Tl;dr: We have released our progressive legislative agenda (progressivemass.com/legislativeagenda). There is a short, short window to take significant action. Before Feb. 2 (how about now?), send an email asking legislators to co-sponsor the Progressive Priority bills. For ACTION STEPS and SAMPLE EMAIL, go here: progressivemass.com/takeaction.
Massachusetts is blessed with the third largest Democratic legislative majorities in the country. But majorities only matter if they are put to work.
In the Age of Trump, it’s more important than ever for Massachusetts legislators to start stepping up their game.
Over the weeks since the election, we’ve been hard at work talking with coalition partners, conversing with legislators, and hearing from our chapters and members about how we can best advance our Progressive Platform in the new legislative session.
We want Massachusetts to be the progressive beacon to other states that we know it can be.
Legislators often say that they can only take up a handful of issues in one 2-year session (with the biggest priorities often hashed out behind closed doors).
But given the crises we face now (and were facing already, frankly), it’s time to think big. And it’s past time to make grassroots priorities our electeds’ priorities.
And, so, at the end of all of those conversations and meetings--and a lot of research and reading--we have zeroed in on 17 Priorities for 2017. Click here to read about the bills and why they matter.
And, as a complement to our primary legislative agenda, we have identified an additional 20 Bills to Watch, which we will also follow this session.
LEGISLATORS ARE MAKING CHOICES RIGHT NOW
Your elected officials need to know what bills you care about and you want to receive a vote this session.
And they won’t know unless you tell them. And there is a deadline for phase 1. And it is soon.
By February 3, representatives need to have declared co-sponsorship of any filed legislation. Typically, legislators receive co-sponsorship requests from a narrow set of constituents, for a narrow range of issues.
We are advocating a multi-issue agenda -- immigration protections, revenue for our communities, economic justice, and more.
Your advocacy -- an email, today (we’ve got one you can adapt!) -- and your legislators’ cosponsorship will give these bills momentum right at the beginning of a two year process for most legislation. When thousands of bills are filed and never make it to the floor, co-sponsorships, settled in the early days, are important. Additionally, a co-sponsorship is one of the unfortunately few ways that electeds’ values are on record (a problem we will be talking about with our new scorecard, coming soon).
It’s time to start standing up and fighting for progressive values.
Legislators need to hear this message from you.
So find your state representative and senator’s email contacts -- and use our sample email as inspiration. Then let us know -- so we can track and assess our collective advocacy.
- Tell them you want them to sign onto Progressive Mass’s 17 Priorities for 2017 and explain why the agenda is important to you.
- Ask them -- soon -- to co-sponsor our progressive Legislative Agenda. (We have a sample email text, right here!)
The co-sponsorship window for the House is narrow (the deadline is next Friday, Feb. 3), so it is imperative to make this push NOW.
The more who weigh in, the more likely legislators will sign on as co-sponsor. (The Senate does not have a hard deadline, but by contacting your senator NOW, you can help shape their priorities for this session.)
And when/if you hear back, let the Issues Cmte. know. We’ll be tracking on the PM website co-sponsorships and the progress of these bills throughout the session, so you have the info to keep you informed about where YOUR legislators stand.
Thank you for all that you do.