We the People of 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. We invite you to join us, all newcomers are welcome.
ACT to Change Gun Safety Laws
As we drink our morning coffee, while the kids are at school, let’s do something to make them and us safer. What can you do between sips?
• Join Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action (you can join the local group at its new members meeting on March 12 - see the Upcoming Events section for details). To be included on any calls for action, text ACT to 64433
• Support the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bills (H3610 & H3081) currently stuck in committee in the MA Legislature. Ask your state legislators to support these bills and to urge leadership to bring them to a vote. You can also sign this digital petition.
• Survivors from the Parkland shooting are organizing #MarchforOurLives in Washington, DC and across the country on March 24th. See their website for more information and links to their social media feeds.
• Finally, nothing will significantly change until we change Congress by kicking out members that are supported by the NRA and bringing in ones that will vote for sensible gun laws. Email our Elections teamto learn how you can help #FlipTheHouse!
Keep fighting for common-sense gun laws until there are results and please spread the word to your family and friends.
Go HERE for actions for this week!
Co-sponsoring A Conversation About The Immigrant Experience
Please join us this coming Sunday, February 25th, at Temple Isaiah in Lexington for a community-wide conversation about the immigrant experience. Minuteman Indivisible is proud to co-sponsor this event, which is being organized by Lexington People Power. They are presenting a warrant article at the Lexington Town Meeting this spring that proposes to make Lexington a more welcoming, inclusive and safe community for immigrants, regardless of immigration status. This meeting provides the community with a chance to hear different sides of this issue and engage in conversation with friends and neighbors prior to Town Meeting. There will be a panel of speakers, including State Senator Jamie Eldridge and Laura Rotolo, Staff Counsel at the MA ACLU, followed by opportunities for questions and group discussion. See the Upcoming Events section for more details.
Standing Up Against Gun Violence and for Access to Mental Healthcare
On Saturday, Minuteman Indivisible members joined approximately 200 other concerned citizens in Lexington Center to stand up against gun violence and for access to mental health care. Attendees heard from speakers including Congresswoman Katherine Clark, State Senator Cindy Friedman, and a representative from the local chapter of Moms Demand Action, and signed a petition that will be sent to our elected officials. The rally was covered by several media outlets including the local Colonial Times and the Boston Herald, whose article included a quote from our own board member, Steve Boxer.
Sending Postcards to Voters and Valentines to our MoCs
Last week, our Weekday Warriors held a Valentines Day themed meeting with fondue, postcards, and discussion of future actions. They sent valentines to our MoCs, postcards to voters for a state legislative race in Alabama and a congressional primary in Illinois, and planned future actions.
Ratifying the new Indivisible MA Organization - It's Official!
On Sunday February12th, delegates representing Indivisible groups from across the state met in Worcester to ratify the formation of Indivisible Massachusetts, an umbrella organization to aid the collaboration and coordination of all the Indivisible groups across the state. Representatives from each MA congressional district attended. The vote to form Indivisible MA was an overwhelming "yes," and Leah Greenberg, co-founder of Indivisible and co-writer of the original guide, was on hand for the meeting, along with Indivisible's northeast regional coordinator, Marguerite Suozzo-Gole. Michelle Olson, Rina Schneur and Zayda Ortiz attended from MA congressional district five.
Among the goals for the new organization: streamline communication and reduce duplication of effort, offer training in group capacity building and organizing, and develop legislative and issue based expertise that all groups can tap into. One of the first projects Indivisible MA is taking on is organizing busing for the upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24th
SPOTLIGHT on our "What About Charlie Baker" Campaign
Indivisible focuses on holding our elected officials accountable and we believe that should include key state officials like Governor Baker. Polls indicate Governor Baker is the most popular governor in the country, with a 70% approval rating. That popularity should mean that he's in touch with the people of Massachusetts, listening and responding to their concerns and having a clear voice on policies coming out of Washington. Unfortunately, based on our teams' experience, neither tends to be the case. The Governor has never held a town hall meeting and his public calendar shows no upcoming events and only four since Sept. 2017. Our efforts to contact his office (in person, on the phone, and by mail) result in little, or no, useful information. He could be a reasonable voice against craziness in Washington, but typically has no comment or an outdated one. Perhaps Governor Baker could take tips from Republican Governor John Kasich of Ohio, who regularly speaks out to defend the residents of his state. We'd like to be able to easily track and have more input into Governor Baker's positions, but currently that's difficult, if not impossible, to do.
Keeping an Eye on Governor Baker
The Democracy team is partnering with two other MI teams (Healthcare and Climate) to keep an eye on the Governor to ensure that he is representing our values and our priorities. Here are some of our top issues and recent experiences:
When Washington decided to go after Medicaid funding, Governor Baker proposed cutting benefits in Massachusetts. And while he supported providing birth control for women and testified in defense of the ACA, he was more than willing to stay on the sidelines when GIC was going to change the insurance of 442,000 state employees, retirees, and their families. When our Democracy and Healthcare team members went to Baker’s office to find out how ACA changes would affect Massachusetts, we were told that “nobody is assigned to that,” and when members attempted to get the source of some information in a press release, they were bounced around to several staffers before finally coming up empty.
Climate and Environment
In 2014, Governor Baker pledged to support “1 percent for the Environment”; four years later, state spending on the environment is only half of 1 percent. We want Governor Baker to stand up for Massachusetts and strongly oppose Trump’s latest offshore oil drilling plan; other states have spoken out and asked for exemptions but he has not. When we called to ask about this issue, we were referred to a statement that he made 8-9 months ago, long before the Trump administration's recent proposal to resume drilling for oil off our coasts.
In a democracy, the ability for citizens to interact with their elected officials about their concerns is paramount. The Baker administration seems particularly challenged in this area: Governor Baker hasn’t held one town hall style meeting, and staff in his office aren’t assigned to key subject areas, can't provide sources for information in press releases, and seem unaware of the Governor’s public comments. He periodically takes calls on Boston Public Radio, but his appearances are not announced in advance so that citizens can easily know when to call in. When his charter school ballot campaign received the largest fine for campaign finance violations in state history, the Governor referred to it as a “nothing burger” (his words, not ours); we call it “conflict of interest.”
Current Activities and Future Plans
The Democracy team started its 'What About Charlie Baker" campaign because we believe the Governor's office should respond more effectively to citizens' concerns. Here are some of the things that we've worked on, are currently doing, or have planned. We encourage members to join us in as many of these activities as possible.
Preventing Gun Violence in America
Over the past week, the news has been dominated by the school shooting in Parkland Florida. The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been speaking out and organizing actions to
prevent future gun violence. Read about their activities, listen to their powerful voices, learn more about what stymies sensible gun control legislation, and find more ways to take your own actions here: