Volume I, Issue 34 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible Lexington November 7, 2017
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
Veterans Day is this Saturday. We send our heartfelt thanks to all the veterans who served our country and encourage you to take part in the Veterans Day celebrations in Lexington or in your local community.
Because the proposed GOP tax bill will undermine so much of what Minuteman Indivisible is fighting for, we are devoting most of this week's Muster to providing information about it and indicating what you can do to fight back. The Spotlight section below summarizes some of the most egregious features of the bill, while the Recommended Reading section provides links to articles and websites where you can learn more about its details and projected impacts. The MI Happenings section describes the event we have planned for this Friday, Nov. 10, as part of Indivisible's National Week of Action on the tax bill.
Of course, we're also busy on many other fronts. We're excited that so many of you will be attending the Massachusetts Indivisible Conference this Sunday, and look forward to seeing you at the many other meetings and events happening this month, including some of the fundraisers for Congressional candidates sponsored by fellow Indivisible groups.
We can’t stress this enough: so muchof what we care about is on the chopping block in the #TrumpTaxScam. Here’s a few of the things that the GOP is proposing just to give themselves and their millionaire and billionaire friends a tax cut:
Penalize those with debt… and make them pay more: People with medical or student loan debt would no longer be able to deduct those expenses from their taxes.
Exacerbate wealth inequality: The bill gives huge tax cuts to the wealthy by phasing out the estate tax, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax, and limiting the tax rate on income earned by hedge funds, private law firms, and the Trump Organization. The bill also slashes the corporate tax rate.
Attack immigrants: More than 5 million immigrant parents with US-citizen children would no longer be able to receive the Child Tax Credit. And some immigrants working legally in the US would lose access to the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Punish states that did not support Trump: The proposal wipes away deductions for state and local income taxes and the mortgage interest deduction cap is halved. Residents of "blue states" with robust public services and expensive housing like MA, NY, and CA would pay a disproportionate share for this tax plan.
Eliminate incentives for job growth in rural and urban areas: The bill removes a tax credit that encourages businesses to invest in places hit the hardest by the recession -- mostly rural communities and urban areas.
Add $1.5 trillion to the deficit: And once they balloon the deficit, they’ll use that as an argument to make deep, dangerous cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security in 2018.
House Republicans have already begun marking up their bill, and the Senate may introduce their bill this week. Just like TrumpCare, Republicans’ only chance to get this bill through is if we don’t make enough noise. But, if we show national, mobilized, local opposition to this scam before most members of Congress make up their mind, we can stop them in their tracks.
Check out the articles and websites below for more information about the GOP tax proposals and see our Twitter account or website for 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.)
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Let's do all we can to protect Mueller! Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has introduced a resolution calling on Mueller to resign. Call your Senators and urge them to support S.1735, the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act, or S.1741, the Special Counsel Integrity Act, then ask your Representative to support H.R.3771, also called the Special Counsel Integrity Act. Please ask your MoC to also make a public statement that the firing of Special Counsel Mueller by Trump would be completely unacceptable. Check out investigaterussia.org for the latest information. It’s the duty of Congress to serve as a check on Trump and prevent him from sending our democracy into a tailspin.
Defeat the Trump Tax Scam
As this video from Senator Elizabeth Warren demonstrates, our MoCs have been vocal in their opposition to the TrumpTaxScam. Please call them and let them know that we appreciate and support their efforts. Check the Spotlight and Recommended Reading sections above for more information about the GOP tax proposals and let us know if you'll be attending our Tax Scam event on Nov. 11 - see MI Happenings below for all the details.
Mandate the Disclosure of Online Political Ad Information
Call your MoC and tell them that you support the disclosure of online political ad information - we have a right to know where these ads on social media are coming from. Here is a sample script: "Hello, I’m a constituent from [town]. I’m calling to ask [name of MoC] to support the Honest Ads Act [H.R. 4077 if House | S.1989 if Senate]. Holding online political ads to the same standard as ads published through other media is a critical first step in safeguarding our democracy and preventing foreign interference in elections."
Support our National Parks
Make a public comment before 11/23/17 and call your MOCs and tell them that you strongly support our Nation Parks Service system, that it deserves funding and that increasing the entrance fee just allows those who can afford certain national parks to be able to visit and therefore is discriminatory.
Ask Governor Baker to Resign from Trump's Opioid Council
It sounds great that Governor Baker is on Trump's Opioid Council but the council is doling out empty promises without a real agenda to combat the crisis. Even with praise from Governor Baker and his Republican colleague and friend, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, members of Trump’s own administration, including the Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, admitted to Politico that they’ve been kept in the dark about Trump’s plans to address the opioid epidemic. The number of overdose deaths in Massachusetts have jumped 46 percent since Governor Baker took office. It is time for Governor Baker to resign from President Trump’s Commission and use his time fighting opioid addiction in Massachusetts.
Join Us in Lexington Center to Oppose the Trump Tax Scam
This week, Indivisible groups all over the country are holding #TrumpTaxScam events and we plan to get in on the action. We'll be in Depot Square in Lexington Center from 3-4PM this Friday, Nov. 10th. Bring a sign if you have one or make one there - we'll be providing cardboard and markers. We'll also be distributing handouts and postcards for people to send to their MoC. After the event, we hope you'll join us for some refreshments at a location TBD in Lexington Center. Sign up for the event on our closed Facebook page or email us at email@example.com to let us know if you'll be there.
Don't Miss the Massachusetts Indivisible Conference
We're thrilled that so many members have already registered for the Massachusetts Indivisible Conference being held this Sunday, Nov. 12, at Worcester State University. Hundreds of Indivisible members from across the state are planning to network and learn from a whole slate of truly inspiring and informative speakers and nuts and bolts workshops that will help you up your activism game.
Workshops are filling up fast and online pre-registration closes at 6pm on Wed. Nov. 8, so if you plan to come, don't delay! There will be same day registration at the door, but with Senator Elizabeth Warren as our keynote speaker, we may reach the conference capacity and have to turn people away. Can’t make it to the conference, but want to help support our efforts? You can donate using this GoFundMe page.
For those who are planning to attend, carpools will be leaving from Lexington - if you are interested in joining one or can offer a ride, please email Marci Cemenska. We are looking for several additional volunteers to help us out for an hour or two on the day of the conference with set up and check-in. If you can help, please sign up here: Volunteer Form.
We can't wait to see you all there!
Help Us Gather Signatures to Overturn Citizens United
Our Weekday Warriors team has been helping People Govern, Not Money (PGNM) gather signatures for a ballot initiative to help overturn Citizens United and get big money out of politics. This is a short, intense campaign that requires all hands on deck. PGNM needs to collect 90,000 signatures by Nov 22, and is well on the way to reaching that goal. We have collected signatures at Lexington's Special Town Meeting, the Farmers Market, and at local grocery stores. Jump in and help us in this historic effort. Check PGNM's home page for an updated schedule of where they plan to collect signatures and sign up to help using this link.
UPCOMING EVENTS & MEETINGS
Elections Team Meeting
Wednesday, Nov 8th 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.
Harvard Conference on Redistricting Reform
Wednesday, Nov 8th All Day
Harvard Law School, Austin Hall, Cambridge, MA
Join us at this conference, (free but requires pre-registration) which will focus on gerrymandering, redistricting, and the fight for American democracy. The conference program and a link to register are available here.
Oppose the Trump Tax Scam
Friday, Nov 10th 3:00-4:00PM
Depot Square, Lexington Center
Let people know how you feel about the Trump Tax Scam, then join fellow members for some refreshments afterwards. More details in the MI Happenings section above.
Massachusetts Indivisible Conference
Sunday, Nov 12th 9:00AM-5:30PM Worcester State University, Worcester, MA
Register now for this conference for Indivisible members across the state of Massachusetts. This will be a full day event with specialized skills development workshops as well as networking opportunities. There will be a special focus on preparing for the 2018 election cycle, just around the corner.
Right to Health MA Lobby Day
Tuesday, Nov 14th 10:00AM-2:00PM
Massachusetts State House
Join hundreds of single-payer supporters from across Massachusetts at the State House for the Right to Health MA Lobby Day, a day of education, demonstration, and legislative advocacy. The day will include informative sessions on the concept of single-payer healthcare, as well as specifics on current legislation. Attendees will also have a chance to meet with their elected officials one-on-one or in small groups.
MI Book Club Meeting
Tuesday, November 14th 7:15-8:45PM Lexington Community Center, Room 242
Join us as we continue discussing Dark Money by Jane Mayer and The Third Reconstruction by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber. You can use this form to RSVP or to indicate books you’d like to see us discuss in the future.
Healthcare Team Meeting
Thursday, November 16th 7:15-8:45PM Lexington Community Center, Room TBD
Constitutional Democracy Team Meeting
Monday, November 27th 7:00-8:45PM Lexington Community Center, Room 221
Collusion with the Russians. Gerrymandering. Voter suppression. ICE roundups. Racism. If these issues are important to you, then join the Democracy team and help us support policy changes and keep the pressure on.
Early Fundraising Makes A Difference!
Early fundraising for 2018 midterm races is crucial to progressive candidates seeking to challenge Republican incumbents. The Elections Team has already hosted separate fundraisers for our chosen candidates, and many other Indivisible groups in greater Boston are doing the same. Here are a few upcoming fundraising events for your consideration - remember that your dollars go a long way at this early stage in the game, so be as generous as you can, please!
Doug Jones for Alabama, Special Senate Election Dec. 12th
More events are in the works, including for Randy Bryce challenging Paul Ryan in Wisconsin's 1st district. We'll share details on these events in future editions of the Muster and on the website.
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 unite to uphold the rights and dignity of all people. Our mission is to exercise and defend our Constitutional rights and democratic institutions. Our principles are informed by our humanitarian values and respect for well-established scientific knowledge and governance expertise.