Volume I, Issue 13 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible Lexington May 31, 2017
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
Meet the Candidates Evening This Thursday June 1st, Lexington Community Center Dining Room, 7:15-9PM
The primary for the special election for Ken Donnelly's seat will be held June 27th and there are three candidates, Cindy Friedman, Mary Ann Stewart and Sean Garballey. The winner of the primary will face Green-Rainbow candidate Ian Jackson in the general election on July 25th. There is no Republican candidate for the seat. You will have the opportunity to ask all the candidates questions about issues that are of upmost importance to you. Whether it be education, healthcare, climate legislation or criminal justice reform, come decide which candidate would represent your interests and those of MA residents most effectively.
"Three democrats, how different can they be?" you might ask. But they are. The candidates have different perspectives, skills and priorities. Would you hire someone without an interview? The state legislatures are incredibly important, more so now than ever before, as our national government is in such turmoil. Remember, democracy demands engagement. We hope you will engage in this very important electoral process and join us this Thursday evening. We have scheduled half an hour for each candidate (Sean 7:15-7:45, Mary Ann 7:45-8:15, Cindy 8:15-8:45). There will be roughly 15 minutes of meet and greet time, followed by 15 minutes of speaking and Q&A for each candidate.
If you can't make our event in Lexington, there is also a candidates forum, co-sponsored by Arlington and Lexington Democratic Town Committees, scheduled at the Arlington Town Hall on the evening of June 5th, 7:00-8:30pm.
Dan Pomeroy Presentation: Impacting Congress Beyond Phone Calls and Emails: Engaging on Policy June 8th, Cary Library Large Classroom, 7:00-9PM
Now that the House has passed their draconian AHCA bill, it has gone on to the Senate. It's a good time to really understand just what constraints will be imposed on the Senate’s version and what leverage our senators might have in mitigating the most inhumane provisions of the House bill. And, of course, there will be other contentious bills to follow.
Dr. Daniel Pomeroy will be speaking about how Congress works and answer our questions about how to best influence our Members of Congress (MoCs) in his presentation, "Impacting Congress Beyond Phone Calls and Emails: Engaging on Policy". Dan is the manager of MIT’s International Policy Lab, and was a Science and Technology Policy fellow in Senator Ed Markey’s office.
This is an especially important time for us to understand the normal and arcane rules of the Senate as they work on their own version of the healthcare reform bill and how it gets reconciled with the House version.
The presentation will be held in the large classroom at Cary Library on Thursday, June 8th, gathering at 7:00pm with the meeting starting at 7:15pm.
UPCOMING MI MEETINGS
Climate and Environment Team Meeting Wednesday, May 31st (tonight) 7:30PM - 9PM Cary Library Learning Center
1875 Mass Ave., Lexington
The Climate and Environment Team is meeting to discuss carbon pricing legislation in Massachusetts. We will also discuss other issues facing the environment and how we can address them. Newcomers with specific concerns welcome.
Healthcare Team Meeting Tuesday, June 6th
7:15-9PM Lexington Community Center, Room 221
39 Marrett Road, Lexington
Ongoing work to oppose the AHCA in the Senate, both in MA and through outreach to other Indivisible groups. All are welcome. Additional questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4th Middlesex Senate Candidates Night Thursday, June 1st
7:15PM - 9PM Lexington Community Center Dining Room
39 Marrett Road, Lexington
Come meet the candidates to fill the late Ken Donnelly's state Senate seat. It will be an opportunity to meet with them, hear their positions on upcoming legislation and ask them about issues of particular interest to you.
Sign Making Workshop Cancelled Thursday, 6/1
The team is still planning on going to March For Truth so please join us. Email email@example.com if you want to carpool. If you would like to make a sign, please come by the LCC Arts and Crafts room between 6:30 and 7:15 (prior to the candidate night event) and some blank sign boards will be available.
March for Truth June 3rd, 2pm to 5pm
Brewer Fountain on the Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts On June 3rd we will be joining the March for Truth in Boston. The purpose of the march is to call for an impartial investigation into Russian interference in the US election and ties to the Trump administration. The march is from 2pm-5pm. If you are interested in carpooling, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dan Pomeroy: Impacting Congress Beyond Phone Calls and Emails: Engaging on Policy June 8th, 7:15pm to 9pm
Cary Library, Large Classroom
Dr. Daniel Pomeroy will be speaking about how Congress works and answer our questions about how to best influence our Members of Congress (MoCs). Dan is the manager of MIT’s International Policy Lab, and was a Science and Technology Policy fellow in Senator Ed Markey’s office.
Carbon Pricing Lobby Day Tuesday, June 13th, 9am Beacon Hill, Boston
Supporters of carbon pricing in Massachusetts will be lobbying state representatives on Beacon Hill. You can sign up to participate here. For more information on carbon pricing and how you can get involved, see the MI climate team's web page.
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
A note about calling your senator or congressperson: When a group of MI members recently visited Markey’s office, one of his staff mentioned that they definitely want people to call to express views (even when you know that he/she already supports your view). However, they prefer that people make a single call and list all their issues at once (versus making a call for each issue). They record the view for all the issues stated and it saves them time.
Support the Paris Climate Agreement
Trump says he will make his decision about the Paris accords this week. Ivanka Trump claims to be a "moderating influence" on her father and it's been widely reported that she has argued for keeping the U.S. in the Paris agreement. With enough pressure, we might be able to persuade her to push harder to persuade the president that sticking with Paris is the right move. Call the White House Comment Line 202-456-1111 and leave a message for Ivanka Trump. Partial script: "Abandoning the Paris agreement would have disastrous consequences for our country and the planet. It would also have serious consequences for our relationships with other countries, making the U.S. a global pariah."
AHCA and the Trump Budget
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of MA Foundation commissioned the Urban Institute to do examine the impact of the current version of the AHCA on the state. Their document provides a brief look at the potential effects on coverage and costs in Massachusetts. What to do about this proposed double-dismantling of our social infrastructure and protections? It is good to call our MA MoC's and thank them their strong opposition to the AHCA and to any budget that guts so much social basic infrastructure. But please also call your friends with Republican Senators and ask them to call as well. Ted Cruz in Texas, Jeff Flake in Arizona and Dean Heller in Nevada are especially good targets as they are all up for reelection in 2018.
ELECTIONS: More postcards for Archie and Phoning and texting for Jon
Archie Parnell's campaign is seeking phonebankers and texters to help flip the SC 5th district on June 20th. Please fill out this online form to text for the campaign. You can also phonebank for Archie. This link provides the script and instructions. We are expecting several hundred more names for our postcard campaign - contact Sarah (email@example.com) if you'd like to receive a pack of 25 cards to add a handwritten note and address.
Further, you can phone bank and text in both the GA 6th Jon Ossoff campaign. For further details, please check out the MI elections page.
We Still Want a Bi-partisan Commission (in addition to special counsel)
We are going to keep asking for this bipartisan commission until we get the truth.
Call All three of your MoCs. Yes, calling is good even when you know your MoCs are already supportive of the view. They need voters on record.
Here is a suggested script: "Hi. I’m from (your town). My informed opinion is that we need an independent, bipartisan commission to protect our democracy and prevent future election interference. Thank you for supporting S.27/H.R.356."
Give a Little to Keep MI and National Indivisible Building and Growing
Especially as the summer months face us, it is tempting to become complacent. It has been a rough four months and we are all just exhausted from the incessant shock and horror that faces us as we tune into the news each day. However, we need to acknowledge that real change takes sustained effort and engagement. We must be in it for the long haul.
One way to help this effort is with a simple donation. Both the national organization and our own MI group are building tools and infrastructure so that we can coordinate to have a stronger voice here in Massachusetts as well as nationally as we carry this work forward to the 2018 and 2020 elections. This all takes a bit of cash. Please donate to the national organization or to Minuteman Indivisible to help us continue this work.
“It’s when they’re too quiet that I really start to worry.”
(from the New Yorker)
They've done some extensive demographic analysis of not just Trump, but all of congress and their leaders. The numbers related to the 2018 prospects are particularly heart-warming. For example:
11. If the election were today, would you want to see the Republican Party or the Democratic Party win control of the United States House of Representatives?
Tot Rep Dem Ind Men Wom Yes No
Republican Party 38% 88% 2% 37% 42% 34% 41% 50%
Democratic Party 54 9 96 50 49 60 53 44
DK/NA 8 3 2 14 9 7 6 7
Look closely at the Independent voter numbers: 50% favor Democratic control vs 37% Republican control. And even 9% of Republicans want to see Democrats with control of the house in 2018. Happy reading.
Background Reading Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
Hillbilly Elegy offers one type portrait of the rise of the right in the US. This book by New Yorker writer/reporter Jane Mayer offers up quite a different story. Through extensive research, she illuminates the history of an elite cadre of plutocrats, headed by the Kochs, the Scaifes, the Olins, and the Bradleys, all of whom have bankrolled a systematic plan to fundamentally alter the American political system.
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