Defeat the Trump Tax Scam - Call Your Senators Now!
Stop the #TrumpTaxScam that provides tax cuts for the wealthy paid for by the rest of us. The House passed its tax bill on 11/16 and the Senate is expected to take up their version of the bill, which includes a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, as soon as they return from Thanksgiving recess on 11/27.
Indivisible has set up a toll-free number to connect you directly to your Senators. Call 1-855-980-2350 and you’ll be connected immediately. Once you’ve made a call, call back and you’ll get connected to your other Senator. Please call now, then forward this number to everyone you know!
While the Senate bill has some features that differ from the House plan, including the repeal of the ACA's individual mandate which will take away healthcare from 13 million Americans and raise premiums, the other basic impacts are the same - both proposals favor corporations and those with inherited wealth at the expense of wage earners (even high wage earners).
Please call your Senators right away - the GOP hopes to have a bill on Trump’s desk before Christmas. Let them know how the proposed bills will affect your family and ask them to continue to do everything possible to oppose them. See our Twitter account or this webpage 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.)
Do you post about political issues on social media? Use these great graphics created by the Indivisible team to show the potential impact of the tax bill on funding for other programs. Select the issues that are most important to you and click to tweet about them or copy the images to post on other social media or include in an email to friends and family.
Go HERE for additional actions for this week!
Spotlight on our Democracy Team
The Democracy team has several sub-teams that focus on various issues. The main ones at this point are RussiaGate/Conflicts of Interest, Immigrant rights, Human rights, Voting rights and Gerrymandering, and "What about Charlie Baker?" Updates from each sub-team are given below.
RussiaGate/Conflicts of Interest
The RussiaGate sub-team is busy keeping up with the latest on the Russian influence and potential collusion in our 2016 election. Indictments have already been handed down and when we heard these were the “first indictments,” we quickly utilized the concept of “thinking beyond the sale” (a strategy perfected by President Trump) to conclude that there will be more. We continue to encourage everyone to sign up for the "Mueller Rapid Response" in case Trump fires Robert Mueller and to commit to being prepared to take to the streets if that happens. In addition, we ask everybody to call your MoC and urge them to protect Mueller's investigation and press for sanctions on Russia - see the Morning Coffee Action section for more details. Hardly a day goes by that there isn’t another revelation - check out investigaterussia.org for the latest information and consider signing up for their excellent daily briefings.
The sub-team is also concerned with presidential conflicts of interest and whether the president is upholding his Constitutional responsibilities to faithfully administer the laws passed by Congress. We encourage you to read this article written by a MI member that discusses whether the president is attempting to undermine and sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Protecting the Constitution means protecting Immigrants. Members of the Democracy team are involved with ACLU People Power initiatives to advance the rights of immigrants. The local People Power group is working on a proposal to make Lexington a “Welcoming, Inclusive, Safe Community” and to foster a community dialogue about the issues facing undocumented immigrants who live, work in, or visit our community. Meetings have been held with Lexington's Chief of Police, the Lexington Interfaith Community Association, and the Lexington Human Rights Committee to share perspectives, raise awareness, and define the best path to addressing undocumented immigrant concerns. This sub-team has also been keeping up with developments relating to the recent State Supreme Judicial Court rulingthat local authorities can't detain people based solely on Federal "ICE" detainers and urging Governor Baker to drop the bill he proposed in response to this ruling.
One of our members has been busy taking courses this fall to help provide our team with better information on discrimination in our communities. The Arlington Community Education course, A History of the World Through Muslim Eyes, is based on Tamin Ansary’s book Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Muslim Eyes. One important lesson from the course was the explanation of the different types of Islam: the Sunnis and the Shi’a, and, within the Shi’a, the Sufis. Islam is by no means a monolithic religion with all Muslims following the same exact rules. The second course, at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, was titled White People Challenging Racism: Moving from Talk to Action. This intensive five-week course was very interactive, self-reflective, and included a lot of role playing. These courses broaden our knowledge of Americans with different religions and skin colors and help us fight against the demonization of these groups. The team will be discussing whether we can bring one or both of these courses to Lexington for the benefit of our members and the community.
We suggest taking one of these tests designed to measure implicit bias. Implicit bias is “thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control.” The available tests include Race, Skin Tone, and Arab-Muslim. There is even one for Presidents that measures your preference for George W. Bush and Donald Trump!
While our Elections team is working to flip the House in the 2018 elections by supporting candidates in key races, this Democracy sub-team is focused on the underlying factors that shape all elections. We are watching developments with the Election Commission appointed by Trump (which was recently sued by one of its own members), supporting efforts for Automatic Voter Registration in Massachusetts, and exploring ways to fight gerrymandering. We attended a recent conference on gerrymandering and redistricting at Harvard and sub-team members attended and helped video the voting rights workshops at this week's Massachusetts Indivisible Conference.
What About Charlie Baker?
We continue to track Governor Baker and issue weekly actions to call attention to his positions and policies. As this article indicates, Donald Trump's election has made Governor Baker’s job more difficult. For many issues, Governor Baker disagrees with the President and, on several occasions, has had to speak out against his actions or words. At other times (such as his proposed bill on detaining immigrants described above), the Governor's policies have been more in line with the Trump administration - these are policies we want to track. But when the list of disagreements becomes pronounced, one has to wonder why Governor Baker is still a Republican - it certainly isn’t a requirement in the Commonwealth.
We are thrilled to announce that we are organizing a Candidates Night for the Democratic candidates for Governor. Pencil January 10, 2018 on your calendar - we may also schedule an additional date (e.g., to allow for wintry weather). With so much activity going on in our team, we have also decided to set up our own Twitter account and will be announcing our new Twitter handle soon!
Opposing the Trump Tax Scam
Temps below freezing and wind chill in the teens didn’t stop our #TrumpTaxScam event last Friday in Lexington Center. Thanks so much to our sign holders (including several who left before the photo) and to the citizens who stopped to talk about the details of the GOP tax proposals and take postcards to send to their MoC. Afterwards, we headed to Peets to warm up and chat over cups of hot cocoa.
Massachusetts Indivisible Conference was a Huge Success!
More than 30 members of Minuteman Indivisible joined over 500 other progressive activists at last Sunday's Massachusetts Indivisible Conference at Worcester State University. Senator Elizabeth Warren gave a rousing keynote speech - she emphasized the threat the current administration poses to our basic democratic institutions and also urged everyone to fight the current GOP tax proposal.
Our own Michelle Olson spoke about the importance of flipping the House in 2018 during the morning plenary session and was also one of the panelists in the afternoon workshops.
The conference ended with a lively networking session and information on future plans to make it easier for Massachusetts Indivisible groups to collaborate and grow stronger!
We'll have more lots more information about the conference in future issues of the Muster including links to videos of the morning speeches and handouts from the workshop sessions.