August 17 Mass Action Newsletter

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Editor's Note
Shout out to Never Again Action for putting their bodies on the line to oppose ICE, an appropriate response to recent events. This week 300 people demonstrated at Rhode Island’s only for-profit prison, the Wyatt Detention Center, where 150+ people are being held by ICE.

The tag line on the Never Again Action website says "When Jews say never again, we mean it," but you don't have to be Jewish to support their work. You can join them here. They also provide a list from the National Bail Fund Network, where you can donate.
August 17, 2019


MA Indivisibles Attend Indivisible National Gathering
Five of our fellow Indivisible leaders from Massachusetts were among the 300 from across the country to attend IndivisiNation Rising in Virginia this past weekend. We were energized!  We were soaking up the trainings like sponges! We meet all kinds of inspiring people who are part of the Indivisible movement across the country. You can view the agenda here.

Recordings and slides of the workshops will be posted shortly for all to see.

Stay tuned for more on the Indivisible 2020 Grassroots Playbook, the 2-year plan, and National Day of Action on Friday, September 13.    

On Monday, we fanned out across Capitol Hill to visit our members of Congress on behalf of the Indivisible Defund Hate campaign. Pam Poindexter and April Nichols from Greater Andover Indivisible and Kate Kavanaugh from Indivisible Concord visited the staff of Ed Markey, Seth Moulton, and Lori Trahan. Demet Haksever and her husband Bill from Indivisible Haverhill joined us to visit Lori.  Zayda Ortiz from Indivisible Mystic Valley and a team visited Ayanna Pressley.

Submitted by April Nichols, Indivisible MA
We Need Your Input to Plan Our November Conference
Indivisible MA is proposing to organize a conference in Worcester or environs in early November. We’d like to find out from you: Do you like this idea? Would you attend? Would you help us to put it together?

Please complete this short survey to let us know if a conference will help, and if the answer is yes, what you would like to see at the conference. Is it organizing skills, campaign strategies, connecting with your fellow groups?

We need you to make this happen. Do you have ideas, skills, connections, time, extra energy, or know people who do? We know you do! We’ll do most of our planning via Zoom so you can join from anywhere. Please email us at

Submitted by Michelle Olson, Indivisible MA
Save the Date: Indivisible MA Statewide Call on August 21
We hope you are enjoying the summer and can also schedule time to join the next Indivisible MA statewide call on August 21.

On this statewide call, share your thoughts about and interest in an Indivisible MA statewide conference this fall and join in the conversation with Natalie Dunn, our new Indivisible Regional Organizer for MA, CT, and RI.

Watch your email for a conference survey that will be sent to you this week. You will also receive an email to register for the Indivisible MA statewide Zoom call.

Day    Wednesday, August 21
Time   8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Submitted by Deb Paul, Indivisible MA


Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!
Join Stacy Abrams in Fair Fight 2020
"Democracy only works when we work for it, when we fight for it, when we demand it."

Stacy Abrams has launched Fair Fight 2020 to build voter protection teams across our country to protect the right to vote.

Starting immediately, Fair Fight 2020:
  • Works with Democratic state parties or local allies
  • Will help staff, fund, and train robust Democratic voter protection operations in battleground states
Join and donate to support her effort.

Submitted by Denise Falbo, Indivisible Canton
Take Action to Defund Hate
From executing family separation at the border, to holding immigrants under bridges and in tent cities, to widespread sexual abuse in child detention centers, and conducting large-scale raids, ICE and Border Patrol have been inflicting trauma on countless people. Still, the agencies see an increase in funding each year, particularly under the Trump administration.

In order to push back against this, Indivisible is focusing on the August recess, then a September week of action from the 9th to the 13th, to pressure our members of Congress to #DefundHate and support funding cuts to ICE and Border Patrol for the next fiscal year. Let's check out the Defund Hate Toolkit for specific action ideas, then let's be sure to register an event for the Day of Action (September 13), when Indivisibles around the country will be demanding that our members of Congress restore ICE and Border Patrol funding to what it was at the end of FY2016.   We can also sign up for updates by texting Defund Hate to 977-79.

H/T Rogan's List
Submitted by Kristan Smith-Park, Indivisible Acton
Donate to Help Victims of the Mississippi ICE Raid
The best thing you can do to help the victims of the Mississippi ICE raid is donate supplies to the food pantries and churches that are working on the ground in the region. If you speak Spanish or have legal experience, you can also volunteer remotely or in person with organizations like the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance or the Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative.

H/T The Nation's Take Action List
Submitted by Kristan Smith-Park, Indivisible Acton
Amplify the Children
Amplify the Children is providing declarations from detained migrant children and asking the community to amplify their stories in a number of easy ways. Let’s consider getting involved in this very important project.

H/T Rogan's List
Submitted by Kristan Smith-Park, Indivisible Acton
Push to Restore the Endangered Species Act
Going forward, the Endangered Species Act will no longer offer the same protections for threatened species — those at risk of becoming extinct in the foreseeable future — as those that are already endangered."

"These changes crash a bulldozer through the Endangered Species Act’s lifesaving protections for America’s most vulnerable wildlife," Noah Greenwald, the Center for Biological Diversity’s endangered species director, said in a statement.  

This is another step in Trump’s never-ending quest to roll back regulations (protections) for the good of industry, not citizens or the environment. Let’s ask our members of Congress to pass legislation that will restore the  Endangered Species Act, first passed in 1973.

H/T Rogan's List
Submitted by Kristan Smith-Park, Indivisible Acton
Call for Gun Reform Measures
Tell the Majority Leader to call an emergency session to vote on common sense gun reform measures: H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 112, as well as banning sale of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.  Enough is enough.

Sen. Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510.

Submitted by Kristan Smith-Park, Indivisible Acton
Support Rev. William Barber's Statement
If you haven't already, please read the letter that the Rev. William Barber and other influential faith leaders have drafted condemning the racial hatred that inspired the El Paso shooting and calling for a progressive coalition to unite against it. Read the powerful letter here and sign onto it to show your support; then share it on social media.

Submitted by Kristan Smith-Park, Indivisible Acton


Swing Left Charlotte Spotlights Dynamic Canvasser from Boston
Holly Wood, the founder of Swing Left Charlotte, created this glowing profile of Boston-based volunteer Ed Loechler, after he stayed at her house during a canvassing trip to NC-09.  This article originally appeared in the Swing Left Charlotte newsletter.
Ed Loechler is a Swing Left volunteer in Boston, Massachusetts who my family hosted for eight days last week while he canvassed for Dan McCready. Since 2004, Ed has always done his election work, trying to defeat Republicans in Swing States, because Massachusetts has an all-Democratic delegation. He has worked in Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and now North Carolina. In 2018 he was Boston’s Swing Left coordinator for Anthony Brindisi, who successfully flipped New York’s 22nd congressional district. Aside from helping 20 canvassers get to NY22, Ed and his wife Leslie themselves spent 12 weekends canvassing in NY22.

Ed strongly believes in the value of canvassing. During his eight days in NC9, he averaged three canvasses per day and estimates he knocked on about 900 doors. (Wow!!)
He says, “Anyone who tells you they love canvassing is fibbing, but once I get started, I enjoy engaging people about why they should vote and for whom. And since it’s the most important way to identify and motivate voters, canvassing is an imperative, given the dire political situation in which we find ourselves.”

Ed has decided to focus on North Carolina in 2020. Why? Using his background as a scientist, he has always analyzed data about election trends to guide his efforts. Based on the Democratic Blue Wave in the 2018 House elections, he concludes that Michigan and Pennsylvania have a high probability of flipping back in 2020, which would give 36 of the 44 electoral votes needed for a Democrat to take back the Presidency. Wisconsin and North Carolina are the next most likely states to flip, making them the key tipping point states for securing a Democratic Presidential victory.

Thank you, Ed!! (Hosting Ed was so easy and I get to take a little credit for getting those 900 doors knocked.)  

Submitted by Susan Labandibar, Swing Left Greater Boston
Early Voting Starts on August 21 for Dan McCready
Early voting starts next week for an epic election redo in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District, where Democrat Dan McCready is running against Dan “Bathroom Bill” Bishop.

Both Democrats and Republicans are anxiously awaiting the outcome of this special election. A Democratic win could further dim GOP hopes of taking back the House in 2020, leading to more incumbent retirements. If the Republicans prevail, it could give the GOP momentum toward retaking dozens of House districts on Trump turf currently held by Democrats.

With early voting around the corner, the McCready campaign is ready to drive likely Democratic voters to early voting sites (different from polling locations!) While the early voting period runs from 8/21-9/6, weekend voting at most locations is limited to just a few hours on the first weekend. It’s likely that there will be long lines at these voting locations, making it difficult for people who cannot take off time from work to vote.

McCready’s campaign has received steady support from Massachusetts donors and volunteers since he began running for this seat in 2017.

Go here to find out how you can help kick Dan's campaign into high gear.

It's time to win this thing!

Submitted by Susan Labandibar, Swing Left Greater Boston
Ditch Mitch BBQ Events on the Cape and Islands
On behalf of Indivisible Kentucky, a six-part Cape-and-Islands-wide fundraising effort is ongoing, sponsored by Lower Cape Indivisible, Indivisible Outer Cape, Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard, and Indivisible Nantucket on .

We are raising funds to help their #DitchMitch2020 campaign to  oust Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and raise funds for capacity-building and billboard campaigns to spread the word in rural Kentucky that Mitch McConnell is bad for Kentucky and bad for the country.

Events are being planned throughout the summer. If you’d like more info, or to co-host an event, help with refreshments, decorations, set-up or break-down, please contact
  • Yarmouth Port, Sunday, August 25, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Martha’s Vineyard, Saturday, September 21, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Learn How to Register Voters in ME
Join Jason Berlin on Saturday, August 17 at 1:00 PM to learn how to register voters in Maine.

This training call is for anyone interested in registering Democrats in Maine, a state crucial to holding the House, flipping the Senate, and defeating Trump in 2020.

We'll hear from the people who have been registering Democrats in Maine! We'll also give you a strategy overview of the state, where our time will be best spent, what kind of hot spots we've identified, and for those who don't live in the state, how we plan on getting there, and when.

We'll also go over the state-specific voter registration form, so that at the end of this call you'll be an expert on registering voters in Maine.

Total time: 60 minutes tops - but we'll always stick around if you have more questions.

Register here.

Submitted by Susan Labandibar, Swing Left Greater Boston
Rally for National Gun Law Reform in Boston
All are welcome to join a rally in Boston sponsored by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, federal and state legislators, community partners, students, and gun violence prevention advocates.

The US Senate must pass:
  • Background checks on every gun sale
  • A strong red flag law
Show Up! Speak Out! Wear Red! RSVP here.

Day     Sunday, August 18
Time   3:00 PM
Place  Boston City Hall, 1 City Hall Square #500, Boston
Capturing the Flag: Documentary Film Screening in Cambridge with Special Guests
Swing Left Greater Boston invites you to the first of a series of documentary films on modern voter suppression, election integrity, and the power of citizen action.

Swing Left Greater Boston is pleased to announce that Laverne Berry, producer and one of the people featured in Capturing the Flag, will be at the film screening in Cambridge on August 18. The film shows modern-day voter suppression in action from the perspective of Laverne and her fellow volunteers.

Our second special guest is Aisha Dew, a North Carolina organizer working on voter turnout for the September 10 special election in North Carolina’s 9th District. Voter suppression is personal for Aisha Dew. She is looking forward to meeting everyone and to watching this important film about her home state.

Please let us know you are coming as soon as possible as space is limited. There is no admission fee. Donations to defray event costs are gratefully accepted.

RSVP here.    

Day      Sunday, August 18
Time    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place   45 Prospect Street, Cambridge

Submitted by Susan Labandibar, Swing Left Greater Boston
Go MAD on August 18
There has never been a more impactful time to host a letter-writing party. All eyes are on this election redo in NC-09. Have the Dem's lost their midterm mojo? No! Let's prove we've still got that swing.

On Sunday, August 18, please host a letter-writing party in honor of MAD: McCready Action Day. Because we're MAD about the way the Republicans are calling McCready a radical, when the real wing-nut is his opponent, "Bathroom Bill" Dan Bishop. This race is a nail-biter and what you do matters.

Therefore, please visit SwingLeft website, where you will find simple instructions to make your Dan McCready Get Out the Vote letter-writing party a fun and successful event.

Can't host? Click here to write 20 letters from home.

Host your event on Sunday, August 18 or any day right up until September 3, which is the day the letters go in the mail.

Thank you - Together we'll turn North Carolina blue!

Submitted by Susan Labandibar, Swing Left Greater Boston
Lobby at the State House for a Better Gun Law in MA
Join the MA Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence on Wednesday, August 28 at the State House in Room A-2 for the public hearing of our top legislative priority this session:
S.1388/H.2045, An Act Relative to Crime Gun Data Reporting and Analysis

We will gather in Room 222 at 11:30 AM and then make our way down to the hearing room at noon for the hearing, which will take place at 1:00. Be sure to wear your MA Coalition t-shirt. Let’s turn the hearing room orange!

RSVP here.

If passed, this law will require a detailed analysis of MA crime gun trace data to better understand the origins of crime guns— so we can stop them!

Also featured are a key background check bill, a gun violence prevention research bill, and some dangerous bills we need to oppose.

Help us spread the word about this hearing!
Share the event with your networks and post to Facebook and Twitter using #FollowTheGuns #mapoli & tag @MACoalitionPGV @CindyCreem @MarjorieDecker

Submitted by Rina Schneur, Indivisible MA
Register College Students in Maine to Defeat Susan Collins
Register college students for the most important election of your lifetime!

This will help get rid of Maine's Republican Senator Susan Collins, whose defeat is key to enabling Democrats to flip the Senate, save our democracy and our planet.

If you can spend even one day to help defeat Trump and his handmaiden, Susan Collins, please sign up to register new Democrats. We will be registering voters at various colleges during the first week of classes. This should be a very effective time to register young voters.

No experience is necessary. We'll provide training. carpools, and everything else you need.

RSVP here.        

Day      Monday, August 26
Time    10:00 AM - 2:00 PM        
Place   158 Pickett Street Café (near SMCC), 158 Pickett Street, South Portland, ME

Submitted by Susan Labandibar, Swing Left Greater Boston


Links to Local News From Around MA


The Mueller Report
Looking for some light summer reading or listening? Here are ways to read the Mueller Report so that you know exactly what is at stake. Here are a couple of ways to get a quick overview:
  • Read or listen to Mueller's Executive Summaries: the 10-page summary of Volume I, which deals with Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and its interactions with the Trump Campaign, and the 6-page summary of Volume II which focuses on the obstruction of justice portion of the Investigation.
  • Watch Mueller's televised statement (<10 minutes) or read it here.
H/T Indivisible Acton Area newsletter

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right
by Jane Mayer
One of the New York Times best books of the year.

Who are the immensely wealthy right-wing ideologues shaping the fate of America today? From the bestselling author of The Dark Side, an electrifying work of investigative journalism that uncovers the agenda of this powerful group.

In her new preface, Jane Mayer discusses the results of the most recent election and Donald Trump's victory, and how, despite much discussion to the contrary, this was a huge victory for the billionaires who have been pouring money in the American political system.

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
by Nancy MacLean
“[A] vibrant intellectual history of the radical right . . . [MacLean] has dug deep into her material—not just Buchanan’s voluminous, unsorted papers, but other archives, too—and she has made powerful and disturbing use of it all. . . . The behind-the-scenes days and works of Buchanan show how much deliberation and persistence—in the face of formidable opposition—underlie the anti-governing politics ascendant today. What we think of as dysfunction is the result of years of strategic effort.” —The Atlantic

The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage
by Jared Yates Sexton
A first-hand account of the events that shaped the 2016 presidential election and the cultural forces that powered Donald Trump into the White House.

“Sexton grapples with the Trump campaign from the perspective of the crowds reveling in the candidate’s presence and message. It is a useful vantage point given the increasingly blatant bigotry in the months since the election.” —The Washington Post

Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life
by Eric Klinenberg
Eric Klinenberg is a professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. In this book, he focuses on how social infrastructure can help fight inequality, polarization, and the decline of civic life. "In Palaces for the People, Eric Klinenberg offers a new perspective on what people and places have to do with each other, by looking at the social side of our physical spaces." —New York Times

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History
by Kurt Andersen
“The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year.”—Lawrence O’Donnell

How Democracies Die
by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt​
Both authors are Professors of Government at Harvard University. Based on years of research into the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, the authors present a deep understanding of how and why democracies die; an alarming analysis of how democracy is being subverted today in the US and beyond; and a guide for maintaining and repairing a threatened democracy, for governments, political parties and individuals.

Fascism: A Warning
by Madeleine Albright
A personal and urgent examination of fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today’s world, written by one of America’s most admired public servants, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state. #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Running for Office? Let Us Know!
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Both the national organization and local groups are building tools and infrastructure so that we can coordinate to have a stronger voice here in Massachusetts as well as nationally as we carry this work forward to the 2020 elections. This all takes a bit of cash. Please donate to the national organization or to your local group to help us continue this work.
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Indivisible Massachusetts is a consortium of leaders from more than 250 local Massachusetts Indivisible groups, working together to bring our groups together for events and to leverage our numbers to make our efforts more effective.

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