ORGANIZING NOTES

January 23,2024

        When We Organize We Win

Join Community and Labor struggles that make a difference

 

 

Its Time to Vote Bills to Support Community Response Teams Out of Committee

Last chance to tell the MA Joint Public Health Committee to Vote for the Bills Supporting Unarmed, Community Emergency Response Teams.

 

In Massachusetts, if a bill is not voted favorably out of committee by the first Wednesday in February it dies on the vine. H.2264 and S.1407, which increase the availability of state funds for non-law enforcement, unarmed, community-based emergency response programs, are now before the Joint Public Health Committee. Now is the time to write your elected state leaders to ask them to advocate for these bills. You can write to your Senator and Representative here.

 

Read the Bill and a fact sheet. 

 

We know that well over 90% of 911 calls are for nonviolent emergencies, such as wellness checks, reported vagrancy, and personal crises. When 911 responders are armed police, violence frequently results, and the needs of the person who is the focus of the call too often are ignored. Tell your legislators that the best way to address emergency mental health, homelessness, and substance misuse in our communities is through an unarmed response involving trained crisis managers, who may be peer responders or other behavioral health specialists. Ask your Senator and Representative to co-sponsor H.2264 and S.1407.

 

IF YOU WANT TO DO MORE, you can CALL members of the Joint Committee on Public Health.

 

MA Peach, (Massachusetts Promoting Equitable Approaches to Community Health), a coalition of organizations and individuals, supports and promotes new emergency response models that focus on public health and addressing underlying problems. Volunteer with MA PEACH

 

President Biden- Stop Unneeded LNG Facilities

Join The Protest in D.C Feb. 6-8th

Massive Disobedience Planned at Department of Energy

Sign the petition & sign up for the CD here

 

For several years, local organizers in Louisiana and Texas have been calling attention to the vast buildout of (unneeded) LNG export facilities. Projects built ONLY to facilitate EXPORTS to Europe, which does not need it! (The US and Australia have already provided sufficient supply to offset previous Russian sources.) And built in Frontline communities already extremely impacted by dirty energy projects.

 

Over the last two months, stopping LNG export facilities, including the massive CP2 project in Southwest Louisiana, has become a top priority for the climate justice movement. Videos opposing the projects have generated more than 12.5 million views across social media platforms, driving more than 300,000 signatures on petitions urging DOE to pause approvals. In December, more than 170 scientists wrote a letter urging President Biden to stop what they called the “staggering” buildout of export facilities. 

 

As scientists we are telling you in clear and unambiguous terms that approving CP2 and other LNG projects will undermine your stated goals of meaningfully addressing the climate crisis.”

 

The administration’s support for LNG exports has also caused what The Hill called a “revolt” within the Democratic Party, with dozens of members of congress opposing the buildout.

 

Now we need massive, visible, citizen action to show those in congress we have their backs, and to tell the administration it’s time to stop. It’s time to take our promises about climate seriously and act accordingly.

 

2023 saw the hottest weather on this planet in at least 125,000 years; we think it is an honor to rise in defense of the planet we love, and the places where we live. Thank you for considering joining in.”


Sign the petition & sign up for the CD here

 

Benefits and Hidden Benefits

Mass-Care, the organization responsible for the campaign to bring single-payer health insurance to the Commonwealth, has created a clever strategy to advance the cause.   They have created The Calculator, a computer app that allows an official of any town or city to quickly calculate the annual amount the municipality would save if the state moved to single-payer.  Data entry and calculation take less than twenty minutes.

A large majority of Mass voters favor single-payer, as revealed by multiple polls.   Nevertheless, Speaker of the House Ron Mariano and the Democratic Party leadership won’t allow a vote on a bill creating single-payer.  Mass-Care believes if cities and towns understood how much they would save, there would be increased pressure on Reps and Senators to support the legislation.

While the health and cost benefits are well known to the readers of Organizing Notes, there are additional benefits that, if well-known, might increase support for single-payer.   For instance, when the city of Quincy ran the calculator, it discovered it would save about $35 million annually.  Cambridge still needs to run the calculator, but health insurance experts estimate that Cambridge would save $84M annually.   That money could support major city projects such as affordable social housing, municipal broadband, or free local public transport. 

Very few cities or towns have run The Calculator. It is time for city and town dwellers to demand that it be done. You can help by joining the effort here.  There are big benefits out there.

 

ORMA Supports The MNA and Anna Jacques Nurses

On January 11, a group of community supporters delivered a petition in support of Anna Jaques nurses to management with over 1,300 signatures (here is a link to the petition: Petition · Petition of Support for Anna Jaques Hospital Nurses and All AJH Caregivers · Change.org). The group included Newburyport City Councilor Byron Lane, representatives from the North Shore Central Labor Council, Merrimack Valley Central Labor Council, Our Revolution MA, Local 1505, SAG-AFTRA, American Federation of Teachers, and SEIU 509, among others. Thank you to the many of you who were a part of that!

 

We’ve had one bargaining session since then, on January 17, which – despite reasonable demands and clear community support on our end – was disappointing and unproductive.

After intense work by the nurses to present revised proposals with compromises, Beth Israel-Lahey’s attorney said they wouldn’t engage with us on any issues if we did not cut our wage proposals again.

 

Management’s subsequent written bargaining update makes it clear that their intention is to refuse to bargain over several core issues and that their proposal to increase wages (albeit inadequately, but a raise nonetheless) is adequate and that they chose not to address other core union proposals.  The union told them on the 17th that they will no longer extend the contract. The contract is now expired and the nurses’ committee can call a strike with a 10-day notice. 

 

According to Margaret Mirecki, MNA co-chair of the Anna Jaques nurses, “We are trying to provide the highest-quality care possible to the people of this community, at a hospital we love and want to see thrive. But, we are struggling to find and keep experienced nurses. We need AJH executives to finally listen to us.” Many new nurses join Anna Jaques, only to quit within a couple years for better pay and working conditions elsewhere. We want to change that with this contract. Read HERE the issues on which management has refused to engage in. The parties return to the bargaining table with a federal mediator on January 31, 2024

 

The MA Chapter of Moms Demand Action has been strongly advocating for a comprehensive gun violence prevention bill in the MA Legislature these past months. The House passed an omnibus gun violence prevention bill (An Act Modernizing Firearm Laws) in October, and now we need Senate leadership to create their version of the bill.

 

We need to take comprehensive action to ensure that Massachusetts remains a leader in the fight against gun violence. Please write your Senator HERE

 

Attention ORMA Candidates for Democratic Party State Committee Caucus Seats 

 

ORMA is beginning an unprecedented process of endorsements for ORMA members who are running for caucus seats on the Democratic State Committee. Please let us know if this describes you by filling out this google form sheet. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1RT3ZaMiAi7F6O82F7G3QOZHvlCKzjNbBygwbElik4q8/edit

We are excited that ORMA is engaged in this process of democratizing the Massachusetts Democratic Part

 

THANK YOU

Congresswoman Pressley, Senator Warren and Senator Markey

The conflict in Gaza continues to drive tension and debate on U.S. support and oversight of Israeli operations. We want to highlight the ongoing commendable efforts made in the interest of human rights by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Edward Markey, and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley and to express our appreciation for their actions. We encourage all to sustain their efforts to prevent senseless death and bring a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

 

Senators Warren and Markey were included in the 11 Senators who voted against tabling S. Res. 504 (LINK) introduced by Senator Sanders. The resolution would have required the State Department to send a report to Congress on Israel’s human rights record. This would act as a powerful tool for Congress to exercise human rights oversight on the executive. Though the resolution was tabled, we appreciate the support from both Senator Warren and Markey. Markey released a statement after the vote.

 

For Senator Markey’s statement after the vote: https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senator-markey-statement-after-voting-in-support-of-senate-resolution-504

 

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley continues to push for a ceasefire, joining a coalition of nearly 100 interfaith clergy and faith leaders on a joint statement on MLK Day. The statement closes, “History shows us that violence will only lead to more violence. The only way forward is to follow the path of peace. Ceasefire now.” Full statement found (HERE)

 

For Ayanna joint statement: https://pressley.house.gov/2024/01/15/on-mlk-day-pressley-and-interfaith-coalition-call-for-ceasefire-in-gaza-2/

 

Good News,  Efforts to Remove LGBTQ symbols, flags, and content from the Pembroke Public Schools Rebuffed

 

Last Tuesday evening, (1/16/24), a couple of hundred people attended a four-hour Pembroke School Committee meeting where the removal of LGBTQ+ symbols, flags, and content from their schools was discussed. The ACLU had previously written a letter threatening a lawsuit if this were to happen. Students, teachers, parents, and residents spoke out against the changes. By the end of the meeting, the chairwoman of the School Committee, who had introduced the motion to ban, reversed her position, and there was a unanimous vote to keep the current policy.

Many Massachusetts towns have been pushed to ban books (https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/01/17/metro/books-banned-in-massachusetts/)

To get in touch with Massachusetts activists defending libraries and schools against book bans and censure of civil rights, contact Nicky Osborne, a political consultant at https://ourrevolutionma.com/contact-orma/

 

      If you would like to work with ORMA Members on

  • Climate Change
  • Community-Based Alternative Emergency Response Teams
  • Ranked-Choice Voting
  • Housing For All       

ORMA depends on your support to continue Bernie’s Political Revolution to create a society, a politics, and an economy that works for everyone, not just billionaires, corporations and the political elite.

If you value Organizing Notes and its twice a month distribution schedule, please make a donation to ensure its continued existence.

Invest in Change Now!

 

Please send requests for action items, articles or upcoming events

for the next Organizing Notes to 

beccobrien.orma@gmail.com by Thursday, Feb. 1st.

We’d love to have you send us your favorite pictures of Bernie here in MA!

 

Campaigns End, Movements Endure


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