Volume I, Issue 30 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible Lexington October 10, 2017
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
Greetings Members, In this week's Muster you'll find details about last week's membership meeting, which included a great conversation with State Senator Cindy Friedman, and also learn about many events that are happening this week. This week we are once again shining a spotlight on the Healthcare team, providing more details about the very successful forum on single payer healthcare and highlighting their work to resist the Trump administrations's efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act. Based on some feedback that we received, we have combined our events and meetings sections and moved Morning Coffee Actions closer to the top. Please check out the new format and keep resisting.
Signed: Your dedicated Muster editors
Spotlight on Our Healthcare Team
Since October 2, people who attended our Healthcare Forum (and those who couldn’t make it) have been asking us for more information about the panelists’ presentations. We’ve posted a summary of the event on our website that describes each panelist’s remarks and are thrilled that we also have a copy of the wonderful slides that Dr. Meyers used for his presentation. Together, these documents present a compelling picture of the problems with the existing US healthcare system and the opportunities that a single payer, or Medicare for All, approach would provide. We encourage you to take a look.
If our healthcare forum inspires you to fight for Single Payer healthcare in Massachusetts, sign up for the "Right to Health MA Organizer Bootcamp." The bootcamp takes place right here in Lexington this Saturday Oct. 14 and registration is free, although a donation is suggested to help cover expenses. Learn more and sign up here.
Can’t attend the Bootcamp or still want to do more? The Healthcare team has submitted two Morning Coffee Actions in this week’s Muster: “Protect Birth Control Coverage” and “Tell Your MoC to Fund Chip!”
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
On October 11th, Support the March For Truth
With the Russia collusion investigation reaching a fever pitch, Donald Trump could make good on his threat to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. Some brave Republicans and Democrats have come together to introduce legislation that would stop the White House from interfering in the investigation. The bipartisan legislation would require a federal judge's sign off and gives the special counsel the ability to challenge his dismissal in federal court. On October 11, join the March for Truth and call your MoCs at (202) 224-3121 and tell them that you support S.1741 and H.R.3771.
Stop DHS Collection of Immigrant Social Media Information
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a new rule under the Privacy Act of 1974 that allows them to collect information about US immigrants' social media accounts and search histories when determining their immigrant status. This rule applies to all US immigrants, including green card holders and naturalized citizens. The rule, which is scheduled to go into effect on October 18, is an overreach that violates citizens' privacy rights and restricts freedom of expression while providing no benefit to national security. Call DHS at 202-283-8495 and tell them to reverse this new rule or submit a formal comment using this link before October 18th.
Protect Birth Control Coverage
The Trump Administration has announced a rollback of the ACA birth control mandate by pushing further exemptions, based on religious affiliations, to the contraceptive mandate, with the finalization of a new rule expected in the coming days. The new rule makes the exemption available to *all* employers, including large, publicly-traded, for-profit companies, on the basis of religious beliefs or “moral convictions.” It makes the mandate optional for religiously affiliated organizations, and it creates an exemption for health insurance companies that have religious or moral objections to providing birth control. Call your MoC to express your outrage and ask your friends and family in other states to call too!
Tell Your MoC to Fund CHIP!
Nine million children rely on the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a federal-state partnership where the federal government provides most - or in some cases, all - of the funding necessary to cover uninsured children. No one thought Congress would let CHIP funding expire on September 30, but the Republicans were so busy trying to repeal Obamacare, that’s exactly what happened. Use Indivisible's CHIP explainer and call scripts to contact your MoCs to demand that they pass a clean CHIP reauthorization bill.
Ask Our MOCs to Take the "DREAMer Pledge" and Protect DACAmented Youth
Trump plans to eliminate the DACA program and yank the American Dream from 800,000 young immigrants who are living in the U.S. lawfully unless Congress acts to prevent it. This week the administration announced a variety of demands that must be met before the President will agree to any deal involving the Dreamers including construction of the border wall, changes in the way children fleeing violence in Central America are treated, and sweeping changes in US immigration policy. Ask our MoC to take the “DREAMer Pledge.” What is the DREAMer Pledge? It’s simple. If Congress hasn’t passed the DREAM Act by Dec. 8th—when funding for the government expires—then they will insist on it being a part of the December spending bill. The pledge is that they will commit to voting against the Dec. “continuing resolution” unless it contains a clean DREAM Act. Please also thank Rep. Clark for cosponsoring H.R. 3591, the DREAM Act, and ask our Senators to co-sponsor S.1615 to permanently protect these young Americans and take their future out of Trump’s hands. More info and sample call scripts here.
Join our New Daytime "Weekday Warriors" this Wednesday
Are you free during the day on weekdays? Join our Weekday Warriors! We'll be meeting jointly with the existing daytime group begun by Indivisible MA District 5 in Arlington on Wednesday, Oct 11th from 11am to noon at the Robbins Library community room in Arlington. The meeting will include some activism training in areas such as how to feel comfortable contacting your representatives and ways to write effective letters to the editor. We'll also review what each of our Indivisible groups is currently working on and discuss the goals for the daytime group going forward. We hope to meet monthly and alternate meetings in each town.
Join our WAVE!
Members of Minuteman Indivisible are always up for making waves so we are thrilled to participate in WAVE'S day of action! All we have to do is gather in Lexington Center for 20 minutes and be visible! Join us! See Upcoming Events & Meetings for more information.
Senator Friedman, T-Shirts, and the Membership Meeting
On Thursday, October 2nd we had a social hour, a meeting with Senator Friedman, a t-shirt sale and a membership meeting! It was great to have a chance to talk with Senator Friedman about healthcare, carbon pricing, the tax transparency bill, the Safe Communities Act, and more. Also, everybody was excited to purchase a t-shirt that was designed by our own Michelle Olson! With these t-shirts, we are better positioned to stand "Indivisible." Finally, every team shared their accomplishments, challenges, and plans for the future. This discussion led to some interesting new ideas about gathering resources to accomplish our goals. As you can see from the photos, people couldn't wait to put on their very own Massachusetts Indivisible t-shirt. These t-shirts, which are the perfect thing to wear at rallies, events, and canvassing, will be available at some of our team meetings or you can purchase them in "The Store" section of our website.
Don't Miss the MI Book Club Meeting Next Week
Please save these dates for the next MI Book Club meetings at the Lexington Community Center: Tuesdays Oct. 17 and Nov. 14. Both nights we’ll be discussing “Dark Money” by Jane Mayer and “The Third Reconstruction” by Rev. William Barber. Join us even if you haven’t had a chance to read the books or can make only one of the evenings - we'll provide a summary of the books. You can use this form to RSVP or to indicate books you’d like to see us discuss in the future. Rev. Barber will also be speaking in Boston next Thursday, October 19 at Trinity Church in Copley Square - you can watch it online if you can’t be there in person. See this link for more information.
Save the Date! Breakfast with Chrissy Houlahan
On Friday, October 27 from 8-10AM, the Elections team is hosting Chrissy Houlahan, Candidate for US House for PA 6. Chrissy is endorsed by Seth Moulton, the DCCC, and Emily's List. She is also one of the candidates the Elections team has selected for our support. Come meet her and contribute to the effort. For more information about the event, email the elections team: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more about Chrissy Houlahan, check out the Emily's List writeup.
Join Us for the 2nd MA Indivisible Conference
The next Massachusetts Indivisible Conference is scheduled for Sunday Nov. 12, from 9:00AM-5:00PM at Worcester State University. Coming one year after the disastrous election of 2016 and one year before the critical midterm election of 2018, this 2nd statewide conference is focused on skills training, getting ready for the 2018 elections now, and how Massachusetts can counteract the negative effects of the Trump agenda. There will be training and critical workshops to give groups the tools they need to up their activism game and opportunities to connect with other groups for more coordinated action post-conference. Registration opens soon! Check the Conference Website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for the latest updates. Can’t make it to the conference, but want to help support our efforts? You can donate using this GoFundMe page.
UPCOMING EVENTS & MEETINGS
Democracy Team Meeting Tuesday, October 10th 7:00-8:45PM Margarita's, Waltham The Democracy team has decided to branch out and attend a meeting of Drinking Liberally. Drinking Liberally of Waltham provides a haven for like-minded individuals to vent their frustrations with politics, learn more about how to effect positive change in the world, and connect with new friend over drinks and food. Everybody is invited but they ask people to register. For more information, check out Drinking Liberally of Waltham.
Daytime "Weekday Warriors" Meeting Wednesday, October 11th 11am-noon Robbins Library Community Room, 700 Mass Ave, Arlington
Join us at this new daytime group that will meet during school hours. We'll be meeting jointly with the existing daytime group begun by Indivisible MA District 5 in Arlington The meeting will include activism training and discussion of the goals for the daytime group going forward.
Healthcare Team Meeting Thursday, October 12th 7:15-8:45PM Lexington Community Center, Room 246
The ACA is still the law of the land but there is still a lot to do to defend the law and make sure all Americans have access to healthcare. Join us for our next meeting!
Join the Wave! Saturday, October 14th 12:00-12:30PM Lexington Depot Square
WAVE stands for Women Acting Visibly Everywhere, and as in the Women's Marches, individuals from across the state and the political spectrum are invited to become visible in their communities, make their voices heard, and participate in collective civic action. Minuteman Indivisible thinks that it's great to be visible so we plan to support WAVE's Day of Action by gathering at Depot Square/Emery Park in Lexington and spending 20 minutes being visible. Bring your own sign or use one of ours. Check out the details on our closed Facebook page or email us at email@example.com. See WAVE Day of Action for more information.
Right to Health Organizer Bootcamp
Saturday, October 14, 2017 9:00AM-5:30PM Minuteman High School, Lexington, MA
The Right to Health MA Coalition is bringing together organizers from across the Commonwealth for a day-long Organizer Bootcamp to prepare people for the biggest Single Payer Lobby Day in MA history, which will be held at the State House on November 14th. The goal is to build a powerful, long-term movement for the right to health in Massachusetts. Details and registration information is available here. The event is free, but a donation is suggested to help defray costs.
Policy Advocacy 101 Saturday, October 14th 10:00-11:30AM Waltham Public Library, 735 Main St., Waltham
Come to this free presentation and discussion, sponsored by the American Association of University Women, on advocating for the passage of laws which you find important. During the 90 minute session, you will see an overview of the legislative process in MA from idea to law. The passage of the recent Pay Equity Law in August 2016 will be used as a case study to show the many steps and people involved in passage. Learn how to look up a bill on the Mass.gov web site, analyze the progress of a bill, and engage with elected officials and activists to move a bill forward.
MI Book Club Meeting
Tuesday, October 17th 7:15-8:45PM Lexington Community Center, Room 242
Join us as we begin discussing "Dark Money" by Jane Mayer and "The Third Reconstruction" by Rev. Dr. William J. Barker.
Greening the Grid
Thursday, October 19th 7:00PM Cary Memorial Library, Lexington
What is the electric grid and who runs it? Why is the grid important as we transition to clean energy? How can the grid be modernized to support the transition? Attend this forum presented by the League of Women Voters of Lexington and Massachusetts and co-sponsored by the Conservation Law Foundation to find out.
How to Fix Our Broken Democracy Saturday, October 21st 10AM-Noon Lexington Community Center
Many people feel that big money in politics and corporate power have left our democracy broken. Find out what you can do about this problem at a forum sponsored by We the People Massachusetts who are calling for a constitutional amendment in the Massachusetts legislature. More details and registration information here.
Elections Team Meeting
Wednesday, Nov 8th 7:15-8:45PM
Lexington Community Center, Room TBD
Stay tuned for more information.
Harvard Conference on Redistricting Reform
Wednesday, Nov 8th All Day
Harvard Law School, Austin Hall, Cambridge, MA
This conference, which is free but requires pre-registration, will focus on gerrymandering, redistricting, and the fight for American democracy. The conference program and a link to register are available here.
Massachusetts Indivisible Conference
Sunday, Nov 12th 9:00AM-5:00PM Worcester State University, Worcester, MA
This conference is for Indivisible members across the state of Massachusetts. As a follow-on to the June conference, this will be a full day session with specialized skills development workshops as well as networking opportunities. The goal is to make us all more connected and effective in our activism. There will be a special focus on preparing for the 2018 election cycle, just around the corner. Check the Conference Website, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for the latest updates.
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.