Volume I, Issue 37 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible Lexington November 28, 2017
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
We know we've asked before, but this week's Muster contains yet another plea to fight back against the Trump Tax Scam - the Senate could vote on its version of the bill before the end of this week and we need all hands on deck to stop it!
When you call your MoC about the tax scam, also ask them to act to save net neutrality. See the Morning Coffee Action section for more information and other actions you can take before the FCC votes on Dec. 14th.
Despite the colder weather and holiday season, we've still been busy resisting! See the MI Happenings section for some of our recent activities and check out the Upcoming Meetings and Events section to see what we have planned. If you live in Lexington, don't miss the special section near the end of this Muster with important information about local elections including the override vote on Dec. 4th.
Our work is entirely funded by your donations of time and money. If you’d like to celebrate Giving Tuesday by helping to support this work, you can do so using this link on our website or by purchasing one of our Indivisible T-shirts (please note that donations to us are not tax-deductible). If you’d like to do more, the national Indivisible organization also relies heavily on grassroots donations and if you give today using this link, your donation will be matched.
Your Devoted Muster Editors
Spotlight on the GOP Tax Scam
Stopping the #TrumpTaxScam is still our top priority this week - we need you to light up the phones now!The Senate may vote on its version of the bill this week!
The GOP tax proposals provide neither long-term tax cuts for 99% of us nor anyjob creation that will trickle down to those who need it. They are a scam - a giveaway to corporations and billionaires. To make matters worse, the Senate's version of the bill repeals the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate that makes the current healthcare insurance marketplace viable. The $1.5 trillion deficit created by the GOP tax scam will result in serious cuts to many programs including an immediate $25 billion cut to Medicare.
Call Your MoC Now!
Share your personal stories about how these proposals will affect your family and friends - thank our MoC for opposing this scam and ask them to slow things down by "withholding consent." You can find more information and links to suggested call scripts here. Our MoC have told us repeatedly that your calls and personal stories are powerful ammunition that they need to fight these proposals. Even if you have already called, please call again - every call gets tallied. Indivisible has provided a toll-free number that you can use: call 1-855-980-2350 and you’ll be connected immediately. Once you’ve made a call, call back and you’ll get connected to your other Senator. Please call now, then forward this number to everyone you know!
Call Governor Baker
Ask him to speak out forcefully against these proposals which will have a disproportionate negative impact on Massachusetts. You can find more information and a suggested call script here and in the Morning Coffee Action section below.
Call or Text Progressive Voters in Key States
Indivisible is again providing a way for us to call progressive voters in key states with GOP Senators that have expressed concerns about the bill. This tool, which our members found very easy to use and has step-by-step instructions, was instrumental in helping defeat the GOP healthcare bills this summer - learn how it works and sign up here. If you prefer to text rather than call, MoveOn has a tool that you can also use to urge progressive voters in key states to call their Senators.
See Indivisible's website or ours and follow our Twitter account for more details on the proposals and updates on this fast moving process. Don't use Twitter? You can read our tweets on the website - just scroll down to the bottom of the homepage.
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Save Net Neutrality
On Dec. 14th, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be voting on a plan to rescind the net neutrality rules that currently prevent internet service providers from blocking or favoring certain websites or content. Our MoC oppose this change - please call to thank them and add your voice to theirs. There will also be nationwide protests at Verizon stores on December 7th - see this link for information on the Boston protest. Need more information? Read this document prepared by our Democracy team and an Op-Ed by an FCC Commissioner who opposes the change or visit this website for additional actions you can take.
Support Automatic Voting Rights
Minuteman Indivisible is working with Common Cause in support of the Automatic Voting Rights bill in Massachusetts. Our goal is to get the bill prioritized in the new year and to garner support and champions for it. Call your MA representative to show your support for AVR (see this website for more information and suggested messages). AVR would automatically register eligible citizens whenever they have contact with specific government agencies (e.g., the RMV), and also make the voter rolls more accurate and secure. It is already funded, and would save taxpayers money.
Ask Congress to Continue to Press for Russia Sanctions
On August 2, 2017, the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act was begrudgingly signed into law by President Donald Trump after being passed the House and Senate with nearly unanimous support. The Act called for fresh sanctions not only for Russia, but also North Korea and Iran. The law codifies Obama era sanctions imposed by executive order at the end of last year, extending sanctions to individuals engaged in malicious cyber activity or selling weapons to the Assad regime in Syria, and it defines new sanctions to be enforced against Iran for violations of human rights and continuing weapons program activities. Critically, the bill gives Congress the ability to review and reject any proposed lifting of sanctions against Russia by the Trump Administration.
However, the October 1 deadline for implementing the sanctions came and went without Trump taking action. While in Vietnam at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, he shook hands with Putin and publicly stated that he believed Putin’s claims that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election, over the conclusion of 17 US intelligence agencies (a claim he later tried to walk back). Trump even suggested at a press conference that “Russia has been very, very heavily sanctioned” and that he would rather see a “friendly posture.”
Please call your MoC and tell them that it is not acceptable for President Trump to miss the deadline for imposing sanctions on Russia. Congress is frustrated by the lack of action - your calls keep visibility and momentum on this critical check on the Administration’s power in dealing with Russia.
What About Charlie Baker?
Governor Baker was recently interviewed on the Keller At Large program on CBS. Jon Keller pointed out the benefits of having a Republican Governor, the main one being some “badly needed clout when there is a Republican in the White House.” Governor Baker added that it is important to have a ”fiscally disciplined Republican in the corner office” to “put the brakes on the spending side.” Governor Baker also commented that people want “Government to work.” To that end, we strongly urge Governor Baker to use his “clout” and his tendency to be “fiscally disciplined” to help put the brakes on this #GOPTaxScam that will grow the deficit to unprecedented levels. (see a suggested call script here). Come on Governor Baker – use your corner office to help out the citizens of Massachusetts. Stand up! Speak out! #StandUpCharlie
Opposing the Trump Tax Scam
We kicked off Indivisible's National Day of Action on the Tax Scam on Monday, 11/27 with a little sign-holding during morning rush hour on Rt. 128. We had a lot of fun and got a shout-out from the national Indivisible Team on Twitter. We were inspired by other Indivisible groups who have done similar protests and hope our action prompts a few more.
Helping Send Doug Jones to the Senate Doug Jones is the Democratic candidate in the December 12th special election for Alabama's open US Senate seat. He's running against Roy Moore, and, well, you've heard the news about Roy Moore... On Sunday, 11/19, Minuteman Indivisible helped organize a party to send postcards to progressive voters in Alabama urging them to vote for Doug Jones. We wrote 238 cards in 2 hours and were joined by the Bedford Democrats.
If you couldn't make the party, it's really easy to do this on your own. The various ways to get started are described on the Postcards To Voters website. They start by providing you with clear instructions and ask you to email back a picture of your first postcard. Once they've approved you, you can request as many names as you like. Now is the time to encourage Alabama's Democratic voters to VOTE.
Lobbying for the Right to Health at the State House
Nearly 175 people went to the State House on 11/14 for a day of training, story telling, rallying, and conversations with members of the MA State Legislature, urging forward progress on Single Payer healthcare policy. All of this came on the heels of the MA State Senate passing the first piece of Single Payer legislation in the state’s history.
Arranging to Meet the Democratic Candidates for Governor
We're thrilled to announce that we have arranged for the three Democratic candidates who are running for Governor to meet with us in January. Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie will be speaking and answering your questions on Wednesday, January 10th at 7pm at Cary Library in Lexington. This event is free, but space is limited, so please RSVP using this link if you plan to attend. Due to scheduling constraints, Setti Warren will be meeting with us the following Thursday, January 18th at 7pm at the Lexington Community Center. Space is also limited for this event, so please RSVP using this link. If you register now, and your plans change, you will have the option to cancel your registration later.
UPCOMING MEETINGS & EVENTS
Healthcare Team Meeting
Tuesday, November 28th 7:00-9:00PM Cary Memorial Library, Lexington
Join us as we work on planning actions to resist efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and cut healthcare funding in the tax plan. New members welcome.
Weekday Warriors Team Meeting
Wednesday, Nov 29th 11:00AM-12:30PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 217
Join us as we work on a craft project, either sign making or something similar. Feel free to bring a bagged lunch or snack.
Fundraiser for Randy Bryce for Wisconsin 1st (Seat Currently held by Paul Ryan)
Lexington League of Women Voters First Friday Forum
Friday, December 1st 9:15AM Cary Memorial Library, Lexington
The League is hosting this forum on the debt exclusion override facing Lexington voters on December 4th. Selectman Joe Pato and School Committee member Kathleen Lenihan will present descriptions of the proposed projects and Chair of the NO campaign, Patrick Mehr, will present reasons to reject the proposed tax increase and find alternative ways to fund the projects. There will be time for questions and comments from the public.
Sundays on the Square Sunday, Dec 3rd 3:00-4:00PM
Depot Square, Lexington Center
Join on Sunday afternoons in Depot Square to talk with fellow citizens about resisting the Trump agenda and provide postcards for them to contact their MoC. Weather permitting, we'll hold signs and distribute postcards from 3-3:30, then warm up and and enjoy some refreshments in Lexington Center afterwards.
Elections Team Meeting
Tuesday, Dec 5th 7:15-8:45PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 232
We're one year out from the 2018 midterm elections - are you ready to help us flip the House? The MI Elections Team is supporting 3 candidates for Congress, and we're looking at more. Join us to hear our strategy and get involved. Newcomers are always welcome.
MI Book Club Meeting
Tuesday, December 12th 7:15-8:45PM Lexington Community Center, Room 221
There have been lots of suggestions for books we should read - join us and let people know which books you think we should begin with in 2018. Recommend a favorite or just get some ideas for your holiday gift list or New Year’s resolution. Join us for a lively discussion and some special refreshments.
Our Constitutional Democracy team has a new Twitter account - follow them for information on collusion with the Russians, gerrymandering, voter suppression. ICE roundups, and more. If you haven't done so already, follow our Elections and Healthcare team accounts to learn more about the congressional candidates we're supporting and the latest healthcare developments.
Want to share information with fellow Minuteman Indivisible members on Facebook, but not sure how to go about it? See this handy worksheet for instructions.
Info for our Lexington Members
“All Politics is Local” according to the late Tip O’Neill, Congressman from Cambridge and Speaker of the House. In this case, local means Lexington where many, but not all, of our members live. If you’re not from Lexington, you can skip this section, but check with your local town or city clerk for important election dates in your community.
Vote on December 4th!
On Monday December 4th, Lexington voters will decide whether to approve debt exclusion overrides to build three new capital projects: replacements for the Hastings elementary school, Lexington Children's Place, and the Fire Station Headquarters. More information about this special election can be found on the town's website. As noted above, the Lexington League of Women Voter's is holding a forum on this topic on Friday, Dec. 1st.
Key Town Meeting Deadlines in December and January
Even consider running for office? Local government is a great place to start as many of our members who have held local offices can attest. Now is the time to begin making plans as the deadline for new candidates to submit signed nomination papers is typically in mid-January. Running to be a town meeting member is especially easy - only a few signatures are required and each of Lexington’s 9 precincts elects at least 7 town meeting members each year (more if members whose terms haven’t expired move or resign). Talk to current town meeting members to find out what's involved and contact the Town Clerk's office in early January to pick up nomination papers!
Did you know that Lexington citizens can submit items to be voted on at our local Town Meeting? The "Warrant" lists all of the items (called articles) that can be voted on at town meeting. To get an article on the warrant, citizens must draft the wording and get the signatures of 10 or more registered voters. The deadline for submitting items for the 2018 annual town meeting is Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017 at 4pm. The Town Clerk's office can explain the procedure and provide the necessary forms.
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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