Assabet Chapter report

Chapter Report for Assabet River Valley GRP Chapter 7/8/2017

Our small chapter (4 to 6 active members and a larger number of semi-active members), most active in Concord, Acton and Boxborough has had particular personal challenges these past few months, but has still managed to be a force in our region for people, planet and peace, and our goal of electing and supporting GRP officeholders.

One of our active chapter members, Nadia Franciscono, who was also for a time a member of the GRP Platform committee and contributed to the writing of our Party Agenda,  passed away in May, and three other active members have been dealing with serious illness in their family. While this has caused us to occasionally cancel a meeting or teleconference or have very small meetings, our chapter has remained quite active in political work despite these challenges. Chapter members were also heartened to see many GRP members from throughout Massachusetts attend Nadia's memorial service, and Nadia's family in particular is thankful for the love and support shown by party members.

As far as our political work:

Our chapter-formed group Let's Make Acton a Sanctuary Town (LMAST) has now blossomed to have several dozen active members, and has worked with local  ACLU members. police department and town select board resulting in a new police policy which is one of the most pro-immigrant right policies in the state. In addition, one of our chapter members was involved the town of Boxborough's successful efforts to pass a Boxborough "constitutional community" at their Spring, 2017 town meeting that calls for protections similar to that of sanctuary town. Our chapter will continue its work on the issue of sanctuary communities.

Other chapter members are working individually in groups such as Greater Boston Trade Justice, the Fostering Racial Justice Group, Pass Mass Amendment, and Green Acton, the citizens activist group in which 2 of 9 members of the board of directors are Green-Rainbow party members. Green Acton has been working this year on the implementation of community renewable energy aggregation and is working with the town to draft a town sustainability policy. Chapter members have taken part in actions protesting the Trump administration abandonment of the Paris accords and has been a particular voice in town educating the public of the fact that the voluntary Paris accord did not go far enough and that the true resistance to Trump requires a binding climate treaty that goes much further than Paris.

GRP Elected and Appointed Officials:

Our chapter has a total of three members serving in town government, one elected member and two appointed members:

Our one elected Green-Rainbow Party member, Tar Larner (Concord Housing Authority) has been advocating to create more low- income housing accessible to people with disabilities, focusing on re-habs rather than new building as the greener solution. Tar has also worked with the housing authority to encourage the formation of a tenant advocacy group.

Our appointed member to the Acton Commission on Disabilities, Danny Factor was named the committee's Access Coordinator and is in charge of monitoring compliance with the state code protecting people with disabilities in both public accommodations and housing, taking an aggressive stance in his advocacy.

Our appointed member to the Boxborough Finance Committee and ,Boxborough Affordable Housing Trust, Steve Ballard,  has engaged in strong advocacy this year in regard to both transparency and prevention of conflicts of interests in the regional school committee so that grassroots democracy can flourish. Steve has also advocated for Boxborough and Acton to become sanctuary communities..

Our chapter would like to run candidates in 2018 municipal and State House elections and is working toward these goals..

Recently our chapter contemplated expanding our chapter to include the entire Metro West region which would have entailed changing the name of our chapter. This idea was inspired by the Nashua River Chapter's change to become the Central Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Chapter. Our chapter's most recent consensus on this matter is to keep our chapter's name and region, but to create a facebook page for Metro West Green-Rainbow Party members and then evaluate the possibility of the creation a regional Metro West Regional GRP Chapter subsequently.  

Our chapter continues to hold its meetings at the Acton Memorial Library on third Thursday evenings, and its monthly business teleconference on fourth Wednesday evenings.  Having a business teleconference have enabled us to have chapter meetings that are more engaging and welcoming to new attendees.

Respectfully Submitted,

Barbara Clancy & Danny Factor
Chapter Co-Chairs

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