Volume 2, Issue 20 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible May 15, 2018
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
The late spring push to hold events, pass legislation, and support candidates continues this week. Please make plans to join us at our Happy Hour on May 21st and bring a friend - get all the details in the Upcoming Events below. We'll also be meeting and greeting people at Lexington's Discovery Day on Saturday May 26th and we're looking for volunteers to help staff our booth - see the MI Happenings section for more info.
We continue to focus on gun violence prevention: see the Morning Coffee Actions section to make plans to #WearOrange for Gun Safety and the Spotlight section for legislative and advocacy resources. Senators will be voting on Sen. Markey's Resolution to protect net neutrality this Wednesday - please urge friends and family with Republican senators to call them today! Congress will be debating the Farm bill this week and the House version is loaded up with provisions that will hurt people who depend on SNAP, undermine the Affordable Care Act, and weaken environmental protections. See both the Recommended Reading and Morning Coffee Actions sections for more details. We're also busy advocating at the State House and supporting new congressional candidates. Read on to find out what we have planned and how you can join us.
Looking forward to seeing you at our Happy Hour on the 21st!
Your Devoted Muster Editors
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Ask Your State Representatives to Pass the Social Media Privacy Act Twenty six states have already passed legislation to prevent employers and schools from demanding that you share the contents of your social media accounts or turn over your passwords. In March, the MA State Senate unanimously passed similar legislation (An Act Relative to Social Media Privacy Protection, S.2320). Contact your state representative and ask them to urge Speaker DeLeo and Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee to bring the companion House bill (H.158) up for a vote. See this link for more details and a sample call or email script.
Help Senator Markey Protect Net Neutrality This Week!
Last week, Senator Markey and many of his colleagues filed a petition to force a vote on his resolution to restore the FCC's Net Neutrality rules. Fifty Senators (all 49 Democrats and Independents, plus Susan Collins R-ME) have indicated their support for the resolution, but it requires one more vote to pass in the Senate when it comes up for a vote this Wednesday, May 16th! Please ask friends and family represented by the other 50 Senators to call and urge them to support Sen. Markey's resolution. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) might be that elusive 51st vote, so if you know people in Lousiana, please ask them to use this Indivisible call script to contact him. If you want to continue to enjoy the free and open internet as you do today, please make sure our voices are heard before it's too late!
Help Get Big Money out of Politics
We helped People Govern Not Money gather enough signatures last fall to clear the initial hurdle to get a question about the 28th amendment on the MA ballot this coming November. Starting this month, they need to collect an additional 20,000 signatures from across the state. You can see a list of places where they are already planning to collect signatures in May here and volunteer to help out using this link. Not able to collect signatures? You can also help by making a secure donation here.
Participate in Bike Walk 'n Bus Week
Promote healthy, sustainable, and safe transportation options by celebrating Bay State Bike Week. Every year, the Town of Lexington schedules a week of free events including historic walks, guided bike rides, free Lexpress rides, and more! These events are organized by the Bicycle Advisory Committee, Greenways Corridor Committee, and Safe Routes to School Committee, in conjunction with Town staff to celebrate the many alternative transportation resources available in town. There are multiple events every day this week - check the Lexington listings here, events across MA here, and make plans to participate!
Wear Orange for Gun Safety
Orange has long been the color of gun violence prevention and on June 3rd, residents, survivors, students, elected leaders, community leaders, parents and kids in Boston will join together to #WearOrange and show indisputably that there is a movement of Americans committed to stop gun violence.
Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore in her honor when she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 — just one week after performing at President Obama’s 2nd inaugural parade in 2013. After her death, they asked us to stand up, speak out, and Wear Orange to raise awareness about gun violence. You can find more info here.
Sign up for the event in Boston using this link. Thank you for helping us turn America orange — louder and brighter than ever!
Join Us on Discovery Day in Lexington Discovery Day is a fun-filled day for the entire family with live music, dancing, food, local retailers, and exhibits from town departments and organizations. We had so much fun having a booth last year, we signed up to do it again this year on Saturday, May 26th! We'll have unique giveaways, information to distribute, and the ability to sign up new members. This is a great opportunity to let people know about our organization and to answer questions about our teams and the work that we are doing. If you're willing to take a shift at the booth, please fill out this form and encourage your friends to stop by and visit our booth.
Support New Election Team Candidates
At last week's Elections Team meeting, we voted to support 2 new candidates: Archie Parnell from South Carolina 05 and Lauren Underwood from Illinois 13. Jean Latham has volunteered to be the campaign liaison for SC05 and Harriet Cohen has volunteered to be the campaign liaison for IL13. With these fearless liaisons and our strong and dedicated group, we will be able to work hard in support of these 2 new candidates, as well continue to support our other 3 candidates in NJ11, PA06 and KY06. Dan McReady from North Carolina 09 also had a strong showing and might be someone we support if we have enough volunteers.
By the June 13 Election Team meeting all primaries in our selected districts will be over, and we will need to roll up sleeves and go to work. What can you do? SIGN UP to help one of our candidates, SHOW UP at our meetings and events, and help us FLIP THE HOUSE this November!
Swing Maine to Blue
Last Friday, some of our members joined Arlington Resistance at artlounge to party and dance the night away while raising money to help flip the Maine 2nd Congressional District. If you missed the party, you can still help the group meet their fundraising goal of $10k by making a donation using this link; as of right now, 114 donors have contributed $6,000 to support the eventual Democratic nominee in ME-2 who will challenge incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin in November.
SPOTLIGHT ON GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
A Crash Course in Advocacy for Gun Violence Prevention
We often bemoan that there are so many coffee shops around, but we here in MA should consider ourselves lucky. According to The Trace, there are twice as many gun shops in America as coffee shops. The reverse is true in MA, however, which has under 400 gun shops to its nearly 1000 coffee shops. This is probably because MA gun violence prevention efforts are the most effective in the nation, leading to the lowest rate of gun deaths in the U.S.
On a Saturday morning in late April, about 60 advocates and students learned about MA’s achievements in gun violence prevention as part of a conference and advocacy training in Boston (with coffee provided). MI’s Healthcare Team was represented as part of its new initiative on gun violence, particularly from the public health perspective.
Anne Fidler, an Associate Professor with the sponsor, Boston University School of Public Health, started off the conference with a powerful video from Vox that summarized the multifaceted U.S. gun problem in only 7 minutes. One of the most dramatic data slides from the video was this one showing how U.S. federal gun laws compare to those of other industrial nations:
Representatives of the MA organization Stop Handgun Violence then gave an overview of the history of federal law starting with the 1934 ban on fully automatic weapons (machine guns). The National Firearms Act had a local connection since it was in response to a bank robbery in Needham, the first machine-gun crime in MA and one that resulted in the deaths of two policemen. We were then brought to the 1990s when the NRA started its assault on rational gun control and got laws passed to protect guns rather than people.
The speakers next covered MA law, citing an under-appreciated but highly effective provision under which local police chiefs decide whether to approve the issuance of a firearms license or revoke or suspend a license. Sen. Ed Markey recently introduced legislation, the Making America Safe and Secure (MASS) Act, that would authorize federal grants to states that implement and maintain comprehensive licensing standards for gun owners and dealers such as those in MA. An Advocacy Toolkit handout with more background on gun laws can be found here.
The second half of the conference was an Advocacy training given by Lori Fresina and Diane Pickles of M+R, a consulting firm that “raises money + raises hell” for important causes. The training included some valuable exercises such as their version of an elevator pitch with a 27-9-3 rule, meaning a maximum 27 words, spoken in 9 seconds and with up to 3 points. There were several compelling elevator pitches from participants who had had personal experience with gun violence, showing the power of personal stories, another emphasis of the training.
The M+R team also reviewed some “power tools” for advocacy, pointing out that first and foremost is research and data collection. They also highlighted the multiplying power of grassroots advocates since legislators view a handful as representing hundreds of their constituents who must feel the same way. This is part of the Indivisible approach, too, so Go Indivisibles!
So Many Ways that the House Farm Bill is Bad for Our Health...
With midterms approaching, Congress is unlikely to tackle much legislation, but it needs to reauthorize the Farm Bill. The bill the House is expected to vote on this week was voted out of committee without bipartisan support and is loaded down with a wish list of GOP policies from expanding mining and drilling on public lands and preempting pesticide regulations to imposing work requirements for SNAP benefits and undermining the Affordable Care Act. Learn more about what's included in the bill, then contact your MoC to oppose these provisions.
MI Book Club Meeting Tuesday, May 15th 7:15-8:45 PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 242
Join us at May's MI Book Club meeting when we'll be discussing The Common Goodby Robert Reich. Use this link to RSVP for the meeting, suggest books to read, or help us decide which books to discuss later this spring. New members are always welcome.
Weekday Warriors Monthly Meeting/Advocacy Day Wednesday, May 16th 9:30 AM-2:00 PM
MA State House, 24 Beacon St., Boston
Join us at the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) Advocacy Day. We'll arrange to meet in Arlington and take the T. RSVP for advocacy day using this link, then email us to get details on traveling together from Arlington to Boston on the T.
LexVoteYes4TransRights - Training Sessions Wednesday, May 16th and Wednesday, May 30th 6:00-9:00 PM
Lexington (Location sent with RSVP)
LexPride, in conjunction with Freedom for all Massachusetts, is hosting training sessions to prepare activists to educate voters about the November ballot question seeking to repeal the Massachusetts transgender anti-discrimination law. Come be trained on how to have effective conversations about the referendum. Bring your laptop, power cord, cell phone & charger to participate in phone-banking. RSVP using this link.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety Meeting Wednesday, May 16th 7:30-9:00 PM
Winchester Unitarian Society, 478 Main St., Winchester
Join Moms Demand Action for a new member and information meeting
Including a general presentation on Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety, a Middlesex team presentation, guest speakers, and ideas on how to get involved as a volunteer or supporter. RSVP using this link.
Rep. Jay Kaufman Open House on Election Reform Thursday, May 17th 7:00-8:00 PM
Lexington Depot, 13 Depot Square, Lexington
In May, Representative Jay Kaufman's public policy forum, "OPEN HOUSE," delves into the electoral process with guests Pam Wilmot, Executive Director at Common Cause, and Greg Dennis from Voter Choice MA. The forum will take its shape largely from questions from the audience. Questions can be submitted in advance by email or tweet your questions to @repjaykaufman.
Beyond Criminal Justice Reform Saturday, May 19th Noon-2:00 PM
Knights of Columbus, 12 Winslow St., Arlington
Our Revolution of Arlington and Lexington are hosting Middlesex District Attorney candidate Donna Patalano speaking about Beyond Criminal Justice Reform. She will discuss the recent passage of Massachusetts’ criminal justice reform bill and what she believes a progressive DA can do to bring true justice to the state’s criminal law system. The event is free and registration is requested, but not required. You can RSVP using this link.
Minuteman Indivisible Happy Hour Monday, May 21st 5:00-8:00 PM
artlounge, 1346 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington
Join us for a rolling happy hour that allows you to stop in on the way home from work, or drop in anytime between 5:00 and 8:00 pm and bring a friend! Finger food trays will be provided, and beer, wine, soda and small snack plates will be available for purchase. If you'd like to help out by bringing a dessert, taking photographs, or greeting guests, let us know using this link.
Discovery Day in Lexington Saturday, May 26th (Rain Date June 2nd) 10:00AM-3:00 PM
Muzzey St./WalthamSt. Municipal Parking Lot, Lexington
Join us at the Minuteman Indivisible booth at this fun family event with live music, dancing, food, local retailers, and exhibits from town departments and organizations. Sign up using this link to help us staff the booth or just drop by with friends to say Hello! .
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
Help Elect a Millennial to Congress Thursday, May 17th
Private Residence in Brookline (address provided with RSVP)
Meet Abby Finkenauer, who is running to unseat an extreme GOP Freedom Caucus member in Iowa's First Congressional District, at this fundraiser hosted by Force Multiplier and the Swing to Blue Alliance. Abby, who at 29 would be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, is endorsed by Emily's List, End Citizen's United and has been selected as one of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's "Red-to-Blue"Candidates. RSVP and/or donate 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.