Volume 2, Issue 24 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible June 19, 2018
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
Summer officially arrives this week, but in addition to taking much needed time to relax and renew your energies, we hope you'll also join with us to help elect progressive candidates, fight the administration's cruel new immigration policies, or help get key bills passed in MA before the formal legislative session ends next month. This week's Muster has new actions to take; information on candidate forums, fundraisers, rallies, and other events happening over the next week; updates on key legislation, the MI Board, and our recent member survey; and a "Save the Date" announcement for a fun dance party in early July to celebrate and support our democracy!
Stay Cool and Keep Resisting!
Your Devoted Muster Editors
Countdown to the Nov. 6, 2018 Midterm Elections:139 days! .
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Ask MoCs to Fight Trump's Cruel Family Separation Policy
Over the past few days, heartbreaking stories, photos, audio, and videos showing the impact of the administration's zero tolerance policy have increasingly filled the news. As of press time, 49 Senators (all Democrats or Independents) have signed on to cosponsor the Keep Families Together Act (S.3036), a bill filed by Sen. Diane Feinstein to limit the practice of separating children from their families at the border. Please thank our Senators for their support, urge all our MoCs to continue speaking out and taking action to end this inhumane policy, and ask friends or family with Republican Senators to call their offices and urge them to support S.3036 and take other actions to help keep families together.
This week, the House will be taking up two immigration bills that do not provide long-term security for DACA recipients or end Trump's family separation policy. See this Indivisible resource for more information and call scripts for urging MoCs to vote NO on these two bills.
Indivisible is joining with other groups to organize a national day of action to Keep Families Together on Saturday, June 30th, with rallies being planned in Washington, DC and other locations across the country, including several in MA. We'll post details on our website and social media accounts as soon as more information is available.
Urge State Legislators and the Governor to Act Now to Protect Immigrants!
The actions being taken by the Federal government increase the urgency of getting key provisions from the Safe Communities Act into the conference committee version of the State Budget; as this recent editorial in the Boston Globe points out, these "modest immigration reforms in Mass. can send a powerful message." Even if you've already called before, please contact your state representative and ask them to go to House Speaker DeLeo and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Jeff Sanchez to make sure the provisions included in the Senate Budget last month end up in the final budget bill. See this link for a sample call script. Several groups are organizing a lunchtime rally and lobby effort at the State House this Wednesday, June 20th. We'll post details on our website and social media accounts as soon as more information is available.
Although these provisions have broad support, including from police organizations, Governor Baker has indicated he would veto them. Yesterday, he reversed his earlier decision to send several MA National Guard soldiers and a helicopter to the Mexican border to assist with Trump's stepped-up enforcement efforts. Please call the Governor (617 725-4005) or send him an email asking him to also support these provisions that protect public safety, provide due process for everyone in MA, and restrict the use of State resources to help the Trump administration's cruel and inhumane efforts to separate families here in MA.
Ask Your State Rep to Support the Healthcare Benchmark Provisions
A bill (H.4617) that includes the provisions of the Healthcare "Benchmark" bill (formerly H.596) is finally coming up for discussion in the MA House this week. These provisions establish a three-year study to compare the cost of MA's current healthcare program to what a single-payer system would cost and compel the legislators to take actions to implement a single-payer system if it is found to be less expensive. Please call your state representative early this week and ask that s/he fight for the inclusion of these amendments to bill H.4617: #155 (Establishes the single-payer cost study) and #129 (Medicaid buy-in). Also worth fighting for are amendments #15 (Insurance coverage for mammograms and breast cancer screening) and #16 (Colorectal cancer screenings).
Register Voters with MassVOTE!
Our allies at Sister District MA & RI and MassVOTE are partnering on a non-partisan voter registration project targeting unregistered voters in historically disenfranchised communities. Their first effort is a postcard project making initial contact with potential voters in Boston, with plans to follow up doing phone calls and voter registration drives. They're hoping to identify volunteers around MA & RI who will take the lead in their towns or in target communities nearby. If you'd like to sign up to be included as this project develops, or would like to take some lead role organizing, please complete this form.
Get Automatic Voter Registation Over the Finish Line in MA
There's lots of support for Automatic Voter Registration (H.4320) in the MA legislature, but it needs your help right now to get it out of committee in the House and on its way to a vote. Even if you've already called before, please contact your state representatives today and ask them to tell House Speaker DeLeo to bring AVR to a VOTE. All but 12 Democratic legislators and several GOP representatives have already voiced support for the bill - see this link to find out where your rep. stands and this letter (signed by a coalition of many statewide and local groups) or this recent editorial from the Salem News for suggested talking points.
Dance the Night Away on July 7th!
Please join us for a fun summer dance party with the NuRythm Band! Minuteman Indivisible is joining forces with People Govern, Not Money to celebrate our nation's birthday AND the effort to get big money out of politics. This is an opportunity to listen to great music, dance with your friends, meet volunteers of People Govern, Not Money, and learn about this important ballot measure.
The event will be held at First Parish in Lexington on Saturday, July 7th from 7-10pm. Invitations will be sent out shortly but put it on your calendar now because we guarantee this party will be the best live band dance party you attend all year!
Looking Ahead...Summer MI Board Retreat
On June 12th, the MI board met for a day long retreat. These retreats, which we hold twice a year, allow us to have longer, more involved, strategic discussions (and, as the photo below indicates, some fun too). Given that we are 18 months into this administration (and many people’s activist life) and we are heading into the mid-terms, we spent a lot of time evaluating where we are, what has worked (and has not), and where to go next for maximum benefit from available resources. We identified potential areas for change and refocus. Once these ideas are refined, they will be presented to the membership. In the meantime, have a wonderful summer and enjoy all the fun events that are coming up!
Surveying Our Members
Earlier this year, the Minuteman Indivisible board conducted a member survey. Our goal was to find out about our members' experience so that we can best meet their needs. Fifty-one people completed the survey; while we were hoping for more responses, there was still important information to be gleaned. Here are some of the highlights::
There is a core group of very engaged members, who are very active in MI actions. This group accounts for about 35% of members (as defined by the number of people signed up with MI).
The Muster is key! Engaged and less engaged members keep in touch via the newsletter.
The top 2 goals members have for engaging with MI are 1) to take back the House/Senate/Presidency and 2) to take action.
Attending team meetings has a high level of engagement and thus the role of team leader is very important. Team emails are an important communication method that can be used to reinforce ACTION.
Not surprisingly, the #1 reason why folks keep coming back is the people. The MI community plays an important role in engagement.
Given this survey information and discussions during the recent board retreat, we expect that the board will have a renewed focus on:
Supporting key campaigns and taking action
Supporting team leaders in their efforts to continually identify high value actions (calling, post carding, visiting elected officials, etc.)
Continuing our sense of community and togetherness.
SPOTLIGHT ON MA CLEAN ENERGY LEGISLATION
Last week, the MA Senate unanimously passed S.2545, An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future, which includes several key provisions to price carbon pollution and ensures that Massachusetts moves steadily toward a sustainable energy future. This legislation, which MI and many environmental organizations have long pushed, now needs action from the House and Governor to make it law before the legislative session expires in just six weeks.
The Senate bill contains provisions to restore and enhance equity in solar power and also includes a policy called Community Empowerment, which gives communities control over their energy future.
Other key features of the bill include:
Accelerating the State's Renewable Portfolio Standard (the green energy mandate on big utilities)
Reforming the Department of Public Utilities and its power over gas pipelines
Codifying a court ruling to ban the "pipeline tax"
Authorizing the state to pursue up to 5000 megawatts of offshore wind
Ensuring we have State climate commitments for the years 2030 and 2040
Requiring the State to track gas lost to leaks and other causes
Enhancing consumer protections from energy marketers
This is some of the best energy/climate legislation in the country and [if enacted] will help fight greenhouse gas emissions from Massachusetts while heading us toward a more sustainable energy future. We need to push the House to concur with the Senate bill and place it on Governor Baker's desk before the legislative session ends in July.
Please call, visit or write your state representative to express support for the Senate Clean Energy Omnibus Bill (S.2545), and ask them to pressure House Leadership to bring similar measures—including carbon pricing—to the floor for a vote. Please also contact your State Senator to thank them for their leadership.. .
UPCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS
MI Book Club Meeting Tuesday, June 19th 7:15-8:45 PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 217, 39 Marrett Rd., Lexington
Join us at June's MI Book Club meeting when we'll be discussing White Working Class by Joan C. WIlliams. Use this link to RSVP for the meeting, suggest books to read, or help us decide which books to discuss in the fall. New members are always welcome.
Meet the Candidates for the 15th Middlesex District Thursday, June 21st 7:00-8:30 PM
Lexington Depot, 13 Depot Square, Lexington
As part of his public policy forum, Open House, Representative Jay Kaufman is providing an opportunity to meet the Democratic candidates running in the 15th Middlesex District and Minuteman Indivisible is proud to be a cohost. The candidates seeking to represent the district, which is comprised of Lexington and Wards 1 and 7 in Woburn, are Michelle Ciccolo, Matthew Cohen, Joseph Lahiff, Mary Ann Stewart, and William Sweeney. Please join us to hear the candidates explain their positions and answer audience questions.
MI Elections - Summer Activism Saturday, June 23rd 4:00 - 6:00 PM
Lexington, (Address provided with RSVP)
Want to help flip the house in November? We are starting a series of activism afternoons or evenings during the summer months and we need your help. You can postcard, phonebank, or text bank for the candidates we are supporting - hope you can join us! Please RSVP using this link for more details on this event.
Candidates Energy and Environment Forum, 15th Middlesex District Wednesday, June 27th 7:00-9:00 PM
Cary Memorial Library Meeting Room, 1874 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington
This forum will allow the candidates running for state representative in the 15th Middlesex district to make a statement and answer questions about how they would use their position in the State House to further plans for a clean energy future and a state that is ready for climate change. Doors open at 6:30 PM. See this link for more details. .
LOCAL FUNDRAISERS FOR OUT-OF-STATE CANDIDATES
We know the number of requests for financial support can feel overwhelming, but if you're inclined to offer support and would like to meet or learn more about promising candidates, check out these upcoming parties and events in our area
Evening Reception for Amy McGrath Monday, June 25h
6:30 PM Newton, MA (Address provided with RSVP)
Meet Amy McGrath KY06 at an evening reception to support her campaign. Here is a special link to RSVP for the evening reception that allows you to RSVP for $100 by filling in $100 in the "other" section. To learn more about Amy, watch her video or visit her campaign website.
Meet the NH-01 Candidates at a Campaign Kickoff Wednesday, June 27th 6:00-8:00 PM
WeWork, 625 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
Swing Left is partnering with Indivisible MA to kickoff the 2018 campaign to keep NH Blue. Join hosts Tony Mack, Michael Ansara, Barney Arnold, Gene Martin, Helena Berbano, Kim Rosenfield, Lisa Kolarik, Steve Krugman, Ed Witham, Mark Dyen, Walter Kasell, Mel Petty, and Susan Labandibar at a Greater Boston Flip the House NH-01 Campaign Kickoff. Meet NH-01 Democratic candidates, sign up to host a Blue Barbecue this summer, and hear from grassroots organizers on the ground in NH. RSVP using this link.
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 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.