Policing Reform: A modified bill has passed both the MA Senate and House and has been sent back by the Governor who gutted key provisions of it.
A Quick Overview of the Bill
The MA House and Senate came to a consensus on Police Reform that combined some of each of their bills presented over the summer. The bill created a POST Commission with fewer voices for real police accountability than in the original Senate bill – but still with real power, established a lot of new commissions that may or may not actually produce anything, created new regulations on the use of force (on facial surveillance, on chokeholds), made notable strides on juvenile justice (from expungement to school policing), banned racial profiling, but lacked meaningful reforms on qualified immunity.
Despite this compromise, Governor Charlie Baker succumbed to the bullying tactics of police unions and removed most of the meaningful aspects of it and returned it to the legislature promising to veto anything else. In the Governor’s version, he give police and police unions more power over their own accountability, and removed the ban on facial recognition technology (which we know disproportionately mis-recognizes the faces of people of color).
Since they do not have a veto proof majority, the legislature now has the difficult decision of whether to risk losing the other benefits of the bill. They can try to work out further compromise, but the clock is ticking.
The Senate, to their credit, had a veto-proof majority, but the House didn’t. So that puts things in Governor Baker’s hands. He has been barraged by opponents of the bill, including police unions, and needs to hear from us! So please Governor Baker and also call your Reps to make sure they will still support police reform now.
Cape Cod Senators Cyr and Moran both voted in favor of the bill presented to the Governor. Representatives Peake and Fernandes also voted in favor of the bill presented to the Governor. Representatives Crocker, Vieira and Whelan voted against it. Please contact your legislators to thank or admonish them.
Find your legislators’ contact information HERE.
Call Charlie Baker at (617) 725-4005.
Cape Cod Representatives also need to hear from us: Dist. 4 Sarah Peake, 617-722-2040; Dist 1 Tim Whelan 617-722-2488; Dist 2 Will Crocker 617-722-2014; Dist 3 David Vieira 671-722-2230; Dylan Fernandes 617-722-2430; Senator Cyr 617-722-1570; Senator Moran 617-722-1330
Elements of the ROE Act Included in MA 2020 Budget: Now on Governor’s Desk
While not the ROE Act, both the MA Senate (Amendment 801 by a vote of 33 – 7) and MA House (Amendment 759 by a vote of 108 – 49) brought forward several important parts of the ROE Act as part of the 2020 budget. The Senate version was stronger than the House version, and we are pleased that the stronger language was selected when members met in committee to reconcile the budget. This became Section 40 in the budget and both chambers voted with a veto-proof majority, however, Governor Baker rejected it and sent it back with unacceptable revisions.
Luckily, both the Senate and the House have voted to over-ride him and will send it back as a stand-alone bill which he will have 10 days to sign or veto. If he vetoes it, both the Senate and the House have enough votes to over ride him.
Call Charlie Baker at (617) 725-4005 and demand that he sign.
This bill includes:
- Affirmative language codifying the right to abortion in MA
- Access to abortion in the cases of fatal fetal anomalies after 24 weeks
- Young people from age 16 may decide to seek abortion care
It does not include:
- Young people under age 16 must still seek permission from a parent or a court (despite the hardships/dangers of doing so)
- Access for those without insurance or financial means
Cape Cod Senators Cyr and Moran both voted in favor of the amendments. Representatives Peake and Fernandes also voted in favor. Representatives Crocker, Vieira and Whelan voted against. Please contact your legislators to thank or admonish them.
Find your legislators contact information HERE.
It is especially important to reach out to thank your legislators if they supported the ROE Act. We know they are always hearing from anti-abortion constituents. Pro-choice people need to do more to make sure that our legislators know that we appreciate their support!
Now that it will return to Governor Baker’s desk, please call!
Call Charlie Baker at (617) 725-4005 and demand that he sign and support reproductive rights in MA
Email Governor Baker
If this passes, we will have helped expand access to abortion in the Commonwealth, update archaic laws, and codify the right to abortion. Massachusetts could move forward while so many other states confront laws that would turn back the clocks to pre-1973.
Please also take a few moments to compose letters to: Rep. Sarah Peake, Room 7, and Sen. Julian Cyr, Room 309, both at 24 Beacon St. Boston, MA 02133. Both support the ROE Act. Thank them for being champions for this important right.
If you are a constituent of other Representatives, please write to them, thanking or asking for their continued support! If you aren’t sure who they are, you can use this locator HERE.
All Eyes on Georgia
With the fate of the Senate, indeed the country, resting on Georgia’s January 5, 2021, Run-Off Election, Indivisibles everywhere are clamoring to help. Luckily, Stacey Abrams has been working on voting rights for decades and has mobilized the grassroots to register more than 98% of Georgia’s eligible voters prior to the November 3rd election. She has indeed ‘overwhelmed the system’ in order to thwart the rampant voter suppression there that cost her the Governor’s seat in 2018.
The effort since November 3rd has been to focus on registering the remaining 2% of Georgians who are unregistered or who have just come of voting age. The deadline for that is December 7 and Indivisible Outer Cape has completed several hundred postcards for this purpose. We have also completed several hundred postcards and letters to encourage voters to apply for their absentee ballots and are now working on GET OUT THE VOTE postcards to be mailed at the end of December.
More importantly, our help is needed for the phone and text banks that have been set up! We have been told that many rural Georgians do not have internet or cell phones and can only be reached by landlines. Phone banking is very easy and does not use your phone number. You use your phone connected to your computer to automatically dial and then read the script from. Many phone banks offer simple trainings at the beginning of their sessions. If you have done phone or texting before, you will not need to be trained but might like a refresher.
Just sign up here:
In January of 2020 the small Action Team of Indivisible Outer Cape met to discuss our strategy for the upcoming year. We knew that democracy was under attack, but could not have predicted all the dangerous twists and turns of this year. Now that we are 100 days away from the election, here is a brief update on our key states and suggestions for how you can still continue to make a difference!
Our first priority is to flip the Senate in order to neutralize the president and to be rid of Mitch McConnell’s power over progressive legislation. Unfortunately, even if McConnell is demoted from Majority Leader, his presence still threatens every progressive bill or oversight. He has vowed to use the filibuster to stop any initiative brought by a Democratic Congress or President. Even if forced to endure a Trump re-election, flipping the Senate could at least stall the president’s harmful agenda and open up the possibility of future impeachment.
When Senate Republicans refused to acquit the president for his high crimes and misdemeanors, Senate targets were confirmed. Combined with analysis of other factors, we chose to focus on the four key states of CO, FL, GA, and ME, with KY, PA, MI, and WI also in play. All of our “Do Something Sundays!” and “Activism To Go!” activities have focused on getting out the vote in these states.
We are now on track for completing twenty thousand postcards and letters before the summer is out and many people are looking for more ways to participate. This lengthy resource guide gives a brief update on our 2020 Vision Key States, as well as some info at home, and suggestions for ways individuals might become more involved!
You can read the entire Resource Guide HERE!
Please note: The Resource Guide is intended as a resource for individuals interested in volunteering or contributing to important races across the country. It is a compilation of widely available information put together for ease of use for our members or other interested individuals. We wish to promote our values of protecting our health, our world, and fighting for democracy and equality for all so it is not intended as an endorsement of any campaign by Indivisible Outer Cape. We hope you find it useful.
IMPORTANT: THE NEW BYLAWS HAVE BEEN RATIFIED!
INDIVISIBLE MASSACHUSETTS COALITION, INC.
To prepare for the upcoming election year battles, Indivisible groups in Massachusetts are leading the way!
Indivisible MA, the umbrella organization for all groups in MA, formed in 2017 and is now re-organized into a new, improved structure to help us collaborate on state and national election issues for 2020. This grass-roots driven organizational structure was presented at our December conference and has since been shared across multiple platforms and incorporated comments and suggestions from members from across the state. They asked that anyone who considers themselves a part of this movement to “confirm” their membership so that they would be allowed a vote.
A quorum of sixty percent of Confirmed members was required to participate in the vote! This was surpassed and 97% of those members voted to approve the new Bylaws!
Starting February 13, 2020, we are now a part of Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition, Inc. As of February 22, 2020, the confirmed members have also elected a Coordinating Board representative from every Congressional District of the the state. The new Coordinating Board will meet and begin work before March 1, 2020.