ORGANIZING NOTES 

September 19, 2023

        When We Organize We Win

Join Community and Labor struggles that make a difference

 

 

Join the Statehouse Rally on October 2nd!

Join us on October 2nd at the Statehouse for a Rally to stop Massport’s massive plans to triple the hangar capacity at Hanscom Field civil airport for the exclusive use of private luxury jets — the most polluting form of travel for their carbon footprint per passenger. If the plans move forward, private jet emissions from Hanscom alone could negate up to 70% of the climate benefits from all the solar PV ever installed in Massachusetts.

People across the state have joined forces to form the Coalition to Stop Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom or Anywhere (SPJE) to take a stand against the presumption that, while municipalities across MA are working hard to drastically reduce their carbon footprint, Massport & Runway Realty Ventures plan to expand theirs

 

Much of private jet travel is for luxury trips to resort destinations and vacation hotspots for the privileged few. This has enormous climate and environmental justice repercussions. An average US citizen emits 17.6 tons of CO2 per year. An average global citizen emits 4.7 tons of CO2 per year.  An average private jet emits 7,500 tons of CO2 per year.

 

The Coalition has grown from ten to over forty local and statewide partner organizations, among them ORMA, from Boston to the Berkshires, with more joining every week.  Close to 8,000 people have signed our petition to the Governor urging her to block this travesty to MA Climate Goals.  Please help us get to 10,000 by October 2nd when we’ll present the petitions to Governor Healey at the Statehouse! Please sign the petition here.

 

Already confirmed speakers for the Oct. 2nd Rally are: State Senator Mike Barrett, author of the MA Climate Roadmap Senate bill; Statement from US Senator Ed Markey, co-sponsor of the recently introduced FATCAT bill; Chuck Collins, author of the 2023 Report, High Flyers: How Ultra-Rich Private Jet Travel Costs the Rest of Us and Burns Up the Planet; Chris Marchi, Vice-President of AIR, Inc (Airport Impact Relief), an East Boston environmental group focused on mitigating adverse impacts from Logan Airport. Click here to learn more about the Rally; your RSVP will help us with our planning.

 

In the next few weeks, we have a series of actions leading up to the October 2nd Rally.  To receive timely notices about them, please email us at: info@StopPrivateJetExpansion.org  For more information, visit StopPrivateJetExpansion.org.   Hope to see you at the Rally!

 

resolution in support of the auditor’ s

efforts to regularly audit the legislature

The 2021 Massachusetts Democratic party platform states under the section entitled ETHICS AND TRANSPARENCY, “Public officials must be held to the highest standards of integrity and accountability. A good government is open and inclusive. The future of our democracy hinges on preserving the public’s trust in government and our elected officials.”

This resolution supports our newly elected auditor Diana Dizoglio’s efforts to regularly audit the legislature. Conducting an audit of this type has happened before, although not since 1922. Ironically this might have something to do with the fact that the last three notorious Massachusetts House speakers, prior to the current speaker: Charles Flaherty, Thomas Finneran and Sal DiMasi, have all been indicted and found guilty (or pled guilty) to numerous corruption charges. Now the current speaker, Ron Mariano, and the Senate president, Karen Spilka, are balking at the request for an audit.

In addition to the resolution, co-sponsored by Our Revolution MA, Auditor DiZoglio is gathering signatures for a ballot initiative for the 2024 general election that will codify auditing the legislature into law. The auditor said taxpayers are not served by this lack of accountability, especially because the public records law does not apply to the Legislature or courts. She noted that Massachusetts is the lowest ranked state for financial transparency, according to the Pioneer Institute.

A convention resolution, although not a binding document, serves to give notice that the delegates want action. We should all have a voice in how our government is operating. Our voices are silenced by a legislature that operates in the dark, largely checking and balancing themselves.

If you would like to help gather signatures at the convention click here.

To help with the ballot petition campaign, visit https://www.dianaforma.com/ballot

Nancy stenberg

9/14/23

 

We may be well into September 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 ritten 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: https://bit.ly/OFW_Vol_Signup. We’ll train you 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! The MassDems Convention is coming up on September 23rd in Lowell. This will be an excellent opportunity to collect signatures!


And finally, if you are a restaurant worker or a service industry worker who relies on tips, please apply here: https://ofwemergencyfund.org/help. We are hiring impacted workers to be part of our team! We can do this with a combination of essential workers and volunteers! Let’s make sure Hot Labor Summer continues to make the 1% sweat!

 

URGENT ACTION TOMORROW!

The MA Joint Committee will be holding a hearing tomorrow for “An Act to Create Equitable Approaches to Public Health” (HB. 2264)

The MA Joint Committee on Public Health just scheduled a legislative hearing on September 20, 9am to 1pm, on Bill H.2264, an act to “Create Equitable Approaches to Public Health”.  

As an organization or a member of an organization that supports unarmed community emergency response programs, or has previously supported the no-cost calls initiative and other decarceral issues, MA-PEACH, (Massachusetts Promoting Equitable Approaches to Community Health), hopes you will support  H.2264 and S.1407, which funds alternatives to our current emergency response system.  Click HERE to read the bill. 

An Act to Protect Native Heritage would ensure that Native American funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony (those of cultural, traditional or historical importance to their heritage) held in governmental, municipal or non-profit collections return home to Tribes of origin and are not sold for profit.

This bill is critical because current federal law (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, NAGPRA) does not apply to ALL publicly funded entities- and many sacred and funerary objects are at risk. 

  1. Submit written testimony in support. There are two options.

    1. Take 15 minutes to write a personal email testimony to the committee. Template hereFact sheet here.

    2. Take 2 minutes to send this generic email testimony to the committee.

 

City Life/Vida Urbana, Massachusetts’ Historic Tenant-Organization

Celebrates 50th Anniversay and You Are Invited!

WHEN: 6-10 pm, Friday, Cotober 13, 2023 

WHERE: House of Blues Boston, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215
RSVP/TICKETS: CLVU 50th Anniversary Party: CLVU Presents the Joyful Resistance Jubilee

In 1973 the Jamaica Plain Tenant Action Group (JPTAG) took direct action to block an eviction and prevent displacement. The core of JPTAG was a small group of socialist feminists.   While other progressive groups of the time focused on workplace struggles, JPTAG uniquely did community-based work.  As it transitioned into City Life/Vida Urbana it organized beyond Jamaica Plain and even outside of Boston. Other unique features included its intense political education of new members and choosing not to grow by accepting large numbers of non-working class people. Today, CL/VU plays a leading role in the struggle for housing as a human right. 

Attend this event, learn more about this rich history, and join in the movement:
CLVU 50th Anniversary Party

 

 

Where Do the Candidates Stand?

 As dedicated volunteers, you have the power to engage local legislators in meaningful conversations that address our concerns. In an effort to maximize our impact we are creating questions for you to have ready when the time presents itself.  Let’s come together and ask our local leaders thought-provoking questions that delve into the heart of our most pressing issues.

EDUCATION:

 

In several districts, ORMA affiliates are supporting candidates for school committees.  Here are two questions for candidates seeking endorsements that highlight major issues

It is illegal for public school teachers to strike. Is it important to retain this prohibition?

Across the country, right-wing groups are organizing to ban books that deal with racism or LGBTQ rights.  This is even happening in Massachusetts. What measures do you favor to counter these attacks?

See more questions HERE:

 

A Progressive Action Agenda for the Massachusetts Democratic Party Convention

As we approach the September 23rd Democratic Party Convention in Lowell, the initial agenda might seem light on significant highlights – no candidate nods, new platform introductions, or shifts in the charter or bylaws. Nonetheless, progressives are ready to energize the convention with a half a dozen key resolutions. These proposals reflect a unified push for open governance, inclusivity, and representation within the Massachusetts Democratic Party. Endorsing these resolutions would send a clear message to the leadership about the grassroots membership’s aspirations for an active, democratic and transparent Party.

If you’re planning to attend the Lowell Convention on the 23rd, we’ve outlined key actions you can take to make an impact:

  1. Arrive Early for Signatures: Join us at 8 AM by the main entrance. Our goal is to collect the requisite 50 delegate signatures for each resolution to secure a floor vote. While this is the minimum, we aim to gather over 100 signatures by 9:30 AM, ready for presentation at 10:00 AM.

  2. Promote the Resolutions: Advocate for support within your delegation and reach out to neighboring delegations as well.

  3. Get Ready to Support: Prepare to vote affirmatively during floor votes for each resolution.

  4. Cast Your Vote: When the time comes, voice your support by voting for each resolution.

To stay updated with timely action steps and details, sign up using this form. For an in-depth understanding, you can read the full text of each resolution here. Please donate to help offset the roughly $2,000 in costs associated with our efforts to introduce and pass resolutions at the state convention.

 

Bernie Blasts CEO Avarice!

While the corporate media whines that the UAW strike could hurt the economy, Bernie Sanders blasts CEO avarice at a rally this past Friday in support of the 13,000 workers, “The fight that you are waging here is not only about decent wages, decent benefits and decent working conditions in the automobile industry. No. The fight you are waging is a fight against the outrageous level of corporate greed and arrogance that we are seeing on the part of CEOs who think they have a right to have it all and could [not] care less about the needs of their workers…..The fight you are waging is to rebuild the struggling middle class of our country that was once the envy of the world.” A worker at a Dearborn Michigan plant was quoted in The Guardian, (9/15/23), “…..putting money in the hands of real people is what keeps the economy going, because what creates jobs are not billionaires, it’s having money in the hands of real people spending it or saving it, because they are spending it on products that create demand.”

 

To support the workers: LaborNotes.org

AND…Sanders and Marshall Announce Bipartisan Legislation on Primary Care

Landmark Bill to Marked Up Next Week

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chairman of the Senate, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Sen. Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, announced Thursday that they have reached a deal on landmark legislation to address the primary care crisis in America and the major shortages of nurses, primary care doctors, and other important health care jobs across the country, and to increase critical funding for community health centers, the National Health Service Corps, and Teaching Health Centers.

“After over a month of very productive and thoughtful negotiations, I am delighted to announce that Senator Marshall and I have reached an agreement on a historic bipartisan bill to expand primary care and to reduce the massive shortage of nurses and primary care doctors in America,” Senator Sanders said. “It is unacceptable that millions of Americans throughout our country do not have access to affordable, high-quality primary care and are unable to get the health care they need when they need it. Every major medical organization understands that our investment in primary care is woefully inadequate. They understand that focusing on disease prevention and providing more Americans with a medical home instead of relying on expensive emergency rooms for primary care will not only save lives and human suffering, it will save money. This bipartisan legislation is not only good public policy, it is cost-effective. I look forward to working with all of my colleagues in the HELP Committee to advance this legislation through the Senate and get it signed into law as soon as possible.”

“I’ve always said that I’d work with any of my colleagues as long as the person sitting across the table and I have the same common goal. Senator Sanders and I share our belief that every American should have access to affordable, meaningful healthcare,” Senator Marshall said. “Community health care centers are a vital player in addressing the health care challenges we face today. This legislation expands American’s access to these health centers that provide excellent care like in-house mental health services, dental care, and nutrition coaching. Our bill also recognizes and addresses the challenges our health care industry is facing, like the shortage of nurses and primary care doctors, and includes programs to bolster the workforce in a fiscally responsible way. We believe this investment will save Medicaid and Medicare tens of billions of dollars and, more importantly, provide improved health care outcomes for all Americans.”

According to the most recent estimates, over the next decade the United States faces a shortage of over 120,000 doctors — including a huge shortage of primary care doctors. The nursing shortage may be even worse. Over the next two years alone, it is estimated that we will need between 200,000 and 450,000 more nurses.

The Sanders-Marshall agreement answers this crisis by providing over $26 billion in funding to expand primary care in America and address the health care workforce shortage:

  • Provides $5.8 billion a year over the next three years in mandatory funding for community health centers which provide high-quality primary health care to more than 30 million Americans.

  • Within those funds there is a $245 million per year set aside to expand hours of operation at community health centers and $55 million per year for school-based health services.

  • Health centers will be newly required to provide nutrition services.

  • Provides $3 billion in capital funding primarily to enable community health centers to expand dental care and mental health care in their facilities.

  • Increases funding for the National Health Service Corps from $310 million to $950 million per year over the next three years to provide 2,100 scholarships and debt forgiveness for some 20,000 doctors, nurses, dentists, mental health providers, and other health care professionals who commit to working in our nation’s most underserved areas.

  • Provides $1.5 billion over the next five years in the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program to create more than 700 new primary care residency slots, which would result in up to 2,800 additional doctors by 2031. This program increases the number of primary care physicians and dental residents trained in community-based settings. In Academic Year 2021-2022, the program funded more than 930 individual primary care medical and dental residents, who provided more than 1.1 million hours of patient care to more than 800,000 patients in medically underserved and rural areas. 

  • Addresses the nursing shortage in America by investing $1.2 billion in grants to community colleges and state universities to increase the number of students enrolled in accredited, two-year registered nursing programs. The schools receiving these awards must use them to expand their class sizes and grow the number of two-year nurses trained across the country. This provision would allow schools to train up to 60,000 additional two-year nurses.

  • Provides $300 million to produce an additional 2,000 primary care doctors by 2032. The bill will also increase residency programs in rural America through an investment in the Rural Residency Planning and Development program and invests in training and workforce programs for dentists and dental assistants.


The legislation will be fully paid for by combatting the enormous waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system, making it easier for patients to access low-cost generic drugs and holding pharmacy benefit managers accountable, among other provisions.

The legislation will be marked up in the HELP Committee on Thursday, September 21.

To read the summary on the legislation, click here.
To read the legislation, click here.

Fresh Slate 2024 

Activating the democratic wing of the Democratic Party

Imagine if every Democratic town and ward committee across the Commonwealth served as a hub of grassroots political activism and meaningful civic engagement

Fresh Slate 2024 is a grassroots campaign to make the Democratic Party in Massachusetts more inclusive, democratic, and engaging

Building on the success of efforts to revitalize several ward committees in Boston since 2020, we seek to energize and engage Democrats for critically important work that lies ahead. By inviting new voices and perspectives, we aim to broaden and deepen voter engagement at the national, state, and local levels. We are facing enormous challenges that can feel daunting. Many voters feel hopeless and are turned off of politics, which seems far removed from their concerns and everyday needs. At the same time, we are facing unprecedented threats to democratic norms in what some have called a “post truth era” in which right wing conspiracy theories are widespread and election workers are being threatened with violence. For example, over 60% of Republicans still don’t believe that Biden won the 2020 election. We need “all hands on deck” to save our democracy and bring common sense back to governance. We need to activate voters by providing opportunities to meaningfully engage in the political process. Fresh Slate 2024 seeks to do this by making every Democratic Committee a vital hub for activism and providing opportunities for Democrats to share ideas and best practices for increasing civic engagement in their community. We invite you to join this grassroots effort to strengthen our democracy! Please stop by the Fresh Slate 2024 table at the MassDems statewide convention in Lowell on Saturday, September 23. For more information, please email Roy Karp at roylincolnkarp@gmail.com

 

      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, September 28th.

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

 

Campaigns End, Movements Endure


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