Volume I, Issue 38 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible Lexington December 5, 2017
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
We know it's the holiday season, but Congress and the Trump administration are using what should be a joyful time with family to ram through long-lasting and disastrous changes, so please continue to speak up and fight back!
While the Senate vote on the GOP Tax Scam was discouraging, the House voted Monday to set up a conference committee so this fight is not over yet! Now is the time to engage friends and family in other states and get loud here in Massachusetts. Congress still hopes to have a bill on the President's desk before Christmas, so please check out the Tax Scam section below and take action now.
Next week, the FCC may vote to rescind the Net Neutrality rules and Alabama will be voting in the special election to fill Jeff Session's seat in the Senate. See the Morning Coffee Action section for actions you can take on these and other issues. Also check out the Recommended Reading section near the end of this Muster to learn about one of the many important reasons why we need to "flip" the Senate.
We know you're busy, but hope that you'll be able to spend some time this month with your Minuteman Indivisible friends. Several teams will be meeting and our Weekday Warriors and MI Book Club have fun holiday events planned. See the MI Happenings and Upcoming Meetings and Events sections for more details.
Our work is supported entirely by your donations of time and money. If you’d like to help us fund this work, you can do so using this link on our website or by purchasing one of our Indivisible T-shirts as a gift for a favorite resistor. (Please note that donations to us are not tax-deductible).
Thank you so much for all that you do,
Your Devoted Muster Editors
There's Still Time to Stop the GOP Tax Scam
Although the Senate passed their version of the #TrumpTaxScam in the wee hours of Dec. 2nd, this fight isn’t over yet. On Dec. 4th, the House voted to set up a conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, but the process did not go smoothly. The GOP still hopes to get a bill on the president's desk before Christmas, but both the House and the Senate will have to vote again on the final compromise bill. There's still time to pressure MoCs to change their votes - Senator Susan Collins of Maine has already indicated she may change her vote if she doesn't like the final version of the bill. Check out Indivisible's explanation of the differences between the two bills and what the conference process looks like. Here's what you can do right now:
Contact Friends and Family With GOP MoCs
Ask them to call their Senators and representatives and tell their MoCs to oppose this bill when it comes back for a vote. If people across the country continue to get loud, we increase our chances of defeating the tax scam. Indivisible has provided a toll-free number (1-855-980-2350) that connects people directly to their MoCs. Please forward this number to everyone you know! You can also use the MoveOn tool to text progressive voters in key states to urge them to call their MoCs.
Call Governor Baker
Ask him to speak out forcefully against these proposals which will have a disproportionate negative impact on Massachusetts. We called the Governor's office the day before the Senate vote and were told that "he has not made an official statement on the Senate's Tax and Jobs bill." We encourage everybody to give Governor Baker a call at 617-725-4005 - he can't claim to have clout in DC and then sit on the sidelines on this issue. You can find more information and a suggested call script here.
Attend a Protest
Since the Senate vote, citizens all over the country have organized protests. There have been marches and rallies in major cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and people have staged sit-ins and demonstrations in district and DC congressional offices. A march from Boston Common to the harbor is planned for this Sunday starting at noon - get more details using this link and check our closed Facebook page for any late-breaking details.
Thank our MoCs
Every member of the Massachusetts delegation voted to oppose the GOP Tax Scam. Call or email them to let them know you appreciate their efforts.
There are plenty of reasons to keep fighting! Pick your favorites from this chart:
See Indivisible's website or ours and follow our Twitter account for more details on the proposals and updates on this fast moving process. Don't use Twitter? You can read our tweets on the website - just scroll down to the bottom of the homepage.
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Save Net Neutrality
On Dec. 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be voting on a plan to rescind the net neutrality rules that currently prevent internet service providers from blocking or favoring certain websites or content.
Send an email to the three FCC commissioners who are expected to vote to end Net Neutrality. This document prepared by our Democracy team provides their email addresses and a sample script you can use as well as information on other actions you can take. Our MoCs oppose this change - please call to thank them and add your voice to theirs.
There will be nationwide protests at Verizon stores on Thursday December 7th - see this link for more information on the Boston protest being held from 5:00-7:00 pm at the Verizon store at 745 Boylston St.
Want more information? Read this Op-Ed by an FCC Commissioner who opposes the change and visit this website..
Help Send Doug Jones to the Senate - Alabama Election Just One Week Away!
Next Tuesday is election day and the Doug Jones campaign has asked us to phone bank to get out the vote (GOTV). Do it in your PJ's, do it over coffee, or host a phone banking party; anyway you like to call, let's help him win! It's really easy - you are calling registered democrats to remind them to vote. Polls currently show Jones with a slight lead. If Jones wins, there is a real chance to take back the Senate in 2018. To sign up to phone bank from your home use this link. Prefer to text? Sign up for Indivisible's Alabama GOTV texting program here.
Promote Healthcare Enrollment in the Next Two Weeks
Promoting ACA enrollment has been helping families, friends and neighbors and countering Trump’s attempted sabotage of the ACA with nearly 2.8M signed up by the end of Thanksgiving week. Open enrollment for next year ends for some in less than 2 weeks (Dec. 15 in many states; Jan. 23 in Massachusetts). Indivisible has fact sheets, flyers and scripts here. You can download a state-specific flyer to distribute in your neighborhood, send to your friends or family in other states, or post on social media. This is NOT about campaigning against Trump, but about helping others regardless of their political persuasions!
Signup for the Mueller Rapid Response
Since the news broke last week that former National Security Advisor Flynn is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, there have been new rumblings that Trump might fire Mueller. #MarchForTruth is partnering with MoveOn.org, Public Citizen, Indivisible, and many others to prepare emergency "Nobody is Above the Law" rallies that will happen directly following the firing should it occur. Our Democracy team encourages everyone to signup for this response to show that you are willing to take to the streets if such a constitutional crisis occurs. Go to #MarchForTruth for more information and to sign up.
Support Automatic Voting Registration & Safeguard our Elections "American democracy is best served when everyone participates and all voices can be heard." (M. Rappaport) With Automatic Voter Registration (AVR), the State automatically registers eligible voters when they have contact with a State agency like the RMV. This system doesn't change who is eligible to vote or how we vote but eliminates inaccuracies and streamlines the voter registration process. Voter rolls stay updated and accuracy is improved. Call your MA State House Representative and ask them to support the AVR Bill (H.2091)! See this website for more information and suggested messages. Help make this bill the House's #1 priority for 2018.
The Weekday Warriors Team is on Fire!
Last Wednesday morning, our daytime team members wrote postcards to voters in Alabama urging them to vote for Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate running against Roy Moore in the December 12th special election for Alabama's open US Senate seat. They also made signs and shared information about the many great activities they're involved in. New members are always welcome!
Next Wednesday, Dec. 13th, they're storming the State House! Ok, not storming but instead spreading kindness. They'll be bringing holiday treats to our State reps and senators and their staffs. They'll also include letters and cards to thank them and ask them to champion issues that are important to us as the legislative session continues in Massachusetts. There will be more details in next week's Muster, but if you want to join in the fun, sign up using this link.
Watch Out Paul Ryan! Randy Bryce is Coming to Get You...
US Congressional candidate Randy Bryce was in town last Thursday and a flock of MI members came out to support him along with over 100 other people at the Common Ground in Arlington. It was a rockin' time. Several local unions came out for the "IronStashe" too; Randy is, after all, a card-carrying member of the Ironworker's union in Wisconsin. The event brought in over $15k and still counting. It's going to take a lot, as Paul Ryan has already banked $8M for his own re-election. But imagine if he has to spend all those $$$ just to hang on to his own seat... If you haven't heard of Randy, check out his video. Warning - it's a tear-jerker.
Meet the Democratic Candidates for Governor
These events are free, but space is limited. Please RSVP using this link if you plan to attend on Jan. 10th and this link if you plan to attend on Jan 18th. If you register now, and your plans change, you will have the option to cancel your registration later. Want to help us get the word out? You can download a copy of the flyer using this link.
UPCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS
Elections Team Meeting
Tuesday, Dec 5th 7:15-8:45PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 232
We're one year out from the 2018 midterm elections - are you ready to help us flip the House? The MI Elections Team is supporting 3 candidates for Congress, and we're looking at more. Join us to hear our strategy and get involved. Newcomers are always welcome.
Is Lexington's Future Renewable?
Wednesday, Dec 6th 7:00-8:30PM
Cary Memorial Building, Estabrook Hall
The Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition (GWAC) is sponsoring this presentation on renewable energy and Lexington's efforts to get to "Net Zero." See their website for more details.
MI Book Club Meeting
Tuesday, December 12th 7:15-8:45PM Lexington Community Center, Room 221
We've received lots of suggestions for great books to read - help us decide which ones to begin discussing in 2018. Recommend a favorite or just get some ideas for your holiday gift list or New Year’s resolution. Join us for a lively discussion and some special refreshments. You can use this form to RSVP.
Weekday Warriors Visit to the State House
Wednesday, Dec 13th 9:00AM
We'll be bringing holiday treats to our State reps and senators and their staffs along with letters and cards to thank them and ask them to champion issues that are important to us. We'll be meeting in East Arlington and taking the T into Boston. Sign up using this link or see next week's Muster for more details.
Healthcare Team Meeting
Monday, Dec 18th 7:00PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 237
All are welcome for the next Healthcare meeting. We will be discussing where things stand with the ACA depending on the results of the tax bill, and other implications for healthcare nationally and locally.
Jay Kaufman Open House
Thursday, December 21st 7:00-8:00PM 13 Depot Square, Lexington Center
Join Rep. Kaufman for this session on Health Care Policy: Diagnosis, Prognosis with his guest, Amy Rosenthal, Executive Director of Health Care For All. Questions can be submitted in advance by email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can tweet your questions to @repjaykaufman.
Meet the Democratic Candidates for Governor - Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie Wednesday, January 10th 7:00-8:45PM Cary Memorial Library, Lexington
Candidates Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie will be speaking and answering your questions. This event is free, but space is limited, so please RSVP using this link if you plan to attend.
Meet the Democratic Candidates for Governor - Setti Warren Thursday, January 18th 7:00-8:45PM Lexington Community Center Setti Warren will be speaking and answering your questions. Space is also limited for this event, so please RSVP using this link.
Trump is Transforming the Federal Judiciary
While the media focuses on the president’s tweets, President Trump has been moving rapidly to transform the federal judiciary. He's nominated nearly 60 judges, filling more vacancies than Barack Obama did in his entire first year. There are another 160 court openings, allowing Trump to flip or consolidate conservative majorities on the circuit courts that have the final say on 99% of federal legal disputes. He has been helped in this effort by the GOP Congress who dragged their feet on filling judicial appointments during the last years of the Obama presidency and are now changing long-standing norms to speed up Trump's judicial appointments. If you find this news depressing, work to flip the Senate which confirms judicial appointments - helping Doug Jones get elected in Alabama would be a good way to start!
Baker's Popularity is Sky High, But Is He Vulnerable?
According to this Boston Globe article, Governor Charlie Baker’s popularity is off the charts (60% approval rating), his appeal cuts across party lines, and his fund-raising prowess is unparalleled in state history. But according to Lou DiNatale, a Democratic analyst and pollster quoted in the article, “The political climate is very, very volatile" and "the GOP governor has to be keenly sensitive to every detail and issue that comes across his desk that normally would be minor blips but could swiftly engulf him in today’s environment." This article from the Berkshire Eagle points out some areas where the Governor's actions speak louder than his words, and not in a good way. Folks, let's keep the pressure on when it comes to issues that we hold dear.
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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