Person #7714: 28 Posts

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  1. blog here in comments (seeing same error) (0 Replies)

    The blog is over at Progressive Mass… We are all seeing the same thing as John and others, above.

    Progressive Massachusetts proudly announces our 2017-2018 Legislative Agenda for the 190th session of the Mass General Court.

    The Moral Urgency of Now: Massachusetts Must Lead.

    We are watching the federal government under President Donald Trump, with little braking from the Republican Congress, move us rapidly in a fascist direction that deeply contradicts Massachusetts values and liberties. Resistance is imperative.

    What are the ways we can resist? Where can we effect the most dramatic changes, shape a progressive alternative and protect the most people vulnerable under this regime?

    Our efforts on the national scene are important–but our impact, as liberals served by Democrats in a majority Republican Congress, is unfortunately, realistically, quite limited.

    But, we can make Massachusetts a blue, progressive fortress against Trumpism. There is no excuse for not passing a vigorous progressive agenda in one of the bluest states in the country.

    We are no longer in normal times. We cannot abide our super-majority Democratic lawmakers playing by the old rules, the old hesitancies and cautions. This is a moral imperative: through our democratic system, we can must resist, chart an alternative, progressive, path forward, and firmly and proudly establish and protect a system of true justice–in all its dimensions–for all. 

    Our recent survey of our members’ (your) issues of top concern served as a guide for the Progressive Mass Issues Committee (PMIC). Over several weeks, committee reached out to legislators, advocates, and allies, to learn about their priorities and the bills to be filed that address them, to explore what bold proposals would galvanize Beacon Hill, and to assess the issue movements with advocacy momentum and energy behind them.

    Setting Progressive Goals and a Road Map for Action

    Through this intensive process of research, outreach, deliberation, and member input, PMIC has crafted our multi-issue 2017-2018 Progressive Legislative Agenda. Following the four broad planks of our Progressive Platform, the Progressive Legislative Agenda represents a multi-issue road map for the next two years of advocacy for the progressive activist


    As many in the BMG community already know, there are specific points of inflection in the life cycle of legislation, when grassroots action and advocacy is more important and has greater impact. Simply stated, timing matters.

    We aim to reach out to our progressive network and membership at time-sensitive moments and ask for your action. The first action of many over the next two years: pushing legislators for Co-Sponsorship. And it needs to be done by Friday.

    Before Friday (the House’s deadline), please contact your State Representative and State Senator, and ask them to cosponsor the bills on our progressive agenda (both House and Senate versions, House and Senate members can cross-cosponsor). All the information, including plain text to copy/paste, if you should require that, is at our action kit:

    Note–while the deadline to cosponsor House bills is Friday, February 3rd at 5:00 pm, State Representatives and State Senator can cosponsor Senate bills at any point in the two-year session.

    As a statewide, multi-issue, grassroots organizations committed to pushing our state Legislature and Governor to be more progressive, and hold them accountable when they’re not, Progressive Mass believes that the first step towards building a progressive agenda on Beacon Hill begins with outreach and conversations with your state legislators, and asking them to cosponsor and support critical legislation. And when you do reach out to your legislators, we want to hear what you learn. Drop us a line:  issues @  

  2. Didn't really want to respond, but as you called us out almost by name (0 Replies)

    Hi Methuen Progressive,
    I don’t think that Progressive Massachusetts celebrating a successful year (note, not election) at a fundraiser, is ‘evidence’, that some large number of people, and certainly not Progressive Massachusetts staff, board or volunteers voted based on, ‘Is Coakley Progressive enough for me?’ Nor did we calibrate our work that way.

    Progressive Massachusetts made an organizational decision nearly a year ago that our priority would be to work with the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition for a few reasons;
    1. It would help establish our VERY young organization as a group that actually, get something done. We were successful.

    2. We, as an organization, were convinced that the Earned Sick Time ballot question would be critical to increasing voter participation of likely democratic/progressive voters. I haven’t reviewed the full numbers yet, but I think that is true. We most certainly had a lot of Baker/Yes on 4 voters as well, which contributed to the margin of victory for Q4 and demonstrates that progressive policy, effectively messaged and resourced, is a winner in Massachusetts.

    3. We WANT to be an ‘issues’ group in addition to being an ‘elections’ group, so a ballot question was the best of both worlds for us.

    I’m a fan of Lakoff’s work, even if I think that the saying, ‘Progressives/Dems/whatever, try to appeal to logic but conservatives appeal to values” while ringing true in some cases, is sort of our favorite go-to when we are frustrated with results.

    What I saw on the ground, working 7 days a week for Q4, Coakley, Kerrigan, Healey and Goldberg (as well as a number of great legislative candidates) Was that the Coakley campaign did a pretty good job appealing to values. EW or Deval Patrick-level? No. But you’re right, we can’t expect that from everybody, even most people. And we shouldn’t need it.

    I saw a general election Martha Coakley who took a strong stand for workers with earned sick time, started out very strong on Early Childhood ed, and motivated working people, particularly the SEIU local’s to work very hard for her. Were there hiccups? Definitely! In rare incidents is was tough to get the MC field team to fully embrace talking about Q4, but that is totally expected in large, fast moving field campaigns.

    I have no significant issues with the campaign Coakley ran, I think she had a tremendous campaign staff who made a series of generally very good decisions in a tough year. Could they (we?) have been better? Obviously. Turnout was lower than in 2006 or 2010 and we as a movement need to heed Lakoff and others advice about motivation and persuasion. so we can turnout the votes we need while persuading the middle.

    I do think it is unfortunate that some folks on this blog – people who I deeply respect, may not have given everything they had to elect Coakley. But I see that as a collective failing of all of us who did work hard, Coakley primary supporters, as well as (and maybe especially) Berwick and Grossman supporters, to sufficiently motivate folks to the work with us – I’ll try to get better at that next year.


  3. thank you! (0 Replies)

    The BMG community is a big part of what convinced a group of activists that a state wide progressive advocacy group could exist and be sustained. Much appreciation to the editors for your work.

  4. hey methuen progressive (1 Reply)

    I’d beg to differ. A year ago, we had no earned sick time provisions for nearly 1 million workers in MA, early voting was a fantasy, and the minimum wage was stuck at $8/hour. Progressives came together and changed all of those things.

    Did the result of the gubernatorial election suck? Yes! Of course. And any of our members who knocked on doors or called for Martha Coakley will whole heartedly agree with you. I felt the frustration at the doors on election day when I was turning people out for earned sick time and I had to have conversations with them about the importance of Martha Coakley as our next governor.

    2 years ago, PM was a pipe dream of a few activists sitting around in a living room bemoaning the current state of affairs (No offense to my beloved board members who are reading this). Since then, PM members and supporters sent nearly 5,000 emails to legislators, generated over 1,000 phone calls on critical issues at key moments, collected 42,000 signatures in support of ballot questions and knocked on over 11,000 doors in support of our endorsed candidates and ballot questions.

    The legislature generally knows and respects our work, and we – as an organization and a movement – are poised to accomplish even greater things in 2015.

    I get the frustration. Election day was a crappy day for all of us, but to deny the progress we have made is just wrong and short-sighted.

    Did PM make some strategic or tactical mistakes this year? Probably… we are all human. But we are building a movement, and on the balance, 2014 was a successful year for us, as an organization and as progressives.

    Methuen is a tough place to be a Progressive, and I hear your frustration. But for us, as progressives, to build a more progressive Massachusetts, we need people from all over the Commonwealth to join us. I hope that you can see the benefit in having a statewide organization pushing for our shared values. If you have any ideas on how we can be more effective, let me know. post them here, or send me an email, Heck, give me a call, 857-203-0897. I’m all ears.


  5. Hi gcc (1 Reply)

    A quick review of your BMG history belies a certain disdain for Newton. Which means I probably shouldn’t ‘feed the troll’ but what I will say is; For a statewide organization, Newton’s strategic placement near 128 and the Mass Pike, and with accessible public transit, makes it a great place to be very near to the 2/3s of the MA population that lives in and around Boston, while also being relatively accessible to our members and supporters coming from further afield. The members of Progressive Newton have done a tremendous job pushing me and the rest of the staff and board members of Progressive Massachusetts to take a very hard look at how we build a statewide, economically diverse progressive movement, and I welcome their hospitality.


  6. Hi abs! (1 Reply)

    I also really hope we can work with Raise Up moving forward. Raise Up was a powerful coalition because it brought so many people together working on the same campaign. We (Raise Up) definitely are looking hard at the best way to continue together moving forward, and I know how to find you when we have the next campaign drawn up. Thanks for all your support!

  7. Thanks Max (0 Replies)

    You’re right. As Senator Warren is fond of saying, the game is rigged. Rules reform, good government, expanding access to voting, are all tiny things that will make a big difference in creating a more progressive legislature, without even electing more more progressives (which we also need to do). Thanks, for all of your support!

  8. Thanks! (0 Replies)

    Dr Boerl, thank you for this post!

    An FYI to all: We now have full videos of the Governor’s Forum up. More info here.

  9. Wealth not income (0 Replies)

    We do understand and would love to engage in the most effective and just ways to raise revenue – estate tax on wealth, income tax on regular wages, capital gains tax on investments. All with pros and cons.

  10. If Elected Democrats (0 Replies)

    We have asked every Democratic candidate for statewide office – and many running in Special Elections – to tell us where they stand. Results will be posted before the caucuses.

  11. JP Progressives Calls for Action (0 Replies)

    I just posted our JP Chapter’s latest email (couldn’t get the email to work in a comment).

    They are urging emails to key councilors.

    As for Wu, I think a new choice has emerged. A terrific choice. Someone who really represents our values and has worked hard on difficult but critical issues – particularly those pertaining to women and girls. So supporting a “new choice” isn’t the same as switching sides.

  12. Just In (0 Replies)

    Sorry for any confusion. No intent to mislead. I have been updated by JP that many in and out of leadership team actively supported her and worked for her in JP. They are feeling betrayed.

  13. ugh... (0 Replies)

    *at* not and in line 6. Hey editors, thanks for the preview function, now I just have to remember to use it!

  14. Hey! look over here! (1 Reply)

    Sorry to be a bit non-pertinent, but I think while we discuss voting rights – this could be a good time to reflect on where we are in Massachusetts. NC’s recently enacted law, for instance, was designed to curtail some of their more positive past reforms like early voting and same day registration. Other than the voter ID provision, NC’s new law is still better than what we currently have in Massachusetts.

    The state of election laws and administration in MA deserves an entire post – which I think we will get to pretty soon here at PM, but suffice to say, we shouldn’t lob just criticism and other states, while overlooking the fact that here in MA we have some of the most outdated election laws in the country.

  15. Hi Socialworker! (3 Replies)

    Thanks for the shout-out. I wouldn’t say that we are marginalizing the Sheriff. He graciously and thoroughly filled out our questionnaire, and then we shared the questionnaires with our membership and asked them to vote. Rep. Sciortino won overwhelmingly. But we did take a good look at Koutoujian, both by going back to when he was in the legislature (which was a great time for comparison because 4 of the 5 candidates were in the general court together), and having our members examine his questionnaire.
    The great news about this race is that the quality of the candidates is outstanding, and they have the chance to articulate their vision and values and demonstrate their experience to make their case.
    The membership of Progressive Massachusetts evaluated the candidates and clearly chose Rep. Sciortino. I think if people read his questionnaire, they will agree with the choice.

  16. Housing Forum No Show (0 Replies)

    I was wondering why, Mr. Consalvo, you didn’t come to the Housing Forum last night in Chinatown and share your perspective. Sponsored by a large number of neighborhood groups like Boston Tenants Coalition, Chinese Progressive Association – and Progressive Mass, the forum dealt with this and other issues around affordable housing and community development. In addition, you are one of only a few candidates for Mayor who has not submitted a completed questionnaire to Right to the City – a group looking to address issues of economic justice.

    We are anxious to hear your views on issues important to progressives and community activists interested in staving off gentrification and addressing issues like foreclosures, neighborhood stabilization and public land for public use.

  17. Bill Number (0 Replies)

    Very confusing. Now looks like:

    House, No. 3514 – An Act making appropriations for the fiscal year 2013 to provide for supplementing certain existing appropriations and for certain other activities and projects.

  18. House Takes Up Worse Bill First (2 Replies)

    House Leadership released the supplemental budget on Friday night (!!!) and embraced Republican Rep Shauna O’Connell’s most egregious so-called “welfare reforms”.

    I will try to get you a direct link to State House website but you can read the text here.

    Some of the worst provisions:

    • Creating a program integrity bureau (doesn’t that sound ominous?)
    • Creating an integrated eligibility system (not a bad idea until you realize that it will be used to determine if welfare recipients are spending their money wisely)
    • Requiring SSN verification within 3 months (sometimes difficult for newborns)
    • Limiting spending to MA and contiguous states (may be unconstitutional limit on travel)
    • Implementing photo ID for EBT cards (here we go again)
    • Creating an online payment system for rent and utilities that all recipients must use within 3 years

    We are calling on progressive representatives to vote as a block to strike these provisions