In this issue: Election news, Racial Justice March, #StopBetsy, New Amherst group, Puerto Rico recovery and donation page, Sanders Foreign Policy speech, Signature update and more!
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* submissions edited for content and space Newsletter #7
Feeney Finishes First!
Our Revolution-endorsed candidate Paul Feeney emerged victorious in his primary on Tuesday, September 19th, defeating challenger Edward Phillips by nearly 15 points for the Democratic nomination in the Bristol & Norfolk state senate district. Feeney will go on to compete in the special general election on October 17th. If you missed his victory speech, you can watch it here. We need all hands on deck leading up to the October 17th general election! Please do what you can do–whether it’s knocking doors, phonebanking, or contributing to his campaign. “This looks to be a very competitive general election, with Joe Shortsleeve running as an Independent, so I can’t emphasize enough the need for ORMA and Sanders supporters in general to help out Paul between now and October 17th,” says ORMA member State Senator, Jamie Eldridge.
Paul needs us and more importantly, we need him if we are going to advance a progressive agenda in the state.
State-Wide OR Initiatives
- Signature Collection continues for the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) Safe Patients Limits Ballot Initiative. Visit MNA new facebook page for up to date information on signature drives located near you!
- Raise Up Coalition for Economic Justice. Massachusetts campaigns to Raise the Minimum Wage and Paid Family Medical Leave. ORMA has committed to gathering approximately 7000 signatures each for $15 Minimum Wage and Paid Family and Medical Leave. We need to collect 230 signatures per day in order to meet this goal! Join a signature gathering effort, schedule here.
It’s imperative Our Revolution signatures are logged! Please report your OR signatures here: raiseupma.org/SignatureEventReport and track the Raise Up Coalition’s progress in this spreadsheet. Contact Rand Wilson for more information firstname.lastname@example.org
Business groups may try to turn to the courts to fight the Paid Family and Medical Leave ballot measure, according to the Boston Business Journal. They may not have a leg to stand on since according to Massterlist, “Ballot questions cannot require specific appropriations from the treasury, but by using the language ‘subject to appropriation’, Raise Up seems to avoid that pitfall.” Regardless of any legal action, the low cost of this program (detailed in ORMA Newsletter #6) must be communicated clearly to the public in order to counteract what information business groups push out.
#DeeperThanWater There have been reports of unsafe drinking water in prisons for the past couple of years and on June 17th the Globe broke a story detailing unsafe water at the state’s largest prison MCI Norfolk. The “#DeeperThanWater” coalition is working on this serious racial and environmental justice crisis. There was an illuminating teach-in last week that some ORMA members attended. Please be sure to be informed and get involved.
- Bernie Sanders’ speech on foreign policy on Sept. 21, together with his associated interview with The Intercept the day before, laid out the principles of a progressive foreign policy for the United States. He criticized excessive military spending and our War on Terror and regime change policies. He favors negotiation over military force except as a last resort, and called for strengthening the United Nations.
- Bernie said that we should not increase the US military budget. He also said that we should use multilateral diplomacy in dealing with North Korea; that we should preserve the Iran nuclear deal; that Saudi Arabia is not an ally of the US due to its funding of terrorism and devastation of Yemen; and that we should consider a reduction in US military aid to Israel.
- The dire circumstances and humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico has shone a spotlight on neglected communities both inside and outside the US and we must commit to fighting for a progressive recovery initiative. In the meantime, our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico need immediate assistance. Please see this page to see how you can help and visit Our Revolution Puerto Rico on Facebook for community updates
Transition Team News
The ORMA Transition Team Inclusion team created a survey for OR members and supporters about our founding process and future activities. To date 174 people have responded, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and share it with your affiliates and other OR supporters!
Upcoming OR Actions
On Sunday, October 1st, Our413Revolution, Greater Northampton Our Revolution and members from our newest affiliate Our Revolution Amherst will march in solidarity for equality and racial justice at the Racial Justice March in Holyoke. If you’re planning on attending, please fill out this quick google form and let us know if you need a t-shirt and to expect you. Meet up at 11:00 am at the Merry-go-round in Heritage Park. We’ll also be collecting signatures for the MNA and Raise Up petitions.
September 28th, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is planning to speak at Harvard on Thursday. We want to show her what Boston thinks of her billionaire agenda to privatize our public schools and roll back civil rights and sexual violence protections for millions of students See Facebook event.
3. ORMA is recruiting volunteers to make phone calls to supporters. The fundraising team needs you!
Affiliate and Field News
WELCOME to our newest affiliate Our Revolution Amherst! The group kicked off its first meeting at the Bangs Community Center in Amherst. If you live in the Western Mass Hampshire County area, please contact ORA (see this list of affiliate email addresses) and visit their facebook page.
Our Revolution Cambridge report from Louise Parker. Our Revolution (OR) Cambridge conducted an extensive, as well as highly transparent and democratic process to select candidates for City Council. Read more here.
The Field team is an arm of ORMA and your first stop with questions on how to get started as an Our Revolution Massachusetts affiliate group. Contact email@example.com for more details or find an affiliate near you.
In the News. In the Know.
- Corruption— MA secretary of Education donated over half a million dollars to pro-charter group.
- Nadeem Mazen will run for congress. Kickoff event here. Read more here.
- CNN hosted “Health Care” town hall debate on Monday 9/25 at 9 pm EST. Common Dreams posted this article about it.
- Last Tuesday 9/19– $15 minimum wage hearing was a rousing success with a rare show of unity among leadership as they attended the hearing. Video here of legislative testimony of support. News story here.
- Direct Action from partner “Progress4MA” and ORMA members. ORMA members Kristine Acevedo and Alex Place organized a sit-in in Boston Mayor Walsh’s office on 9/15 to emphasize that he should debate before the primary. Globe covered the action and story– here.
On September 11th, Springfield lost a social justice warrior. Jafet Robles, long time activist who worked for Neighbor 2 Neighbor, was murdered in Szot Park, Chicopee. “Jafet Robles, was a cherished son, devoted father, loving brother, respected community leader, and champion for oppressed and marginalized people.” Jafet Vive! La lucha sigue! On September 17th, N2N leaders and members organized a contingent of 250 strong who wore special t-shirts and marched together in Springfield’s Puerto Rican Parade in his memory. Jafet was laid to rest the following Friday, September 22nd in Springfield Cemetery. He leaves four children, donations appreciated to help the family.
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