Dear Fellow Democrats and Members of the State Committee,
I am writing to announce that I will be seeking the position of Chair of our State Democratic party on November 12, 2020.
Though the chair’s race is extremely important because it will determine the shape and direction of the Democratic Party for the next four years, we must, as Democrats, keep our essential focus on electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, flipping the Senate, and helping our excellent down-ballot candidates to win. The general election is today.
If we defeat Trump and block his attempt to steal the election, an entirely new period will open up in the history of this state – allowing to us make progress on many of the dreams that have been attacked or stalled.
Most of us want the party to be more energized, more inclusive, more effective, and more inspiring. We want to draw in younger people, to open up wider discussions and participation, to learn from the innovations of other state parties throughout the country, and to return Massachusetts to its traditional role as a leading progressive state in our nation.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party is a complex, sometimes turbulent group of skilled, passionate, and committed people. I respect those who have worked for decades to build the Party and to elect Democrats. But many share my view that the party could do so much more. We are not living up to our potential.
The world has changed dramatically in the last four years – and especially in the last nine months. The combination of the destructive and corrupt leadership by Donald Trump and the brutal impact of the coronavirus has brought to the surface how many of our institutions are failing us.
As James Baldwin said, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
We must face the reality that over the last four years many of our most painful problems – racial injustice, inaccessible health care, broken eductaion, and climate change – have gotten worse.
Voters want hope and action. Communities of color want hope and action. Young people want hope and action. But they do not associate our party with the attributes.
As a result, many recently energized citizens are forming new organizations exploding with political energy, rather than bringing that energy into our party. We have not benefited from this surge of engagement and passion.
Here in Massachusetts, we should be facing our hard truths, inspiring and mobilizing our citizens, restoring unity and hope, and taking decisive moves forward.
So, given all of this, why am I running?
People from across the state began asking me to consider running for chair immediately after the 2018 gubernatorial election. I declined, saying it was too early to think about it.
Now we are all suffering from whiplash and exhaustion from an endless cascade of economic, medical, political, and moral nightmares – and the nearly total failure of our Federal government to address them. The needless deaths of so many people – some killed by the police or vigilantes such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, others sentenced to death by the president’s shocking recklessness in denying the severity of COVID-19 and playing politics with life-saving equipment.
A few weeks ago, a group of our colleagues held a meeting and informed me they wanted me to run. Not only was I honored, I was also surprised. This invitation prompted me to more serious and prayerful reflection. Reflecting on the tremendous challenges – and opportunities – that we have as a party and as a nation, I felt increasing confidence that I could help us to come together, share ideas, design a just and sustainable future, and then work with all of our party to achieve it.
I am ready, willing, and eager to make sure that we expand the diversity of our leadership and elect a Democratic governor in 2022.
I love our Democratic party, warts and all. I was proud to be the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor more than 20 years ago. I am committed to helping us do better to live out our party’s values and mission.
In the days ahead, I will describe some of the experiences and skills that I would bring to the position. I have devoted my entire life to fighting for economic and racial justice, starting with deep involvement in the battle against racism and apartheid in both South Africa and the United States. I was one of the earliest leaders on climate change, organizing the first major public meeting in Massachusetts on the need for action all the way back in April 1992.
You may know less about my successful work to build international coalitions among people from radically different backgrounds and perspectives. These coalitions – which are thriving to this day – worked to bring prosperity to those to whom it has been denied.
I also created and led a national coalition devoted to creating a more democratic economy with new jobs, businesses, and forms of investment. More locally, I have been involved in the life and politics of my home city of Somerville for more than 30 years, where Anne and I raised our three children, all of whom attended Somerville public schools.
Over the coming weeks, I will be calling each of you individually to share more about my goals and vision for our party. If you would like to reach out to me to ask questions or to offer to help, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 617-669-4016.
Though it is customary for candidates to race ahead and try to lock up as many supporters as they can before others have been heard, this is a poor way to choose the best candidate for a position that will determine the future of our state party until 2024.
I am asking you to exercise good and careful judgment by waiting to hear from every candidate before you make a commitment.
I also hope that the party will swiftly create a public process – such as a candidate’s forum – in which the candidates can present their ideas and qualifications, answer questions, and allow you to make a fully informed choice.
So – whether you are new to the state committee or have served for decades (or somewhere in between) – thank you for your energy, commitment, and service.
I humbly ask for your support. Please join me in this journey to lead our party to new heights – together.
I look forward to our conversations! And I would be honored to earn your vote.
With respect and gratitude,