After Marching, Another Step

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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. 

This week, we are releasing our 2017-18 Legislative Agenda, and we will be asking progressives to make some noise about how Massachusetts should become a leader again in bold progressive policy. 

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:

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In the Dark, Undoing the Voters' Will

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On November 8, almost 54 percent of voters in the Commonwealth voted to legalize recreational marijuana, an important step in advancing social and racial justice and combating over-policing and mass incarceration. However, yesterday, in a special session, without any public hearings or public notice, 7 legislators were able to postpone the opening date for recreational marijuana stores by six months, creating a limbo situation in which possession is legal but retail is not.

 

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On Question 2 the Voters Have Spoken. Is Beacon Hill Getting the Message?

I know that most of us here in Massachusetts are still reeling from the results of the Presidential election, but I feel compelled to share some thoughts on the outcome of the vote to raise the cap on charter schools.

On one hand I am delighted by the result of the vote. The voters of Massachusetts have spoken and they absolutely oppose any attempt to expand charters at the expense of traditional school districts. But on the other hand, I am utterly outraged at what the corporate education reformers have put our kids, our teachers and our school districts through over the last ten years given how little electoral support we now know that these champions of privatization have across the state.

Clear Message to MA Legislature

Consider this: Question 2 only passed in 16 out of 351 communities in the Commonwealth.

  • Seven of these communities are located in one single state rep’s district on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.
  • The other nine are spread across six other state rep districts.
  • And the only other district where a majority of voters voted 'yes' is in Education Committee Chair Alice Peisch's district in Metro West.

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(click here for larger image; click here for original image source at WBur/Edify)

This means that the 'yes' side only carried two of the 160 state rep districts in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. It was even defeated by a 2 to 1 margin in Speaker DeLeo's district of Winthrop/Revere.

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