Residents of Maplewood, South Orange, and surrounding communities will hold a rally at Maplewood Municipal Building (574 Valley Street) on Thursday, February 23rd at 6:30 p.m. The rally, which is being sponsored by SOMA Action, will precede a Town Hall Meeting featuring Congressperson Donald Payne (D-NJ 10th District). Representative Payne’s meeting with his constituents begins at 7:30 p.m.

SOMA Action, a newly formed group of community members committed to social justice, environmental justice, and open and transparent democracy, has identified a number of issues and topics of concern that they hope Congressman Payne will address, including:

• the resent rise of anti-Semitic activities around the country,

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• financial conflicts of interest and presidential involvement in Russia,

• targeted immigration raids and anti-immigrant and refugee policies,

• climate change and the dismantling of the EPA,

• the elimination of the Election Assistance Commission,

• voter suppression laws in many states, and

• who should be the next chair of Democratic National Committee

“We are eager to speak to Congressman Payne to hear more about what he thinks and how he plans to vote on a number of crucial issues related to our new Republican administration”, says Anita Gundanna, the chair of SOMA Action’s Immigration Rights Committee. “Like so many citizens who are showing up to town halls across the country, we view this opportunity to speak to our elected officials as an essential feature of our democracy. In our view, our democracy and the rule of law are now under attack. We will rally at 6:30 before Representative Payne’s Town Hall, to let our neighbors know that now is the time to speak up and be heard.”

ABOUT SOMA Action. SOMA Action [] is a group of friends and neighbors in South Orange and Maplewood who share an interest in resistance to the current administration’s extreme right-wing agenda for the United States. We have grown quickly to over 600. We are committed to working together at a local level to mobilize rapidly against the threats that the Trump administration poses to our democracy and to the rule of law.