October 17, 2023

        When We Organize We Win

Join Community and Labor struggles that make a difference



We share the deep sorrow and revulsion of the world at the horrific attacks on the people of Israel, and the tragic consequences of the continuing assault on the people of Gaza.  We stand with Senator Sanders.


Sanders Statement on Continuing Violence in Israel and Gaza


We may be well into October, but Hot Labor Summer 2023 is far from over!
Join One Fair Wage as we collect 75,000 signatures in order to raise the $6.75/hr
servers’ minimum wage up to the state-mandated minimum wage, currently at
$15/hr, with tips on top! This major step towards pay equity in The Bay State is
long overdue. Ballot Initiative 23-12 is based on bills written by MA Senator Pat
Jehlen and MA Representative Trish Farley-Bouvier and will add Massachusetts
to the growing list of states to implement the One Fair Wage policy! We have until
November 21 to collect these signatures and get OFW on the ballot in 2024! We
need to harness the pro-labor energy that has captured the American public!
We’ve already passed OFW in California, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon,
Washington, Alaska and DC. 
The historic moment is perfect to pass this historic legislation in MA- but we need
all hands on deck! Use this link to sign up to volunteer:
We’ll give you a brief training on all the “do’s and don’ts” of ballot initiative
signature collecting and make sure to get all the necessary materials to you!
Please share the link and spread the word to others! If you can spend a few
hours a week collecting signatures outside your local Wholefoods or outside a
music or sports venue, that would be amazing! It would also be amazing if
everyone who’s unable to devote much time, would sign up and get a handful of signature sheets from us to gather the names of as many friends, family and coworkers as possible! And then ask those friends, family and coworkers to do the same! Let’s make sure Hot Labor Summer continues to make the 1% sweat!

WHAT WE NEED: 75,000 Signatures by November 2023.


WHY WE NEED THEM: To get this question on the November 2024 Ballot that would allow voters to tell the Legislature we expect transparency and accountability from Beacon Hill.


Use the QR code to fill out the form
or email:



Checks may be mailed to: Committee for a Transparent Democracy c/o Northwind Strategies P.O. Box 364 Raynham, MA 02767

Scan QR to donate or visit

Testing, 1, 2, 3, Testing

Parents, teachers, and legislators all want to be able to assess the quality of education provided by our schools. Standardized testing, in Massachusetts, MCAS, was proposed to provide that needed objective assessment of our schools. That hypothesis turned out to be wrong.

Instead, we learned that performances on MCAS, and similar standardized tests correlate with the income levels of the students and do not tell us about the quality of teaching.  They don’t improve the performance of schools.  Furthermore, teachers say that The current testing system reduces the time to teach, narrows the curriculum, adds stress, reduces creativity, and misuses education dollars.

Yet, Massachusetts is one of only eight states requiring high school students to take and pass the MCAS to graduate. To change this, teachers, educators, and others want voters to change this. The act that will do that is the THRIVE Act. The Thrive Act will address these issues by:

  • Replacing the MCAS graduation requirement with one that allows students’ districts to certify that they have satisfactorily completed coursework showing mastery of the skills, competencies, and knowledge required by the state standards.

  • Eliminating state receiverships and reinstating democratic control to communities and school committees.

  • Establish a commission to create a new, whole-child system of assessing our schools, building on important experiments in our state and nation, which can be implemented in coming years.

Passing the Thrive Act would mean:

  • School and district evaluation and accountability requirements will focus on supporting locally-led school improvement plans while still aligning with federal law.

  • Student learning and assessment will be re-oriented in a developmentally appropriate way that educates and supports the whole child.

  • The 30-year experiment with test, punish, and privatize will end and students, communities, and true learning will be placed front and center.

You can sign up to support the THRIVE Act Here.


Recent Hearing Reveals Broad Support for Eliminating Artificial Turf Fields and Protecting Forests and Urban and Suburban Trees

J. Michael

On Wednesday, Oct. 11th, a public hearing at the state legislature heard extensive testimony from a wide array of individuals and organizations, including the scientific community, in favor of legislation that would HALT the accelerating destruction of green spaces in Massachusetts through the installation of artificial turf fields, destruction of desperately needed urban and suburban tree canopy, and clear-cutting of forests which are a primary defense against the continued burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil AND GAS.)

Now, your action is still needed to support this Legislation: S.523, S.524, HD.4430, H.894, H.904, H.869, S.452, and H.895. (Details can be found here.)

There are powerful interests working to oppose these bills. Corporations and others that want to “maximize the economic value” of land and forests, and to make way for “development” are using money, access, and power to stop progress. We need your voice to counteract their money, access, and influence!

Please take action now! Click here to write to your state representative and senator, and urge them to co-sponsor ALL of these critical bills.

Then, send written testimony to the Joint Environment and Natural Resources Committee urging their support.

Click HERE for an example of written testimony that you can modify and put into your own words.


Forests allowed to grow old, uncut and wild, are the #1 solution to removing harmful greenhouse gases from the atmosphere as trees breathe in climate warming gases and store them in their bodies and soils, and in the wetlands they help create, for free. 

Made largely out of plastic, a derivative product of oil, artificial turf fields continue our addiction to fossil fuels, and must be replaced roughly every 10 years, leading to hundreds of tons of toxic (PFAS-infused) plastic with NO available recycling solutions and NONE on the horizon.

Forests and trees cool the temperature on land, in rural and urban areas; create balanced and clean fresh water distribution and storage; provide the best habitat for wildlife biodiversity, homes to 80% of wildlife species on land; and promote human health and happiness.

Natural Grass fields maintain reasonable, humane, field temperatures; protect our aquifers from PFAS leeching; avoid exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals; and don’t create toxic waste.

Although forests provide all these critical climate healing and life promoting services, less than 2% of the forest land in our state has permanent protection, and urban/suburban trees have virtually no protection.  Onward!

The Trees As A Public Good Network & The ORMA Climate Crisis Working Group


Fooling The People While Reversing Progressive Legislation

A year ago, as part of the November 2022 election, Massachusetts voters enacted the Fair Share Amendment which meant that a new tax on millionaires would raise just over $1 billion annually for education and transportation. Two weeks ago, under the leadership of Governor Maura Healy and Speaker of the House Ron Mariano, the legislature gave one-quarter of the Fair Share money back to the millionaires. By giving this money to the wealthiest the legislature eliminated $300 million dollars for projects that would have aided the less wealthy.

Adapted by Rep Erika Uyterhoeven from an original graphic by The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

The Democratic leadership of the House and Senate expected Reps and Senators to fall in line and support these funding priorities. The result? Only Rep Mike Connolly and Senator Jamie Eldridge voted no.|

Governor Healy went before the TV cameras and lauded the bill as benefiting everyone.  To make the giveaway to the rich look good, she claimed that it increased the state’s ability to attract productive workers as high taxes were promoting an exodus. However, data from The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Office document that it is the lack of affordable housing and quality schools that drive people out of the state, not taxes on the wealthy.


Breaking the conservative stranglehold on the Democratic Party and the state legislature will not be easy.  No one act will do the job. The Auditor’s proposal to audit the legislature will uncover insider deals and maneuvers. Proposals to democratize the State Democratic Party, if carried out, will help. Primary challenges to the leadership of the House and Senate are a third avenue. Don’t just stay tuned, get involved.



MPAOC Winter Conference on MAPA website


An Amazing Effort To Save 147 Housing Units in Jamaica Plain

State Representative Sam Montano


The Forbes Building is located in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, a neighborhood of Boston. In the 1970s a series of mortgages called 13As were administered by the state to create affordable rents for tenants of several buildings, one of which is Forbes. For the last few years, Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants has been organizing with Forbes residents to preserve the affordability and tenancy of the older and disabled folks who have called the building home for years. The campaign and the work put in by residents in partnership with Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants had reached an impasse with the owner of the building the last two or three years and folks were worried. The lack of commitment by the owner to preserve the affordability of rents through other means had the potential to be a massive displacement of low-income community members at a scale that would make keeping people close by nearly impossible. However, we have reason to be hopeful and celebrate. We were able to modify language in the state budget through outside sections that would allow the Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program to cover 110% AMI level rents. Additionally, there is a pending application into the City of Boston for funding to be dispersed for rehabilitation of the units in Forbes as well as transitioning to electric utilities and passive house standards. This is a huge success made possible by years of organizing and community support. Truly a grassroots story of the power of organizing. Our next steps will include securing 88 MRVP vouchers from the Department of Housing and Community Development, a state effort, and securing Low Income Housing Tax Credits. None of this would have been possible without the work of the tenants, Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, the affordable housing community, activists, deep commitments from the City of Boston, DHCD, Mass Housing, and countless others. A true community wide effort. Though we have more to do before we can rest, a great win has been secured for 147 homes and more people. The owner of the building is submitting all the right paperwork and meeting deadlines that previously had been put off. I have sent in a letter of support for city funding sharing my support for progress that has been made. We are all very hopeful for what the future holds for Forbes. 


      If you would like to work with ORMA Members on

  • Climate Change
  • Community-Based Alternative Emergency Response Teams
  • Ranked-Choice Voting
  • Housing For All       

ORMA depends on your support to continue Bernie’s Political Revolution to create a society, a politics, and an economy that works for everyone, not just billionaires, corporations and the political elite.

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Please send requests for action items, articles or upcoming events

for the next Organizing Notes to by Thursday, October 27th.

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Campaigns End, Movements Endure


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