Volume 2, Issue 25 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible June 26, 2018
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
Late last week, we sent out an urgent call to action encouraging everyone to attend this Saturday’s nationwide rallies to protest Trump’s zero tolerance immigration policy. See the Morning Coffee Actions, MI Happenings, and Upcoming Events sections in this week’s Muster for details on this and several other important actions to protect immigrants and for information on protests at the State House and local ICE facilities. We know people are busy and often overwhelmed by the chaos and damage this administration has created. If you can do only one thing, sign up or share the information about Saturday's rallies, but if you have time to do more, this issue also contains actions and events submitted by our Climate, Democracy, Elections, Healthcare, and Weekday Warriors teams, so there are plenty of options to choose from.
We recognize that nothing is going to improve unless we work hard to get out the vote, elect good candidates, and end the corrosive influence of money on our democracy. The MI Happenings section describes some of the work we’ve been doing or have planned on these topics. Learn about our “Summer Activism” events and voter registration efforts, sign up for a Dance Party next week to support efforts to overturn Citizens United, or find out more about the candidates running to represent Lexington in the state legislature. We were thrilled to host two of the congressional candidates we support at last week’s breakfast fundraiser and this week’s Spotlight section highlights another of our candidates, Lauren Underwood (IL-14).
Although there’s lots of work to be done, summer often brings a change in routines. Several of our teams will be meeting less frequently over the summer and we’ll be sending out this newsletter every other week during July and August. The next issue of the Muster will come out on July 10th; in the meantime, you can use our website, Facebook pages, and social media accounts to stay in touch.
Your Devoted Muster Editors
Countdown to the Nov. 6, 2018 Midterm Elections:132 days! .
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Join Nationwide Protests Against Trump's Immigration Policy this Saturday!
This Saturday June 30, join us and hundreds of thousands of others across the country to demonstrate our outrage over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy and demand change! Rallies are planned in Washington, D.C., every state, and several foreign countries - over 600 nationwide, including more than 30 here in MA. Use this link to find one near you, then show up and speak out! Let the administration, and the world, know that we will not stand for children being ripped from families, asylum seekers being treated as felons, or massive internment camps where families fleeing violence and persecution may be held indefinitely.
Ask MoCs to Fight Trump's Cruel Immigration Policies
Last week, the House took up the first of two immigration bills, neither of which end Trump's "zero tolerance" policy or provide long-term security for DACA recipients. The Goodlatte-McCaul bill was so draconian that 41 Republicans joined every Democrat in voting against the bill last Thursday. Speaker Ryan then postponed a vote on the second bill, which would allow families to be detained together indefinitely, but the House is expected to vote on it this week before they recess for the holiday. See this link for more information and call scripts for urging Democrat or Republican MoCs to vote NO on this bill.
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 and ask friends or family with Republican Senators to call their offices and urge them to support S.3036.
Urge State Legislators 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 representatives 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.
...and Ask the Governor to Change His Position
Although these provisions have broad support, including from police organizations, Governor Baker has indicated he would veto them. Please call (617 725-4005) or email the Governor and add your voice to those of the hundreds of citizens who stood outside his office at the State House last week urging him to 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.
Get Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) Over the Finish Line in MA
Great news! Your calls, emails, and personal visits to legislators made a difference - the MA House will be voting on the AVR bill (H.4320) this Wednesday, June 27th. Call your state legislators today and urge them to say YES when the bill comes up for a vote. See this letter (signed by a coalition of many statewide and local groups) or this recent editorial from the Salem News for suggested talking points.
Help Defend MA's Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Law
In 2016, a bipartisan group passed legislation updating the Commonwealth’s nondiscrimination civil rights laws to include protections for transgender people in places of public accommodation - medical facilities, restaurants, retail shops, and restrooms. These protections are now at risk via a November ballot referendum. Here are 3 ways you can help:
Volunteer to talk about the referendum to patrons at the Lexington Farmers Market (coaching available).
Participate in phonebanks with Freedom Mass. Training provided.
Join our LexVotes4TransRights email group for weekly updates.
Support SNAP in the Senate Farm Bill
Ask our Senators to support the bipartisan Farm Bill in the Senate, which would leave intact the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is the nation’s most important anti-hunger program, which also improves national health outcomes. SNAP helps about 42 million low-income Americans afford a nutritious diet. The House-passed version would make cuts to the program and add work requirements, thereby increasing hunger among the vulnerable, including children. Also, thank our Representatives for voting against the draconian House version.
Dance the Night Away to Celebrate and Support Democracy!
Please join us on Saturday, July7th for a fun summer dance party with the NuRythm Band! We'll be celebrating the birth of our nation and the effort to get big money out of politics. This is an opportunity to listen to great music, dance with friends, and raise the awareness of an important ballot measure. Space is limited at Parish Hall at First Parish in Lexington, so please use this link to RSVP and reserve your spot now. Donations will support the November ballot measure and include two tickets for beer or wine. We guarantee this party will be the best live dance party all year! Even if you can't attend, please consider donating to a good cause by using this secure ActBlue link. Every little bit helps and is appreciated.
Helping to Flip Congress
Last week, our busy Elections team held two well-attended events to help build the blue wave and flip the House in November: a fundraising breakfast for Dan McCready (NC09) and the first in a series of "Summer Activism" events.
Breakfast with Congressional Candidates and Rep. Katherine Clark
Our breakfast fundraiser for Dan McCready (NC09), with special guests Rep. Katherine Clark and Chrissy Houlahan (PA06), was a tremendous success! It was inspiring to hear the candidates talk about their races and to learn more about the issues at stake from Rep. Clark. Thank you to everyone who attended, made donations, or shared information about the event with their friends and family. If you didn't have a chance to come, you can still use these links to support Dan McCready or Chrissy Houlahan.
Summer Activism: Phonebanking and Postcarding for Congressional Candidates
An enthusiastic group of 15 members participated in our first Summer Activism event last Saturday afternoon. We mailed 220 VoteByMail forms to voters in NJ-11 (Mikie Sherrill's district) and phonebanked to help get Danny O'Connor elected in the OH-12 special election in August. Our friends at Action Together NJ were surprised and delighted by the amount of work we were able to accomplish and sent their thanks, calling our group “complete ROCKSTARS” in a post on Facebook. We have three more events planned this summer - see the Upcoming Events section below for details on the next meeting on the evening of July 12th in Reading. If you'll be away in July or just want to keep up the momentum, Postcards to Voters has a new campaign to help get out the vote in OH-12 - get all the details here.
Rallying at the State House to Protect Immigrants
Last Wednesday, several MI members joined hundreds of citizens from across the state at the State House to urge the Governor and State legislators to pass protections for immigrants here in MA and to speak out against the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy. This TV coverage of the event shows the size of the crowd, which spilled across Beacon St., then waited in long lines to enter the State House and speak out outside the House chamber and the offices of the Governor and House Speaker. While neither the Governor or House Speaker addressed the crowd, several Senators, including the Senate President, came out of their offices to offer their support.
Hearing from Candidates Running in the 15th Middlesex District
As part of his public policy forum, Open House, Representative Jay Kaufman provided an opportunity to meet the Democratic candidates running in the 15th Middlesex District and Minuteman Indivisible was 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. If you were unable to attend, check out this video of the forum to see the candidates explain their positions and answer audience questions. The candidates will be outlining their views on clean energy and climate change at a forum hosted by Lexington's Global Warming Action Committee (GWAC) this Wednesday, June 27th (see the Upcoming Events section for details).
Engaging Voters of All Ages
Two members of our Democracy Team, Gabriella Muscolo and Lee Jeffers Brami, participated in a panel discussion about voter registration and getting out the vote at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston on June 8th. Entitled “Engaging Voters of All Ages,” it was sponsored by AARP and Harvard’s Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.The panelists, who drew on their diverse backgrounds to present their views on how to increase voter registration and voter turnout, were: Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer; Mayor Levar Stoney (Democrat) the youngest mayor of Richmond, Virginia, a large city with a diverse ethnic population; and Mayor Lydia Mihalik (Republican) of Findlay, Ohio, a medium-size city. Miles Rapoport, Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Institute, was the moderator.
Some of the facts they presented were these: nationwide, only 56% of registered voters vote. Of voters who earn $200,000 or more, 80% vote; of voters who earn $30,000 or less, only 40% vote. Among voters in the 18-24 age bracket, only 40 % vote. AARP, while focused on voters aged 50 and over, is now working to register all age groups. The group’s goal is to increase voter registration and turnout to 80 percent. Among the suggestions panelists put forward for increasing registration and getting out the vote were grassroots efforts, such as knocking on doors, and supporting AVR adoption by the states. In Virginia, there’s now a bipartisan effort to redraw the districts to eliminate gerrymandering. The presentations were followed by a lively question and answer period. An audio broadcast of the event is available here.
One of Minuteman Indivisible’s major pushes for increasing voter registration is joining with the Mass. Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) to register new citizens. On June 14, Gabriella Muscolo, Debbie Armstrong, Roberta Pittore and Tish Callanan were among those who, in conjunction with MIRA volunteers, registered 122 new citizens at Faneuil Hall after they had been sworn in as citizens. Interested in joining us? You can see what's involved on MIRA's website, then sign up for specific days from now through September using this link. .
SPOTLIGHT ON LAUREN UNDERWOOD (IL-14)
Minuteman Indivisible is working hard to flip the House in November. This week's Spotlight section features Lauren Underwood, one of the five Congressional candidates our Elections Team is focusing on.
Bio Lauren, who was was born and raised in the IL-14 District (Naperville), has a BS and MS in Nursing and a Master of Public Health degree. After graduation, she joined the Obama administration, rising to become the Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at HHS. On Inauguration Day 2017, she returned home to Naperville to start a new job. Instead, she was approached by the DCCC to run for Congress. She ran against 6 white, male Democrats in the primary and won handily with 57.4% of the vote; the next highest vote getter in the primary had only 13.4% of the vote.
Jobs and Economic Security: Develop incentives for employers to create new jobs or hire those who are out of work or under-employed. Fight for a "nonpartisan" economic security agenda, including equal pay, affordable child care, paid family leave, full reproductive health care, and a larger minimum wage.
Healthcare: Ensure that every American has access to high quality, affordable healthcare; the 37,000 people in IL-14 who receive coverage through Obamacare must continue to have access. Lauren recognizes that Obamacare isn't perfect and supports policies to improve the law.
Education: Provide every child with a high quality K-12 public education and invest more in higher education institutions. Increase funding for Pell grants and affordable subsidized student loans.
Incumbent: Randy Hultgren
Hultgren was first elected in 2010 and has been voting strictly in accordance with the Trump agenda. He believes in Intelligent Design, is a climate change denier, is opposed to same sex marriage, and is strongly pro-life, promoting an abstinence-only education in the public schools - see this Daily Kos article for more details on his positions and voting record. For a local look at Randy Hultgren, see this Kane County Chronicle article and the other articles that it links to.
In the first quarter of 2018, Lauren raised $465,000, substantially more than the $361,000 raised by Randy Hultgren: she raised $195,000 in January and February and in March, having won the Democratic primary, Lauren raised $270,000. While the momentum is clearly in Lauren's favor, she still trails Hultgren in funds on hand, $236,000 to his $784,000. Let's help Lauren keep the fundraising momentum moving in her direction!
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.
Jericho Walk at ICE Field Office Wednesday, June 27th 3:00-4:00 PM
100 District Ave., Burlington
Religious groups and others are holding a Jericho Walk at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office in Burlington. Please bring signs calling for just treatment of those who are caught in our broken immigration system and refrain from signs explicitly endorsing or condemning any political candidate or official. See this link for more details.
Senator Markey Climate Crisis Action Summit Thursday, June 28th 7:00-8:30 PM
Belmont High School, 221 Concord Ave., Belmont
Join U.S. Senator Ed Markey and leading climate change experts for a summit on one of the greatest crises of our time. Following a discussion of the current state of affairs of climate policy and possible solutions, questions will be taken from the audience. Free, but registration is requested - get more information and RSVP using this link.
Families Belong Together Rallies Saturday, June 30th Nationwide - Time Varies by Location
Rallies are being planned in Washington, D.C., every state, and several foreign countries. Use this link to find one near you, then show up and speak out!
Declaring Independence - Then & Now Wednesday, July 4th 7:00-8:30 PM
Lexington Depot, 13 Depot Square, Lexington
Celebrate the 4th of July at Lexington Historical Society with a free performance by the Lexington Historical Society Colonial Singers; a reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Lexington Declaration by local costumed re-enactors; a response from Colonel Francis Smith of His Majesty’s Army, and ice cream. More details here and here.
Dance Party to Celebrate and Support Democracy Saturday, July 7th 7:00 - 10:00 PM
First Parish in Lexington, 7 Harrington Rd., Lexington
Join us for a fun summer dance party with the NuRythm Band to celebrate the birth of our nation and the effort to get big money out of politics. Space is limited, so please use this link to reserve your spot now. Donations will support the November ballot measure and include two tickets for beer or wine. Even if you can not attend, please consider donating to a good cause by using this secure ActBlue link. . MI Elections - Summer Activism Thursday, July 12th 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Reading, (Address provided with RSVP)
Want to help flip the house in November? We are continuing our series of summer activism afternoons or evenings 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.
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
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
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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 email@example.com.
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.