Happy New Year and welcome to this first edition of the Mass Action Newsletter of 2021! Typically, we start a new year after putting the old year to rest while optimistically looking fresh-faced into the future. Both are proving difficult this year, but never mind, we may be tired, but we know what we need to do! We are seasoned activists now and our resistance is stronger than ever because of every one of you staying Indivisible together!
January 10, 2021
IN TOUCH WITH INDIVISIBLE
We the People Lead - Week of Action
This has been a week like no other in our American democracy, with a roller coaster of events and emotions including horror as we watched the temple of our democracy, the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., broken into and ransacked by insurrectionists incited by Trump while House and Senate members were conducting their constitutional duty and accepting the certified electoral college vote results of our Presidential elections.
Fortunately, because of the hard work of so many Indivisibles and allies in MA and around the nation, we will soon have a rare opportunity to control the White House, the House and the Senate. Thank you all for your excellent work helping Rev. Warnock and Jon Ossoff win their US Senate races in Georgia! We must act to use our constituent power quickly and strategically as the mandate and trifecta power we’ll hold will be short and fleeting.
We can all start using our constituent power during the Indivisible National week of action, The People Lead, starting on January 11 when our Members of Congress will be back in their home districts. Indivisible National has designated Wednesday January 13 as the date when we the People Lead and meet with our MOCs either virtually or socially distanced outside their offices.
Contact your Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition Coordinating Board representative if your Indivisible or allied group wants help organizing an event. Indivisibles around the country will be asking their Members of Congress to support the following important policy goals:
• Draw up Articles of Impeachment on Trump now and vote to impeach him immediately so that he can be convicted in the Senate and disqualified from holding any elected federal office in the future
• Pass the For the People Act (HR 1), a democracy reform package that would quickly and effectively strengthen our democracy and empower voters
• Grant statehood for DC, a key democracy and racial justice issue. Not only would DC become the first BIPOC majority State with its own Senators & Representative, which is long overdue, but also given the violence and terrorists acts on the Capital this week, the District needs its own Governor with the authority to use its State National Guard at a moment’s notice to avoid a situation like the one this week where our legislators had to shelter and wait 2 hours for help to arrive at the Capitol to secure the building.
• Pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act (HR 4), named for the civil rights icon and vital to ending voter suppression
• Reform the Courts, to set the course for a less hyper-partisan process for selecting and appointing judges, undoing the damage to these institutions caused by Trump and McConnell
Indivisibles have several resources to help get organized, plan and hold a meeting with their Congress person, as well as garner earned media attention for their People Lead event: The People Lead Toolkit and this One-stop-shop-Cheat Sheet complied by Natalie Dunn, the National Indivisible Organizer for MA.
Thank you for your continued activist work!
Deb Paul on behalf the Indivisible Mass Coalition Coordinating Board
Hear ye! Hear ye! Get your new Indivisible guide HERE!
“The victory isn’t the election, it’s the legislation. To win on legislation, we have have to stay engaged well after an election victory”
More than ever, we need a guide for what’s ahead. In 2016, Indivisibles came together during a frightening time where people felt alone and didn’t know what the upcoming four years could bring. Since then, we’ve rolled out a new guide after every pivotal election point to understand the latest tactics we acquired to influence our members of Congress.The forces that allowed Trump and his cronies to rise to this level in our government are more empowered than ever. Still, we have our own unique power: the grassroots power to drive our legislators (the ones that we elected) to fix our democracy.
Submitted by Laurie Veninger, Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition
Indivisibles are Fighting for Transparency at the State House
On our December state-wide call, Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition (IMC) held a Town Hall with Act on Mass about their Transparency is Power Campaign. IMC members had already voted to endorse the Act on Mass Transparency is Power initiative so we knew Indivisibles felt strongly about this issue. Indivisibles across the state are now holding their own meetings with Act On Mass organizers and their State House Representatives, and reaching out to get others involved through texting campaigns and sharing information with their networks or in local newspapers.
In case you are still wondering why transparency is important, you only need to remember that the Massachusetts legislature has not been able to pass many popular and progressive bills despite having a Democratic supermajority in the House and Senate.
Currently the MA legislature is one of the least transparent and ineffective in the country. We can’t see how our state representatives vote in committee, so even when a bill has a supermajority of co-sponsors it can be stuck in committees for years and then die or be suddenly move out of committee in the final days of a session with little time to review. Changes in the House rules would make it clearer what is happening and how our representatives are working for us, or not.
The House approves its rules at the start of every two-year session. It is expected that the rules vote this year will happen in the first week of February so time is of the essence.
The transparency campaign has three simple goals:
Require more open votes in committees (so we can know who votes for which bills).
Decrease the number of representatives needed to require a roll-call vote, from 16 to 8.
Make bills public 72 hours before voting, to allow time for the people and their representatives to review them.
These simple rule changes alone would make the work of the House more transparent and accountable to the people. This is why many Indivisibles have joined this effort and have met with or are taking steps and working with Act on Mass to plan and meet with their State Legislators. Get started and take action here! Thank you!
Deb Paul on behalf of the Indivisible Mass Coalition Coordinating Board
Join the Indivisible Mass Coalition Book Club
This month, the IMC Book Club will be discussing Caste, the acclaimed new book about the unspoken caste system that has shaped America, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson on Wednesday, January 27 at 7:30 PM. Don't worry if you haven't read the book - if you're interested in this topic please join us. RSVP here.
We'd love to hear your suggestions for other books to discuss in 2021! Share your thoughts in the book club channel on our Slack. If you’re not already a member of our Slack workspace, you can sign up here.
Submitted by Lisa Baci, Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition
Newsletter Submissions and Volunteers Needed in 2021
The first edition of this newsletter was on March 25, 2018 and volunteer extraordinaire Denise Falbo published an issue every Saturday until December 19, 2020.
The Mass Action Newsletter relies on the contribution of news articles from Indivisibles like you, in addition to announcements from the IMC Coordinating Board and news from National Indivisible or other allied organizations. If your group would like to submit an article, you will find a submission form on the Indivisible Mass Coalition website.
Volunteers make the newsletter happen every week and if you have a few hours/week to contribute to this valued resource and are interested in this exciting and rewarding activity, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you like to write, take photos, use your creativity, graphic arts skills? These skills can help amplify the efforts of Indivisibles! So if you'd like to volunteer your skills to advance the progressive movement here in Massachusetts, please get in touch!
The Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition Coordinating Board
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!
The bill represents a tremendous, bi-partisan effort to produce the strongest bill possible to support urgent climate action. If the Governor doesn't sign it, or if he adds amendments, the bill is effectively "dead" and we will have to start over again in the new session - a terrible waste of effort and time.
Talking points for An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy (S2995):
reinforces the Commonwealth’s efforts to steadily and permanently reduce its greenhouse gas emissions at the scale and pace that science demands
codifies the goal of Net Zero emissions by 2050
codifies a comprehensive definition of environmental justice to ensure protections for overburdened communities
maximizes our ability to fairly and efficiently achieve climate goals that will build a thriving economy that creates jobs, protects health, and benefits all of us
Please call the Governor at (617) 725-4005 or email him using this link and ask him to sign this bill immediately. You can find sample scripts for your calls or emails here.
Submitted by Lisa Baci, Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition
Western Mass Coalition Calls For Action on Insurrection
Statement from the Western MA Rapid Response Coalition to Defend Democracy which includes many progressive organizations, including Indivisibles, who came together for Protect the Results*
On Jan. 6th an armed mob of Trump supporters invaded the U.S. Capitol. This attempted coup by domestic terrorists was instigated and encouraged by President Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump is not acting rationally and is inciting mob violence. He is a danger to individuals, our country, the Constitution, and the world. He must be removed from office immediately. Right now Mr. Trump still holds the reins of power and can do untold damage in the next weeks if unchecked.
We call for Donald Trump to be removed from office immediately under provisions of the 25th amendment to the Constitution. Vice President Pence and the Cabinet must put their duty to our country before their allegiance to President Trump and do this.
Secondly, Congress must immediately convene an emergency session to impeach and convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office. He must be impeached again, so that his crimes are examined, and he is prevented from holding political office ever again.
This insurrection was an attack on the foundations of our democracy, inflamed by a president who refuses to believe he lost the election by millions of votes. This attack is terrorism, a coup attempt in which several Republican leaders were complicit. Every Republican responsible, from the President to Senators, and House members who fueled these attacks must resign or be removed from office now.
We agree with Senator Edward Markey's statement:
"Donald Trump is responsible for today's coup at the Capitol and the attack on our government and democracy. He is a direct threat to our country. He needs to be impeached, removed from office, and barred from ever holding office again."
Furthermore, the shocking armed assault on the Capitol by right-wing white supremacists had an inadequate police response which contrasted sharply with the harsh response to peaceful protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, demonstrating blatant racism. Both law enforcement responses were dangerous and disproportional, and should be investigated fully.
In conclusion, The Western MA R2D2 Coalition demands:
Immediate removal of President Trump from power by invoking the 25th amendment. He is unfit to serve and remains a threat to our safety;
Immediate impeachment of President Trump, and investigation of his crimes;
Voting to disqualify him from ever holding public office;
Expulsion of the office holders who supported the armed insurrection; and,
Investigation of the inadequate and disproportionate law enforcement response to this armed attack, compared to the harsh response to peaceful protesters supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
We, the people of the Western Massachusetts, demand these measures be taken now to safeguard our democracy and prevent such anti-democratic and racist actions from being done in the future.
*The Western Massachusetts Rapid Response Coalition to Defend Democracy (R2D2) is made up of groups from Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire Counties that came together as part of a national effort called Protect the Results created in the Fall of 2020 to respond to a serious threat to undermine our democratic republic in the wake of Trump's refusal to accept the results of the election.
Members of this coalition include The Resistance Center for Peace & Justice; W.Ma CODEPINK, UUNF Climate Action Group; Tadpoles Affinity Group; Pioneer Valley Democratic Socialists of America; Pioneer Valley Women's March; Greylock Together; Indivisible Northampton, Indivisible Pittsifield, Indivisible Williamsburg; Rise-up W.Mass; Voices Rising Together; Our Revolution Chicopee; Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution.
Submitted by Lawrence Pareles on behalf of the Western Mass. Rapid Response Coalition to Defend Democracy
Take a Victory Lap: Key ROE Act Provisions are Now Law in MA!
2020 was a tough year, but thanks to the tireless efforts of many members, we have another victory to celebrate and a success to build on in 2021. The MA legislature voted to override Governor Baker’s Christmas Eve veto of the bill containing key provisions of the ROE Act. The new law, which takes effect immediately, codifies the right to abortion, allows abortions after 24 weeks in the case of fatal fetal anomalies, and enables people age 16 or older to make their own decisions about terminating a pregnancy.
When the ROE Act was introduced almost two years ago, many Indivisible groups and allies lobbied for passage of these provisions as part of the ROE Act Coalition. Members attended lobby days and a marathon hearing in 2019, hosted speakers and organized postcard writing events. IMC collaborated with the Boston Red Cloaks and formed an Ad-hoc Action Team to create videos and podcasts and members participated in demonstrations dressed as handmaids to call attention to the bill. It took two years, and three separate votes by state legislators in the waning days of the session, but our hard work has paid off.
Submitted by Laurie Veninger and Lisa Baci, Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition
Virtual Cocktail and Dance Party!
Indivisible Acton invites you to join them to celebrate Firing Trump, Flipping the Senate, and Ditching Mitch!
7:00-7:30: conversation and learn cocktails Check out recipes here or bring your own favorite drink!
7:30-8:30: Dance to a live DJ and suggest songs in the chat
Submitted by Jeanine Wood on behalf of Indivisible Acton
Making the MA Legislature More Transparent and Effective
Join the Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts at this forum, the first in a series of monthly statewide issue-focused conversations. Panelists John Lippitt, PDM, who writes a blog on national policy and politics and Matt Miller, co-founder of Act On Mass, and field director and manager of its Transparency is Power campaign, will discuss rules and practices of the state legislature that stymie the passage of progressive legislation and make it difficult for the public to know what is going on in the Legislature. They will address strategies for rules reform, including Act On Mass’s Transparency is Power proposal. Jeanne Kempthorne, a member of PDM’s leadership team and a former member of the State Ethics Commission, will moderate.
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The Indivisible mission is to fuel a progressive grassroots network of local groups to resist the Trump Agenda.
Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition 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.