Many of our activist member volunteers work with the Democratic party, a fundamental principle of our point of view is that the Democratic party—especially in Massachusetts—needs to be pulled, and sometimes pushed, to the left. While the Democratic ideals are on the whole worthwhile, the actual practice of governing has not yielded progressive policy:
- Massachusetts does not have paid family and medical leave
- Massachusetts has been chronically underfunding education from pre-K to higher-ed.
- Massachusetts does not have single-payer health care, or even a plan to move in that direction
- Massachusetts has a criminal justice system that replicates the racial injustices seen in other states
- Massachusetts is not a “sanctuary” or “safe community” state
- Massachusetts has undergone a series of devastating budget cuts for years, to accommodate a tax structure that gives the wealthiest a discount at everyone else’s expense
- Massachusetts has underinvested in public transit for decades
Engaging in the Platform hearings process can help ensure that the stated, written principles of the Party which holds a veto-proof supermajority in both houses of the Legislature, is as boldly progressive as possible. And it is one of the means by which activists can start to build change “from the ground up” and “from inside.”
However, we must again stress that the Platform is but a promise that has been broken again and again at a legislative level. It’s not enough to craft a strong progressive platform. We need to hold Democratic Legislators to fighting for them.
This is why in addition to our progressive plank recommendations, we ask you to use our Legislative Agenda, which has identified current bills in the 2017-2018 legislative session that would move our Commonwealth in the direction of fulfilling the promises of a strong Platform.
If the Party platform is the promise, the legislation we’ve identified are real, viable steps to fulfilling them.
And, we need to keep organizing, building our capacity as an engaged, progressive electorate. One of the biggest parts of politics is just showing up at the right moments. Attend hearings, town halls, and other events in your community--not just to speak your mind, but to connect with neighbors. The fights we face are vast and complex, and we will need strength and endurance and organizing for the long game: we must find allies, organize and work together. Progressive Mass has chapters and community groups all over MA, connecting and organizing, too; building progressive power through grassroots organizing, issue education and electoral/legislative activism is central to our mission. Become a member, connect, sign up! progressivemass.com/signup.
MORE ACTION STEPS
- LEGISLATIVE AGENDA: Organize your community to launch an advocacy campaign for our legislative agenda: ProgressiveMass.com/agenda
- DIRECT ADVOCACY: In May, join us at our lobby day -- everyday citizen activists will be meeting with legislators to advocate in person for the Legislative Agenda and the ideals in a progressive platform: ProgressiveMass.com/lobbyday
- ON-GOING ENGAGEMENT: To be alerted to legislative advocacy opportunities, please sign up at ProgressiveMass.com/signup
- CAMPAIGN FOR THE ISSUES: Be a part of the campaigns for the “Millionaire’s Tax,” Paid Family and Medical Leave, $15 minimum wage, Safe Communities, Criminal Justice Reforms; we help members and chapters plug into these campaigns in their communities. Plug in with our chapters or let us know you want to help: ProgressiveMass.com/chapters and ProgressiveMass.com/volunteer