Newsletter – November 2020


Inside this Issue: Priorities and News | Updates from the Affiliates | Ways to Get Involved in the Revolution | New Book Club

Happy Post Election!

As we all recover from an election “season” like no other in the middle of a pandemic it is time to start taking stock of what this election means for the progressive movement, here in Massachusetts and more broadly in our country. And you may be surprised it has a progressive silver lining.

Here in MA we saw our endorsed candidate Senator Ed Markey win his primary race, and then the general election. Ballot Question 1 on the right to repair passed easily, while ballot Question 2 on ranked choice voting narrowly lost. Massachusetts will maintain its all Democratic Party delegation in the US House and Senate on route to being in the top three states in the union voting against Trump and for former Vice President Joe Biden.

ORMA was excited to watch Erika Uyterhoeven, whom we enthusiastically endorsed in the primary and the general, win her race for State Representative of the 27th Middlesex in Somerville. As an organizer, an antitrust economist, a democratic socialist, and a proud daughter of a single mother, Erika understands both the struggles working people face and the mechanisms by which corporations take control of our government to rig the rules in their favor. In 2018, she co-founded Act on Mass, a group dedicated to organizing voters to hold the State House accountable. Currently, State representatives do not have to report how they vote, in committee or on the floor. Votes are not recorded unless 16 representatives at-once ask to have a vote recorded. We look forward to Erika being seated in the chamber and holding representatives to account. Go Erika!

Across the commonwealth, from Northampton to Boston there were spontaneous dance parties which erupted following the media’s announcement that Joe Biden had won Pennsylvania and thus the presidency on Saturday, November 7. Many were happy to see Trump lose as any progress on progressive issues including stopping environmental destruction, improving labor rights, support of Black Lives Matter, DACA and improved immigration policy, all were thwarted with Trump in the White House.

Beyond the White House, the progressive movement scored some victories in a year where Republicans did gain seats in the House of Representatives due to their increased turnout (see story below on the state of play in the Senate). For instance, 75% of Our Revolution endorsed candidates won seats in the U.S. House and Senate as progressive voices continued to grow as a share of Democratic seats. Further down ballot 81% of Our Revolution endorsed candidates also won at the state level. And many progressive ballot questions won as well–including raising the minimum wage in Florida to $15 per hour.

Progressives should not shy away from the intra-party fight which has already been brewing about the upcoming policy choices of the incoming Biden Administration. In our arguments progressives should note two things: (1) progressive policies areelectoral winners and are popular in polling (as many Republican voters are actually economically liberal, but socially conservative); (2) progressive policies will impact people’s economic lives in positive ways.

For instance, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noted that every candidate running for reelection in 2020 while supporting Medicare-For-All won their U.S. House race — same for Reps. supporting the Green New Deal. Rashia Tlaib D-Michigan, representing one of the lowest income districts in the country, and others in a widely circulated progressive memo, made the point that progressives should not shy away from what their constituents asked them to fight for–and also that fighting for progressive policies make strategic sense both electorally and will impact people’s economic lives in positive ways. The memo makes three recommendations for success for democrats going forward: (1) invest in organizing the base; (2) connect economic justice to racial justice; (3) drive an economic message that connects with all working people. Overall, this was a complex election, with somewhat of a progressive silver lining; and that should not be forgotten.

No matter how you look at it it certainly will help to have Trump and his cronies out of power. However, the work has just begun. ORMA will not stop pushing for our priorities and we hope you join us in our fight. A fight made easier to win without Trump in the White House–something to dance about for sure.

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Greater Fall River Our Revolution group holding a lighted Biden Sign — which was repurposed from the lighted Bernie sign they held for a few weeks before the Democratic primary last winter. Credit to Andrew McLeod of JP Progressives, who made the original sign.

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ORMA Priorities and News

Trump is Out – Now What’s Next?

With the victory of the Biden/Harris ticket this year, the corruption and atrocities of the Trump administration will be over soon. After four years of Trump’s lies, racism, misogyny, incompetence, and domestic divisiveness, we can now look forward to taking our first steps toward bringing our country back to a place of normalcy and calm.

To be sure, we have much work to do. We must continue to fight for the priorities that are at the core of ORMA’s work. However, now we have a president, and a party, with which we can work to bring those priorities to reality.

Of course, making progress will be easier if voters decide to take the Senate out of Mitch McConnell’s obstructionist hands. That goal is in fact achievable, as this election, and with it Senate control, is not decided yet. Two senate seats are on the line in Georgia – a state that Biden flipped blue and could give Democrats, and independents who caucus with them, 50 senate seats with Vice President Kamala Harris having the tie-breaking vote.

Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock are both candidates in runoff elections on January 5th. This year in Georgia, neither of their Republican opponents could muster enough votes to reach a required 50% threshold, creating the opportunity for the two Democratic candidates to take the senate out of Republican hands.

If you are an ORMA member who wants to help make a more progressive-friendly senate possible, there are multiple ways that you can volunteer your time and energy to ensuring senate victories in Georgia:

Our Revolution is running a phonebank for the Georgia races and are looking for volunteers.

Act on Mass launches Transparency is Power Campaign to organize constituent power in every corner of the state to demand our legislators change the State House’s broken, anti-democratic rules. Learn more and take action!

Stacey Abrams, the champion of “free and fair elections,” is continuing her great work informing and registering voters. Learn more about her important work.

Swing Left focused on calling voters, training, and fundraising, aimed at winning the Georgia races.

Mobilize is looking for volunteers to help with the Georgia races, including remotely.

Jon Ossoff’s WebsiteReverend Raphael Warnock’s Website

Let’s work to make sure that we put an end to the obstructionist Senate!

Yes on 2 Standout November 2020


Although it lost narrowly, Yes on 2 had lots of enthusiastic support statewide.
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Affiliates

Our Revolution Metrowest Co-Sponsored a Protect the Results Event in Framingham.

Protect the Results organized demonstrations all over the country the day after election day. Protect the Results is a collaboration of over 100 partner groups (including Our Revolution) committed to ensuring the integrity of our elections.

Our Revolution Metrowest, one of ORMA’s local affiliates, worked with Metrowest Democratic Socialists of America to plan and conduct one of these demonstrations in the busy center of Framingham. The high visibility spot at 150 Concord Street in the heart of one of Framingham’s busiest business areas drew over 75 participants and lots of horn honks from vehicles in the heavily trafficked intersection. Speeches, signs, and chants brought home the message that every vote counts!

Steve Garone, Chair of OR Metrowest, and Michael Gilbreath, OR Metrowest member of the ORMA Representative Council, helped plan the demonstration and served as two of the “peacekeepers” ensuring a peaceful and safe event.

Depending on what transpires post-election, there may be additional events planned. Check Protect the Results for additional information.

Here’s an article from the Framingham Patch with additional information on the event.

Not all is doom and gloom on Zoom: OR Somerville hosted a fun online game to relieve pre-election nerves.

Announcement: Join Our Revolution Somerville and the Somerville Democratic City Committee for a LIVE HALLOWEEN + POLITICS TRIVIA SPECTACULAR courtesy of The Big Quiz Thing. (Seriously. All the questions are either about Halloween or politics.)

Teams of all sizes are encouraged to compete! If you’ve never attended a BQT event before, you can expect something that’s more game show than bar trivia. Trust us. It will be a blast.

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ORMA Book Club Report: Join us! New Book Starting Soon.

There was a vibrant discussion held over zoom about The New Jim Crow written by Michelle Alexander on October 14th. It was decided since there was a lot of important information to cover, that it would then be split up by Chapters over 4 different sessions. There were in-depth discussions about the “War on Drugs” and how it has led to mass incarceration. It has not only led to mass incarceration, but the dehumanization of “criminals” by taking away so many of their basic rights like housing, the right to vote, etc. It became abundantly clear the danger of the “New Jim Crow” versus the original one, was that it started to emerge in the age of colorblindness. Since the “War on Drugs” was supposedly not about race but about “Law and Order,” discrimination against race could be used freely as long as it wasn’t called that.

This book club’s purpose is to educate activists about different topics so they feel knowledgeable and empowered to be strong advocates for important causes.

The next book is Beyond Outrage by Robert B. Reich.  Here is a summary written by the author:

Beyond Outrage connects the dots, showing why the increasing share of income and wealth going to the top has hobbled jobs and growth for everyone else, undermining our democracy; caused Americans to become increasingly cynical about public life; and turned many of us against one another.  He also explains why the proposals of the “regressive right” are dead wrong and provides a clear roadmap of what must be done instead.

Please email Jennifer for more details to join upcoming Zoom discussions for the book club!

National Day of Mourning Observed on Thanksgiving Day, 2020, in Plymouth.

Since 1970, Native Americans and supporters have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. Thanksgiving day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of Native people, the theft of Native lands, and the relentless assault on Native culture. Participants in National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.

51st Annual National Day of Mourning, November 26, 2020 12:00 Noon, Coles Hill, Plymouth, MA (additional details).

Affiliates active via Zoom meetings, protests, and getting out the vote.

Across the Commonwealth affiliates were busy up until election day and at protect the vote rallies in the aftermath. From holding many Zoom meetings, to getting out the vote while wearing facemasks and standing out in the November cold to “protect the vote”, we thank you all for your tireless efforts and hope reform is on the way under a new administration in the White House in a few months! Keep us posted on your upcoming events and what you have accomplished locally.
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Ways to get involved with ORMA. Join us!

Interested in joining Our Revolution Massachusetts? Find a group near you on ORMA’s affiliate page on our website!  You can also volunteer for actions around the state and join the ORMA Facebook group to stay connected.

Interested in working on ORMA’s priorities? Our members have spoken and we have established five top priorities for the rest of 2020. To implement these priorities we need participation in Working Groups that will concentrate on each one. Please choose one or more groups you want to be a part of on the form to the right. Here are the 5 priorities: Sign up to get involved.

If you sign up, you will be contacted by a member already engaged in each area, or by a representative of our Political Action and Civic Engagement committee to answer questions and help connect you with others interested in the same work.

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We are mindful that many members already are involved in other organizations working on these same issues. ORMA feels strongly that often our most valuable work can be to lift up and amplify the work of allied organizations. If you are one of these folks we would especially value your participation in our working groups.

Affiliate meetings moved online: Please check your email from your local affiliate for details.

ORMA affiliates are holding meetings online, checking in on each other, and staying in touch via online resources across our state. Please check your email for more details.

BE IN OUR NEWSLETTER:  Affiliates please submit your photos to the newsletter editors (newsletter@ourrevolutionma.com) if you’d like your photos/stories of organizing to be featured in future newsletters.

ORMA Readers Corner

Here is our Monthly book recommended by ORMA members! It will be the next book read by the ORMA Book Club.

“Beyond Outrage” by Robert B. Reich. Here is a summary written by the author: Beyond Outrage connects the dots, showing why the increasing share of income and wealth going to the top has hobbled jobs and growth for everyone else, undermining our democracy; caused Americans to become increasingly cynical about public life; and turned many of us against one another.  He also explains why the proposals of the “regressive right” are dead wrong and provides a clear roadmap of what must be done instead.

Please email Jennifer at bookclub@ourrevolutionma.com for more details to join upcoming Zoom discussions for the book club!

Please send your reading recommendations to the ORMA volunteers who write this newsletter! We would love to hear from you.

Uninspiring quote of the month: “I concede nothing” — soon to be former President Donald J. Trump.

Inspiring quote of the month for its predictive power–not for what happened:”You’re going to have a situation, I suspect, in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, other states, where they are going to be receiving huge amounts of mail-in ballots,” Bernie Sanders explained. “Unlike states like Florida or Vermont, they’re not able — for bad reasons — to begin processing those ballots until Election Day, or maybe when the polls close. That means you’re going to have states dealing with perhaps millions of mail-in ballots. But then the next day, and the day following, all those mail-in ballots start getting counted, and it (could) turn out that Biden has won those states. At which point, Trump says, ‘See? I told you the whole thing was fraudulent. I told you those mail-in ballots were crooked, and we’re not going to leave office.'” Senator Bernie Sanders, nearly two weeks before the election.

Around 2:30 a.m. November 4th, the president falsely claimed that he had won the race and baselessly alleged fraud on the behalf of his opponents, just as he has done several times since.

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