NRGR/CMGR report to State Committee
April 2, 2017
Since the January 28, 2017 State Committee meeting, the (former) Nashua River chapter has met two times, with an average attendance of 10.5. One newcomer and one long-unseen friend of the chapter came to the February 25 meeting. At its March 17th meeting, the members of the chapter agreed by consensus to officially change the name of our chapter to “Central Massachusetts Green-Rainbow [CMGR].” (We are also comfortable being referred to as “Central Mass Greens,” in any situations when that makes us easier to find or more approachable for newcomers.)
Chapter members have been active this winter on three important issue areas.
1) The anti-foreclosure movement – at least 3 CMGR members have participated in auction protests coordinated by the Worcester Anti-Foreclosure Team (WAFT). Some members have contributed with telephone calling and other legislative lobbying efforts coordinated by the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL).
2) Climate disruption/environmental justice/anti-pipeline movement - CMGR members living in the towns of Grafton and Shrewsbury have become local leaders of efforts to persuade the local elected officials in each of those towns to oppose, or at least exercise some critical oversight regarding new pipelines proposed by Spectra Energy/Enbridge Corp. and the Algonquin Gas Transmission Co. A sizeable subgroup of CMGR members have also attended anti-pipeline civil disobedience training sessions offered by the Sugar Shack Alliance in western Massachusetts, and are now actively exploring the possibility of helping to form an affinity group centered in Leominster.
One member is active with 350 Central Mass, and as one of two reps attended the Local Environmental Action Conference on March 5 at Northeastern U.
In solidarity with the Standing Rock water protectors’ call to divest from financial backers of the North Dakota Access Pipeline, the CMGR treasurer is looking into moving our checking account out of TD Bank and into a local credit union.
3) Rallying against Trump administration actions that jeopardize human rights – many CMGR members have participated in various meetings and public demonstrations to defend women’s, immigrants’ and refugees’ civil rights in Worcester and elsewhere.
This spring, we have two members we are supporting to run for local office: one person for Town Meeting Rep, Shrewsbury, Pct 8; and Charlene DiCalogero, Library Trustee, Berlin.
Finally, a majority of the active participants on the Green-Rainbow Party’s Convention Planning Committee are members of CMGR. Our chapter members are looking forward to hosting the annual State Convention once again on May 13, 2017 at the First Unitarian Church of Worcester.
Respectfully submitted by David Spanagel, member, CMGR