Volume I, Issue 26 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible Lexington September 14, 2017
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
Spotlight on Our Healthcare Team
Our healthcare team has been on the frontlines fighting Trumpcare for months and hasn’t let up since the Senate failed to pass a healthcare bill in late July. They’re organizing into sub-teams to focus on a variety of issues including Trump’s administrative sabotage of the ACA, MA healthcare funding and initiatives, and Single Payer healthcare proposals. Members have visited our MoCs and state officials, attended a variety of local and state healthcare panels to get the most up-to-date information and network with other activists, and are organizing their own exciting healthcare forum in early October in conjunction with Harvard Medicine Indivisible. Here are some of the things they’re working on that you can get involved with.
Medicare for All MA panel discussion at the Ayer Town Hall, 9/12/17
Senator Jaime Eldridge, Representative Jen Benson and the Masscare Coalition spoke.
Trumpcare is Back for a Third Time with a New Name!
Please CALL your MoC and ask them to vote NO on the new Graham-Cassidy bill! The Senate must act by September 30, so please call right away.
Graham-Cassidy is very similar to earlier TrumpCare bills - control for healthcare under this bill is given to the states. Key differences we are aware of:
(1) Graham-Cassidy allows states to opt out of the ACA (ObamaCare) regulations.
(2) Medicaid and subsidy funding would be cut.
(3) Block grants would be given to states – these block grants include funds for Medicare as well as any marketplace subsidies. States can put the money into any health care system they choose.
(4) Block grants can be redistributed in favor of red states (those that may not have expanded Medicare) from Blue states -- THIS IS ABOUT POLITICS NOT POLICY
(5) Block grants end in 2026
More information from the Indivisible Team is available here.
Save the Date for our October Healthcare Forum!
We’re excited to announce we’ll be sponsoring a forum on Single Payer Healthcare in conjunction with Harvard Medicine Indivisible. The date is Monday, October 2nd and it will run from 7-9pm at the First Parish Church, 7 Harrington Road, Lexington. Hope to see you there!
Governor Baker part of Bipartisan Initiative to Shape US Healthcare Legislation
Call the Governor’s office (617-725-4005) to thank him for his testimony and urge him to continue to fight to protect affordable healthcare for all Massachusetts residents.
Governor Baker testified in Washington DC on 9/7 before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Obamacare (the ACA). He was joined by two fellow Republicans, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, and two Democrats, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss stabilizing premiums under the ACA. Baker has been opposed to all versions of the repeal and replace bills however, of concern, are the repeated threats from the Trump Administration to withhold payments to states and insurers to subsidize plan costs for lower income individuals. Governor Baker’s testimony focused on the following issues:
• Bipartisan Collaboration
• Market Stabilization
• Federal/State Partnerships
• Greater flexibility around benefit design
• Health Care Cost Drivers
• Medicaid and Other Reforms
A video and full transcript of the Governor’s testimony is available on mass.gov or you can read coverage of his testimony in the Boston Globe or WBUR.
Minuteman Indivisible Book Club
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the first Minuteman Indivisible Book Club meeting in August! We had a lively and thought-provoking discussion about On Tyranny and look forward to hearing what you have to say about the books we’ll be reading this fall.
Our next meeting will be Tuesday, September 19th at the Lexington Community Center at 7:15 pm. when we’ll be discussing Don’t Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff. This book is an indispensable guide for understanding how to discuss political issues so that you effectively promote progressive values and don’t inadvertently reinforce the ideas you are fighting against. There’s no need to have read the book in advance, but if you plan to join us, please fill out this form so we can email you a brief summary of the book and links to other material by the author before the meeting
If you can’t make the September meeting, we hope you’ll join us later in the fall when we’ll be talking about Dark Money by Jane Mayer and The Third Reconstruction by the Reverend Dr. William J. Barber. We plan to discuss the two books together over multiple sessions.
Fundraiser for Mikie Sherrill
The MI Elections Team co-hosted a successful fundraiser "Bagels with Mikie" on Saturday 9/9 that raised over $4100! Mikie Sherill is one of the elections team's selected candidates and she was in town for an event sponsored by Rep. Seth Moulton. She's endorsed by Emily's List and the DCCC. We met her, her team, and heard how the congressional race in the NJ 11 is shaping up. To learn more about Mikie's campaign and why we are supporting her, see our writeup on our webpage. If you couldn't make it on Saturday but would still like to contribute to her campaign please do so using our form! We'd love to close out our first campaign for Mikie at the $5K mark.
Fun fact: Do you know what the Emily of Emily's list is for? Not the name of the founder...
EMILY: Early Money is Like Yeast
DACA Support Rally Saturday, September 16, 2017
1:00PM, Boston Common
The Boston May Day Coalition is organizing a rally to defend DACA. Join the coalition to resist deportations and defend DACA. For more information see the Facebook event.
Collect Signatures for Ballot Questions
Saturday & Sunday, September 16 & 17, 2017 Lexington Center
The Raise Up Massachusetts coalition is working to place questions on the November 2018 statewide ballot to raise the minimum wage to $15 and to establish a program of universal insurance for paid family and medical leave. Volunteers will begin collecting signatures weekly in Lexington Center starting on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16 and 17. If you're interested in helping out with the signature gathering effort (or simply in getting more information about these campaigns), please contact Margaret Heitz at email@example.com or Peter Enrich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senator Ed Markey Town Hall Sunday, September 17, 2017 6:00 -7:30pm
Newton North High School, 457 Walnut St.
Senator Markey will be holding a Town Hall discussion on climate change, immigration, health care, the opioid crisis, and next steps for Massachusetts in a Trump administration. Doors open at 5:30 - get there early to avoid being disappointed. For more information see the Facebook page for this event.
Minuteman Indivisible at We the People Massachusetts
Thursday, September 21, 2017 7:00PM Democracy Center, Harvard University
45 Mt. Auburn St, Cambridge, MA
We the People is an organization dedicated to overturning Citizens United. MI has been invited to come to this We The People meeting to give a 20 minute talk about the origins of the Indivisible movement and some specifics of Minuteman Indivisible. Come learn more about both MI and We the People.
Rep. Kaufman's Civic Engagement Series Continues
Thursday, September 28, 2017 7:00-8:30pm
13 Depot Square, Lexington Center
Representative Jay Kaufman’s award winning public policy forum, “OPEN HOUSE,” kicks off its 23rd season with a return to the civic engagement series, “Democracy Demands Engagement.” This first forum of the fall, “Democracy Demands Engagement V: Taking Stock,” is a culmination of the series that took place in the spring. Mark your calendars to explore this challenging territory. RSVP by emailing email@example.com.
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.
Regional 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. Stay tuned for more details.
UPCOMING MI MEETINGS
MI Book Club Meeting Tuesday, September 19th 7:15-9PM Lexington Community Center, Room 230/232
Join us as we discuss Don't Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff. There’s no need to have read the book in advance. We’ll provide a brief summary to get the discussion started and focus on how it applies to our Minuteman Indivisible activities. Click here if you hope to join us or have a book that you would like to suggest as a candidate for a future meeting.
Healthcare Team Meeting Wednesday, September 20th 7:15-9:00PM
Lexington Community Center, Room 243
Please join us for the next Healthcare meeting. The House and Senate repeal and replace healthcare drama is back snd administrative sabotage of the ACA continues. We will be kicking off our healthcare advocacy efforts for the Fall and look forward to welcoming new members, or welcome back old members. At this meeting we will break into focus areas such as defending the ACA against sabotage, bi-partisan efforts to improve the ACA, single payer, or whatever other topics are of interest to the group.
Elections Team Meeting Wednesday, September 27th 7:15-8:45PM Lexington Community Center
Join us as we participate in a Skype call with Jim Thompson, who came close to pulling off an upset in the special election in Kansas CD04 last spring, and who is running again for the same seat in 2018.
Single Payer Healthcare Forum Monday, October 2nd 7:00-9:00PM First Parish Church, 7 Harrington Road, Lexington
We’re sponsoring on a forum on Single Payer Healthcare in conjunction with Harvard Medicine Indivisible. and are finalizing a great group of panelists. Look for more details in upcoming issues of the Muster. General Membership Meeting Thursday, October 5th 5:30-6:30 (social hour) / 6:45-8:45 meeting Lexington Community Center
Find out the latest status of the teams and what actions are planned at our fall quarterly meeting.
Democracy Team Meeting Tuesday, October 10th 7:15-8:45PM Lexington Community Center
Join us as we discuss the latest about RussiaGate, Immigrant Rights, and social justice issues. Help us plan our actions for the coming month.
Daytime Meeting October Date / Time / Place TBD
Join us at this new daytime group that will meet during school hours. If you are interested in being part of this group, please fill out this form with your preference for days, as well as mornings vs afternoons, so that we can start planning.
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Defend DACAmented Youth
Trump has announced that he plans to eliminate the DACA program and yank the American Dream from 800,000 young immigrants who are living in the U.S. lawfully. Congress can prevent this. Ask your representative and senators to co-sponsor S.1615 in the Senate and H.R. 3591 in the House to permanently protect these young Americans and take their future out of Trump’s hands. Also request that they insist that the DREAM Act be included in all must-pass legislation. More info and sample call scripts here.
Sign up for an Elections Action Team
As we are going into high gear for 2018, MI Elections has picked five candidates to support and we are actively recruiting for our "action teams". Do you Facebook or Tweet? Sign up for our Social Media team. Our Research team will be doing opposition research on incumbent. The Fundraising team will be organizing events similar to the "Bagels with Mikie" and Regina Bateson parties held earlier this year, as well as facilitating online donations. We also have Postcarding, Texting and Phone-banking teams. Finally, we need a graphics team! Do you know Photoshop? Put it to use electing a democrat to the house. These are not huge time commitments and can mostly be done on your own schedule. Please sign up with our Elections Team Volunteer Form .
Celebrate Constitution Day!
Sunday, September 17th is Constitution Day which celebrates the signing of the Constitution by the Founding Fathers on September 17, 1787. Lexington's Cary Memorial Library has a display and selection of books about the Constitution by the main door on Mass Ave. Check it out and pick up a free pocket copy of the Constitution while you're there.
S.365: Legal Challenges, Why the Bill Should Prevail, & the Importance of 2020
At the hearing last week, we got to listen to Secretary Galvin present S.365, possible legal challenges, and why the bill should prevail. Read all the interesting details here.
Time to Give Governor Baker a Call
Time and time again we get asked "Our Members of Congress are doing what we want them to do. What can we in MA do?" One answer is to call the Governor! He has a seat at the table so let's start calling him. You can reach Governor Baker at 617-725-4005 - make sure to provide your name, town, and zip code when you call. Here's an article you can read for some context about Charlie Baker and healthcare in Massachusetts and a great call script adapted from Indivisible District 5:
First I’d like to thank Governor Baker for his recent comments condemning white supremacyand neo-Nazismafter the events in Charlottesville. Massachusetts has been a trendsetter on equality, and I’d like to urge Governor Baker to exert his influence within the Governor's Council to pressure the Trump administration to also condemn the rise of white supremacy and unfreeze 10 million dollars in funding for groups to counter violent extremism in the U.S.
I would also like to thank Governor Baker for his testimony to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. I urge him to continue to fight to protect affordable healthcare for all Massachusetts residents and to NOT cut MassHealth. It’s a very popular program, and vital to our state.
Next, I would like Governor Baker to reconsider his policy on immigration - this immigration detainer bill is unacceptable, and he needs to support the Safe Communities Act if he wants the support of his constituents in his upcoming election.
Lastly, I’d like to urge Governor Baker to demand an independent commission and keep putting pressure on the Russia investigation. I saw an article in the Boston Herald this spring that he made a public statement calling for an independent investigation, which is great, but can you tell me what else he's doing to keep the pressure on for an independent investigation?
Please pass this information on to the Governor and thank you for your time.
Send Us Your Photos and Follow Us on Instagram
We are thrilled to announce that we are now on Instagram (our handle is "minuteman_indivisible")! 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.
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.)
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.