Re-cap of January 2019 General Assembly

Dear ORMA Member,

ORMA’s 2nd General Assembly (GA) was memorable and productive.  Over 125 people were in attendance and the dialogue was passionate and profound.  Please take a peek at the agenda for the day to get a sense of the range of issues we discussed. Many participants spoke of the usefulness of the municipal sessions, where a great group of speakers were concrete and specific in their guidance to support city and town candidates and inspired our members to run in their local elections.  The discussion of ORMA’s efforts to help transform the Democratic Party was also a highlight, inspiring many to want the same amount of time and level of detail dedicated to all ORMA committee projects and priority discussions at future GAs.

If you would like to contribute your thoughts, skills and energy to planning our fall General Assembly and future priority processes, please sign up here:


During each General Assembly we discover new opportunities for improvement. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our lively Priorities discussion, and allowed us to come to a consensus on the following new process:

  • Each affiliate and caucus will submit 1-5 priorities they plan to work on in 2019.  These priorities will be presented at the in-person Representative Council (RC) meeting to be held the last weekend in February.
  • Along with their 1-5 priorities, RC Reps are being asked to submit what actions their group requests support with and how their group plans to measure success for each priority. Reps shall discuss ways to coordinate these priorities, and how ORMA can support their efforts statewide, and potentially nationally.

All in all we shared, we discussed, and we inspired one another.  Our next step will be to take our collective priorities and to develop a measurable strategic plan for implementing successful priorities throughout Massachusetts and beyond.

Looking forward to seeing many more of you at the next GA!

In solidarity,

Our Revolution MA


Check out some photos and GA comments below!

Bernie was mayor:

  • “Lively, already enrolled in Anna’s Incorruptibles”
  • “I sat in room A. James did an excellent job facilitating and the panelist were engaging and informational.”
  • “Callahan was concise and informative; panel and the well-facilitated discussion with attendees was helpful.”
  • “Very helpful information for my affiliate.”
  • “Very enlightening, encouraging to be more active”
  • “Really enjoyed the candidate session – great group of speakers and really helpful as a potential candidate in 2019!”


  • “This one was the highlight for me.  Worth having come just for this!”
  • “I personally loved this session, though I know there were many others much less interested in #DemTransform work that were a bit miffed there wasn’t equal time given to issue(s) e.g. Medicare for All. I’d love it if we could have sessions of this depth on various current and potential future projects.”
  • “Good presentations and well-facilitated discussion with the G.A. Many good ideas emerged 2019 state Democratic convention.”
  • “Well done. Presenters were forthright and gave useful info.”

ORMA Priority Process:

  • “Rocky start, but ended up with a useful, helpful process. Again, impressive discussion among members who attended, leading to a good process for setting priorities.”
  • “I feel we went off the rails in this discussion – lot’s of process concerns – very few issues discussed. Felt the folks at the front did as well as they could to corral the discussion while being respectful.”
  • “It’s always tough to pull together a consensus with a large group. Discipline and practical concerns need more structure – which goes back to the organizing ORMA”
  • “Frustrating beginning, however a consensus and new process was achieved!”

Organizing ORMA:

  • “I think this could serve as a great opening for next meeting, where we make it a tradition to recap where we were at the conclusion of the last GA, and then provide an update on how things have changed to the current GA.”
  • “Good, concise presentations; again, members helped to enhance discussion. We need to have more discussion about dilemma of volunteer coordinators and RC vs. paid staff and how to help affiliates become functional in their towns/localities”
  • “Great questions that I felt lead to better understanding”
  • “Got a great deal of necessary business done.  Well planned.”

How to improve:

  • “The day was well presented by sincere, engaged people with a good grasp of the challenge ahead.”
  • “With gratitude and respect for the planning committee and attending membership, I acknowledge that this was an event with some wonderful moments and some very challenging moments. There seemed to be some structural problems with the meeting, particularly with the priorities session. I don’t have enough experience with direct democratic processes to identify exactly what could have been done differently. Thank you for the opportunity to build knowledge through observation.“
  • “Encourage more pre-registration.”
  • “More emphasis on affiliates presenting and on problem-solving. Let’s talk ISSUES!!!!!”
  • “I liked the, but would love to see an opportunity for deeper discussion and presentation of more fleshed out plans at the GA (ideally like what was done for #DemTransform this time, but for a variety of projects). To avoid perceptions of favoritism, one thing to try could be getting a big hall for tabling and letting groups and individuals populate it with “project exhibits”. You could even incorporate a loose form of priority straw polling into this, e.g. by giving participants 5 tokens they can deposit at up to 5 projects they are willing to work on. Very rough event flow: Sign-ins > Everyone together for welcome + state of ORMA + successes / failures (non-interactive) > Morning browse session of project exhibits > Group lunch > Afternoon browse session + “token voting” > Reconvene + Farewell > Optional post-GA social. “
  • “It should focus on sharing the work we have been doing and asking each other questions so that we can develop best practices, sharing ideas about issues and policy, and creating priorities. It should also provide networking opportunities.

Additional comments:

  • “I thought the organizers worked very hard on this but hope they can be more open to a meeting that’s more issues oriented as well as helpful to struggling affiliates. “
  • “A big thank you to the RC, planning committee, and Coordinating Committee”
  • “Overall, I think everyone did a fantastic job. I’m very impressed and feel awful that I couldn’t make time to contribute more to the planning due to challenges at home over the holidays. Thank you for another great GA!”


  • “I’d like to formalize my pledge to become a sustaining ORMA member and am waiting to receive the email which will give me that opportunity. I particularly enjoyed the storytelling built into the program related to victories in Somerville and the legacy of the Richmond Progressive Association. I met some wonderful people. Thank you for your work! In solidarity”

Inspired by the re-cap of our first 2019 General Assembly?

Become an ORMA SUSTAINER now!