests will begin the following day at noon. Signing up for an event is one of the best ways to ensure that you get detailed updates should Trump cross any of the red lines described above,
Signup to receive alerts from Indivisible: text LINE to 97779
Read the Indivisible explainer and/or watch their recorded videoto understand their suggested requests for MoCs such as “Hold Up, Vote Down,” Obstruction of Justice Hearings, reminders of MoC’s Oath of Office, and support for the Mueller protection bills (S.2644, H.R.3654).
Sign Elizabeth Warren’s petition calling on Congress to take action to protect Mueller's investigation.(
What to Do if Mueller is Fired or Other Red Lines are Crossed
Head to the streets! – attend a protest!
Flood your MoCs offices with calls and visits. Demand that your Senators “Hold Up, Vote Down,” and urge your Representative to publicly commit to obstruction of justice hearings; tell all your MoCs that you want them to pass legislation to protect Mueller (S.2644 and H.R.3654), and remind them of their oath of office to “Defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
Keep an eye on texts/emails from Indivisible for updated information
PhoneBanking and Postcarding for PA-06 and NJ-11
Are you excited about Nov 6, 2018 yet? We all want to help turn the House blue and last week, we put our words into action at a party to phone bank and write postcards for Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) and Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11). In addition to helping our selected candidates, we made some new friends and enjoyed a night out with dessert and drinks.
If you weren't able to make last week's party, save the date of Sunday, April 29, for an afternoon phonebank/postcard party at WeWork in Central Square, Cambridge. Feel free to join for the full 2 hours or any other amount of time you are available.
Resisting with the AARP
Some MI members attended the AARP Volunteer Engagement Meeting on April 11th to learn about AARP's legislative priorities and their approach to advocacy and hear Governor Baker speak. AARP's federal priorities include healthcare (Medicare, Medicaid, affordable healthcare/age tax, and budget issues that affect their members). Their state priorities here in MA include healthcare (Family Caregiver Tax Credit, H.3911), financial security (Removing Fees for Credit Freezes, H.4241 & S.2304), and annual budget issues that affect their members. While AARP is non-partisan and doesn't endorse candidates or make campaign contributions, it does educate its members about issues and encourage them to lobby their elected officials via visits, letters, phone calls, and social media. AARP MA has begun holding bi-monthly advocacy coffee hours at the State House and MI plans to attend and explore opportunities to work together with AARP on shared priority items.
Sending Postcards to Voters
At last week's team meeting, our Weekday Warriors sent postcards to voters in support of Helen Tai, who's running in a special election for a seat in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives. Each month, Laura, the team co-leader, designs these beautiful original postcards for us to send to candidates! While writing postcards, the group also discussed key bills pending in the state legislature, ballot questions, and upcoming events.
What Happens if Trump Fires Mueller or Rosenstein?
Newspapers and other media outlets have been examining what might happen next if Trump fires Mueller or Rosenstein. Some Republicans, inside and outside of Congress, have also become more vocal about the need to support Mueller's investigation. Here's a small sampling of recent articles:
Climate Change: An Earth Day Opportunity Thursday, April 19th 7:00-8:00 PM
13 Depot Square, Lexington
Join Rep. Jay Kaufman for his Open House series with speakers Jack Clarke, Director of Public Policy & Government Relations at the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and Abbie Goodman, Executive Director of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA). As always, the forum will take its shape largely from questions from the audience. Questions can also be submitted in advance by email to email@example.com, or tweet your questions to @repjaykaufman.
Billionaires are Stealing Our Democracy Sunday, April 22th 2:00-4:00 PM
Watertown Public Library, 123 Main St., Watertown
This panel discussion of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer features panelists Joan Vennochi, Associate Editor and columnist at the Boston Globe; Dr. Marshall Ganz, Senior Lecturer of Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government; and Prof. Theda Skocpol, Professor of Government and Sociology at Harvard University. See this link for more details.
Gubernatorial Forum on Energy and the Environment Monday, April 23rd 5:00-7:00 PM
Suffolk University, Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont St., Boston
Hear the candidates discuss their ideas and positions on the critical environmental issues we face at this forum organized by the Environmental League of Massachusetts. Democratic candidates Jay Gonzalez, Bob Massie, and Setti Warren have confirmed and Governor Baker has been invited but is unable to attend. Free, but please use this link to RSVP.
Elections Team Meeting Wednesday, April 25th 7:15-8:45 PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 242
Join the Elections team for updates on our work in PA-06, NJ-11, and KY-06 and a discussion about which campaign(s) we should consider supporting. Do you have a favorite House race out there that you'd like to see us throw our muscle behind? Put together your 2-minute "elevator speech" in favor of that race and come to the meeting ready to pitch it! One fun way to research our choices is to use this nifty NYTimes interactive graph. We welcome new team members.
Democracy Team Meeting Thursday, April 26th 7:00-8:45 PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 245
Come hear about Democracy Team activities and strategy on voter registration (including AVR), immigrant rights, conflict of interest issues, and What About Charlie Baker. Learn what actions you can take to affect change and how you can help the team achieve its goals. New members welcome.
Phonebanking and Postcarding for PA-06 and NJ-11 Sunday, April 29th 4:00-6:00 PM
WeWork, 625 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
What better way to help turn the House blue than to attend this phone bank and postcard party for our selected candidates in PA-06 and NJ-11. Bring a computer, phone and a pen and feel free to join for the full 2 hours or any other amount of time you are available.
Climate & Environment Team Meeting Monday, April 30th 7:15-8:45 PM
Lexington Community Center
Join the Climate & Environment Team as we review the past month's activities and make future plans. New members welcome!
LOCAL FUNDRAISERS FOR OUT-OF-STATE CANDIDATES
We know the number of requests for financial support can feel overwhelming, but if you're inclined to offer support and would like to meet or learn more about promising candidates, check out these upcoming parties and events in our area
Fundraiser for Brendan Kelly (IL-12) Monday, April 23rd 5:30-7:30 PM
Private Residence in Brookline (Address provided in RSVP)
Our Force Multiplier and Swing Left friends in Brookline invite all MI members to meet Brendan Kelly, the Democratic primary winner in Illinois' 12th district. Our own Congresswoman Katherine Clark will be in attendance to help raise support for Brendan, who has a fighting chance of turning this district from Red to Blue, but only with the support of small dollar donors like us. RSVP using this link.
Fundraiser for Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) Tuesday, April 24th 8:30-10:00 AM
Private Home, Watertown (Address provided when donating)
Indivisible MA 5 and Force Multiplier are hosting this fundraiser for candidate Elissa Slotkin who 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 here to have breakfast with Elissa on April 24th or to make a contribution at any level.
Knit to Flip a State Legislative Race in PA or Send Postcards to Voters in Ohio Thursday, April 26th 7:00-8:45 PM
40 Moon Hill Road, Lexington
Come together with other knitters and needle-crafters to help raise money for Melissa Shusterman, who’s running for a legislative seat in PA-157. For people who don’t want to knit, there will be postcards available to write to young voters in Ohio who are at risk of being purged from the voter rolls. Get more details and RSVP using this link.
Fundraiser for Regina Bateson (CA-04) Friday, April 27th 5:30-7:30 PM
Private Residence in Cambridge (Address provided with RSVP)
While the Elections Team is no longer formally supporting Regina Bateson's campaign in CA-04, many of us still think she's a great candidate. We encourage you to consider supporting her on your own, and here's a great way to do just that. Meet Regina at a house party in Cambridge on Friday, April 27, 5:30-7:30pm. RSVP via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the address for the party and donate using this link.
Learn More about MI Teams
Are you new to Minuteman Indivisible? While it is not required, one of the best ways to get involved is to join one or more of our teams! (See our website for more information on the teams.) If you'd like to contact one of our team leaders, their contact emails are below. (Although many teams have more than one team leader, for simplicity's sake, we list just one contact point.)
If you haven't had a chance to sign up for a team and would like to get more involved, just fill out this form: TEAM SIGN-UPS
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We know our members are working hard on a wide variety of issues and spending time at town halls, protests, MI working meetings, and other events. We'd love to feature your photos in our newsletter, on our website, and on social media - just email them to email@example.com.
We the peopleof Minuteman Indivisible are a team of concerned citizens living in the greater Lexington, Massachusetts area, home of the American Revolution. Our mission is to advocate for the rights and dignity of all people, informed by science and humanitarian principles. We are networked with many Indivisible groups throughout Massachusetts and the nation to build a strong and effective resistance movement against racism, authoritarianism, and corruption, and to promote a vigorous democratic process.