Help Us Start off 2020 Strong

Optimism! It’s a word we don’t hear much of these days. But, friends, we can be optimistic because, despite all the bad news we receive daily, together we are doing good work and making progress. 

With your help, we are making Massachusetts legislators fulfill our state’s progressive promise. Chapters working in unison bring pressure to legislators. Progressive Mass working in unison with ally organizations to coordinate and amplify brings even more pressure. Organized activism - multi-issue and single-vision - is necessary to counter big money, deeply-rooted prejudice, and legislative inertia. Organized action is also necessary to counter the angst and anxiety we all feel!

Our success is driven by small, monthly donations. Donate today to help our 2020 push to make Massachusetts a leader on progressive policy.

 

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We can be optimistic because we are part of a movement bringing ideas, pressure, and action on legislation for:

  • fair pay for all workers
  • more equitably funded education for children
  • roads and transit systems so people can get to work safely
  • voting systems that protect democracy in all neighborhoods
  • healthcare and housing justice for everyone in our communities
  • a legal system that doesn’t criminalize poverty and mental illness
  • a tax code that prioritizes healthy sustainable communities over short-term gains for corporations

However, Massachusetts state government is not as progressive as its residents or its reputation. Did you know our “correctional” system holds people in solitary confinement for up (per infraction!), that many states are ahead of us on advancing voting rights and due process for immigrants, on improving housing access and taking climate action?

But we're pushing back and trying to make that reputation and reality align. We’ve accomplished a lot over the past year and have so much more to do. We need the financial support of generous, committed activists like you so we can continue to organize and bring pressure on the issues that are so important to all of us. 

Can we count on you to help us start off strong in 2020 by making a donation to Progressive Massachusetts today?

 

Building Our Advocacy Muscle

Progressive Mass was conceived based on two insights:

  • Massachusetts was not fulfilling its reputation as a progressive state because of entrenched interests that control Beacon Hill, particularly Leadership. 
  • Community members working on electoral politics to change this dynamic were not enough. Lurching from one campaign to the next, each campaign a kind of start-up personality cult, was not building political power to drive change. 

Progressive Mass was founded to conduct a sustained effort to:

  • Educate the public, demystify the State House, and teach people to be progressive lobbyists
  • Advocate for progressive legislation
  • Hold the legislature and its leadership to account for their actions
  • Endorse state-level candidates who show courage and commitment for progressive policies, even when challenging incumbents in primaries

In support of this effort Progressive Mass developed:

It’s been a lot of work, but together with coalition partners and thanks to your work and support we have had some hard-won success.

Fighting Legislative Inertia

We have had some real wins: a criminal justice reform bill more comprehensive than advocates expected, a $15 minimum wage, the strongest paid leave legislation in the country, Automatic Voter Registration, civil rights protections for the trans community, and fixing our 25-year-old funding formula for public education.

But, you might ask, why does it take a massive statewide effort of signature gathering and a referendum to get a minimum wage and paid family medical leave in a progressive state like Massachusetts? Why is our Legislature less transparent than other legislatures around the country? Why is all this so hard? 

Whether legislation has been shelved, stalled, slowed down, or finally reached success, we have:

  • Revealed the problems with our state government, its lack of transparency and effectiveness and exposed unsupportive legislators and leadership. This growing awareness is an asset to our movement.
  • And just as important, you have developed the muscle of advocacy, building networks and alliances, informing our people, growing and gaining grassroots power – a power based on the solidarity to oppose injustice and change the system. 

Holding Candidates' Feet to the Fire

Progressive policy requires progressive elected officials. As one of the only advocacy groups in the state to make our questionnaires public, we help inform voters and provide activists with a tool to hold future legislators accountable. As with our other efforts, our questionnaires are multi-issue and single-vision. And our chapters are doing the same at the local level, creating parallel multi-issue questionnaires, getting candidates on the record and changing the debate about the future of their cities and towns.

And It's Working

So it’s working, all that you are doing to build strength at the local level builds strength for Progressive Mass as an organization. Every event builds your political power. Every voter conversation, every door knocked, every lobby day, every new member drive increases not only our political power, but the power of our allies and the power of the movement for justice in this state, this country.

So be optimistic, and be good to each other. There is no liberation without community and we need each other if we are to win. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win. We are at the fight and win part, and we need YOU in the fight.  Progress!

Onwards to 2020

2020 will be an important year. And it can be a progressive year. 2020 can be the year that Massachusetts stands up for our immigrant communities and passes the Safe Communities Act. It can be the year where we take bold, sweeping action on climate change. It can be the year that we finally allow voters to register on Election Day--and improve those elections with ranked choice voting. It can be the year that we start treating health care and housing as basic human rights. And it can be the year that we finally fix the T (and every other public transit system). 

But That Can't Happen without Your Support

Progressive Mass relies on your financial support. With your help, we will launch more chapters to pressure more legislators, host more community forums, and expand our accountability tools and outreach.   

Can we count on you to make a donation today, or even better, become a recurring donor? Help us start off strong in 2020! 

 

Thank you for all you do,

Caroline Bays, Andrew "Gumby" Breton, Jonathan Cohn, John Kirk, Mohammed Missouri, Rachel Poliner, and Maryann Wattendorf -- The PM Board

 

PS: We want to hear your suggestions and ideas. We hope you will join us for our 2020 Annual Meeting and Community Forum on March 28th. Reach out to us at grassroots@progressivemass.com.


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