ORGANIZING NOTES

October 31, 2023

        When We Organize We Win

Join Community and Labor struggles that make a difference

 

 

We feel anguish and horror at the lives lost and ruined in Israel, the West Bank and in Gaza.  And while we recognize that members of Our Revolution MA have varied family and emotional ties to Israel and Palestine, we know that we all believe that every human life is precious. As the civilian deaths in Gaza surpass 8,309, one half of them children, and Israel prepares for armed invasion, the potential for the spread of war throughout the Middle East and even beyond, grows even greater. As ORMA members have not voted on this issue we are not making a formal call for a ceasefire but we are making the telephone numbers of our elected leaders available below for those who wish to contact them in the name of Peace. We have included an optional call script and a link to the bill in the House calling for a ceasefire.

 

                           Senator Markey: (617) 565-8519

  • Senator Warren: (617) 565-3170

  • Governor Healey: (617) 725-4005

 

Find Your Representative

 

CEASE FIRE NOW RESOLUTION

 

CALL SCRIPT

 

How Much Would Single Payer Health Care Save Your (City, Town, School District, County, Government Agency?)

If Massachusetts had a single payer health care system that your (city, town, school district, county, government agency) used, all employees would be covered under a publicly financed insurance plan. Medical care would be free at the point of service. All doctors and hospitals would be accessible to any resident without the restrictions currently imposed by insurance companies and employers. Fair taxation would replace premiums and co-pays and all other out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Your (city, town, school district, county, government agency) can use an online calculator that in a few minutes tells a user how much would be saved by a switch to single payer. Check it out!

Mass-Care: the Massachusetts Campaign for Single Payer Health Care has an online calculator at https://masscare.org/muni-calc/. For instance, you could ask one of your City Councillors to have a person in the financial office run the calculator. Truly, it takes only a few minutes to enter the needed information and do the calculations. It has instructions on the page, but basically we encourage you to work with a financial officer.

 

Based on the payroll tax rates in An Act Establishing Medicare for All in Massachusetts, the calculator populates a spreadsheet with information allowing the user to compare current costs and single payer costs. Because single payer health care eliminates costly administrative waste from and profit associated with the health care industry it should save money. In fact, it would be instructive to learn what the calculator says about every city, town, county and government entity in the state.

 

Research consistently shows that a single payer health care financing system produces substantial savings in money and lives.  All current payers of health care costs save: state and municipal government, businesses, families and individuals.  According to UMass Economics Professor Gerald Friedman, the proposed Massachusetts Health Care Trust Fund would save about one-third of our current spending on health care in Massachusetts ($34 billion).  More about the bill at https://masscare.org/legislation and Economic Analysis – Mass-Carehttps://masscare.org/economic-analysis.


Please use the calculator and we’ll show the savings at the municipal level.  Legislators listen to municipal officials.  And we’ll work to get the Massachusetts Municipal Association to endorse the Act and grab the savings. 

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS DEMOCRATS

For some, the most recent Massachusetts Democratic State Convention was a very satisfying pep rally with speakers focusing their rhetoric on the failures and outrages of Donald Trump and the GOP. But for many others, the convention was another example of the party’s unwillingness to make space for a discussion of issues. Even an issue like single-payer health care, a plank in the Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform since at least 1997, was passed over as the agenda for the day prioritized speeches over action at what was supposed to be an “action convention.” Furthermore, instead of the traditional agenda item to bring resolutions to the floor, delegates were forced to vote to introduce resolutions as “New business”, requiring a ⅔ “yes” vote after hours of speeches. As one might anticipate, this vote failed with delegates anxious to leave before the rain, or to attend the Governor’s post-convention party – which had already started. (View ORMA’s resolutions here.)

 

Here’s a link to an article that Rand Wilson (ORMA DemTransform member) wrote about the recent state Democratic Party convention.  

Reformers vow to continue fight for a more democratic, grassroots-oriented party.

 

What to do? 

ORMA’s DemTransform team isn’t giving up. Having collected hundreds of delegate signatures at the convention, plans are underway to bring our six resolutions passed over at the convention to the Democratic State Committee. Putting the state party on record as supporting these issues AND establishing a process for actually discussing deep concerns about party structure and internal democracy and transparency, will be an important tool for building a progressive and activist party.  The Resolutions Committee of the state party will review these resolutions at hearings (via Zoom) on Oct. 30 and Nov. 9, if you are interested in attending let us know and use these links to register for the session of your choice:

Monday Oct. 30th: SIGN UP HERE

Thursday Nov. 9th: SIGN UP HERE

Learn More HERE

 

Announcing Elections for the Two Unaffiliated Positions on the Representative Council

Dear Unaffiliated ORMA members,

 

We need your skills and your energy! ORMA’s Representative Council has two empty positions for Unaffiliated Representatives. Unaffiliated members are all ORMA members who are not currently a member of an active affiliate.  The majority of ORMA members are unaffiliated.

 

Our by-laws call for each active ORMA affiliated group to send one representative and for unaffiliated members to elect two representatives to the Representative Council and for elections to be held yearly, (apologies, we are behind). The Representative Council is the leadership of ORMA and makes all policy decisions. The duties of Representatives are to attend monthly virtual Representative Council meetings and join at least one committee or working group.  


If you are interested, please fill out the Google form  Unaffiliated ORMA RC Nomination Form

 

ELECTION SCHEDULE:

Call for nominations: 10/31/23 through 11/9/23

Ballot open for voting for Unaffiliated Reps: 11/13/23 through 11/19, 11:59 pm

An announcement of the results will be made shortly after that.

Tuesday Nov. 14th: Mark Your Calendar

The Massachusetts Medicare for All bill will receive a hearing in the Joint Health Care Finance Committee on November 14th!

Check out the 1-hour training on How to Craft Effective Testimony:

LOGISTICS and RESOURCES

HOW TO WRITE LEGISLATIVE TESTIMONY

HEARING INSTRUCTIONS

 

-John Weissman

 TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH IS ELECTION DAY!

Many Of you activists have already voted, but for those who haven’t and our last chance to cast our votes for our favorite local candidates. 

ORMA has just endorsed the following candidates in Jamaica Plain, Boston.

Julia Mejia

https://www.juliaforboston.com/about

 

Incumbent City Coucilor At Large

Ruthzee Louijeune

https://www.ruthzeeforboston.com/

 

Incumbent City Councilor At Large

Henry Santana

https://www.henrysantana.com/

 

Running for City Councilor at Large for the first time

Ben Weber

Published previously in Organizing Notes, ORMA has also endorsed locally in Medford and in Cambridge

 

Note: ORMA is able to endorse local candidates where we have active affiliates who have led the endorsement process which entails candidates filling out the Progressive Mass questionnaire and participation in a forum with the other candidates for the position. Affiliates then run a membership vote where over 60% support is required and may request ORMA’s wider endorsement. 

 

You’re Invited: Bigger Than Dobbs Workshop

Who:  This will be presented by Michelle Corbin.  She is a labor activist and professor of sociology at Worcester State University.

 

Sponsors:  This event is co-hosted by Generation Ratify Amherst and Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution Reproductive Justice Task Force.

 

What: The workshop “Bigger than Dobbs: The Socialist Feminist Politics of Abortion and Reproductive Justice” will discuss the intensifying attacks on abortion in a broader intersectional political contaxt drawing on socialist feminist analysis and how these analyses can shape more effecive organizing responses.

 

When:  November 9th from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

 

Where: This event will take place on Zoom

 

REGISTER HERE

 

Call to Conference

Dec 2, 2023

Massachusetts has the reputation of being one of the most progressive states in the country. Yet we lack legislative transparency, and we have a progressive Democratic Party platform that the leadeership ignores and a state government that has ttremendous difficulty passing progressive legislation.

In response, the Massachusetts Progressive Action Organizing Committee (MPAOC) invites you to an online Strategy Conference.  We will focus on how progressive activists can gain the power to pass vigorous meaningful legislation and initiate changes to improve the lives of all of our citizens.

In panels and breakout groups, conference attendees will examine paths to increase progressive power, identify the obstacles to our success. and learn strategies to overcome them.  See SCHEDULE HERE

 

Pushing Back Against The Gig Economy

Pushing back against the gig economy, the Writer’s Guild of America, (WGA), signed a new, ground-breaking contract with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers in early October. In May, as they went out on strike, the WGA had written, “The company’s behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce….. From their refusal to guarantee any level of weekly employment in episodic television to the creation of a ‘day rate’ in comedy variety, to and opened the door to writing as an entirely freelance profession.” their stonewalling on free work for screenwriters and on AI for all writers, they have closed the door on their labor force.“

 

The WGA won on all these points and most importantly the new contract stipulates a minimum staffing number for TV shows, preventing a downward trend of writers working on a series as producers opt for Artificial Intelligence, (AI), generated scripts. Additional wins include further limitations on the use of AI and significant gains in wages, benefits and an increase in pay for writers after their show passes a designated number of viewers.

 

      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.

If you value Organizing Notes and its twice a month distribution schedule, please make a donation to ensure its continued existence.

Invest in Change Now!

 

Please send requests for action items, articles or upcoming events

for the next Organizing Notes to 

beccobrien.orma@gmail.com by Thursday, Nov. 9th.

We’d love to have you send us your favorite pictures of Bernie here in MA!

 

Campaigns End, Movements Endure


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