The GA is a central feature of the ORMA revolutionary organizing model whereby GA members convene twice a year to discuss major issues facing the organization, the state, and the nation, annually helping to select ORMA’s priority issues and direction, setting a broad general agenda for the Representative Council. Every ORMA member, affiliate, and caucus may submit one or more proposals to be considered for adoption as a 2021 ORMA priority. At the GA, ORMA members discuss the major issues facing the organization, the state, and the nation as we seek to define our priorities. Members of allied organizations are invited to participate but may not vote unless affiliated individually with ORMA.
Please use the following timeline to assist your viewing of the edited and indexed 2021 January assembly.
Time – Subject
3:10 – Agenda
4:30 – GND working group summary
6:20 – Money Out of Politics
10:00 – Dismantling Structural Racism
12:15 – Elections 2020
14:10 – Book Club
17:00 – Congresswoman Pressley – it’s still the Civil Rights Movement and we are all freedom riders
27:00 – D.A. Rachel Rollins
39:00 – Communications Report
41:15 – Tech Report
45:00 – PACE Report
48:15 – Strategic Planning Report
49:35 – Coordinating Comm Report
54:00 – Rep. Nika Elugardo
1:08:00 – Rep. Mike Connally – moving beyond issue based coalitions, tax the rich, housing for all
1:22:10 – Senator Jamie Eldridge
1:31:05 – Priority breakout group reports
1:51 – end
1. ORMA General Assembly participants are randomly assigned to small breakout “rooms” in which priorities proposed by individual members, caucuses, or affiliates will be presented and discussed. We use random assignments to maximize the mixing of experiences and ideas. In the breakout sessions, priorities proposed by individual members, caucuses, or affiliates can be presented for consideration by all. The General Assembly Planning Team believes that every General Assembly attendee must be given an opportunity to address these issues.
2. A note-taker/reporter in each room will record priority proposals and report back when we reconvene. We will then gather together to get report backs from each breakout. Each note-taker is encouraged to report priorities that received endorsement by multiple members.
3. It is important that priority proposals use this form and include an outcome that allows us to measure our success. For instance, suppose you propose a priority to achieve a more progressive Massachusetts Congressional delegation. For this priority you could say that replacing the speaker would be your measurable goal. Or, as an alternative, you might say that holding a sit in at the speaker’s office would be your goal. The priority and its successful outcome measures are up to you.
4. After the GA, the ORMA Coordinating Committee will create a ballot of proposed priorities. Members will then vote for their favorites by ranked-choice voting.
This is what democracy looks like!
The 2020 ORMA General Assembly Report
On May 30, 2020, via Zoom, the General Assembly, composed of members from around the state, reviewed and discussed many of the major issues facing ORMA, Massachusetts and the nation. As ORMA members we worked together to clarify and set priorities for ORMA through to the November election. Read about the May 2020 General Assembly, including the agenda and the process to set ORMA’s 2020 priorities.
See the agenda for the May 2020 General Assembly.
The General Assembly opened with the recognition that our work as revolutionaries is very difficult and the challenges real. Michael Gilbreath provided a summary of ORMA accomplishments and successes, followed by statements from two of ORMA’s endorsed candidates in Massachusetts – Ed Markey in the U.S. Senate race and Alex Morse, candidate for US Congress in CD1.Then all members broke out into groups of six to eight people to discuss priorities and actions ORMA should take. The specific focus of the morning breakout groups revolved around the question: “What are the actions that you most wish ORMA would successfully carry out in 2020?” Of course, there is no shortage of issues demanding our attention: war, poverty, racism, pollution, climate change, and immense social and economic inequities. Plus, we live in the age of COVID-19, and of Black people’s demand that white supremacy end. And that we all want to defeat Donald Trump in November. And here we are – ORMA – committed to setting priorities by a democratic vote of its members. There clearly remains great need for action on our chosen issues (listed below). In light of the upcoming national elections this year, the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, and the increased awareness of racism as a prominent feature of inequality in our society, our agenda is full of work to be done.
The afternoon full-group discussion focused on the question: “What could ORMA do to make the membership more engaged in ORMA and/or how can ORMA grow and have a far more active membership?” It was mentioned that the existing committees were all in need of more volunteers: people with tech skills or writing skills, an interest in electoral politics or political action at the state level, keeping track of calendars, planning events, responding to offers to volunteer. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up here.
Together, we developed a list of 12 proposed areas of focus for the next 6 months, along with many specific actions that could be taken in support of each one. In a ranked choice vote, the following priorities were agreed on through the 2020 election: In descending order, they were: The Green New Deal, Dismantling of Structural Racism (White Supremacy), Medicare for All, Money out of Politics, and the upcoming 2020 Elections.
These will be the priorities of our community over the coming months. More details on how to get involved in working groups for each priority are provided below (sign up here to help).
Thank you to all who were able to participate in the May 2020 General Assembly and helped shape ORMA’s agenda from the ground up!