Last week, on the steps of the State House, Progressive Mass proudly endorsed Don Berwick for Governor. While there are many qualified candidates for governor, Don has articulated a unique, progressive vision for economic prosperity for all, universal health care, combating global warming, and reducing poverty and homelessness. He is the only Democrat in the race to oppose casino gambling in Massachusetts, speak out unequivocally in support of a progressive income tax, and to advocate for single-payer healthcare. He is running an inspiring, grassroots campaign that has fully embraced liberal values.
Don Berwick is not only the strongest progressive in the race, he is also the strongest Democrat to take on Charlie Baker in November. But don’t take my word for it: recent history shows that when an outsider Democrat expresses a clear progressive vision, we can win. This is how both Deval Patrick and Elizabeth Warren ran and won, and Don Berwick is poised to do the same.
At our Policy Conference in April, house parties, issue forums and candidates’ debates across the state, Progressive Massachusetts members have seen first hand how Don Berwick’s message and vision inspires. And we have consistently heard from activists that in our candidate questionnaires, Don demonstrated the most comprehensive understanding of the issues facing the Commonwealth, and articulated the strongest plan to address them. That’s why our members gave over 70% of their votes to endorse Don Berwick---an incredible showing with five candidates.
Don’s campaign organization is also impressive. Because of his national leadership on healthcare for over 25 years, including most recently as President Obama’s head of Medicare and Medicaid, his donor base is robust and deep. He has had consistently strong fundraising numbers, including significantly out-raising the other candidates May 1-15 (Berwick raised $105,143.24 in the first half of May, compared with $44,815.36 by Grossman, $68,760.87 by Coakley, and $40,606.88 by Kayyem).
Don Berwick’s campaign structure shows a sound understanding of grassroots strategy: empowering volunteer leadership, developing statewide grassroots strength and hiring enthusiastic, skilled and diverse staff. We know this investment in the grassroots will yield a strong showing at the convention. With strong progressive support, we see Berwick’s campaign expanding its place on the electorate’s radar and we know that when voters hear about his vision and plans, they get on board.
Finally, as a movement-based organization, Progressive Mass believes that Don will remain strongly connected to the grassroots as Governor. I am proud of the role our staff, members and volunteers have played in advocating for an increase in the minimum wage, earned sick time, comprehensive election reform and fair taxation, while also working to elect progressive legislators, such as Senators Linda Dorcena Forry and Jason Lewis and Representatives Mary Keefe and Jay Livingstone, to move the Legislature to the left. Deval Patrick ended 16 years of Republican control of the corner office and charted a progressive course that helped us weather a global recession as strong as any state in the country, but there remains so much more work to be done in Massachusetts. Don Berwick is the best candidate to take the helm and lead us in the next 4 years.
Join us in supporting Don Berwick as a member of Progressive Mass, please visit [progressivemass.com/membership] and become a member! Together, we can move the Commonwealth forward.
A version of this blog first appeared at Blue Mass Group, and it generated terrific discussion in the comments section. Check it out and join the conversation!