Volume 2, Issue 19 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible May 8, 2018
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
With summer just around the corner, there's a big push to pass legislation and hold events before people head out of town on vacation. This week's Muster calls for urgent action on legislation at both the state and national level - although we've featured many of these issues in previous newsletters, please contact your representatives again as deadlines to make your voice heard are rapidly approaching.
Please make plans to join us at our Happy Hour on May 21st and bring a friend - see the MI Happenings section for more details. This week's Spotlight section focuses on the MI Board, which will be busy over the next few weeks organizing events, planning future strategy, and exploring ways to work more effectively and efficiently. We're not alone in planning events this month - check out the Upcoming Events section for lots of opportunities to get involved and don't miss the chance to have fun and help elect a progressive candidate at the Swing Maine to Blue dance party this Friday night.
Hope to see you at our Happy Hour on the 21st!
Your Devoted Muster Editors
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation's most important anti-hunger program that improves health outcomes. SNAP helps about 42 million low-income Americans afford a nutritious diet. On April 18th, the House Agriculture Committee reported out the Farm Bill, on a partisan (26-20) vote, with cuts to SNAP funding and the addition of work requirements. The bill is expected to move to the House floor as early as mid-May and the Senate is also expected to move its version of the bill in May. Please contact your MOCs and ask them to oppose the anti-SNAP provisions of the Farm bill. More details and a sample call script from Indivisible here.
Support Automatic Voter Registration Now!
We are heading into the home stretch with AVR and we really need your help! The next month is critical since we are finishing a legislative session and there is a lot going on at the State House. Call, email or send a postcard and ask your state representative to "please tell Speaker DeLeo to bring H.4320 up for a vote." Please watch this 2 minute video for a quick overview on AVR and share it with friends on social media. See this link for more information on AVR and other simple steps you can take to help MA join the twelve other states and the District of Columbia that have already approved AVR.
Contact Your State Rep to Support Clean Energy Legislation
Please call your state representative to push for action on clean energy legislation and urge the House to adopt the policies included in the Senate Climate Omnibus bill ((S.2302). To keep pressure on the MA House to take up the legislation, organizers are asking clean energy supporters to call every Monday, but calls or emails anytime are helpful; a call-in script can be found here. Prefer to lobby your state rep in person? Use this link to RSVP for the Mass Power Forward Lobby Day this Thursday, May 10th from noon to 4pm at the State House. If you'd also like send a postcard to Governor Baker or write a letter to the editor supporting carbon pricing, this action toolkit from the Massachusetts Campaign for a Clean Energy Future has all the information you need.
Support the Poor People's Campaign at the State House
The Poor People's Campaign is launching 40 days of action that will include rallies, education and organizing, cultural arts events, nonviolent civil disobedience, and fusion coalition building in at least forty-one states. There will be five Monday actions at the State House in Boston each with a different theme. Monday actions will begin at 2 pm with a rally followed by optional non-violent direct action. RSVP to join us for the first event on May 14th here.
Help Senator Markey Protect Net Neutrality
This Wednesday, May 9th, Senator Markey and many of his colleagues will be filing 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. 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.
Join Us at a Minuteman Indivisible Happy Hour on May 21st!
As our resistance work is in full tilt, we’re hosting a break from all that we’re doing together—to get to know each other better as fellow travelers. Even better, it’s 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. You are invited to the artlounge in Arlington on Monday evening, May 21st, starting at 5:00 pm. Finger food trays will be provided, and beer, wine, soda and small snack plates will be available for purchase.
Working with Indivisible Groups Across the State
On May 6th, several MI members joined with 25 other representatives from Indivisible groups across the state at a meeting in Framingham. We discussed what groups are doing now and what support they need, with a special focus on the upcoming midterm elections and state legislation that the Indivisible MA Legislative team is tracking and supporting. People had a chance to work in small groups and were encouraged to come up with areas where the statewide group could help: suggestions included training, a conference, and a statewide rally/lobby day at the State House. Going forward, monthly video conference meetings are planned as well as another in-person meeting in November, which hopefully will have a celebratory theme.
SPOTLIGHT ON THE MI BOARD
Minuteman Indivisible is essentially a startup. We have teams that focus on certain topics such as congressional elections, healthcare, climate, voting rights, human rights, and immigrant rights. We also have teams that span issues like the Weekday Warriors and the Book Club. The “glue” that holds these teams together to create an Indivisible group is the board. The board is also chartered with keeping the lights on and the administrative tasks of having a group (e.g., overseeing our website, bank account, database, weekly newsletter, FEC filings, outreach, etc). The MI board takes input from all these teams and manages these roles to create a cohesive, well running organization.
The board is continually trying to support the teams and the overall organization and is currently focused on the following items:
Planning the next quarterly happy hour on May 21st from 5-8pm at artlounge in Arlington. The party planners are hard at work planning games, food, presentations, and more. Everybody, please plan to attend. This is a drop in event – say as long as you can or are able.
Organizing our presence at Lexington Discovery Day so that we can join in the community and let more people know that we exist and what we do.
Planning a day long board retreat in June so that we can assess where we are, where we want to go, and how we are going to get there. Along the way, we will discuss challenges, explore solutions, and create a vision for the coming months.
Creating and documenting procedures so that planning and coordinating actions is less of a fire drill and more of a streamlined process. Each time we find ourselves doing something several times, we try to develop a standard process so that it is easier the next time.
Managing our financial resources so that we operate effectively and efficiently and can provide all the information required by the FEC for our 527 PAC (which is what we are).
Perfecting our “on boarding” process so that we can more easily bring in new members to the organization and to the board. We recently added three new members to the board: Bob Kvaal, Jean Milburn, and Susan Jureidini. We are thrilled to have them join us in our resistance!
Putting in place more support for the team leaders. Teams are very important so we want to make sure that team leaders have all the support that they need to have an efficient team.
Using Facebook and other methods to prospect for new members. Now that we have a membership chair, we are branching out to find new members in previously unexplored ways (for us).
Coordinating with Indivisible MA to provide a statewide coordinated effort with other MA Indivisible groups. We attend both regional and statewide meetings.
Coordinating with other organizations to take action and provide information to our members,
If you're interested in giving us a hand, either on a one-time or ongoing basis, please let a board member know (see the "Get Involved" section below for contact information). As we often like to say "Minuteman Indivisible has something for everybody.” No skill is too small or unable to be used. Like to organize events? Great, help us organize a meeting on Ranked Choice Voting or a postcard party. Love to write? Help us write articles for the newsletter or material for the website. Like to attend events? Discovery Day is coming up and we need volunteers to man the table. Like to bake? We would love to serve your favorite desert at this month's happy hour. If nothing else, President Trump has sparked a lot of creativity in the resistance arena.
UPCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS
Elections Team Meeting Tuesday, May 8th 7:15-8:45 PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 242
The Elections team had a great discussion at our April 25th meeting about how to be strategic in selecting our next candidate to support. We considered four compelling candidates and learned about their districts. We're planning to make a decision about where to focus our support when we meet on May 8. If you're curious about how we make these decisions, join us! New team members are always welcome.
Happening - The Clean Energy Revolution Tuesday, May 8th 7:00-9:00 PM
Cary Memorial Library, Large Meeting Room, Lexington
Lexington's Global Warming Action Committee (GWAC) is screening this film that highlights American's clean energy successes including stories of business innovation, energy justice and community revitalization. The film will be followed by a discussion of how Lexington and other communities are moving towards clean energy. See GWAC's website for more details.
Advocacy Training Thursday, May 10th 9:00-10:30 AM
YW Boston Building, Kumba Library, 140 Clarendon St., Boston
Join our Weekday Warriors team for a training on legislative advocacy, offered by Jill Ashton of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW). The training will cover the basics of how a bill becomes a law and how to advocate with your legislators, followed by a deeper dive into MCSW’s priority legislation. RSVP using this link, then email us to get details on traveling together from Arlington to Boston on the T. We hope to have some social time after the training.
Mass Power Forward/March for Science Lobby Day Thursday, May 10th 12:00-4:00 PM
MA State House, 24 Beacon St., Boston
Join members of our Climate and Environment team at the State House to encourage our legislators to support clean energy and environmental justice. RSVP using this link.
Healthcare Team Meeting Monday, May 14th 7:00-8:45 PM
Cary Memorial Library, Learning Center, Lexington
The May meeting of the Healthcare team will continue our discussion about actions we can take to advocate against sabotages of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. We will also be discussing how to support the Elections team as the 2018 election cycle gets busy.
Climate Church, Climate World Book Discussion Monday, May 14th 7:30-9:00 PM
Wayland Public Library, 5 Concord Rd., Wayland
Come hear the Reverend Dr. Jim Antal discuss his book Climate Church, Climate World which argues that climate change is the greatest moral challenge humanity has ever faced. Rev. Antal speaks frequently, regionally and nationally, on the essential role people of faith must play to counter climate change. More details here.
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.
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.
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
Swing Maine to Blue Dance Party Friday, May 11th 7:00-11:00 PM
Artlounge, 1346 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington
Arlington Resistance is throwing a dance party to raise money for the Democratic challenger in the Maine 2nd Congressional District. The proceeds go to Swing Left’s District Fund for ME-2 to support the eventual Democratic nominee in the Maine 2nd Congressional District, who will challenge incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin in November. We want to make sure the Democratic candidate hits the ground running in the general election -- which means giving him or her a big check after the primary on June 12th! Artlounge serves wine, beer, snacks and small plates. Get more details and RSVP here, then donate using this link.
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 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.