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Special May/June E-Newsletter

May 25, 2014 
Dear Supporters and Friends,

We hope you are enjoying the long-awaited spring weather. This is a special E-newsletter that focuses on Watertown Citizens’ events, including a very important annual event! We are very excited that this coming Sunday, June 1 we will hold our Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner!

 

This is the one time each year that we come together to share food, conversation, elect officers, sing praises about our great work, and enjoy a speaker or film. (See details below.) If you are on our mailing list, you should have received the annual letter, announcement flyer (please post it), the highlights of 2013, and a funding appeal. If you did not receive a mailing, please consider sending us your mailing address by email at watertowncitizens@gmail.com.

 

This is also the only time each year that we appeal to our supporters and friends for a financial contribution. We rely on you to help make it possible for Watertown Citizens to continue from year to year. Please complete the appeal form in your mailing and return it in the enclosed envelope and please be as generous as you can.

 

 

If you did not receive the mailing, you can send a check made out to “Watertown Citizens” to Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment, P.O. Box 1194, Watertown, MA 02471-1194. Better yet, visit our new website (which your donations help make possible) at watertowncitizens.org and click on “ACT” and then “Donate” and you can contribute on-line with your credit card or PayPal account.

 

We hope you will attend the Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner and we urge you to bring friends! As always, thank you for all you do for peace, justice, and the environment.

 ANNUAL MEETING and POTLUCK DINNER  Saturday, June 1 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM  Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment invites you to our Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner on Sunday, June 1 at 5:30 PMAuditorium at The Apartments at Coolidge School 319 Arlington Street in Watertown.

5:30 PM – Potluck Dinner and Meeting 6:45 PM – Program – It’s Not Just the NSA: The Surveillance State Trickle-Down in Massachusetts Our guest speaker is Kade Crockford, the Director of Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts.

The Project is dedicated to using technology in the service of core personal and social freedoms. Ms. Crockford is currently working on a long-term project to document and challenge the militarization and federalization of state and local law enforcement. She built and maintains the dedicated privacy websitewww.PrivacySOS.org which hosts the Privacy Matters blog, available at www.PrivacySOS.org/blog. If you have any questions, please email us atwatertowncitizens@gmail.com. 

 

 

Rethink Plastics Meeting   Monday, June 2 

Rethink Plastics will hold its next meeting on Monday, June 2 at 7:00 PM at First Parish at 35 Church Street. Rethink Plastics is looking for ways to help High School students fund-raise to retrofit water fountains with water bottle refill stations. They have had several positive conversations with large retailers, are working on finding low cost high quality re-usable bags, a public education campaign, and are collecting more signatures for the Bottle Bill in case it does not get passed by the State Legislature. (See below),

 

 Watertown Citizens’ Monthly Meeting   Wednesday, June 18 

Join us for ourMonthly Meeting on Wednesday, June 18 at 7:00 PMat the Watertown Free Public Library. This is a great way to learn about our Working Groups and to share your ideas on how we can best address issues of peace, justice and the environment. Everyone is welcome! If you have questions, please do not hesitate to send an email towatertowncitizens@gmail.com and if you want to learn more about us, visit our website,watertowncitizens.org. 

 

 Honey Tasting, Presentations and Film   Wednesday, June 25 

Do You Know What’s Happening to Bees? Want to Help Them? We’re Watertown’s Friends of Bees.

Meet usWednesday, June 25 for Honey Tasting, short talks and a free movie, Queen of the Sun at the Watertown Free Public Library.

6:00 PM Honey Tasting from Follow The Honey (they had 8 very different kinds in May!)

6:30 Bob DiRico of Watertown DPW on bee-friendly strategies on Watertown lands.

6:45 Pam Phillips, Friends of Bees, how you can help make native bee houses, participate in citizen action for National Pollinator Week.

7:00 PM movie Queen of the Sun

Bees are in trouble, find out what’s happening and how you can help! Get info on bee-friendly plants and tips. For more information, see nativebeeranching.com. 

 

 Crisis in Ukraine: Cold War? Civil War? Roots of the Conflict   Wednesday, May 28 

Please attend a very important and timely program –Crisis in the Ukraine: Cold War? Civil War? Roots of the Conflict When: Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pmWhere: First Parish Unitarian Church * 3 Church St * Harvard T * Cambridge.

Speakers: Mark Solomon, professor of history (emeritus), Simmons College. Gary Leupp, professor of history, Tufts University.

President Obama in his April visit to Japan commented, “Mr. Putin has had an increasing tendency to see the world through a Cold War prism.” But there are many questions:

 

– Is the US/NATO push into Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union the real source of tension with Russia?

– Did the US government spend five billion dollars for democracy or regime change?

– Who are the fascists in the new Kiev government? Will sanctions isolate Russia?

– What is behind the conflict in Odessa and Eastern Ukraine and will it lead to civil war?

– How should the peace movement respond to rising tensions between the two biggest nuclear powers and the US shift towards covert war?

– The UJP forum will examine these issues and possible action items. Sponsored by United for Justice with Peace 617-383- 4857 or info@justicewithpeace.org. 

 

 Project Literacy’s End-of-the-Year Picnic   Thursday, May 29 

Project Literacy invites you to its end-of-year picnic that takes place this coming Thursday evening, May 29 at Arsenal Park from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

This event is a potluck! We welcome you and any of those who attended the community suppers this winter and spring.

Please pass the word along. For more information and the specific location at Arsenal Park, please call Jeri Bayer, Director, Project Literacy, at 617-924-8797 or email her at jbayer@watertown-ma.gov. 

 

 Signature Collecting for Important Ballot Questions   Bottle Bill, Move to Amend, Minimum Wage and Sick Leave 

 

Signature Collecting for Important Ballot Questions Watertown Citizens is supporting the efforts of three sister organizations to get important questions on the November ballot. PLEASE take a couple of hours to help one or all of these efforts.

 

1) MOVE TO AMEND Our democracy is broken, but we have some tools left to fix it! We can enable more voters to vote FOR the amendment on their November 2014 ballot! Will you help? Can you join a petitioning team in May or June? Email Lee at Leednotc@gmail.com! The campaign is a vital step toward winning Massachusetts’ support for a constitutional amendment to defend democracy from undue corporate influence and unrestrained political spending! bostonmta@gmail.com 781-894-1179movetoamend.org

 

2) Environmental League of Massachusetts is part of a larger coalition (as is Watertown Citizens!) working to update the Bottle Bill which seeks to expand Massachusetts’ current container deposit law by bringing the issue to the ballot–independent polling shows 77% of the public supports this measure. Right now, you pay a 5 cent deposit whenever you buy carbonated drinks or beer, and we simply want to change that to include more commonly-bought drinks like water and juice. They need volunteers to collect signatures betweenMay 16 and June 6-volunteers can ask family, friends, colleagues and/or do some canvassing or just sign the petition themselves-any help would be greatly appreciated. I’ll provide all the training materials and petition sheets. Can you please help? Alicia Juang 617.742.2553 * Juang@environmentalleague.org

 

3) Rise Up Massachusetts Budget for All Campaign, part of the Rise Up Massachusetts coalition, (as is Watertown Citizens!) is urging folks to help “Raise Up Massachusetts” put the minimum wage and earned sick time on the ballot this November. Can you personally collect anywhere from 5 to 100 signatures on the official ballot petition forms between this Saturday, May 10 and June 15? Can your organization commit to collect 100 signatures? If so please contact John Ratliffe atjmr@riseup.net (John is Mass. Peace Action’s point person for this campaign) or call Mass. Peace Action directly at 617-354-2169. You will be provided with the petitions and instructions for how to collect signatures. We did this with the non-binding Budget for All referendum in 2012. Let’s see what we can do now with this binding referendum on these issues of such importance to so many. 

 

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment (Watertown Citizens) is a Watertown voice for peace, the environment, and social justice. Watertown Citizens was formed in 1979 in response to the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.

Sincerely,

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment