Volume I, Issue 8 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible Lexington April 28, 2017
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
Welcome to Minuteman Muster, the e-newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible Lexington. Here you will find actions you can do that take as little as a few minutes, upcoming events, links to articles of interest and more...
TrumpCare Scare is Back
TrumpCare Scare is Back
Republicans have been meeting behind closed doors to negotiate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, replacing it with an even more draconian version of TrumpCare, one that satisfies the members of the right wing Freedom Caucus. The “final” MacArthur Amendment was released yesterday (April 27) and, as feared, many of the essential provisions of the Affordable Care Act have been stripped away.
Among the provisions in the final amendments are ones that allow states to weaken or waive ACA requirements to provide coverage for
mental health care
This is not acceptable legislation. This is not our legislators upholding their oath of office to serve the interests of their constituents and their country. This is not even the Republicans upholding their own pledge to provide a replacement as good or better than the ACA. It's about giving enormous tax cuts to the wealthiest by increasing the suffering of the poor and middle class. While this morning it appeared that the Speaker of the House is backing off because of a lack of votes for the amendment, there is serious arm-twisting going on in the House now that will probably continue into next week.
Please call your MoC and express your opinion about this revised AHCA bill. After calling your MoC, don't stop there. Reach out to your friends who are represented by one of the Undecided US Congressional Reps listed in this Hill article. Encourage them to speak up. Offer to help connect them with a local Indivisible Group that is fighting for a fair healthcare law for America. Contact us at email@example.com if you need help matching one of your out-of-state friends with their Congressional district or local Indivisible Group.
MI Marches for Science (last week) and Climate (tomorrow!)
Members of Minuteman Indivisible joined thousands of others in Boston Common for the March for Science last Saturday. The green was packed and there was a full roster of speakers who spoke about threats not just to science, but to a culture of reason, and of thoughtful discussion based upon established facts. "It's not just science that is threatened right now," Harvard History of Science Professor Naomi Oreskes told the crowd. "It's knowledge. It's inquiry. It is the gist of what we do as scholars, as academics or as any citizen who cares about the country that they live in."
This Saturday, April 29th, the Climate March will round out April's series of protests and rallies. There are buses are going to the DC march leaving tonight and thousands are expected, once again, to flood Boston Common tomorrow afternoon to protest the assault on our environmental protections by the current administration.
Are you going to the Climate march tomorrow? If so, pleasesend us, tweet us or post your pictures to the Minuteman Indivisible Facebook Page.
Gerrymandering Update: "A Pivotal Moment”
The issue of gerrymandering based on political party is heading to the Supreme Court. A bipartisan group of voting rights advocates says the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature, the State Assembly, was gerrymandered by its Republican majority before the 2012 election. In November, a panel of federal judges agreed. Now the Wisconsin case is headed to a Supreme Court that has repeatedly said that extreme partisan gerrymanders are unconstitutional, but has never found a way to decide which ones cross the line. The Wisconsin plaintiffs’ attempt to break through this problem is a new standard, the efficiency gap. It is a numerical rating of a parties’ “wasted” votes. If the Wisconsin statistical standards do not persuade the justices, other proposals are waiting in the wings but some worry that the debate may be close to hitting the brick wall it avoided in 2004. As Richard H. Pildes, a constitutional law professor at NYC School of Law, has said “I do think this is a pivotal moment — a big, big moment.” For further reading see this New York Times article.
UPCOMING MI MEETINGS
Healthcare Team Meeting Thursday, May 4th,
Lexington Community Center, Room 232
39 Marrett Road, Lexington
Climate and Environment Team Meeting Monday, May 8th,
Cary Library, Learning Center
Team Leaders Meeting Thursday, May 11th,
Lexington Community Center, Arts & Crafts Room
39 Marrett Road, Lexington
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Tell Your MoC's to Leave Trumpcare in the Garbage where it Belongs!
Breaking news reports indicate that members of the right-wing Freedom Caucus may have reached an agreement with the Republican moderate Tuesday Group to revise and re-ignite Trumpcare. Details are still scarce, but undoubtedly this new proposal will be an even further stripping of the ACA. Please put down your coffee and dial up your MoCs now. Tell them that any reduction to the ACA is unacceptable. We need to fix it, not strip it. Even better, call your friends and relatives in red districts and ask them to do the same. Your MoC contact details are here.
Demand the Deputy Attorney General appoint a Special Prosecutor
Russiagate has not gone away, and Flynn's apparent violations of the law are only indicative that we need more independent coverage of this topic. AG Jeff Sessions has recused himself on this topic, and Rod J. Rosenstein was just confirmed by the senate as the new deputy attorney general who, in his confirmation hearings committed to appointing a special prosecutor "if one was required". Call the attorney general's office to express the need for a special prosecutor. 5Calls has the contact information and a script.
No Tax Legislation without Tax Transparency!
The Trump administration released its vision for "tax reform": providing massive tax cuts in the corporate rate and the estate tax while effectively increasing the tax burden for tax payers in blue states by eliminating the deduction for state and local taxes. All these proposed changes will no doubt benefit the net worth of #45, but we have no idea by how much, as he has not released his taxes. Democrats in congress are doing what we’ve asked – they have pledged to obstruct any and all tax "reform" efforts until Trump releases his tax returns. And Republicans in congress are starting to come around. Republican representatives in IA, SC, NC, FL, NJ, and MI have said that Trump should release his taxes. If you have any friends in these states, send them an email asking them to call the representatives listed below to thank them and urge them to push harder.
The following Republican representatives have said that Trump should release his tax returns:
IA: Sen. Joni Ernst, Rep. David Young
FL: Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Ted Yoho
NC: Rep. Walter B. Jones
NJ: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen
MI: Rep. Justin Amash
SC: Rep. Mark Sanford
MASS ACTION: Urge Mass House Reps to Fund Environmental Protections
The Massachusetts House of Representatives is currently considering amendments to the 2018 proposed budget. State agencies need adequate funding to prevent and address pollution, ensure clean water and make the Commonwealth more resilient to climate change. Please urge your State Representative to co-sponsor the Green Budget amendments today! The Amendments are #1196, 839, 898, 1073, 830. The House takes up the budget next week, so please call and/or email asap. For those of you in Jay Kaufman's district his contact details are here. Otherwise, you can find your rep. here.
People's Climate March Saturday, April 29, 2017
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Boston Climate March Boston Common, 24 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02133 Climate Marches will take place across the country, including here on the Boston Common.
Click here for more information about the Boston march.
A DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS May 1, 2017 10AM - 4PM 200 Common Street, Lawrence, MA 01840
This May 1st, if you are an immigrant and/or believe in immigrants' rights join the national boycott: do not go to work, school or buy anything on this day. Instead, join Cosecha Lawrence and several other local organizations at our Day Without Immigrants march in Lawrence. Join the festivities in the Lawrence Common at 10am for a multi-cultural celebration of this Immigrant City. Lawrence has always been a city of immigrants. In 1912 Lawrence immigrants who demanded better wages and better work conditions made history leading the successful strike "Bread and Roses" that lasted 9 weeks. Let's show the public how much the economy of this country depends on immigrants.
For more information or to register for the event click here.
JAY KAUFMAN FOUR PART WORKSHOP "DEMOCRACY DEMANDS ENGAGEMENT" 5/4, 5/18, 5/25, 6/15
7PM - 9PM
Temple Isaiah, 55 Lincoln St., Lexington. State Rep Jay Kaufman is hosting a four part public workshop as part of his Open House series of public policy forums.
The 1st session, “Challenging Times/Building Community,” will invite the public to identify what moves/concerns them and how to unite around these concerns. The second session on May 18, “Identifying and Overcoming Divisions,” will allow attendees to look behind today’s challenges to identify the systemic roots of divisions and those who exploit them for political gain. On May 25, the forum will reflect on what it means to take “Values-Based/Moral Action.” In the final session on June 15, members of the community will look ahead to “What Now? Stand Up, Stand Tall, Stand Together.” Join Jay and other members of our community as we engage in these very important discussions.
WORTH WATCHING: Protecting our planet series
In honor of Earth Day and the Climate march this week we recommend the following videos...
"Before the Flood"
(You can now stream it here free of charge!) Join Leonardo DiCaprio as he explores the topic of climate change, and discovers what must be done today to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.
How to Talk to a Conservative about Climate Change and Renewable Energy
Tea Party founder and, yes, environmental activist Deborah Dooley offers this fascinating perspective about the change in language needed to build consensus around environmental protections. It will change the way you talk about this issue with your conservative uncle who has dismissed the idea of global warming.
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