Dear Greylock Together,
It’s crazy to think that it’s 2020 and we’re having a debate about how much we should be honoring the Confederacy. Yes, they’re tearing down the Confederate flag in Mississippi, but there’s a looming conflict brewing over the defense bill in Congress — the president has vowed to veto it if it includes Sen. Warren’s requirement to rename bases honoring Confederate generals. Ridiculous.
There’s a lot going on soon and a lot of news below. Read and share, please!
Evictions. There’s a looming eviction crisis. The Baker admin has announced that “low-income households facing difficulty making rent and mortgage payments” will qualify for up to $4,000 in assistance with payment dating beginning in April. Any household with an income of 80% or below the area median can qualify. I don’t know what number that might end up being, but if you are behind on your rent or your mortgage from the last few months, and you might qualify, please try and apply and find out. Applications start today. Contact our local RAFT program provider, BHDC at 413-499-1630, Ext. 100, or get more information on their website.
A lot of people who might desperately need this rent assistance may not be subscribed to this newsletter. Take a moment and think about who you know who might need this help, and forward this email to them!
Williamstown Select Board Part Deux. Tonight there’s a special follow-up to last week’s meeting. Thank you to everyone who showed up — we need you to do it again! Keep pushing until we get a bit closer to equity! It’s tonight at 7:00 pm on Zoom: link here or call in at 1 929 436 2866.
Mayor to Meeting? We’ve invited Mayor Bernard to join our next general meeting, and we hope either he or a representative will come and discuss racial equity issues in North Adams. Cross your fingers and mark your calendars for the 12th!
124 Days to General Election. There’s 124 days left to the general election. Four months — wow. Time to buckle down, folks!
Indivisible National Webinar. There will be a national activist webinar for all Indivisibles with info about what’s going on and what we can do on July 2, 8:00 pm. Sign up and join in!
#MorseForce (from Ed Sedarbaum)
So impressed with how easy the Alex Morse for Congress campaign (The Morse Force) has made it to call voters on Alex’s behalf. It’s all automated — all except for you, of course. The campaign dials voters for you and connects you only when someone answers. You don’t even need a phone if your computer has a microphone. When you get someone home, your first question appears on your screen. Depending on what the voter answers, your proper script unfolds on your screen. Easy as pie. If you want to give it a try, call me at 413-441-6006 or email email@example.com.
Arlene Kirsch has Alex Morse yard signs!! Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re hoping to send 1000 letters through VoteForward to registered voters who don’t vote on a regular basis. This has been shown to increase voting by as much as 3.5%! In order to do this, we can use donations of money — our goal is $500 to cover the postage. To donate toward this effort, please click the link at the bottom of this newsletter and give whatever feels right. If you’d prefer to give physical stamps, just reply to this email and we’ll figure it out.
Jeanne Marklin and Bernadine Williams are heading up this letter writing drive. On Wednesday, July 1, (today!) from 4-6, one of us will be in the parking lot at the base of Spring Street in Williamstown with packets of 20 letters ready to be picked up. If it isn’t raining, we’ll hang out at Lickety Split. If you’re going to come, please write or text email@example.com or 413 672-1766, or Bernadine firstname.lastname@example.org or 781 956-6622. Let us know if you need us to include stamps, or if you will provide them for your packet. You can also print your own letters by going to the VoteForward.org site and signing up. You can really make a difference!
Join Team Gideon in getting out the vote for the Democratic Senate primary! Sara needs a really strong turnout here to show Senator Collins and Mitch McConnell how excited Maine is to elect a pro-choice senator. Maddy Art will be leading a Greylock Together Get Out the Vote Zoom phone bank on July 11 at 3 pm. No experience necessary! If that timing doesn’t work for you but you’d still like to get involved, there are lots of other opportunities! Email Maddy at email@example.com.
Sign up here: https://www.mobilize.us/saragideon/event/283889/
Reparations. H.R. 40 is a bill that would set up a commission to examine the institution of slavery and its impact and make recommendations for reparations to Congress. Momentum is building, and the time to act is now. The ACLU wants you to send a message to your members of Congress urging them to support H.R. 40 — click here.
For more info on the topic:
- Read Ta Na-hisi Coates’ Atlantic from June, 2014 article here!
- Read Nikole Hannah-Jones special NY Times Magazine piece here…. (and include the photo below please)
- Read: White Debt: Reckoning with what is owed—and what can never be repaid—for racial privilege – NY Times, 12/2/15
GT Book Group. We’ll proceed with our pre-pandemic March Book Pick…what could be more timely and critical? Thursday, July 16 at 7 PM we will discuss Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist. (Zoom link to follow before that date — keep reading your newsletters!) Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
BLM Weekly Vigils Continue. Friday at 5:00 pm at Field Park, as usual, we will continue our weekly vigils in partnership with First Congregational. At 5:10 pm, a speaker will give a short reading as we recommit to the daily work of dismantling systemic racism Together. At 5:15 pm, we will join in respectful silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds at the perimeter of the green for visibility and solidarity in honor of George Floyd and the countless other Black people killed by police brutality and other forms of white supremacist violence. RSVP on Facebook or just come by. Please wear a mask; social distancing practices observed.
This week’s HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST RESOURCES – from Jess:
“Far too often, people think of themselves as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.” – Bishop Desmond Tutu
- What Defunding the Police Really Means: replacing social control with investment – Robert Reich, The Guardian, 6/21/20
- ‘It’s Been Setting in on Me That This Is Like a Cycle
- Dear White People, This is What We Want You to Do
- The End of Policing, Alex Vitale
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative
- Keedran Bryant – I Just Wanna Live
- Not Just Another Protest – NPR Code Switch podcast
- Trevor Noah: No One Is Safe from Police Brutality
- Clemency – Buy or Rent on YouTube
FOLLOW & SHARE
- #WeAreDoneDying on Instagram
- @dearpwi – From BIPOC at predominantly white institutions, to the white people that should listen
LEADERS TO FOLLOW
RAISING ANTI RACIST KIDS
Greylock Together Meeting
July 12 @ 3:00 – 4:00 pm
Guest: Alex Carlisle, maybe a mayor also
GT Book Group
July 16 @ 7:00 pm
How to Be an Antiracist
Greylock Together Meeting
August 9 @ 3:00 – 4:00 pm