Keeping up the Momentum – Report from Acton It’s Up to Us

Written by Tom Dionesotes

On a snowy Saturday afternoon, activists from across the Middlesex & Worcester district gathered together to connect, share their experiences from the campaign, and to start the conversation about the kind of progressive change we need on Beacon Hill and in Washington, DC. Longtime activist Tom Michelman generously opened up his home in Acton for our meeting.

While we all worked hard on the coordinated 2012 campaign, the biggest take-away from the meeting is that we want to keep the momentum going!

There were many familiar faces in the crowd along with some new ones, so we went around the room and introduced ourselves.

We shared our personal stories and meaningful moments from the 2012 campaign. These ranged from seeing high school and college students get involved in politics for the first time in their lives, to whole communities of senior citizens  that people thought were conservative but ended up strongly supporting Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and other candidates on the issues.

Next, we opened up the floor to an in-detail election debrief. There was lots of praise for the coordinated campaign and strong Get-Out-the-Vote effort that resulted in a record voter turnout of over 73%!

What Went Well:

Coordination among all the campaigns went smoothly, and activists from different towns came together to support each other in key precincts and cities during GOTV

Our local campaign office was a valuable resource for organizing and a common space that helped create strong bonds between staff, team leaders, and volunteers.

We won! Strong new progressives elected around the state, and the country.

Areas to improve:

How can we get better at organizing? Can we really know which organizing and voter contact tactics worked, and where? Need for feedback and metrics.

Effective training for volunteers early on, not just around GOTV.

Quicker way to plug people into their local office, and get the word out that the Boston-area HQ is the only place to volunteer for the campaign.

What’s next?.

Senator Jamie Eldridge noted that it’s critical to have a movement of progressives to always be pushing the envelope and holding elected leaders accountable. We as progressives can’t rest on our laurels after an election- the fight continues as the conversation turns to legislation and policy.

We collected feedback and had a conversation about the issues and policies we felt passionate about and we could make a difference on.

Issues: Massachusetts

New revenue for MA- across the board, not just MBTA and transportation related.

Foreclosure and housing reform/

Election reform, with a special emphasis on reducing the long lines at the polls.

Anticorruption and governance reform

Prison reform

Issues: Federal

Elizabeth Warren on Senate Banking Committee- our wish came true!

Fiscal cliff- changing the conversation away from “cuts and deficit reduction” towards “jobs and helping real people”.

Filibuster reform in the US Senate, to break some of the gridlock.

Next steps- we pledged to:

Stay connected! Both locally, and with like-minded progressives across Massachusetts. Connect on common issue we’re passionate about.

Stay informed! We’re collecting feedback on compact for a true commonwealth, to make sure progressives are on the same page to push forward a unified agenda for the next legislative session

Take action! Write letters to the editor in support of Filibuster reform, need for Washington to resolve the Fiscal cliff without inflicting painful cuts on those who have already suffered the most in this recession, and to support fair taxation for the wealthiest Americans.

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