5/6/20 newsletter

Dear Greylock Together,

This Thursday, we’re so excited to welcome former Vermont governor Howard Dean and Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut to our fundraiser!  The topic is “An Insider’s View to Flipping the Senate BLUE.”  Sen Murphy is one of the nation’s leading proponents of gun reform, and Gov Dean’s 50-state strategy was the plan that flipped Congress blue during the Bush years.  They’ll join us on Zoom along with our moderators—Jim Mahon​, Williams College Professor of Political Science & Ali​ ​Benjamin​, Greylock Together’s National Book Award Finalist and Activist on Thursday, May 14 at 7:00 pm.

To join in the conversation, register and donate. Then, look for an email from ActBlue with a Zoom link and a receipt.  Special thanks to the Williamstown Democratic Town Committee and Jim Mahon for their help in outreach and organization, and thanks also to our partners in Force Multiplier!

Great Realisation.  Jess sends along:

Here’s a great video shared by Marie after our Sunday meeting — which was terrific. THANK YOU for joining us in community on the most beautiful sunny day we’ve had yet. We are so grateful for all of you leading with hope as an action and with persistence and GOOD NEWS and opportunities revealing themselves to all of us. “If you dream hard enough maybe some of them will come true.”

Williamstown Absentee Ballots.  Due to a change in state law last month, voters may vote by mail in municipal elections (during the emergency only) without needing to qualify for an absentee ballot. Voters will have to submit an application so that a ballot will be mailed to them. Williamstown’s annual town election has been rescheduled to Tuesday, June 23rd due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The main page of the town website has a link to the application for a ballot, and the application can be submitted by email, mail, or dropped off at town hall.  Additional forms are available outside the town hall and Harper Center (on Church Street).  The completed and signed application must be received by Monday, June 22nd at 12 (noon) pm.  Please keep in mind, you should allow for mailing time back and forth.  This application may only be used for the annual town election.  Ballots themselves may be returned via mail or put in the drop box next to the front door at town hall.  I’d encourage everyone to vote by mail if possible, since that will reduce the numbers of people who otherwise would have to vote in person.

Ranked Choice Ballot Question.  Ranked Choice Voting is one of our priorities, and we need to make a final push to get it on the ballot for November!  Because of COVID-19, they’re gathering signatures electronically.  Go here to sign.  Reminder about RCV: The way it works is that instead of voting for only one candidate for each office, you have the opportunity to rank them in order of your preference.  If no candidate emerges with more than 50% of the votes from voters’ first choices, the candidate with the lowest total is dropped out and the people who voted for them get their second choice.  This ensures that whoever is elected actually has the support of the majority of the electorate.  This method was successfully used in the 2018 elections in Maine, and we are trying to get it instituted here in Massachusetts.

WMLA.  WMLA is an all-volunteer, non-government funded, self-help membership association of the lowest-income workers of Berkshire County, joining together with allies in the community to change poverty conditions. Due to the consequences of COVID-19, many of our members are facing greater food insecurity and lack of necessary sanitary items such as diapers and toilet paper. Participants of Greylock Together can help out with donations of food and hygiene supplies, and can, if interested in volunteering, participate in our membership phone tree in which we contact our members to check in on them and see what they need during this difficult time. To volunteer, call (413) 443-9862. To drop off donations, please bring to our office central in Pittsfield, at 298 Columbus Ave on the West Side. WMLA is open seven days a week, 9:00am – 9:00pm!

North Adams Resource Guide.  They’ve moved much of their info here.  They also offer a newsletter — sign up by emailing nbcovid@gmail.com.

Seeds Available.  Margot sends along:

Now that the seeds have been planted and have sprouted into seedlings it is time to share again.  On May 16/17 there will be seedlings available to the community on a Grab-and-Go basis on Cole Ave in Williamstown. Have too many cucumbers and not enough tomatoes? Drop your cucumber seedlings off at one of the tables that have been set up and pick up some tomatoes. Nothing to share and feel awkward just helping yourself for free? Please consider a monetary donation to the Al Nelson Friendship Center Food Pantry in North Adams or supporting your favorite local public service organization.  
Please bring your own boxes for pickup, wear a mask and observe respectful physical distancing.
 For more information I can be reached at 413-441-5902 or margotsanger@roadrunner.com

Bee Friendly Williamstown.  There will be a free talk on gardening for pollinators, with Peggy MacLeod, thisTuesday, May 12, at 2:00 PM.
ZOOM MEETING LINK: https://zoom.us/j/98989485151?pwd=ODl5N0cxNjJEYXVOZ2tqWFcrRUloQT09
Meeting ID: 989 8948 5151
Password: 611642

Sewing Machine Repair.  If you’ve been working on sewing masks, Tony Pisano has offered to clean and oil sewing machines and can also look at those that have basic mechanical issues, not electronic issues. He’s also happy to take machines that people no longer want. He also has masks available for whatever contributions people can afford.  antpisano@hotmail.com or 315-439-72986;  pickup and drop off is contact free.

Alex Morse for Congress Phone Bank.  If you’ve got time on Thursday or Sunday, then you can volunteer for Rep. Neal’s opponent and try to get some voters to the polls in a few months for the primary!  Click here to sign up.

Reminder: Signatures for Markey.  Senator Markey’s staffer sends along to say that COVID-19 has made it incredibly hard to gather signatures to qualify for the ballot.  Go to this link to get a paper sent to your house that you can sign and return.

Reminder: Food Resources.  The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition is collecting information about food resources throughout the area.  If you live up here and you’re food insecure, you should be checking their Facebook page daily.  Pittsfield and south county will find the Greylock Glass food resource map very useful, especially the calendar at the bottom, as well as the invaluable Berkshire Mutual Aid Facebook group.

Check out more news from this week at Muckraker Farm.

Events (GCal,iCal)

GT Fundraiser:  An Insiders’ Scoop on Flipping the Senate: Who’s running, Why it matters—and What we can do to turn Washington Blue in November
May 14 @ 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Featuring special guests Governor Howard Dean (VT) and Senator Chris Murphy (CT)


Resist and persist!

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