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Opposing Book Bans: There has been a 70% increase in book bans in the last year. Reading, MA has had two attempts in 2023 so far. Book challengers right here in Reading are using materials from Moms for Liberty to make their cases. (MFL recently apologized for quoting Hitler in their newsletter to give you a sense of their vibe.) Here are some actions you can take to fight this frightening (and sadly, local,) trend. 

--Support legislation that will protect against the attempt to ban, remove, or restrict access to materials in libraries. Call your state senator and state representative, and tell them you support SD2679 and HD4443. These bills will protect our libraries from attempts to limit our first amendment rights with book bans. 

          --If you live in Reading, call Senator Jason Lewis at  (617) 722-1206  and Representative Rich Haggerty at (617) 722-2080 or Brad Jones at (617) 722-2100. You can email them too.         

          --If you don't know your elected officials names/contact information, check here! 

--Join the Reading Public Library for their upcoming Read-In on the Library Lawn. On Saturday, September 30 from 10:00am-12pm, the library is hosting an event as part of a commonwealth-wide celebration of reading. There will be donuts, cider, and storytime for the kids! Bring a chair/blanket and a book to read. At the POP Huddle, we read banned books, so many of us are bringing our favorite one to enjoy that day. Hope to see you there! 

Support Woburn Unites: Close to 90 immigrant families were relocated by the state to a hotel in Woburn a couple of weeks ago. They were welcomed by a local chapter of LITERAL Nazis, protesting their presence there. I can't imagine how frightening this must be to people who have already been through enough.

Click here to sign up to get updates on what they need in terms of donations and volunteer opportunities. Right now, they need cash donations and car seats! They seem to be okay for clothes right now, but that might change in the coming days or weeks.

Take the Reading, MA DEI Survey: Reading’s Department of Equity and Inclusion wants to hear from you! If you are a Reading resident, please take a couple of minutes to fill out this survey, especially if you are a person of color, disabled, in the LGBTQ+ community or other historically marginalized group. 

Support the Refugee Community Alliance: This group is working to support a Ukrainian refugee family in the coming months. I’ll keep you updated on what they need as things come up!
– fundraiser at the Mandarin this Friday (9/15): 20% of what people spend all day at the restaurant will be donated. The attached voucher (four on a page) needs to be handed in when ordering or bill paying -- includes all food and drink and lunch, dinner and takeout. Please treat yourself to eating out while supporting the effort to bring a Ukrainian family to the US.

–This Sunday, 9/17, the group will be meeting in person at Old South United Methodist Church (located at 6 Salem St in Reading) starting at 11:45.  Please join us for some refreshments, updates, and planning.

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