September 20, 2020
⭐ New or updated content | ☎️ Phone calls | 📋 Petition | 🍎 Education | ✊ In-person or remote action | 💵 Donations | 🚗 Driving
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SURJ Boston active members lead these weekly sessions to build collective power—we do a feature on a particular effort or issue, make phone calls, send emails, and sign petitions. Facilitators are on hand to answer questions!
Take action today to support PUEBLO's demands for the Suffolk Downs development, the largest development project in Boston’s recent history. This is a planned luxury development with 10,000 units that would not serve the residents of East Boston and could cause massive displacement!
Tom O’Brien of HYM Investment Group, who is a housing developer with a billionaire funder, plans to build a new neighborhood in the heart of East Boston with 10,000 luxury housing units at Suffolk Downs. They are refusing to build the level of affordable housing that East Boston residents desperately need in this primarily working class, immigrant area and to truly help protect the surrounding area from displacement and have not listened to residents' (through the PUEBLO Coalition) persistent demands. The Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) plans to vote on the plan for Suffolk Downs THIS THURS, SEPT 24: Join City Life/Vida Urbana and residents of East Boston in an emergency march on City Hall to demand that Mayor Walsh to use his influence to make sure that the vote gets postponed until HALF of these units be affordable to FAMILIES earning 30% of the area median income. Sign up here to be a part of a SURJB contigent.
The HYM Developers are trying to push this vote this Thursday, September 24th, allowing them to move forward with plans for the largest development project in Boston’s recent history, while ignoring the housing needs of East Boston’s current working class residents. Tell Mayor Walsh to postpone the BPDA vote until the PUEBLO demands are reflected in the Planned Development Area (PDA) document that governs the development.
According to housing advocates and agencies, more than 100,000 Massachusetts households can't pay their rent or mortgage and we are headed for a housing "catastrophe". A MA bill stops evictions until October 17, and a new national one till December 31, but those only buy us a few months. The Guaranteed Housing Stability Act (H.4878/S.2831) would:
Call and email your legislators using this easy tool. Ask them to support the Housing Stability Act H.4878/S.2831. If they’re a co-sponsor, ask them to request that Speaker of the House Robert Deleo and Senate President Karen Spilka schedule an immediate vote.
📋 ALERT: SIGN TO PROTECT ESSENTIAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT!
Monty Gold is feeling the heat. Let's keep up the pressure!! Boston residents-- sign the petition and send an email to demand Monty Gold to drop the lawsuit against the Pine Street Inn's project - one of the largest affordable and supportive housing projects in Boston. Help us reach 1600 signatures by Monday!
Help City Life/Vida Urbana and SURJ flyer (socially distant) tenant association buildings the last Saturday of the month to provide residents with important information. If you're interested, please sign up using this form.
Saturday, September 26, 12-2PM
Please join us on Saturday for a rally in support of the No Cost Calls bill we hope will pass in this session! Bring your friends and family - kids enthusiastically welcome! Please sign up to join the SURJB contingent.
Sunday, September 27, 3-5PM
Join Black and Pink Massachusetts for a webinar to discuss how to be a pen-pal to an incarcerated LGBTQI+ person and/or a person living with HIV in the carceral system. B&P will answer common questions and help you get connected! Register here.
Sunday, October 4, 1-3PM
The Building Up People Not Prisons coalition will be hosting a symposium focused on their Clemency Works campaign. Register here! #FREEHER
📋 Week of Action: Building Up People Not Prisons
SURJ Boston joined around 100 other organizations and individuals in supporting No Cost Calls for incarcerated people in MA. Read the text of the open letter to the MA Senate here!
September 23, 2:00PM
September 30, 2:00PM
Join us for a weekly September Action Zap where we will take action together on pressing campaigns to get feds out of cities, #FreeThemAll, #DefundThePolice, and demand justice as part of Black and people of color led campaigns for collective liberation. Join with a cell phone and computer for this one-hour Action Zap to make phone calls and send emails to campaign targets around the country. Register here and see the Facebook event for more details.
Let’s help Jordan during his reentry as he works and supports his family.
Kimya's House is a re-entry home run by and for formerly incarcerated Black women -- open on time in spite of setbacks from the pandemic.
One of SURJ Boston's active members, Lisa, is working on a reparations project for a friend and comrade, karen marshall, a Black organizer. She and Lisa first met in Boston over 10 years ago and they have stayed connected and work on several projects together, one included hosting trainings led by Rethink youth in Boston. karen is a national leader and much of her work is connected to the Movement for Black Lives which is also very much connected to SURJ National. Please consider donating to this GoFundMe (and read more about her there).
The Department of Homeland Security has just announced the grant awards for their 2020 Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) program. This program is the latest version of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), a government surveillance program that exploits community need by deputizing social service providers to police the politics, religious practice, and other behaviors of community members. Since its inception, CVE has consistently targeted Muslim communities across the US. Learn more today with this toolkit put together by MJL and the #StopCVE Coalition and share on social media.
On November 6, Student Immigrant Movement will be virtually celebrating their Quinceañera of Rebellion. Join them to honor the stories of resistance and persistence of undocumented youth. Every week leading up to the gala they will be highlighting a SIMmer! Get your tickets here.
In honor of their 15th anniversary, a donor has stepped forward to match all donations made in September, up to $4,000. Help them reach this donation goal by becoming a Dream Sustainer here.
Massachusetts Jobs with Justice is continuing to celebrate their month of movement-building and movement-giving. Follow them on Facebook to learn more about their ongoing work and campaigns. You can donate or become a monthly sustainer here!
Saturday, September 26th, 2:00 PM
Meet us outside the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) located at 136 Blackstone St, Boston (by the Haymarket T Station)
After months of organizing district meetings, actions, and demanding for the passage of the Work & Family Mobility Act - thousands of Black and Brown immigrant families continue to live in fear of ICE detention for being stopped for a traffic violation and many are being deported - even during a pandemic. Join MA JWJ and their partners in demanding that all families deserve the right to move freely in our state and live in dignity. Together, we will imagine and fight for another world where all people are safe and protected. Sign up for more information and to join us next week here.
Join AARW for a screening of "Keep Saray Home," a documentary following the lives of Southeast Asian community members fighting deportation. We will screen the documentary and also provide updates on AARW's work combating Southeast Asian deportations. If you are attending the screening, please RSVP you will be sent a Zoom link! RSVP here.
BIJAN is a be part of the National Bail Fund Network, a coalition of abolitionist organizations that raise funds to pay bail for people in pretrial detention and immigration bond for people in ICE detention. These intertwined systems are harmful and racist, disproportionately depriving Black and Brown people of their freedom in a system of mass incarceration that exists to reinforce white supremacy and create profit. We hope that you will continue to support the many important bail and bond funds, including Beyond Bond and Legal Defense!
Support striking sex educators at Good Vibrations in Brookline! SECSE demands higher COVID-19 safety standards, better communication from our corporate office, a stronger human resources department, scheduled raises, and more local decision making power. For a more detailed list of demands, visit SECSE.net. Sign this petition to support!
Demand that Stop and Shop executives extend hazard pay for essential workers past the original July 4th cut-off and until the pandemic is over. Sign this petition to show Stop and Shop it needs to stop putting profits before its workers.
Saturday, October 10, 12:00-2:00PM
Rally and march to demand that the City of Boston honors Indigenous People's Day and commits to NOT returning the Columbus statue to Boston's waterfront. More info here. If you want to connect with other SURJB members that will be attending, you can email SURJBindigenousSolidarity@googlegroups.com.
Can't attend but want to support local Indigenous organizing in other ways?
The House of Representatives has not yet voted for a review of the racist Massachusetts state flag and seal. Call and email your reps TODAY during this extended legislative session and urge them to vote to change the flag and seal, and to ban Native mascots! Follow the link for an easy way to send messages to your elected officials.
Join our Confronting White Supremacists Announcement List to hear from us about opportunities to learn more and take action against non-state white supremacists and fascists in New England.
Saturday, September 26 - Sunday, September 27, exact time and place TBD
We will show up again to demonstrate that hate is not welcome in our communities and our state! We will rally to drown out pro-police, pro-white nationalism messaging and stand in solidarity with local activists. Sign up for more information and to join us next week here.
Our mutual aid partners (Cape Verdean Association of Boston, 12th Baptist Church, and VietAID) have informed us that critical supplies like food and sanitary products continue to be in high demand. Families in our community are facing increasing financial stress as life in the pandemic passes six months. PLEASE DONATE EACH WEEK YOU ARE ABLE to help our neighbors stay afloat in a crisis that disproportionately affects those already most targeted by racism and white supremacy.
As a reminder, we now have a drop off location in Arlington. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
This week we’re asking folks to focus on the following items for 12th Baptist and CVAB:
For VietAID they are accepting the following donations:
To donate you can drop off goods at the Cape Verdean Association of Boston (242A Bowdoin St) 10-6 PM, Sat 10-2 PM. To donate to VietAID, please drop off the requested goods in the marked boxes by the side door in the parking lot during the following times: Wed 4-6 PM, Thurs 1-3 PM, and Sat 11-2 PM.
If dropping off directly is not an option for you, we have porches in eight different communities where you can drop off goods, this is also the best way to donate to 12th Street Church in Roxbury. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Click here to join the driving group: Auto-mobilize! our announcements (and clarifying questions) only WhatsApp thread. We will announce
Joining this thread is a commitment to actively engage and fulfill driving asks. The announcements on this list may not be for general knowledge, do not share anything outside of it without permission.
We would really like your help in getting all of the signatures necessary this week and taking this ask off of the Newsletter! Please sign and share this petition until we have the signatures we need. The Boston Education Justice Alliance (BEJA) is asking for folks to sign this petition to ask the BPS School Committee to act swiftly in adopting the recommendation of the BPS Opportunity Gap Task Force and suspend the exam based admissions policy for Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy and the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Sciences, and we further call on the School Committee to direct the BPS to design an alternative selection process that does not use an exam for SY 20-21. The entrance exams are frequently a barrier for black and brown students and with the disruption to the school year due to COVID-19, they are even more problematic. If everyone who subscribes to this newsletter and has not yet signed it signs, we should have all the signatures we need! Sign today!
Unafraid Educators has set up a COVID-19 Relief Fund for students and families in Boston Public Schools who need financial support during this time. Please share the form with those who might need it, and donate to the fund if you are able.
September 26th, 1:00 - 4:30 PM and every other following Saturday
SURJ National is organizing us to repeatedly call a set of 100,000 white voters in Georgia between now and the November election. These are voters who are not receiving calls from the Democrats or others, and we will be engaging them in deep conversation, with the goal to help them realize their common stake with people of color in making transformative change in our country.
You can sign up for any of the upcoming phone banks on SURJ National's website. You can also sign up to make calls to recruit phone bankers, or support these efforts by making a donation to both SURJ National and the New Georgia Project.
Sunday, October 4, 12:30-2:30PM
New Immigrant and Refugee Visions (NIRV) is a collection of ten documentary films by and about new immigrants and refugees. Their stories provide a unique insider perspective on the challenges faced by immigrants and the contributions they make to our culture, economy, and social fabric. Our event will feature a viewing of a selection of these humanizing films followed by a discussion about issues of racism, the particular challenges facing immigrants and refugees during the pandemic, and the impact of the current administration’s cuts in funding for immigrant and refugee services.
Register here. You will receive an email with a Zoom link for the Brunch.
Knapsack is a multiracial/cross-class group of folks dedicated to the struggle for shared liberation. We engage in a variety of group discussions to build community and awareness, and take action to disrupt the systems of racism in the U.S.
and beyond. We support the efforts of racial justice leaders and organizations.
Join us in Knapsack meetings (all on Zoom for now):
See all upcoming meetings on our Meetup page, and please RSVP there if you can attend.
Join the Facebook discussions.
This is an alternative to the Meetup group; it is not required to join this FB group to join/attend the Meetup group. All are welcome in both.
Moving From Talk to Action: Find classes and sign up on the WPCR website
SURJ Boston is a project of Community Change Inc (CCI), a Boston-based organization shining a spotlight on the roots of racism in white culture with the intention of dealing with racism at its source.
In 1968, as a result of the Civil Rights Movement and in response to the Kerner Commission which named racism as "a white problem”, CCI was birthed. CCI promotes racial justice and equity by challenging systemic racism and acting as a catalyst for anti-racist learning and action. CCI accomplishes its mission through education, advocacy and working in solidarity with others to organize for change.
Commit to doing just one thing this week.
We can do this.
Click on green text to follow links for more info!