This past weekend gave a pretty clear visual of how much power we have when we organize together. And we all know that showing up to march was merely the first step of many.
The next is engaging with the political process -- via electoral, issue and legislative work -- as well as the work of community organizing-- building communities of trust, making outreach and strengthening our progressive infrastructure. We're committed to both.
The Opposite of Trump
We all want to DO something to stop the coming wave of Trump's -- and the traditional conservatives' -- cruel and incoherent policies on immigration, health care, women's bodies, education, and their accelerating privatization and corporate kleptocracy.
While many emerging activist networks are urging outreach to Congress, we'd like to propose that, in Massachusetts, we'll get a lot more mileage fighting Trump -- and making real change, helping real people who are vulnerable -- BY focusing on Massachusetts:
- We could pass a millionaire's tax, and restore funding to programs destroyed by repeated budget cuts
- We could pass a $15 minimum wage
- We could ensure safety and dignity for immigrants and their family
- We could lead the fight on climate change by investing more in solar and energy efficiency
- We could insist on the highest standards for the air we breathe and water we drink
- We could fully fund excellent public education for all
- We could pass universal pre-K
- We could pass Paid Family and Medical Leave
- We could re-invest in a 21st century public transportation system
- We could dismantle the apparatuses of mass incarceration and their racist effects
- We could mend then strengthen the safety nets that have been cut and frayed to threads
These are changes that are needed. In Massachusetts.
In Trump's America, these changes are still possible. In Massachusetts.
The truth is -- We have a lot of work to do to make Massachusetts the progressive ideal that we would like to think we are.
But the great news is that all of this is not only possible -- we are much, much, more influential with our state legislators. AND Democrats have have a Super (duper) Democratic majority in both chambers.
If we aren't passing progressive legislation in Massachusetts, it's because Democrats are standing in the way. On Beacon Hill, we aren't fighting Ted Cruzes or Rand Pauls.
Reminding our elected representatives of the progressive principles at the heart of the Democratic platform, through organized, well-timed, on-going outreach and pressure...we can do this, if we mobilize together. And, this hill, if we climb it, will produce real changes for real people most vulnerable under Trump.
The Legislative session just opened this month. We are starting our 2-year cycle of outreach and advocacy and citizen lobbying afresh.
Well-timed, informed outreach to your State Rep and State Senator is a key part of the next 2 years:
- We will ask our legislators to sign on to our progressive agenda as cosponsors to our highlighted bills (that's coming right up)
- We will ask our legislators to advocate with their colleagues to push for the strongest progressive legislation possible
- We will ask our legislators to stay strong when the going gets tough
- We will thank them when they stand up for our goals and values--especially when it's hardest to do
- We will talk with our neighbors and help them advocate -- or help provide the context to help educate where there's disagreement
This contact is key. We're asking you to be ready--look up, right now, your State Representative and State Senator.
Put their contacts -- email and phone -- into your contacts.
Put them on speed dial.
Now you're ready. (Want more? You can "like" and "follow" them on social media! PM's Legislators' social media list: progressivemass.com/maleg)
Our Progressive Legislative Agenda and legislator scorecards are coming out soon. And with it, your cue to reach out to your State Rep and Sen.
We'll give you tips and talking points and scripts to adapt or use. It will be easy--but acting together, it will be powerful. (And more powerful still when you bring a friend along with you. Double your impact by telling your friend you'll be asking them to contact their legislator, and then help them see it through!)
Sustained, small, timed and coordinated actions.
Large, exuberant, loud displays.
Building community and reaching out to make personal connections and alliances. (hold a Prog MA houseparty, connect with a chapter, start your own)
All of this is needed. We're there for it. We need it all, and every one of us, for the long haul.
Thank you for everything you're continuing to do.