November 14 Mass Action Newsletter

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Editor's Note

Indivisibles came together in 2016, and over the past four years we've learned a lot about grassroots organizing and the power of people working together to create a better world.

With the national election behind us, we're turning our attention to helping out with the two Senate elections in Georgia and campaigning for needed reforms in our very own State House.

Our progressive movement is strong and growing. We're here to stay!

November 14, 2020


Join the Massachusetts Virtual Celebration of Count Every Vote

Let's keep building momentum toward Biden’s inauguration on January 20! It’s time for a virtual celebration and staying off the streets this weekend. Guidance from the Protect the Results national leaders is saying we should avoid any rallies that counter Trump rallies so we don’t legitimize their false claims.

The Protect the Results Boston Rally Host Coalition is sponsoring a Massachusetts Virtual Celebration and Actions for Progress event today, Saturday, November 14 from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Register here.

Join the celebration of the Biden-Harris victory, amplify the message that the people chose Biden. Take local action with pending MA legislation and make plans for federal level actions.

Enjoy celebrating the election results and prepare to hold our newly elected president accountable for a progressive agenda so that democracy can work for all the people!

Bring a drink and an appetizer and let's meet virtually to celebrate today at 5:00 PM!

Submitted by Deb Paul, on behalf of the Protect the Results Boston Rally Coalition Team
A Blue Senate Via Georgia

Indivisibles now turn their attention to the Georgia runoff Senate races. This is the very last opportunity we have to flip the Senate blue.

Georgia still has more than 700,000 unregistered voters! If you want to help demote Mitch McConnell, make a donation to two organizations in GA:
  • Stacy Abrams’ organization, Fair Fight.
  • Win Both Seats, where the money goes to 16 vetted community organizations registering people every day!
There is also a campaign organized by Swing Left Greater Boston along with the Democratic County Party Committees to send out letters to Georgians so they can request their absentee ballots. You can find the link for this campaign and two listed GA organizations along with other projects that were discussed at the Statewide call in this comprehensive Toolkit for Post Election Actions.


Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!
The Fight to Make Sure MA Invests in Our Recovery Moves to the Senate

Late Thursday night, the MA House passed a proposed budget, but unfortunately only 30 state reps voted for an amendment to increase the tax rate on unearned income. You can find out how your rep voted on that amendment here. The budget also did not include Emergency Paid Sick Time provisions, which never came up for a vote even though a majority of state reps co-sponsored the budget amendment containing the provisions.

Action now moves to the Senate, which released its budget proposal late this week and plans to begin debate on Tuesday. Senator Jason Lewis has filed Emergency Paid Sick Time as an amendment to the proposed Senate budget. You can find a summary of the Senate budget proposal here and use this link to urge your Senators to support the amendment for paid sick leave during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Submitted by Lisa Baci, Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition
Let's Bring Transparency to the MA State House

If you’ve spent time over the past few years lobbying to pass legislation at the State House, you know how hard it can be to find out why many progressive bills with lots of co-sponsors and public support never come up for a vote. Massachusetts has one of the least transparent legislatures in the country, in part because of rules that the legislature has adopted that allow committee votes to remain private.

Our friends at Act on Mass have launched a Transparency is Power campaign to get these rules changed. Last Thursday night, more than 200 people, including many from Indivisible groups across state, attended the campaign’s launch call and learned how to help pressure legislators to change these rules. The campaign is looking to organize teams of volunteers in legislative districts across the state. If you missed the call, you can watch it here or learn more about the campaign and sign up to help on the campaign’s webpage here.

If you’ve already signed up, please recruit your fellow Indivisible members and friends to join this effort. Share the link to the campaign webpage, this flyer, or follow and share posts from Act on Mass on social media

Submitted by Lisa Baci, Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition


Amendment 759: Not the ROE Act and Not Anti-Racist

On Thursday night, the MA House voted on a budget which included Amendment 759 labeled “Improved Access to Healthcare.” This Amendment contains elements of the ROE Act which still languishes in the Committee of the Joint Judiciary. In my opinion, the ROE Act can be seen as an example of anti-racist legislation and Amendment 759 as an example of how institutionalized racism is perpetuated.

Importantly, the House Amendment would make abortion in MA possible after 24 weeks in the tragic instances of fatal fetal anomaly, thus stopping the unfair and cruel necessity to travel to CO for the procedure. It would also make it possible for 16-18 year old patients to decide on and receive abortion care without the consent of a parent or court just as they are currently permitted to do for all other pregnancy related care. The Amendment would also remove the never-enforced 24 hour waiting period and recognize NPs, PAs, and Midwives as care providers.

This is good news, but it is not the ROE Act, which aimed to remove inaccurate language as well as the unjust and costly barriers to abortion care. This Amendment does neither adequately. It is a compromise which compromises the care for those most vulnerable.

In its language regarding abortion in the cases of fatal fetal anomalies, it includes language about “live births” and requires “life-saving equipment.” This codifies the anti-abortion movement’s misinformation campaign that doctors perform ‘infanticide,’ which is, of course, patently untrue. One of the main goals of the ROE Act was to remove inflammatory and incorrect language such as this. This language is unfair to the medical practitioners, and unnecessary, since these procedures are always performed in hospital settings. This language is a clear capitulation to those who insist on controlling reproductive rights and framing them as something they are not. Anti-abortion folks rage against women who require or choose an abortion, but it is, in fact, normal and safe. It only behooves their false argument to frame it otherwise and endangers those seeking and giving care.

But the largest oversight in this budget amendment is the failure to make abortion care part of the overall healthcare safety net for all and to recognize it as a right with which the government will not interfere. The Commonwealth covers all other pregnancy-related care and yet has selectively overlooked abortion care, which one might argue, is actually less costly and less dangerous statistically than full-term pregnancy care.

In my opinion, this amendment does not do what the ROE Act set out to do. It does not include positive language affirming reproductive rights, including abortion care. It does not remove obstacles to care for those most vulnerable. In fact, if you are under 16, in foster care, in an abusive family relationship, do not have financial means, or insurance, it will not make a difference.

When we raise our voices regarding inequities in our system and institutionalized racism, let’s recognize that this is how it happens: to create a bill like the ROE Act and then remove the provisions for those who would most benefit from it enforces the inequities of our policies and perpetuates institutionalized racism.

The Senate may yet correct or add language that addresses these inaccuracies and inequities in an amendment to their budget. At the time of this writing the Senate language was not available.

Please contact your state Senator to be sure that it does and then participate in Planned Parenthood phone banks to help this happen.

Submitted by Laurie Veninger, Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition


Protect the Results Actions in Western MA

In Western Massachusetts we were very concerned about preserving the integrity of the national elections, and organized in many ways to support the Protect the Results coalition, making plans to mobilize if necessary. Thankfully, it was not necessary to fully mobilize when it became clear that Biden had won the Presidency and that Trump could not undermine the elections despite his attempts to do so.

In the weeks before the election, many of us became seriously concerned that Trump would try to steal the election. Therefore we quickly assembled a group of progressive leaders from about 15 large groups across the four counties of Western MA, and built a coalition almost overnight. This coalition started as a temporary team to protect the elections, but since the group has been working so effectively together, we unanimously decided that this progressive coalition in western MA will continue to work to support actions into the future. We hope this is the beginning of a large coalition here in the progressive wild west of western Massachusetts, and that we will have an impactful group going forward together.

Subgroups in each of the four counties planned multiple rallies and actions across the western part of the Commonwealth, but only held some of them when Trump’s efforts to undermine the elections failed.

On Wednesday, November 4 we held an evening rally in Northampton with about 200 people. It was peaceful and affirming, although many people had mixed emotions. We were hopeful, excited, concerned, uncertain, relieved, and still vigilant. There were some very powerful and uplifting speeches by high school students, community group representatives, and three of our very fine progressive women state legislators.

When the national PTR Coalition decided not to give the activation signal, most other rallies were cancelled or postponed, although the intrepid group in far west Pittsfield held a noon rally which was also a success.

On November 5 there was a small rally of about 200 in the nearby town of Amherst, with hopeful and happy people parading around the town green and making lots of cheerful noise, still carrying our messages to “Protect the results” and “Count every vote.”

On Saturday, November 7, we had an interesting experience in Northampton. We planned a march from a nearby park to downtown, and started marching with 100 people with the very serious intention to continue our messaging about the importance of counting every vote. As we walked down Main Street, more people joined the march and a band played patriotic songs along the route. However, about that time on that fateful Saturday afternoon, Joe Biden was declared the official winner by the Associated Press. So when we arrived in the center of Northampton, people were celebrating, and were literally dancing along the streets. Car traffic was stopped, horns were honking, and people were cheering with joy. Our seriously intentioned marchers melted into the celebrating crowds lining the streets, and it was great. It felt like a heavy weight of worry and concern was lifted off the shoulders of the crowd, and the relief and happiness were palpable.

Submitted by Lawrence Pareles, Indivisible Northampton
The IMC Book Club is Back

The IMC book club took a break during September and October to allow everyone time to focus on building a blue wave across the country. Now it's time to dive in and read the books on the list: We’ll be posting more information about these books and the dates for each meeting in this newsletter and on our website. In the meantime, you can join discussions about racial justice, safeguarding our elections, and the books we’re reading on the IMC Slack. Not a member of our Slack workspace yet? You can sign up here.


Help Prevent an Eviction Crisis in MA
Many of us are fortunate to have a secure place to live during this pandemic, but thousands of our fellow MA residents are facing an eviction crisis this fall. Last month, Governor Baker allowed the state’s eviction moratorium to lapse and the federal moratorium, which doesn’t cover all renters, ends in December. On Friday, the Boston Globe drew attention to the crisis with a front page article: Public Health Officials Fear Evictions Could Worsen Covid-19 Spike in Mass.

This Wednesday the IMC Book Club will be discussing Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Evicted, which chronicles the devastating impacts of evictions on families and communities. Join us even if you haven’t had the time to read the book as we’ll also be highlighting actions we can take right now to help prevent an eviction crisis here in Massachusetts. RSVP here to get the Zoom link.

Can’t make Wednesday’s meeting? You can learn more about pending state legislation to deal with the crisis here. We’ll also be continuing to discuss this issue and posting actions you can take on our Slack workspace. Not a member of the IMC Slack yet? You can sign up here.

Day     Wednesday, November 18
Time    7:30 PM

Submitted by Lisa Baci, Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition
Justice Can't Wait
We've all been pushing hard for democracy to work at the national level, but we also need democracy to work for people here in Massachusetts. With only about six weeks left in the state's legislative session, justice can't wait!

Join us and many other organizations on Zoom or on the statehouse steps to support legislation to protect immigrants, workers, families, and our environment. See this link for more details.

Day   Thursday, November 19
Time  1:00 PM  

Submitted by Lisa Baci, Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition
That's Not All...

Find more events on the Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition Calendar.


Links to Local News from Around MA


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Our Mission
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.


The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism    
by Thomas Frank
Rarely does a work of history contain startling implications for the present, but in The People, No Thomas Frank pulls off that explosive effect by showing us that everything we think we know about populism is wrong. Today “populism” is seen as a frightening thing, a term pundits use to describe the racist philosophy of Donald Trump and European extremists. But this is a mistake.

The real story of populism is an account of enlightenment and liberation; it is the story of American democracy itself, of its ever-widening promise of a decent life for all. Taking us from the tumultuous 1890s, when the radical left-wing Populist Party—the biggest mass movement in American history—fought Gilded Age plutocrats to the reformers’ great triumphs under Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, Frank reminds us how much we owe to the populist ethos. Frank also shows that elitist groups have reliably detested populism, lashing out at working-class concerns. The anti-populist vituperations by the Washington centrists of today are only the latest expression.

Frank pummels the elites, revisits the movement’s provocative politics, and declares true populism to be the language of promise and optimism. The People, No is a ringing affirmation of a movement that, Frank shows us, is not the problem of our times, but the solution for what ails us.

The Half Has Never Been Told, Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
by Edward E. Baptist
Edward Baptist’s The Half Has Never Been Told is the latest attempt to come to terms with slavery and its enduring legacies. As Baptist makes clear, his book is about “how slavery constantly grew, changed, and reshaped the modern world” (xxii); it reveals the violence, theft, and modernity of American slavery and what it meant for those who survived the rapid expansion of racial slavery during the first half of the nineteenth century.

Civil Rights and the Making of the Modern American State
by Megan Ming Francis
Free to download from Cambridge University Press.
Through a sweeping archival analysis of the NAACP's battle against lynching and mob violence from 1909 to 1923, this book examines how the NAACP raised public awareness, won over American presidents, and secured the support of Congress.

The New Jim Crow
by Michelle Alexander
“Two years after Obama’s election, Alexander put the entire criminal justice system on trial, exposing racial discrimination from lawmaking to policing to the denial of voting rights to ex-prisoners. This bestseller struck the spark that would eventually light the fire of Black Lives Matter.” —Ibram X. Kendi, The New York Times.

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.

Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy
by Matt Stoller
A startling look at how concentrated financial power and consumerism transformed American politics, resulting in the emergence of populism and authoritarianism and the fall of the Democratic Party, while also providing the steps needed to create a new democracy.
Submitted by Matt Barron, Indivisible Williamsburg

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

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.
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