Newsletter October 2019

ORMA Newsletter October 2019
Inside this Issue:
ORMA Priorities and News | Affiliates | Ways to Get Involved in the Revolution
Image of event held by Our Revolution Somerville announcing Endorsed candidates for Mayor, City Council, and School Committee
Event held by Our Revolution Somerville announcing Endorsed candidates for Mayor, City Council, and School Committee.

2019 Election – ORMA’s Affiliates make endorsements across the length of the State

October 25, 2019

With the 2019 election around the corner, ORMA affiliates across the Commonwealth have been vetting, working with, evaluating, and engaging with candidates for local public office. Some affiliates were even excited enough about their options in local races that they voted to endorse local candidates for office. Every vote especially counts in an off-year election as turnout tends to be lower, and one of ORMA’s goals is to reinvigorate our democracy at the local level here in Massachusetts. The following is news from around the State about what OR affiliates have been doing in the lead-up to the election and who they have endorsed.

Our Revolution Cambridge has been following the City Council elections and pursuant to a vote of the membership, has endorsed the following candidates in the race for City Council: Dennis Carlone, Charles Franklin, Patty Nolan, Ben Simon, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Nicola Williams and Quinton Zondervan. Also in Cambridge, five candidates for School Committee emerged with over 60% of the vote each from a ballot from local OR Cambridge membership: Emily Dexter, Elechi Kadete, José Luis Rojas Villarreal, David Weinstein, and Ayesha Wilson

Our Revolution Medford, pursuant to a vote of the membership, has endorsed the following candidates in the races for City Council and School Committee seats in the city of Medford: City Council, Zac Bears, Steve Collicelli, Nicole Morell, Curtis Tuden; School Committee, Jenny Graham, Mea Mustone, and Paul Reseau.

Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution, pursuant to a vote of the membership, endorsed Sheila Gilmour (already a  member of FCCPR) for Mayor of Greenfield. She came in second of the three candidates in the primary but she will be on the ballot in November (see longer story on her below). For the Greenfield City Council, FCCPR endorses current City Council member Norm Hirschfeld (also a FCCPR member), and Taunette Green. For School Committee FCCPR endorses current School Committee member Glen Johnson (already a FCCPR member). Notably FCCPR has produced their own extensive platform for determining whom to endorse based on local issues and on Our Revolution ideals.

ORMA Lowell is in formation stages as an affiliate but has  officially endorsed four candidates for City Council: Vesna Nuon, John Drinkwater, Ty Chum, and Harry Kortikere. All made it through the primary.

Finally, announced to a packed local forumOR Somerville (ORS) endorsed mayoral challenger Marianne Walles for Mayor, and seven candidates for City Council: City Councilor at Large: Will Mbah, Mary Jo Rossetti and Bill White; City Councilors: Matt McLaughlin (Ward 1), JT Scott (Ward 2), Ben Ewen-Campen (Ward 3), Lance Davis (Ward 7). Also ORS endorsed six for School Committee: Emily Ackman (Ward 1), Ilana Krepchin (Ward 2), Sarah Phillips (Ward 3), Andre Green (Ward 4), Laura Pitone (Ward 5), Carrie Normand (Ward 7).

Cearly, ORMA affiliates are having an impact on electoral politics in MA. Please let us know of your local affiliates actions on this front and anything else your affiliate deems newsworthy in the future. Happy organizing!

Inspiring quote of the month:

“Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.”  – Martin Luther King, Jr.

ORMA table of swag and info at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention held in Springfield, Sep. 14

ORMA Priorities and News

 Overturning Citizens United – a Massachusetts State Progress Report. Written by Paul Lauenstein and Leo Immonen – We the People Massachusetts.

One of ORMA’s priorities is getting money out of politics. The following report, written by Paul Lauenstein and Leo Immonen from We the People Massachusetts, is about a public hearing at the State House, discusses some encouraging developments about the fight to get money out of politics in our State.

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs held held a public hearing in the State House’s Gardner Auditorium on September 24, on a proposed U.S. Constitutional Amendment that would end corporate use of Constitutional rights granted by the Supreme Court and place limits on financial campaign spending. Many citizens, some of whom had waited for over 3 hours before the Committee opened the hearing on this bill, gave individual testimony. Although each speaker was limited to 3 minutes, it took over 2-½ hours for everyone to be heard.

Citizens shared with the VFA their feelings that our government is no longer responsive to its citizens, that the super rich and multinational corporations are controlling our government, and that decisions are being made that hurt real people and the real world. Citizens repeatedly told the Committee that the risks involved in doing nothing are far worse than any unintended consequences from acting affirmatively.

With the hearing now over, the Committee will decide what action to take on the bills, S.2163 and H.3208, presented by Senator Jamie Eldridge, Representative Carmine Gentile, and Representative David Vieira. All calls and emails to your own legislators urging their support of this legislation will help. Ask your legislators to tell VFA Committee Chairs Senator Walter Timilty and Representative Linda Dean Campbell that they and their constituents want the VFA to recommend positive action on the bill.

ORMA Mentioned as Supporter of a Pledge for More Voting Transparency for State Lawmakers

(Except from linked article in the Taunton Daily Gazette)

BOSTON — Progressive activists are making a list of state lawmakers who support more transparent voting procedures on Beacon Hill and they plan to name names. As capitol reporters and others interested in legislative business are aware, finding out how legislative committee members vote on bills can be difficult, or even impossible, as some committees don’t disclose such information as a matter of practice.

Act on Mass co-founders Erika Uyterhoeven of Cambridge and Matt Miller of Brighton went door-to-door Wednesday asking legislators to sign the Voters Deserve to Know Pledge. The group plans to announce the first signers of the pledge on Friday, on the eve of Saturday’s state Democratic Party convention in Springfield. According to Jonathan Cohn of Progressive Massachusetts, pledge supporters plan to use a resolution at the convention to further drive the demand that legislators commit to transparency measures. Pledge backers feel too many important bills are dying in the Legislature without recorded votes, mentioning Election Day registration, sex education, immigration law enforcement, and 100 percent renewable energy bills as examples. Alternately, they say, legislators too frequently approve major policy proposals on voice votes where individual lawmakers’ positions are not recorded, based on the preferences of legislative leaders.

In considering the pledge, lawmakers will decide whether or not to commit to making all of their committee votes publicly available upon request, including electronic polls, a popular but non-transparent method of voting that lawmakers have embraced as an alternative to voting at public meetings.

Uyterhoeven and Miller, who visited the capitol press gallery Wednesday to spread the word about their pledge, said their group is based in Boston. In a video outlining the group’s mission, Uyterhoeven, who was a national organizing director for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign for president, said she’s encouraged that new state representatives are pushing transparency measures. “Some representatives have complained that if their votes were published online, then constituents would call them more often. But that’s what you signed up for,” Miller said in a statement released Thursday by Progressive Mass that noted the pledge has been endorsed by Our Revolution, Progressive Mass, and Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts.

Act on Mass also plans to conduct phone banks to reach voters in “key districts.” Uyterhoeven declined to specify the targeted districts, but said Act on Mass has held phone banks in two to three locations per week and plans to launch door-to-door canvassing in connection with its pledge push.

The House and Senate plan to return from summer recess sometime this month and resume formal sessions, which may run this year until November 20. Next year, formal sessions are scheduled to run from January through July.  Link to article.

Upcoming Conference on Peace Sponsored by ORMA and Other Groups: November 9, in Cambridge!

“Rising Up for a Livable Future: Against Endless War, Climate Emergency, and Injustice”
A One Day Conference, Saturday, November 9, 2019, 9am – 5pm, Washburn Auditorium, Brattle Campus, 10 Phillips Place, Cambridge, MA 02138

Wherever we look these days we see wars and rumors of wars. We see the military budget rising into the stratosphere and the growing danger of nuclear war as our country undermines arms control agreements and plans a $1.7 trillion upgrade of our nuclear weapons.

But what do war, war spending, and useable nuclear weapons have to do with the flourishing climate movement, growing protection of the rights of immigrants and refugees, relentless affordable housing advocacy, and the antiracism movement?

The answer is, “Everything”.

For the heart of the matter is that, the ultimate purpose of wars and militarism is not to protect the country. Rather, it is to enforce a way of life based on climate destruction and the vast social inequality and xenophobia that lie at the root of the serious issues that we face. Many of the crises we face can only be addressed through international collaboration. War and the threat of war make such cooperation among nations impossible.

It’s long past time to put Militarism back into Martin Luther King’s “giant Triplets of Racism, Materialism and Militarism” that must be conquered if we are to effectively wage the struggle for the beloved community of which he dreamed. It’s time to implement his insistence that the fight against Militarism is an essential component in our movement for social justice, liberation from racism and the very survival of our planet.

Sponsored by:  Massachusetts Peace Action; Our Revolution Massachusetts; American Friends Service Committee; Campaign for Peace, Disarmament, and Common Security, Greater Boston Physicians for Responsibility, Extinction Rebellion Massachusetts

Workshops: The conference will offer morning and afternoon workshops covering a broad range of issues. Topics include: The Politics of the Green New Deal, Immigration, Latin America, A Moral Budget for Massachusetts, Housing Rights, The Promise and Cherish Acts, Divestment and the Raytheon AntiWar Campaign, Middle East Wars, Palestine/Israel, Reducing the Risk of Nuclear War, Great Power Competition, Racism and War, How to be an Anti-Racist, Peace and the 2020 Election, Threat to Democracy, Movement Building Messaging, and more!

Admission for ORMA members is  $25 in advance, $30 at door; student/ low income $10 in advance/$15 at door; supporter $75, will be thanked in materials and at conference.   All registration types include lunch and morning coffee.

Register at rising-up.bpt.me, or mail check to Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund, 11 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138; write “Rising Up” on memo line.

Voter Choice for Massachusetts, the statewide campaign to bring Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) to MA, is now trying to collect 120,000 signatures by November 20 so that RCV can appear on the ballot in 2020. To help, contact your local field organizer by sending an email to field@voterchoice2020.org and they’ll help you to get a signature gathering kit.

Picture of ORMA member Jeannette Rivera working on ranked choice voting at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention.
ORMA member Jeannette Rivera working on ranked choice voting at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention.

Affiliates

Interested in joining Our Revolution Massachusetts? Find a group near you on ORMA’s Affiliate page located on our website! Affiliates please submit your photos to the newsletter editors if you want your photos/stories of organizing to be in future newsletters.

Franklin County’s Continuing the Political Revolution’s Endorsement of Candidate in the Mayoral Race Receives Our Revolution’s National HQ Announcement!

The following email was sent from OR National Headquarters in Support of FCCPR’s Endorsement.

We are excited to announce Our Revolution’s endorsement of Sheila Gilmour, who is in a close race for mayor of Greenfield, Massachusetts, the seat of Franklin County.

Sheila is currently a city council member in Greenfield, where she also serves as vice president of the University Staff Association at UMass Amherst and a member of the Franklin County Continuing the Revolution group’s coordinating committee. As a Russian linguist in the U.S. Air Force, Sheila was tasked with monitoring human rights violations during the Global War on Terror.

Sheila is someone who lives her progressive values. Once elected, she plans to get to work building a collaborative, transparent and accountable government for every Greenfield resident. She also promises to tackle affordable housing, incentivize businesses to provide a living wage and increase funding for the Greenfield Public Schools, where her three boys are enrolled.

Finding incredible candidates like Sheila is only half the battle. We need volunteers across the state who will work with Our Revolution Massachusetts to help us elect progressive champions.

GET INVOLVED NOW – CLICK HERE TO VOLUNTEER AND HELP GET SHEILA GILMOUR ELECTED!

This is a winnable fight – but we can’t do it without you. Please sign up to volunteer today.

In Solidarity, Our Revolution Political HQ.

Want to do More Than Vote in Early November? A Call for ORMA Members to Help Determine the Future of the Democratic Party

Will we be the Party of the Green New Deal or the Party of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and NAFTA, the Party of corporate neo-liberals or the party of an emerging progressive majority?

Let’s be clear, the Party’s future direction depends on the people who are active in it and, as we know, the Party is changing in state after state where progressives have taken leadership and gained power. Now it is Massachusetts’ turn.

Please act to strengthen the Progressive Voice in the Massachusetts Democratic Party by becoming a Member of your Town or Ward Committee.

Our Revolution is committed to a Democratic Party capable of calling for and implementing a “Second Bill of Rights,” of asserting the Party’s activist role on behalf of progressive values, and a party that represents the interests of all people with fairness and inclusivity. To accomplish this we need to increase the involvement of progressives in the Party.

We know that this can work. Earlier this year, ORMA members and supporters succeeded in getting many Democratic Town and Ward Committees to formally support the call for a Green New Deal, which in turn directly contributed in ORMA’s success in getting the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee to support the Sunrise Movement’s demand for a climate debate.

Call To Action: We are asking ORMA members who were registered Democrats as of August 20, 2019 to get involved in this transformation by becoming candidates for their local town and ward Democratic Party committees. The process is outlined here:

Steps & Timeline:

  • Contact the chair of your local town or ward committee (info here) and ask if there is a vacancy
  • If there is, ask to have your name added to the nomination form (many wards and towns are anxious to recruit members, especially younger members)
  • If there are no vacancies, then collect 5 signatures (to be safe, 10) on a nomination form available in the Elections Division, Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and at select clerk’s offices in each city and town. (If you need assistance securing the form contact pace@ourrevolutionma.com)
  • By November 8, submit the approved form to your local town clerk for certification
  • By November 19, once certified, forms must be filed with the Secretary of the Commonwealth
  • Election takes place March 3, 2020 as part of the Presidential Primary. All registered Democrats or those who have no party affiliation can vote

The ORMA #DemTransform team can help connect you to others in your community interested in serving on their town or ward committee. If you are interested in being part of this effort to transform the Democratic Party please fill out this form and one of us will be in touch with you.

This is our chance to be sure that the Democratic Party in Massachusetts continues to adopt and implement progressive solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. Further info here

Photo of protester in polar bear suit holding sign "Global Climate Strike - Sept 2019", promoting the Global Climate Strike at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention.
Promoting the Global Climate Strike at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention
Ways to Get Involved with ORMA

Want to join an upcoming ORMA Democratic Debate Watch party? Contact your local affiliate here for a list of watch parties in your local area over the coming months.

Volunteer

ORMA on Facebook

ORMA Readers Corner

Monthly book/long read articles recommended by ORMA members.

Please send your reading recommendations to the ORMA Newsletter Volunteers

Upcoming events related to ORMA’s priorities (ORMA Organized)

ORMA’s next General Assembly to be November 16 or 17th at Elms College in Chicopee. This date allows us to create a GA that is focused on ORMA activities in the context of the 2020 Presidential election.  We don’t know whether our activities will be focused on the Primaries or the General Election, but we do believe the membership will be engaged in the 2020 election process.

We Want to Hear From You!

Uninspiring quote of the month: “No quid pro quo, there was nothing. It was perfect conversation” – President Donald J. Trump.

Inspiring quote of the month: “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *