ORGANIZING NOTES

June 25, 2024

        When We Organize We Win

Join Community and Labor Struggles That Make A Difference

 

 

Intergenerational Activism In Western Mass

A group of teens from the Amherst Young Feminist Party and elders from the Reproductive Justice Task Force (RJ TF) of FCCPR gathered in April and May 2024 to discuss Jenny Brown’s book Birth Strike. The conversations were intimate, analytical and enlightening. 

 

The two organizations had already been working together since March 2023 when they co-sponsored (along with others) a gala benefit for the Brigid Alliance, raising $10,000. Our next action together was a May ‘23 rally against a fake pregnancy clinic in Greenfield. Marisol Pierce Bonifaz, founder and president of Generation Ratify-Amherst (now called Amherst Young Feminist Party, YFP), then a high school sophomore, and FCCPR’s RJ TF chair Ann Ferguson, a retired philosophy professor co-authored a Hampshire Gazette op ed calling people to that action.

 

The YFP is a chapter of the national organization with the mission to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The local chapter is very active in reproductive justice, organizing youth, racial justice, and much more. FCCPR, a multi-issue organization formed after Bernie Sanders ran, is comprised primarily of activists since the ‘70s. The firm alliance between the young and seasoned organizers comes from frequent common activities that support each other’s missions (and are enjoyable!). FCCPR attended YFP’s April 2023 birthday party and made a contribution; Marisol Pierce Bonifaz spoke to the need for the ERA at a 9/2023 gathering of progressive Dems on Constitution Day. 

(photo of YFP tabling with Congressman Jim McGovern, MA district 2). 

The two groups are among many co-sponsors of a 6/23/24 rally in Greenfield: Bigger than Dobbs, the War on Women and Democracy

 

During the summer of 2024, the Intergenerational Book Club is reconvening. The Amherst Young Feminist Party selected Lessons in Chemistry by Bonny Garmus, to read. We all expect to thoroughly enjoy our conversations together! Join HERE

 

XR Boston Celebrate 1 Year of

Standing Out Against New Fossil Fuel Infrastruture

When she campaigned to be our governor, Maura Healey promised to stop building out new fossil fuel infrastructure. She has not acted on this promise.

In response, XR Boston started a peaceful standout in front of the visitors’ entrance to the state house. We have been there every day the state house is open, starting June 5, 2023. Climate activists from many groups: XR Boston, Scientist Rebellion, Our Revolution MA, Mothers Out Front, Third Act, 350 Mass, and Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) have been standing out in front of the State House to demand that MA stop permitting new fossil fuel infrastructure projects. 

In rain or shine, through winter and summer, we have discussed the climate emergency with thousands of members of the public and State House Staff; passed out tens of thousands of fliers; delivered thousands of postcards to Gov. Healey, Senate President Spilka, and House Speaker Mariano; and have spoken with Governor Healey at chance encounters made possible by our persistence.

We could use more heroes! Standing out is a fun experience leading to enriching conversations and enabling you to help persuade Governor Healey to keep her campaign promise. We have two 2-hour shifts each day, from 11-1 and 1-3. To learn more about what it’s like and volunteer, see https://statehousestandout.wordpress.com/

 

[Parts adapted from https://xrboston.org/action/state-house-stand-out-1-year-celebration/ ]

 

With the clock ticking The MA Senate is debating and delaying on a climate omnibus bill (S.2829) that takes steps to reform energy permitting, decarbonize buildings, electrify transportation infrastructure, expand the state’s electric vehicle charging network, and among other steps.

We know that if we are to have a just transition to renewable energy, then we need to center the communities that have been most harmed by the climate crisis and pollution.

Join the Mass Power Forward coalition in calling on State Senators to co-sponsor key amendments that accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels and address the historic and present harms faced by BIPOC communities.

Swing Blue Alliance carefully selects volunteer programs poised to make the most impact in upcoming elections. Below are the top actions from our calendar to support Democrats in the 2024 election.

 
  • Saturday, July 6th 10:00 am – 5:30 pm EDT, Conference at St. Mark’s Church Capitol Hill, 301 A St. SE, Washington, DC 20003.
  • Sunday, July 7th 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Rally at Lafayette Square Park, in fron of the White House  Learn More Here
 

Last week the ORMA Representative Council held an on-line ballot to endorse by a super-majority  the Conference Committee Letter re Antisemitism Amendment which opposed the amendment’s narrow and exclusive focus on anti-Semitism while ignoring discrimination against other religions, ethnicities, cultures, racial and gender categories,

 

Ranked Choice Voting!

On June 12th, Boston City Council President Ruthzee Lejeune with the support of Councilors at Large Julia Mejia and Henry Santana, proposed a home-rule petition that would allow the city to have a ballot referendum, asking voters to institute a ranked-choice system in the city. The measure requires the approval of the City Council, the mayor, and the state Legislature, before voters get the final say. 

“Our commitment to democracy should be measured by our willingness to adapt and innovate. Adopting ranked choice voting means embracing a method that fosters greater engagement and reduced polarization,” Councilor Louijeune said during a meeting Wednesday. 

Similar to ranked choice voting in Alaska, the proposal would allow four candidates for mayor and four for district City Council seats to proceed from a preliminary to a general municipal election, rather than the current two. For at-large City Council positions, eight candidates would advance to the general election for four seats, as is currently the case.

And More Good News!! FROM TEXAS!?

The Texas Democratic Party just completed its Convention and the Texas Democratic Caucus made some significant gains.

 

Progressives won about 60% of the seats in the State Dem Executive Committee.   They also won a few more seats on their delegation to the DNC. 

 

Resolutions that were passed included support for a permanent ceasefire, statehood for Palestine, and limiting US aid to countries that follow the Geneva Convention.   In all the Party Platform is the most progressive in Texas history.

Applause for our Texas brothers and sisters.  Victories like this are somewhat easier for progressives to win when the Party allows caucuses or is organized by counties rather than towns and wards as in Massachusetts.  Think how much easier it might be to win significant gains if the Massachusetts Party was divided into 14 counties rather than the current 385 towns and wards.

Time for us to create solutions to the unique challenges we face.

 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called upon Democrats in the New York City suburbs to reelect Rep. Jamaal Bowman in order to take a stand against the deep-pocketed super PACs bankrolling Bowman’s primary challenger. Courtesy of Molly Lichter-Renko

 

      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.

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Please send requests for action items, articles or upcoming events

for the next Organizing Notes to 

beccobrien.orma@gmail.com by Thursday, July 5th

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

 

Campaigns End, Movements Endure


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