Dear Greylock Together,
This Earth Day, the Youth Climate Strike is putting on a three-day livestream with information and entertainment and ideas about the urgency of the climate crisis. Check it out.
Call the Parole Board. There has been some progress with the criminal justice system when it comes to COVID-19 safety and equity:
The SJC has held that all defendants are entitled to file motions for release with the trial courts. To date, defense attorneys have filed 45 motions with Berkshire County courts. The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office assented to 16, opposed 20, and took no position on six. The court approved the release of 22 people from custody, denied 15, and eight motions are still pending.
But that’s not enough. We need to go at this from other angles, too. Call the Parole Board at (508) 650-4500, please, and say:
Hello! I’m a resident of <TOWN> and I’m calling to ask you to make it a priority to expedite the parole of eligible inmates and help reduce the vulnerable population.
Next week: the sheriff.
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. He sponsored the Green New Deal and fights nuclear proliferation fiercely… let’s get him on the ballot!
Call Neal, Warren, and Markey. The latest COVID-19 deal is a lousy one. There are a ton of priorities that aren’t addressed, but one of the most important is voting protection. Call your representative and senators and leave a comment:
Hi, I’m a resident of <TOWN> and I’m calling to leave a comment about the new stimulus deal that’s being proposed. It’s a bad deal without voting protection to extend voting by mail this November. No one should need to risk their life to vote. Please vote no to help protect democracy.
These folks should already be in your contacts, but if they aren’t:
- Rep. Neal: 413-785-0325
- Sen. Warren: 202-224-4543
- Sen. Markey: 202-224-2742
Correspondence Canvassing. From Bernadine:
One thing we can continue to do while we’re sheltering is write letters to voters who don’t regularly show up and vote. And it’s easy to do through Vote Forward. Letters written now will be mailed in October to give those voters a nudge. VF provides a template and addresses. You just need to do a bit of personalization, write out an envelope, stamp, and set aside until October! Studies show that voters who receive a letter are significantly more likely to vote.
So, here are 3 ways to do it:
1. Make your own account at Vote Forward. This will allow you to download and print as many letters as you want.
2. If you have a printer, but don’t want to set up your own account, I (Bernadine) can create a PDF and e-mail it to you for printing at home.
3. If you don’t have a printer, I can print batches of 20 letters that can (safely) be picked up at my house. I also have about 90 envelopes and can include if you let me know. If you are able to provide stamps that’s wonderful and we thank you!
If you would like me to print for you, please send me (Bernadine Williams) an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have letters from previous in-person meetings, just hang onto them and keep track of them for mailing in the fall.
Local Food Producers. Sarah B. sends along a link to Berkshire Grown which collects together local food producers, what they grow, and how you can get it. It’s organized by method of access, so if you’re looking to have food delivered, you can find that category.
Closures: Recent announcements about things that are staying closed:
- Schools are continuing remote learning through the end of the academic year, per the governor.
- Other non-essentials are closed until May 4. Daycares are also closed until May.
- Marie sends along to say that Bascom Lodge is closed until July 1.
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.
Reminder: Recent Successes.
- We have raised more than $8,000 in our recent fundraisers to flip the Senate blue.
- DPH has agreed to change their guidelines and start testing everyone, which Rep. Barrett credits to our calls. The Commons immediately found five staff members who were infected with COVID-19 but asymptomatic.
- We’ve started getting masks out to workers who lacked them, like grocery staff at Wild Oats.
None. But it’s nice outside. Go out for a walk.