Tag bmg

Let’s end child poverty

We are a wealthy state in a wealthy nation, and yet one out of every seven people in Massachusetts lives in poverty.  And even that doesn’t tell the true story.  The number is 29% among African Americans here; 40% among Latinos.  Regionally, it’s 21% in New Bedford; in Springfield, it’s 28%; and in Holyoke, 41% of kids under 18 live in poverty. There have been times in America when the public sentiment has been awoken to what it means to be poor, and when strong, progressive leaders rallied the political will to fight that enemy.  Jacob Riis, an immigrant Dutchman, gave Americans a crystal clear window on sweathouses and abuses in his 1890 book, How the Other Half Lives, leading to child labor and worker rights laws that we now take for granted.  We shouldn’t.  These were hard-fought battles, relying on leaders who cared. We took big steps, too, in the wake of the Great Depression, which birthed Social Security, and in the contentious 1960s, when Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society created Medicare, Medicaid, and the War on Poverty. And then… what?  Somehow we lost the focus.  Hunger, homelessness, and poverty, itself, left the front pages and abandoned the front seats […]

Pass Mass Amendment – Corporations are not People

There have been posts here about the various petitions going around, but here is a very important one that hasn’t been mentioned. There is a ballot initiative to amend the Constitution of the Commonwealth based on “Corporations are not People, Money is not Speech.” In recent years corporate spending to manipulate elections has grown out of control. We must pursue all avenues to fix our democracy so that we can work on real problems like climate change. Massachusetts has already done seemingly all we can by electing progressive representatives and senators and passing resolutions directing them to amend the U.S. Constitution. It turns out there is still something much stronger than a non-binding resolution we can do right here in Massachusetts. Pass Mass Amendment is a grassroots group of local activists working with no funding. I have been helping them collect signatures for this initiative for the last few weeks, and I ask for your help. The premise of the amendment is that the Constitution of Massachusetts enumerates rights of persons, not corporate entities. The amendment does not change this – it merely clarifies it in order to empower the people to reform political spending by making it easier for […]

New Era of ‘Open Debates’ Begins In Elizabeth Warren’s Backyard

Hey BMGers! This was posted by Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green on the PCCC’s blog, The Daily Change, and is cross-posted here in hopes of great participation from the Blue Mass Group community! Also posted at The Huffington Post.    Today, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is proud to announce that we will host a first-of-its-kind Open Debate in the special election for Congress in Massachusetts. All 5 Democrats running in the primary to replace now-Senator Ed Markey in the House of Representatives have agreed to participate in our Open Debate, where the public submits and votes on the questions. This is also Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s home congressional district. Open Debates will be a game changer in our political process — ensuring that questions get asked that the public actually cares about. What starts in Massachusetts will hopefully become the norm for local, state, congressional, and even presidential debates in the future. The debate will be held Saturday, August 10, at 11am Eastern and will be broadcast live online at OpenDebateQuestions.com. At this site, the public can submit questions, vote, learn about the candidates, and sign up for a reminder to watch the debate.

This isn’t rocket science.

This isn’t rocket science. Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey and Steve Lynch proved that the People’s Pledge works. Yesterday I stood in front of City Hall to renew my call for all candidates running to replace Tom Menino to sign on to an agreement to prevent outside special interest groups from meddling in the race. Boston needs a mayor who is beholden to the people, not outside groups who care more about their own agenda than the City of Boston. I’m calling it the Boston Pledge and it’s modeled after the groundbreaking agreement reached between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown last year. Senator-elect Ed Markey and Rep. Steve Lynch also agreed to ban on third-party advertisements in their primary earlier this year. After studying the effect of the People’s Pledge on the Brown/Warren race, Pam Wilmot of Common Cause said “there is every reason for such a pledge to regulate Massachusetts elections from now on—and if popular support is strong enough, it will.” I agree with Pam. Outside special interests pushing their own agendas shouldn’t get to decide who replaces Tom Menino, Boston voters should decide.

Your Ideas + My Ideas

As many in the Blue Mass Group community know, I am a former school teacher, a current At-Large Boston City Councilor, and I’m running for Mayor of Boston. I’ve always believed that city government is at its best when it’s inclusive and transparent and nurtures a free exchange of ideas. BMG is an example of these values at their best, which is why I’m announcing the release of my platform here. It is a long, detailed platform. Leading a city takes bold new ideas, so I want to put myself out there and start an in-depth discussion about our agreements, our disagreements, and our visions for the future of Boston. I hope you’ll take some time to read my platform on the ideas section of my website: www.connollyforboston.com/ideas. This platform runs to over 20 single-spaced pages when printed. There’s a lot to discuss, and I hope you’ll let me know your thoughts, here on BMG or by emailing ideas@connollyforboston.com. I imagine we won’t agree on everything, but I want to hear your feedback. Please also send me your own ideas on how we can work together for Boston’s future. I don’t care whose idea it is – if it will […]

Michelle Rhee Flunks Bill Maher’s Test

Too often Michelle Rhee does not get challenged when she pushes the corporate education agenda. And when she does, she never has any good answers. Here is a recent interview with Bill Maher that illustrates how Rhee has little substance behind her cliches she has parlayed into a cottage industry. The interview is about eight minutes long. If you don’t have that time, here is a summary from the Washington Post.

Essex County Sheriff’s Fundraising Questioned

Republican Sheriff Frank Cousins is defending his fundraising from employees, their families as well as contractors/vendors utilized by the Sheriff’s Department. Cousins is quite the slippery character and top notch with how he’s spinning the story. Have a gander at the I Team Report from the other day and the Salem News article from today. Spin baby! Spin!!!

“Just Politics” – Scott Brown’s Still Banking on Wall Street

Facing an increasingly long-shot reelection bid next year, Scott Brown has launched a Mitt Romney-style reinvention campaign, but his campaign coffers are still bursting with millions in Wall Street money from big bankers and financiers who know Scott Brown is on their side. Massachusetts voters have seen this kind of sudden election year conversion before. His name is Mitt Romney. Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby may have accidentally spoken the truth a couple of days ago when he told POLITICO that he still has Brown’s back. Even though Brown has claimed to disagree with Shelby and other DC Republicans, the Alabama Republican sees Brown’s political calculated posturing for what it is. “That’s politics,” said Shelby who last month held a recent high-dollar Wall Street fundraiser for Brown at a posh DC restaurant.

BMG transition has begun. Posting and commenting is suspended until we’re done.

As discussed previously, in order for us to successfully transition from this platform to our new WordPress platform, we must suspend user posts and comments until the transition is finished.  Therefore, as of now, BMG will not accept new posts or comments until we’re done – which hopefully will be sometime over the weekend.  Feel free to read, and if you have the urge to say something, hold that thought – we’ll be back up and better than ever very soon. Thanks for your patience!

BMG 3.0: it’s happening this weekend

As you know, we have been planning a transition off of Soapblox and onto our custom-designed WordPress platform for some time.  We’ve tinkered and tested, and we’ve tried to address the many helpful comments that you have given on the beta site. Now, it’s time.  Barring any unforeseen last-minute snags, THIS WEEKEND (April 23-24) we will be making the transition from Soapblox to WordPress. What does this mean?  A couple of things. First, we will “freeze” the site on Friday afternoon – i.e., we will not allow any new posts, comments, or user signups starting at about 5 pm on Friday until the transition is complete.  This is to be sure that we do not lose any content during the transition.  You’ll still be able to read, but you won’t be able to post. Second, we expect to be able to import all existing user names to the new site – but we cannot import passwords.  Therefore, in order to log in post-transition, you’ll have to follow the “forgot password” protocol to have the system email you a new password.  Once you’ve logged in with that, you can reset your password to whatever you’d like. Third, we are certain that […]