Actions 8/14 and 8/15

It’s recess! Just the essentials this month.

Monday

Charlie Baker wants to know what we think! In a short survey with a space for comments. You know what to do.


For local events in response to Charlottesville, check Indivisible Guide’s searchable Stand in Solidarity with Charlottesville.

Tuesday

Let’s keep up the pressure against Governor Baker’s plan to involve Massachusetts law enforcement in the Trump deportation campaign. He filed a bill, H3870, to allow state and local police to cooperate with ICE in detaining immigrants that pose “a threat to public safety,” defined in a very broad, and very unclear, way. It takes the side of the Trump administration against the decision of our Supreme Judicial Court. Last week we called and emailed the governor. This week, let’s tell our legislators to stand up against Baker’s bill. Below is a version of the script we used last week. If you’d like to come up with your own, there’s a lot of information available now, particularly a memo from MIRA and Mass ACLU outlining the ways in which the proposal is unconstitutional.

SCRIPT: Hi, I’m (NAME) calling from (ZIP) to tell the (SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE) that I strongly oppose the anti-immigrant bill, H3870, filed by Governor Baker. It undercuts the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision protecting immigrants’ due process rights and supports the Trump administration’s deportation agenda instead. It’s also probably unconstitutional. The governor's bill stands in direct opposition to our deepest values as a state. I urge the (SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE) to do everything possible to prevent it from becoming law. Thank you.

Defend DACA Day! If you didn't get a chance to call Senators Markey and Warren (or even if you did) when we posted last Thursday, today would be a good time to urge them to cosponsor the Dream Act (S1615), a bipartisan bill that would grant permanent legal status to Dreamers. Here's more info and a script. Scroll down to Thursday.

The Good News

The Mystic Valley Charter School in Malden dropped its ban on hair extensions following last spring’s protests—and we played a part. Here's to the courageous Cook sisters!


There’s nothing good about the hatred and violence in Charlottesville, or about Trump’s response—but at least some Republicans are finally calling out their president. Marco Rubio, for example: "Very important for the nation to hear @potus describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists."


Senator Chuck Grassley, Judiciary Committee chair, said he no longer expected an imminent Supreme Court vacancy, bolstering the sense that Justice Anthony Kennedy won't retire this year.


Scott Pruitt’s EPA is being sued all over the place, and they’ve already had to back off a bunch of anti-environment moves.


Two LGBTQ rights groups filed the first lawsuit against Trump’s proposed ban on transgender service members, on behalf of 5 trans women now serving openly.


Airbnb canceled a number of accounts and bookings associated with participants in the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.


A Washington, D.C., law firm has partnered with the Union of Concerned Scientists to provide at no cost experienced private lawyers with significant government experience to federal scientists looking to protect the independence of their agencies and their scientific findings.


A federal district court struck down a Louisiana state law that required people born abroad to produce a birth certificate before receiving a marriage license, thus denying marriage equality to foreign-born residents.


The Orlando City Commission unanimously approved a resolution to move to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050. Orlando, the largest city in Florida, is the fortieth city in the U.S. to make such a commitment.


Chicago is suing the Trump administration for threatening to withhold public money from so-called sanctuary cities. "We cannot be forced to violate our residents' constitutional rights," the city’s lawyer said.


Bernalillo County commissioners voted overwhelmingly to retain the county’s immigrant-friendly policy after Jeff Sessions threatened to withhold federal grant money from Albuquerque, the county’s largest city.


FBI agents staged a pre-dawn raid on the home of Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, late last month and, using a wide-ranging search warrant, seized documents and other materials.


Mueller’s team has subpoenaed global banks for account information and records of transactions involving Manafort and some of his companies and reached out to Manafort business associates, including his son-in-law and a Ukrainian oligarch.


Democrat Phil Miller comfortably defeated (55% to 45%) his Republican opponent in a special election for the Iowa House, allowing Democrats to hold on to a key rural swing district that Donald Trump won by 22 points.


As part of a settlement in which he sold his gun shop and agreed never to sell firearms again, a Florida gun store owner issued a statement calling on gun dealers to exercise great caution to prevent firearms from getting into the hands of the wrong people. The lawsuit was brought by the Brady Center and family members of victims killed by a gun obtained via straw purchase from the owner’s store.


The super PACs that raised tens of millions of dollars to help elect President Trump have seen their fundraising slow dramatically since the election.


Republicans can’t resist airing their dirty laundry on Obamacare—senators blaming each other, senators blaming Trump, Trump blaming senators, Hannity blaming anybody but Trump, and on and on.


Costa Rica plans to become the world's first country to achieve a comprehensive national strategy to eliminate single-use plastics by 2021.


Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said that the expanding investigation into Russian interference in the election is continuing apace and that the special counsel can investigate any crimes he might discover within the scope of his probe.


The New York Times published a comprehensive draft report on climate change written by scientists from 13 different agencies. The report is still awaiting approval by the administration.


Democrats have already filed to run in 385 House seats out of 435 for 2018 and in 79% of districts with seats held by Republicans, while Republicans have done the same for just 32% of Democratic seats.


A federal judge threw out a lawsuit Texas filed to get its law banning sanctuary cities declared constitutional before its September 1 implementation.


Oregon enacted the country’s first statewide employee scheduling law, requiring big companies in retail, hospitality, and food service to give employees schedules at least a week ahead of time.


Bruno Mars donated 1 million dollars to address Flint's water crisis through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.


The army returned the remains of 3 Arapaho children who died at an assimilation school in 1883.


Hundreds of people of all faiths, ages, and races came together at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, to show their support and denounce the destruction wrought from an explosive hurled into an imam’s office last week.


The California Attorney General sued the EPA to compel it to say what steps it's taken to ensure its rule making and procedures remain impartial as it’s led by Scott Pruitt, who opposed the agency in at least a half dozen lawsuits.


Striking a blow for public-use activists in California, the state’s Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a suit challenging a billionaire’s claim that he had the right to block the only access road to a public beach because it was on his property.


Republican members of Congress are facing challenging questions about health care during their break. Even in a Georgia district that Trump won by 15.5 points, the crowds were “angry, wistful, and loaded with progressive activists”—in other words, us.


The federal Bureau of Prisons quietly issued a new policy requiring prisons to provide free tampons and maxi-pads to female inmates. Democratic senators had introduced a bill to do the same thing less than a month before.


The district attorneys of 4 New York City boroughs moved to dismiss 644,000 outstanding arrest warrants for minor offenses issued more than 10 years before in line with the city's discredited theory that petty offenses lead to more serious crime.

Actions 8/9

It’s recess! Just the essentials this month.

Tell Secretary of State William Galvin to drop his appeal of the ruling against Massachusetts' 20-day voter registration deadline, and ask him and your state legislators to support same-day voter registration. In a major win for democracy two weeks ago, the Suffolk Superior Court ruled the 20-day registration deadline unconstitutional. Secretary of State Galvin announced he will appeal the ruling. He suggested that allowing people to register closer to an election would create chaos, despite the fact that states with same-day voter registration—including most other New England states—haven’t found it to be a financial or logistical burden. Call Secretary of State Galvin at 617-727-9180 or email him at cis@sec.state.ma.us.

SCRIPT: Hello, my name is [NAME] and I'm calling from [CITY] to urge the Secretary of State to drop his lawsuit against the Superior Court ruling that Massachusetts’ 20-day voter registration requirement is unconstitutional. States with same-day voter registration, including most New England states, report no financial or logistical issues. Voter participation is central to our democracy, and same-day voter registration has the potential to improve turnout between 2% and 10%. I'd like to see the Secretary of State stand up for greater participation instead of fighting it. I'm asking him to drop his appeal and support same-day registration. Thank you.

While we’re at it, let’s contact our state representatives and ask them to support H.2093 and S.371, which would establish same-day voter registration.

Events Roundup

It's August 7, 2017. Do you know where your Events Roundup is? Right here, that's where. Read on!

Small Steps

Our founder and fearless leader Nina Vyedin wrote a piece that was featured on the main Indivisible blog. She was also quoted in a New York Times story about Resistance School, which several of us attended earlier in the summer.

Indivisible Somerville's own resident power couple, Zayda Ortiz and Keith Bernard, hit up town halls for Rep. Katherine Clark and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. We'll be posting a full report from them later today. In the meantime, here is some photographic proof:

If you missed Community Hours at Becca's place on Saturday, you missed, among other things, a sneak peak at our website redesign-in-progress and an exciting mini-meeting of the #ChoosingBattles lab — not to mention the usual scintillating snacks and delectable discussion.


Events

Two lab meetings triumphantly return this week after a week off. #Writing is back, from 7 to 8 pm on Tuesday, at 6 Shady Hill Sq in Cambridge. #Action reclaims its usual time and place, 10 am to noon on Friday at the Somerville Public Library.

In between those — on Thursday 8/10, from 6 to 8pm at the Green Room — Family Lab has its second ever meeting! This month they'll be focusing on defining what activism means our group, and what issues we should tackle moving forward. Come by to share your ideas and let them know how Family Lab can serve YOU!

Governor Baker's latest Trumpian anti-immigrant move — filing state legislation that would force local and state law enforcement to collaborate with ICE in deporting immigrants in our communities — has earned him swift backlash. This week provides you with at least two chances to get out on the streets and join a chorus of condemnation right in front of the State House, where the powers that be will hear it loud and clear. On Tuesday 8/8 at noon, the ACLU of Massachusetts and Mass Jobs With Justice are holding a "No Ban No Wall" rally
(optional signup form here). The next day, Wednesday 8/9, at 11 am, Centro Presente and the Brazilian Worker Center are rallying behind the cry that Immigrant Rights and Human Rights Are Not Negotiable!

Community Hours will be held on Saturday 8/12 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm, at 6 Shady Hill Sq in Cambridge.


Horizon

The next monthly meeting of #Creative will be on Thursday, 8/17, from 7 - 9 PM.

The next Indivisible social meetup will be on the evening of Thursday, 8/24. The Indo is closed for renovations this month, so location TBA.

Note: Our last Events Roundup erroneously noted that the Org Meetings had switched to a bimonthly schedule, and the next one would be held on August 24. In fact, we're now doing Org Meetings once every three months, so the next one won't be until October. Sorry for any confusion. We'll keep you posted with more details as the event gets closer.


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 8/7

It’s recess time!

The Massachusetts legislature and both houses of Congress are on recess until September. We'll post only time-sensitive actions, one or two days a week, for a time. Go out and play!

Get involved in making Somerville’s elections more fair and open. Mayor Curtatone’s new Clean and Open Elections Task Force is seeking members. The group will look at ways to increase participatory democracy and support clean elections in Somerville through options including public financing, outreach, and expansion of early voting.

Interested residents are encouraged to apply for Task Force membership. The seven Task Force members must be residents of Somerville with a demonstrated interested in democratic participation. Applicants with relevant expertise in areas such as election financing, voter participation and turn out, and disclosure and reporting requirements are sought alongside those passionate about this issue. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, August 22. You’ll find more information and details about applying here.


Let's urge Governor Baker to push for a strong plan for the future of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) (pronounced reggie). The 9 mid-Atlantic and northeastern states that make up RGGI, a market-based program aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions, are in the midst of a review. To date, RGGI has generated significant environmental, economic, and health benefits. Given the Trump administration’s hostility to environmental measures, this is the right time for RGGI to strengthen the successful carbon program they pioneered and secure their role as leaders on climate action.

SCRIPT: Hello my name is [NAME] and I'm calling from [CITY] to urge Governor Baker to push for the strongest possible updates to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program. Specifically, I’d like to see RGGI adopt the most ambitious declining annual cap on carbon, explore opportunities to expand the program to other states, and conduct an environmental justice analysis. I hope the governor will support the battle to combat climate change during this critical period.