Special Elections have Special Powers

Support Progressive Candidates on the State and Local Level

Finally getting Massachusetts back on track as the progressive leader we once were is a project with many fronts—grassroots organizing, legislative pressure, and electoral change … We need to build a better, more progressive Beacon Hill. Not just in name, but in actual policy-making and priority-setting.

To win on our issues: we need more legislators willing to stand up to the forces in the system that have pulled our policy too far to the right.


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CAUCUSES: a chance to lean on the system

From our friends in the Progressive Needham chapter, a useful graphic on caucuses--and, below, some suggestions about how one might organize/engage to affect the electoral landscape


From February 3 to March 4, local Democratic town and ward committees across the state will be holding caucuses to elect delegates to the 6/2 Mass Dems Convention

Find your caucus location here: massdems.org/convention/2018-caucus-dates

Caucuses are one of the opportunities activists, organizers, and regular ol' concerned citizens have to exert some pressure on a "machine" (the electoral and Political Party apparatus).

By attending your caucus, you can vote for progressive delegates, and/or run as one yourself.

Bring the Progressive Mass Endorsement Questionnaires for Governor to your caucus (and, as they come in, those for for other statewide candidates). "Who are you supporting for Governor?" is going to be a popular topic of discussion! It's a great resources to share, browse during the boring bits, and give you material to ask follow-up questions. 

Check in with your Progressive Mass chapter and fellow members to ask if the group wants to organize for your Caucus. (There may already be a plan. If there isn't, offer to help get one started! Turn great ideas into action!). 

Below are some broad suggestions to get started on electoral work, in addition to Caucusing, whether on your own or with a group.


ongoing! - AMPLIFY/ADVOCATE:Use our materials materials (questionnaire, platform, agenda) to frame discussions and debates. Ask candidates follow-up questions. Raise issues you’re not hearing enough about. Remember, before you give your support,a candidate has a great incentive (trying to earn it!) to hear out your questions and concerns!  

ongoing! - ORGANIZE/EDUCATE your Community on progressive issues (including,sharing materials like questionnaire, platform, agenda). Work with your PM Chapter to host candidate andissue forums (volunteer to be organizational lead! great ideas need people to turn into action!).

soon - PM ENDORSEMENT: By joining together in endorsements as an organization, our members increase all of our voices/power, individually,locally, and as a progressive movement. Our endorsement is comprised of individuals’votes. Weigh your vote thoughtfully. Organize other members for the candidate you believe is the best candidate (or for non-endorsement, should that be your conclusion).

feb. 3-mar.4—DELEGATES & CAUCUSES: Run for delegate. Support delegates who caucus for progressiveplatform/issues, organize caucuses for candidates/issues you value as progressive. Once delegates are elected, reach out to yours: work to persuade them to vote for PM-endorsed candidates at convention.

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When Candidates Are on a Listening Tour, Give Them Something to Listen To

TL;DR: Start thinking about what you want in a progressive governor, and start questioning and pressuring candidates and prospective candidates before committing.


One year from now, Democrats across the state will have elected delegates to go to the state party convention where gubernatorial candidates will vie with each other for the party’s endorsement.

The primary field is not settled yet—there’s some time to go, and candidates may yet emerge.

But, already, candidates and prospective candidates have begun listening tours--speaking at local caucuses, at house parties, at activist events.

When the field is settled, Progressive Massachusetts will invite all candidates to fill out our detailed candidate questionnaire, as we did in 2014. (questionnaires from past races are here.)

We will ask tough questions about where they stand on the key elements of our Progressive Platform--shared prosperity, racial and social justice, open government and strong democracy, and sustainable infrastructure and environmental protection--and the Legislative Agenda that seeks to translate principles into policy.

And once they fill out those questionnaires, YOU--our grassroots members--will get to vet them and get to decide whom we endorse.

No smoke-filled rooms, just grassroots democracy.

But, the member endorsement is still a way off.

In the interim -- what can you do to strengthen the field and ensure the boldest progressive platform is being talked about at every coffee, every house party? 


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