Mission Statement – The ORMA Political Action and Civic Engagement Committee (PACE) is responsible for helping ORMA affiliates and members take action in political and civic arenas to fight for progressive change. Our vision is that political and economic systems must be more responsive to the broadest base of the American People (the 99%) and not to the big corporations or the billionaires. Consistent with priorities established by the ORMA membership, the PACE Committee develops and supports strategies for engaging in legislative, political, and organizing activities for change.
Committee Foci – The PACE Committee is engaged in three main task areas:
1. Transformation of the Democratic Party
2. Political education and the advancement of political consciousness/awareness
3. Legislative and issues advocacy
We are looking for people to join the PACE Committee who want to be actively engaged in Democratic Party politics, public political education, legislative lobbying, and other forms of direct action relating to ORMA priority issues and campaigns, and in support of organizational allies and partners. The PACE Committee needs people interested in working with other ORMA members around the issue of how to engage in influencing governance of boards, commissions, elected bodies, and other civic organizations, and to help build coalitions to support issue-based and electoral campaigns. PACE shares responsibility for helping ORMA affiliates and members take action in political and civic institutions and fight for progressive change, progressive legislation, and progressive candidates at all levels of government.
The PACE Committee is actively recruiting new members to help with our various initiatives.
1. #DemTransform Subcommittee – Consistent with priorities established by the ORMA membership, the PACE #DemTransform Subcommittee develops and supports strategies for engaging in organizing activities and for expanding ORMA engagement and power as a progressive change agent within the Democratic Party at the local, regional, and state levels, and develops and executes strategies to transform the Massachusetts Democratic Party to support the ideals and programs being advanced by ORMA members and affiliates. Members of local Democratic town committees can help PACE with grassroots efforts to lead the state Democratic Party to a more progressive stance and to promote ORMA supported legislative and social action initiatives. For a deeper dive into the Massachusetts Democratic Party see: https://massdems.org/your-party/party-documents/. Here’s one current way you can help ORMA continue its work to transform the Democratic Party!
Earlier this year ORMA members endorsed five priority issues and indicated strong support for several other issues that did not make it into the top five. Now, we are challenged with working with others to generate enough popular support that our proposals prevail. In these multiple, intense struggles we need to take advantage of every opportunity to press forward on each of these causes.
We have an important opportunity to win support for every one of these issues! That opportunity comes in the form of the creation of the Platform of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. The Party is asking members and supporters to propose platform planks at upcoming platform hearings.
The 2021 platform is a Blank Slate. If there are ORMA issues that you support passionately, now is the time to demand the party pay attention.
Think about it; with sufficient effort, we can incorporate support for tenant protections, the Fair Share Amendment, Medicare for All, an end to MCAS, a moratorium on construction of new multi-million dollar prisons, an end to limited police immunity, and more into the 2021 Party Platform! A progressive platform would provide a useful foundation for ORMA-endorsed candidates running in local and state-wide elections over the next four years.
To do any of this will take organized effort. We are asking each of you to promise to advocate for one or more ORMA issues at the upcoming platform hearings.
- ORMA will sponsor two Platform Meetings (both virtual): Register, attend and voice your opinion July 20th and July 22nd.
- The Party is organizing platform hearings. It is easy to participate, all will be virtual (see calendar here); You can register to testify here. (Participation is limited to registered Democrats, but “unenrolled” voters can easily change their status here.)
Economic Justice? Strong Unions? Green New Deal? Racial Justice? Legislative Transparency?
These are just some of the issues that ORMA members care about. History shows that the Democratic party can be one important tool to achieve progressive goals, but only if progressives demand it.
We need members of ORMA, as well as affiliates, caucuses, working groups, and members of allied organizations to mobilize for this brief, intense effort.
A final request: Party Caucus attendance has been low this year, applicants for “Add-on” delegate status, especially Youth (under 35), will have a high probability of being accepted this year. We urge you to consider becoming an Add-on delegate (Youth, Minority, Disabled, LGBTQ) because it is the delegates who will vote to amend and approve the platform. You can apply here. (NOTE: The convention will have a virtual participation option, and any platform deliberations and amendments will also be handled virtually.)
The ORMA #DemTransform Team members thank you!
Building a Progressive Democratic Party – Help ORMA Create a Platform that Supports Progressive Values
Call to Building Progressive Political Power in MA Conference
Massachusetts progressives are well aware of the crises we face. Climate catastrophes and COVID-19 ravage communities across the country, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and the poor always suffering most. The risk of nuclear war is as close as we have ever been. In Massachusetts, the growing incidence of the diseases of despair; addiction, ODs, and suicide reflect the worsening misery of much of our population while Trumpism threatens our political will to make change happen.
Come to our Fall 2021 conference, Building Progressive Political Power, on Nov 20, Dec 4, or Dec 11, where we will explore how we can move progressive programs and legislation forward with maximum impact, strategizing how to engage, unite and build the power needed to reverse the destructive policies of our current governmental structures. We acknowledge the urgency to center those whose lived experiences of resistance to oppression and injustice form the scaffold for our agenda.
The 2016 and 2020 national elections, the Black Lives Matter movement, and Indigenous resistance to the Line 3 pipeline have changed power relationships and shifted cultural narratives in the United States. The Sanders presidential campaigns and the elections of AOC, Ayanna Pressley, and other members of The Squad point out the possibilities and the potential for progressive politics in the United States, but we are far from where we need to be. We will examine how we strengthen Progressive influence in our national, state and local governments.
To build power, we must forge coalitions of movements and groups, made up of different racial, ethnic, class, and gender constituencies. We must dismantle white supremacy and understand what it means to be an ally. We will begin the process of building a political agenda that is inclusive of human rights, including frequently under-represented BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, as we confront the threats of economic exploitation, climate change and nuclear war.
We welcome more groups to join us as we choose speakers, breakout topics, and put together the detailed plans. We meet every Friday at 10:15 am. Please write to ORMA co-chair firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would be able to participate!
Lastly, we will address: how we maintain morale when political incrementalism impacts our power to address broad international issues and crises faced by the grassroots; and how we can conserve stamina, have fun and feel joy in our efforts. We should dance as we work toward a more just and sustainable world.
Our Revolution Massachusetts,
Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts,
North American Indian Center of Boston,
Massachusetts Peace Action.
2. Political Education – The responsibility of the Political Education Subcommittee of PACE is to create a plan for more effective active political education and political engagement of membership and of the voting public.
- Work with affiliates to disseminate existing materials focused on ORMA’s Priority issues, and assist in developing new materials where needed.
- Plan and support public education events to raise political consciousness.
- >Disseminate information to ORMA members about the many opportunities for local engagement beyond the electoral realm and about the importance of local boards, committees, and commissions that often set the context for local political debates, and determine whether progressive ideas are even on the table for discussion.
- Support the formation of education and action groups directed to the education and activation of our membership and our sisters and brothers including white anti-racism groups, educational discussion groups, and book groups.
For inquiries re the Political Ed subcommittee please write: PE@ourrevolutionma.com
3. Legislative and Issues Advocacy Team – LIA is the central gathering place where news of current progressive legislative issues and advocacy proposals is shared with the ORMA membership and the public. The LIA Team functions to build and exercise political influence through support for specific legislative, electoral, and social action initiatives. In this regard, LIA develops connections and coordinates work with allied organizations, including maintaining contact lists.
LIA’s main issues and legislative foci at this time are the five 2020 ORMA priorities, plus two priorities from 2019 that we committed to at that time. Learn more about these priority issues and current opportunities for action and engagement here:
LIA is also strongly committed in solidarity with our indigenous sisters and brothers in the struggle to protect their sovereignty and identity and to protect our shared planet environmentally. In this regard we urge member awareness and support in recognition of the severe burdens faced by all of our living brothers and sisters.
PACE could use more members! We welcome ideas, energy, and engagement to help us plan and implement actions which will lead to the accomplishment of ORMA’s revolutionary goals.To join the PACE committee, or to contact the committee with questions and comments, email email@example.com
And, of course, if you have a relationship with allied organizations, please help us establish links between ORMA and those organizations.
Committee Chairs: Henry Wortis
Democratic Party Transformation Task Force: Steve Garone and Michael Gilbreath
Legislative Initiatives and Advocacy: Bruce Taub
Political Education/Action Task Force: open Meetings – Third Monday of the month, 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Zoom link