Volume I, Issue 32 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible Lexington October 24, 2017
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
If you are feeling discouraged and overwhelmed, you are not alone. We hear those statements everywhere we go. We have been fighting the good fight and working hard, but the battles just keep coming. What is one to do?
At times like this, one possible resource is to look at the big picture and draw inspiration from ancient philosophies, which were developed over the millennia to deal with all kinds of situations.
Being discouraged often comes from the sense that we want a particular outcome and it doesn’t happen or it doesn’t happen in the time frame that we want. But that is a trap. We don’t control outcomes any more than a farmer controls the weather. But if the farmer doesn’t plant seeds and tend the fields, then certainly the crops are not going to grow. So, we must continue to organize and resist so that we create an environment that gives us our best chance of the outcomes that we want. So, keep planting and keep sowing.
Being overwhelmed comes from thinking there are so many things to do and we can’t get to them all. Should I do this or should I do that? But what about that other thing? Often, we end up reacting to the last item (or tweet) to come our way. But what if we flip it around? Instead of reacting, pick a noble goal, make a plan and stay the course - no matter what chatter comes across the feed. So, don’t react - treat chatter for what it is, a distraction. Instead save your energy so that we can respond in mass when we need to. So, focus, don’t get distracted, and keep your eye on the larger prize.
If this is too much philosophy for you, then just follow Elizabeth Warren’s advice: commit to doing one thing per day, no matter how small. If everyone did that, it would be amazing.
Keep the faith and keep resisting. Rest up when you need to and then come back and join your friends because there is safety in numbers and we are indivisible.
Your Minuteman Indivisible Board
Spotlight on Our Elections Team
The Elections Team is hard at work on the 2018 midterms! We've identified three candidates for Congress who we believe can WIN and take back a seat in the House from the GOP: Regina Bateson in California's 4th district, Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey's 11th district, and Chrissy Houlahan in Pennsylvania's 6th district. Each race has an MI Elections Team Campaign Captain and Research Lead, and we're busy fundraising for each candidate during these early months when building up a war chest is crucial for challengers.
Our next fundraiser, Breakfast with Chrissy, is coming up on Friday morning, from 8 to 10 am at the home of Michelle Olson. Chrissy Houlahan is a compelling candidate in a district that is ready to be flipped blue. She has the endorsements of the DCCC, Emily's List, Swing Left, and Massachusetts's own Seth Moulton. Come meet Chrissy and hear how she plans to bring her passion and knowledge to Washington to fight for affordable health care, public education, jobs, women's health, and the environment. Use this link to RSVP. If you can’t make it but would like to donate to her campaign, you can do so here.
Fundraising at this point in the election cycle is a significant way to have an impact. Our September breakfast event for Mikie Sherrill brought in $5,000, and our summer house party with Regina Bateson, coupled with work by our Research Team on issues important to her district, was a big boost to her campaign.
There are many roles, large and small, to play in the strategy of the Elections Team; join us at our next meeting on November 8th to learn how you can contribute. There has never been a more important time to get involved in the work of elections!
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Stop the Trump Tax Scam!
Last Thursday, the Senate narrowly passed a budget resolution to pave the way for the Trump Tax Scam; the House will likely vote this Thursday to pass the Senate resolution. That officially unlocks the reconciliation process, which requires only 51 votes in the Senate - the same process Republicans tried to use for health care. Because you defeated healthcare, the primary legislative goal of the GOP, Republicans feel a lot of pressure to pass their tax scam. Their millionaire and billionaire donors are begging for it. The fight in Congress over the Trump Tax Scam is happening right now. Once the House acts on the budget resolution, the GOP will get started on the tax bill itself.
Yes, seriously. Republicans are calling tax cuts for the wealthy an “emergency.”
Let's be clear: the Trump Tax Scam is a massive giveaway to the wealthy and corporations, paid for by raising taxes on some middle class families and slashing critical social programs like Medicare and Medicaid. We are all for tax reform but it needs to benefit all citizens - not the top 1% at the expense of the middle class. Every Democrat in Congress voted against the budget resolution. Find out what's planned, see call scripts for both Democrat and Republican MoC, and learn how the proposal will affect each state at Indivisible's Trump Tax Scam website. Call our Senators and thank them for their vote, and tell them to use every tool at their disposal—including withholding consent—to slow down and expose the Trump Tax Scam.
Oppose the Medicare and Medicaid Cuts in Senate Budget
Among the many things wrong with the budget resolution that just passed in the Senate are significant cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. This Republication budget would cut Medicaid by $1 trillion and Medicare by almost $500 billion over the next decade. The Senate passed the measure 51-49 with all the Senate Republicans except Rand Paul (R-KY) voting in favor. Action on the measure now moves back to the House, which may vote to adopt the Senate resolution later this week. Call your MoC in the House today to express your opposition to the healthcare spending cuts included in the 2018 Budget Resolution!
What About Charlie Baker?
We applaud Governor Baker's willingness to go on record that President Trump's comments to Myeshia Johnson were "'Disgraceful and Discouraging and Depressing." But then again, so was his support for Jacob Ventura, the Republican candidate for State Senate who is against women’s rights, gay marriage, and transgender rights. According to recent reports, Washington D.C.-based right wing Republican groups supporting the Trump Administration dumped money into this special election on behalf of Ventura. Paul Feeney prevailed, but let's keep an eye on who Governor Baker supports in the future. You can reach Governor Baker at 617-725-4005 to let him know how you feel about these actions.
Don't Miss Voices on the Green!
On Saturday evening October 28, First Parish Church will be presenting a program entitled “I Protest,” as part of its Voices on the Green series. Our own Michelle Olson will be speaking about the founding of Minuteman Indivisible along with other Lexington residents who will be discussing the 1971 protest against the Viet Nam War on the Lexington Green and the writing of the protest song “Charlie and the MTA.” The evening will include music and refreshments. Doors open at 6:30pm and tickets, which are going fast and expected to sell out, can be purchased using this link. Suggested donations are $10 for general admission and $5 for students. Proceeds from the event will be shared between First Parish Church and Communities for Restorative Justice. Questions about the event can be emailed to this address.
Help Overturn Citizens United!
Our Weekday Warriors team is helping People Govern, Not Money (PGNM) gather signatures for a ballot initiative to help overturn Citizens United and get big money out of politics. This is a short, intense campaign that requires all hands on deck as PGNM needs to collect 90,000 signatures by Nov 22. Jump in and help us in this historic effort. PGNM will be at the Lexington Farmer's Market for the remaining Tuesdays in October and at other nearby locations including the Burlington Mall. Check their home page for an updated schedule of where they plan to collect signatures and sign up to help using this link.
Keep Track of RussiaGate Developments
The Democracy Team is following all the RussiaGate developments. Here are a few of the latest headlines:
Members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team interviewed former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. The interview, which took place at the special counsel’s office in Washington, is a sign that Mueller’s investigation is now reaching into the highest levels of Trump’s aides and former aides.
NBC reported that Paul Manafort’s loans and related business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska were far greater than previously reported - totaling as much $60 million. Manafort’s spokesperson issued a statement saying, in part, “Mr. Manafort is not indebted to former clients today, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.” Later the same day, Manafort’s spokesperson revised the statement to delete that sentence in its entirety.
Thursday, October 26th 6:30-8:30PM Lexington Community Center
Meet with Senator Barrett to discuss three ballot questions - The Fight for $15.00, Paid Leave, and the Mass Fair Share Amendment - and the MA Foundation Budget for education and learn how we can work together on these issues.
Representative Jay Kaufman's "Open House" Thursday, Oct. 26th
Lexington Depot, 13 Depot Square, Lexington Center
Jay's guest, Chuck Collins, author of Born on 3rd Base, will talk about income inequality and the wealth and income divide. You can submit questions in advance by email or via Twitter.
Impeachment, A Citizen's Guide
Thursday, October 26th 7:00PM
Concord Bookshop, 65 Main St., Concord, MA
Thursday, Oct. 26th 7:00-8:30PM
Weston Public Library, 87 School St., Weston, MA
The League of Women Voters of Weston is facilitating a discussion in advance of a Special Town Meeting where Weston voters will consider a citizens’ petition calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to launch an impeachment investigation of Donald Trump to determine whether the president is violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. The program will feature Marguerite M. Dorn, an attorney, law professor, and consultant who is currently a Board member of Free Speech for People, a national nonprofit that “works to renew our democracy and our U.S. Constitution.” She will speak on the importance of giving local citizens their voice on the national scene. Concerned citizens from neighboring towns are encouraged to participate in what promises be a lively, informative, significant, and worthwhile discussion.
Breakfast with Chrissy Houlahan
Friday, Oct. 27th 8:00-10:00AM
The Elections Team is hosting a breakfast for Chrissy Houlahan, a candidate for the US House for PA 6 and one of the candidates the team has selected for our support. Use this link to RSVP.
Voices on the Green
Saturday, Oct 28th 7:00-9:00PM
First Parish Church, 7 Harrington Road, Lexington
First Parish Church will be presenting a program entitled “I Protest,” as part of its Voices on the Green series and our own Michelle Olson will be speaking about the founding of Minuteman Indivisible. The evening will include music and refreshments. Doors open at 6:30pm and tickets can be purchased using this link.
Parks and Water Lobby Day
Thursday, Nov 2nd 10AM-12:00PM
Massachusetts State House
The Environmental League of Massachusetts is organizing a Parks and Water Lobby Day. Meet with state legislators to seek better funding for the agencies that oversee state parks and waterways. If you're interested in participating (or just want to learn more about the issue), see this link.
Healthcare Team Meeting
Thursday, Nov 2nd 7:15-8:45PM
Lexington Community Center, Room TBD
Join us for the next Healthcare meeting! We will be talking about marketing ACA enrollment and the ongoing threats to funding for Medicaid, Medicare, and the ACA subsidies.
One Book, One Bedford
Saturday & Sunday, Nov 4th & 5th 2:00PM Bedford Town Hall Multipurpose Room (Nov. 4th) John Glenn Middle School Auditorium (Nov. 5th)
One Book, One Bedford is hosting several speakers as part of their focus on the MARCH trilogy, an acclaimed set of graphic novels about the life of Representative John Lewis. On Saturday, Nov. 4, the Reverend Irene Monroe will discuss how to bring the issues and events of MARCH into the present day. On Sunday, Nov. 5th, Civil Rights activist and former Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Field Secretary Robert Pariss Moses, will be interviewed about his experiences in the Civil Rights movement, some of which are covered in MARCH, Book Three.
Elections Team Meeting
Wednesday, Nov 8th 7:15-8:45PM
Lexington Community Center, Room TBD.
There are many roles, large and small, to play in the strategy of the Elections Team; join us at this meeting on November 8th to learn how you can contribute
Harvard Conference on Redistricting Reform
Wednesday, Nov 8th All Day
Harvard Law School, Austin Hall, Cambridge, MA
This conference, which is free but requires pre-registration, will focus on gerrymandering, redistricting, and the fight for American democracy. The conference program and a link to register are available here.
Massachusetts Indivisible Conference
Sunday, Nov 12th 9:00AM-5:00PM Worcester State University, Worcester, MA
Register now for this conference for Indivisible members across the state of Massachusetts. This will be a full day event with specialized skills development workshops as well as networking opportunities. There will be a special focus on preparing for the 2018 election cycle, just around the corner. The goal is to make us all more connected and effective in our activism. Check the Conference Website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for the latest updates. Can’t make it to the conference, but want to help support our efforts? You can donate using this GoFundMe page.
Right to Health MA Lobby Day
Tuesday, Nov 14th 10:00AM-12:00PM
Massachusetts State House
Join hundreds of single-payer supporters from across Massachusetts at the State House for the Right to Health MA Lobby Day, a day of education, demonstration, and legislative advocacy. The day will include informative sessions on the concept of single-payer healthcare, as well as specifics on current legislation. Attendees will also have a chance to meet with their elected officials one-on-one or in small groups.
MI Book Club Meeting
Tuesday, November 14th 7:15-8:45PM Lexington Community Center, Room 242
Join us as we continue discussing Dark Money by Jane Mayer and The Third Reconstruction by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber. You can use this form to RSVP or to indicate books you’d like to see us discuss in the future.
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
Send Us Your Photos and Follow Us on Social Media
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We the peopleof Minuteman Indivisible unite to uphold the rights and dignity of all people. Our mission is to exercise and defend our Constitutional rights and democratic institutions. Our principles are informed by our humanitarian values and respect for well-established scientific knowledge and governance expertise.