The Good News

We’ll soon find out who’s been visiting Mar-a-Lago. In response to a lawsuit from 3 watchdog groups, DHS has agreed to hand over the visitor logs in September. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics will then release the logs.


Republican senators keep trying to push through their cruel plans for health care, and we keep defeating them. First, they failed to get enough votes to bring Trumpcare to the floor. Then they couldn’t get the support to simply repeal the ACA, thanks to 3 Republican women. Senators have admitted that our calls, protests, letters, and general outrage have made an impact. And the Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that major parts of the bill will require 60 votes.


A Texas grand jury indicted former police officer Roy Oliver for murder in the shooting death of Jordan Edwards, who was a passenger in a car that was driving away from the party Oliver had been called to.


An Illinois Circuit Court judge issued an order saying bail could not be set at a level defendants can’t afford to pay, a move that bail-reform advocates hope will be a turning point in the national controversy over requiring defendants to pay more than they can afford to be freed on bail.


Saying it "should not be a partisan issue," Senators Kamala Harris and Rand Paul co-authored an opinion column in the New York Times advocating reform of the U.S. bail system and highlighting the bill they've introduced to encourage states to reform or replace the system.


Bristol County’s anti-immigrant sheriff, Thomas Hodgson, has been ordered to appear at a civil contempt hearing for showing up 2 hours late at a trial where he was scheduled to testify.


A Toronto hotel paid millions to exit contracts with the Trump Organization and get Trump’s name off the building.


Rhode Island is the ninth state to adopt automatic voter registration. Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the bill Tuesday, and state officials touted the measure Wednesday as Trump’s “election integrity” panel had its first meeting.


Gov. Raimondo also signed a bill protecting LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy. Keep it up, Rhode Island!


Robert Mueller expanded his investigation to include Trump business transactions, the day after Trump told the New York Times that any digging into his financial matters would be out of bounds.


Grandparents can still be family—the Supreme Court let stand the portion of a Circuit Court ruling exempting grandparents and other relatives from the travel ban.


The Somerville Board of Aldermen unanimously passed a resolution affirming support for Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua. TPS would allow them continued legal residency.


The Mass legislature passed the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act and sent it to Governor Baker for signing.


Attorneys general from 19 states (including Massachusetts) and D.C. have urged President Trump to save DACA. The group is twice the size of the 10-state coalition of Republican officials that have threatened to sue the Trump administration if it does not phase out the program.


325 years after the fact, Salem dedicated a memorial to the 19 people hanged as the result of false accusations of witchcraft.


Trump’s “election integrity” commission is facing at least 7 lawsuits, from organizations that include the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Common Cause, and the ACLU.


Banking regulators are reviewing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to Trump’s businesses through Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management unit, which caters to an ultrarich clientele. The bank has separately been in contact with federal investigators about the Trump accounts.


President Trump has inspired "The biggest upsurge of activism in favor of the climate that we have ever experienced," former Vice President Al Gore said in a town-hall interview.


An Oakland CEO whose contracting company had put in a bid to build Trump’s wall met with protesters from the group Bay Resistance and signed a pledge to retract the bid and never work on the wall.


A Vatican-approved magazine condemned those in American presidential administrations who espouse the ideology of "Christian fundamentalism," citing Steve Bannon as an example.


The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority plans to crack down on ads featuring harmful gender stereotypes.


Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating possible money laundering by Paul Manafort.


A White House reporter defied the White House's restrictions on reporters recording live audio coverage by streaming a live recording of a press briefing Wednesday.


The former managers of Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney’s presidential campaigns are leading a new initiative aimed at preventing a repeat of Russia’s hacking of the 2016 election.


Three coastal California communities filed a lawsuit against 37 of the world’s biggest fossil fuel producers, seeking payment for damages brought about by climate change and the resulting sea-level rise.


The number of middle- and high-school students who are tobacco users dropped from 4.7 million in 2015 to 3.9 million in 2016.


New York City charged a landlord with retaliation for reporting tenants to ICE after they complained about him to the city.


Charlie Baker ordered state agencies to review a controversial proposal to build a natural-gas compressor station on the Fore River in North Weymouth.


Rep. Tackey Chan became the Mass House’s first Asian-American chairman when he was named co-chair the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.


Boston will put up 50 posters on how to diffuse Islamophobic situations.


Desjardins Group, North America’s biggest association of credit unions, has suspended new investments in energy pipelines out of concern for their environmental impact.


After a State House protest urging Charlie Baker to speak out for Francisco Rodriguez, the governor said that ICE’s mission is to deport violent criminals, and "based on what I've read, I don't think this gentleman meets that criteria."

Grab a Drink with IS!

Hi friends,

In lieu of an org meeting this Thursday (we felt it followed a little too close on the heels of the last one to be useful or fun) we have decided to get together informally over drinks and food for the first ever IS drinkup!

The drink-up will take place at The Independent in Union Square, this Thursday July 20th at 6:30 - 8:30. Here's more details from the team:

As we rescheduled our monthly org meeting, we realized we still wanted to hang out. So we're skipping 'official business' and just getting together for beers and snacks and chit chat. Super informal — aka no-nametag casual.

We don't even have to talk politics! Seriously. Okay...while that's where conversations may end up going, there will be NO PowerPoint slides, phonebanking, or dedicated slogan brainstorming.

Interested in getting to know Indivisible Somerville before you drink the Kool-Aid or join our Slack or attend a Lab meeting? We totally get it — so stop by The Independent and say hi. We'll be in the side bar with the pleasing exposed brick walls and Instagram-ready lighting. And we can't wait to meet you.

Excited? Let us know you'll be there.

Actions 7/19

Email to Stop Sheriff Hodgson

Don’t let Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson send inmates from his jail to help build the border wall. The House passed a bill to prevent him, and a similar Senate bill will be considered today at 10:00 am by the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. The Senate bill, S1279, an Act Protecting Inmate Safety and the Expenditure of State Funds, restricts sheriffs’ ability to transport inmates outside the Commonwealth. Let's email written testimony to the committee chairs, Senator Michael Moore and Representative Harold Naughton, Jr. UU Mass Action prepared the following suggested text.

SCRIPT: Honorable Chairmen and Members of the Joint Committee:

I am writing to express my support for S.1279. I strongly oppose the possibility of Massachusetts sheriffs' sending people who are incarcerated to perform out of state projects. First and foremost, this action would be unjust and excessively punitive for people who are incarcerated in our prison system. In addition, Massachusetts resources should be used on Massachusetts priorities and not on projects such as the proposal by Bristol County Sheriff Hodgson to ship inmates to the southern border of the U.S. to build Trump’s border wall.

The proposed expansion of the border wall is an embarrassment to this country and a morally reprehensible use of resources when our government is proposing cutting vital services such as healthcare. Our Commonwealth should not compound this human rights disgrace by subjecting people who are incarcerated to forced labor. I respectfully ask you to support this bill.
Sincerely,
(Add you name and full address)

Events this week

Buckle up boys, girls, and binary-breakers - it's time for another IS Events Roundup!

Small Steps

Several members of #Action gathered and accompanied Francisco Rodriquez to his ICE appointment, bearing witness as he was detained for deportation. Afterwards, a vigil was held in the shadow of the JFK Building in Government Center, where his 10-year-old daughter made a brave, heartbreaking plea for his release.

Francisco's mother and daughter at the vigil last Thursday

IS stands united with the SEIU, Jobs for Justice, the MIT community, and other immigrant activists demanding that Francisco be released and allowed to reopen his asylum case, as he has new evidence to present. A temporary stay of deportation was issued on Friday, pending arguments this afternoon (7/17) in federal court.

On Thursday night we had our biggest monthly Leads meeting to date, officially inducting powerhouse new leads Hannah Gibson, Melinda Green, Diane Qi, and Mikey Bernstein. Stay tuned for exciting work from these talented folks!

Leads Meeting

Our weekly Community Hours session was hosted on Thursday by the fearless and classy Alex Swift. (Ed. Note: These are held every Saturday, and if you haven't been to one you really ought to. Somehow we manage to have great conversations and get a lot done. It's really great. Also: snacks.)

On Sunday we had the latest in our monthly series of New Member Orientations, and brought in another excellent new crop of energized Indivisiblers.


Labs

#RedStateRising has its kickoff meeting at 6:15 pm on Tuesday, in the conference room of the Somerville Public Library on 79 Highland Ave. This lab is all about taking our successful partnership with Indivisible groups in Oklahoma and West Virginia, and expanding it to support Indivisible chapters in other red states. We're really excited about this initiative, and this meeting is your chance to help shape it in the early stages.

Other labs holding their regular meetings this week: #Fund meets at 6:30 on Monday at 15 Westwood Rd., #Outreach at 7 on Tuesday at Diesel Cafe, and #Action will be back at the Somerville Public Library on Friday from 10am to noon.


Events

On Wednesday from 2 to 8 pm, the City of Somerville will be holding an open house about a proposed citywide zoning plan, at the Cross St. Senior Center on 116 Broadway. City staff will be on hand to answer questions and take feedback. (Portuguese, Spanish, and Haitian translators are available. For disability accommodations, call in advance: 617-625-6600 x2323)

On Thursday at 1:30, #Action will be joining forces with MIRA at Fanueil Hall to help register new US citizens to vote. If you're able to help, you can sign up here.

Finally, on Sunday at 7:30, you're invited to the Green Room, for OnPoint Improv's monthly benefit show for Indivisible Somerville! Enjoy some of the area's finest improv comedy talent, while raising money to support IS!


Give

If you like the work we do, please consider setting up a small recurring donation to IS. Sustaining donations are what keep us afloat and able to pay for meeting space, web hosting, coffee, poster supplies, etc. You can set one up in less than 2 minutes on our donation page.

If there's something you think we should know, drop us a line via the anonymous feedback form. We read each and every response.

Actions 7/17 and 7/18

Urgent only—but a lot's happening this week

Let’s ramp up the pressure to pass the Safe Communities Act. The Mass Safe Communities Coalition is organizing a call-in campaign this week to urge our legislators to sign the Dear Colleague letter circulated by Rep. Matias and Sen. Eldridge and take other actions to lobby fellow legislators to approve the bill.

Beginning today, call your senator and representative and use this detailed script to ask what actions they’ve taken. The script includes a feedback form that will provide information to shape future lobbying and grassroots campaigns. Let’s flood the State House with calls, and let’s call daily until we get answers to all of our questions.


Francisco Rodriguez has been detained. If ICE succeeds in deporting him, he'll be leaving behind 2 citizen children and his elderly mother. You can read about his case in detail here. We've got to do all we can to keep him here. First, call ICE—the New England Field Office Director (781-359-7526) and Community Relations Officer Alexia Koplewski (781-359-7511).

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I live in [CITY]. I’m calling to urge you to stop Francisco Rodriguez’s deportation and immediately release him from detention. His A-Number is 099-665-463. Mr. Rodriguez was detained at his ICE check-in despite the fact that he’d complied with all of ICE's requests, and he now faces imminent deportation to El Salvador. Mr. Rodriguez, the father of two American citizen children, has lived in the U.S. since 2006. He works at MIT, runs his own business, pays taxes, and is active in his children’s school, his church, and the Chelsea community. He must be allowed to remain in this country. Thank you.

Also call Senators Warren (617-565-3170) and Markey (617-565-8519) and your representative. Both Mass senators as well as Representative Capuano have written letters of support for Mr. Rodriguez.

SCRIPT: Hi, my name is [NAME] and I live in [CITY]. I’m calling to thank [NAME OF SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE] for supporting Francisco Rodriguez’s efforts to remain in the U.S. and urge the [SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE] to weigh in personally with the Department of Homeland Security and demand his release from detention and the approval of his Stay of Removal request. Thanks for your help.


Two critical gun violence prevention bills will be considered tomorrow, 7/18, at the 1:00 pm hearing of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in room A-1 of the State House. The Mass NRA affiliate has been making its voice heard on these bills. We need to speak up, too. If you can’t attend the meeting (and even if you can), send written testimony to the committee chairs, Senator William Brownsberger and Representative Claire Cronin. Senator Jehlen is also a member of the committee. If she represents you, you might want to send her a separate email.

SCRIPT: Honorable Chairmen and Members of the Joint Committee:

I am writing to express my strong support for commonsense gun violence prevention measures in Massachusetts. I urge you to report out favorably H3081, which will allow concerned family members and healthcare providers to petition to temporarily remove guns from people who have demonstrated that they are at an extreme risk of harming themselves or others. And I would like you to oppose H763 and H769, which would repeal Massachusetts’ ban on silencers. This measure is especially dangerous right now, with Congress poised to weaken federal regulations. I hope you will show that you care about keeping our citizens safe by taking these stands. FEEL FREE TO INCLUDE YOUR PERSONAL STORY ABOUT WHY EITHER BILL MATTERS TO YOU.)

Sincerely, (YOUR NAME AND CITY/ZIP CODE)

Tuesday is #KilltheBill Day.

The Indivisible Guide has designated Tuesday a national day of action on Trumpcare. Mitch McConnell’s not giving up. Neither can we. His new version of Trumpcare still raises costs and still beats up on the most vulnerable—and they’ve found even more ways to make things hard for people with preexisting conditions. We need to call our senators again today. We need to light up the Capitol Hill switchboard. You can use the same script as before to urge them to hold up the bill.

Extra credit if you get friends from any of the 10 critical states to make calls. Or you could join Cambridge-Somerville for Change to call voters in other states at their phone bank Tuesday at 6:30.