Vote Yes on Question 1, Yes on Question 2

Election Day is just twelve days away. Can you believe it?

On your ballot statewide here in Massachusetts, you'll see two ballot questions.

 

YES on Question 1: Right to Repair  🚙🚙

In 2012, Massachusetts voted for a Right to Repair ballot initiative that required automobile manufacturers to provide non-proprietary diagnostic information as well as safety information directly to consumers so that they can choose who repairs their car (rather than being dependent on the manufacturer itself). Technology has advanced in the past eight years, and Question 1 updates the legislative compromise that resulted from the 2012 ballot initiative accordingly. Curbing monopoly power and protecting consumers is a win for all of us.

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YES on Question 2: Ranked Choice Voting 🗳🗳

Our first-past-the-post system forces ordinary voters to weigh whether they can vote for their preferred candidate or whether doing so would lead to a “spoiler effect” that gives a candidate they like less a clearer path to victory. This same dynamic can lead candidates and their supporters to try to force similar candidates out of a race due to a fear of “vote splitting.” 

Within the current system, the ultimate winner may command less than a majority support, a contradiction of a basic tenet of democracy and a far too common occurrence in Massachusetts elections. We have some of the least competitive elections in the country, and candidates can win with small pluralities and then stay in office for decades. Ranked Choice Voting would eliminate these problems by enabling voters to rank the order of their preferences on the ballot and ensuring that whoever wins does so with majority support. 

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📢Find opportunities to volunteer with Yes on 2 here. 📢

📢Join Ayanna Pressley for a phone bank for Yes on 2 next Monday at 5:30 pm. 📢

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Here's What You Can Do This Week for Civil Rights & Housing Stability

It's been quite the 24 hours. And if you're like us, you're thinking, "How can I take action, including right here in Massachusetts?"

Here are some ways.

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These Bills Passed in July. Why Are They Still in Conference Committee?

In July, the MA House and MA Senate both passed police reform bills (of varying ambition). And the House passed a climate bill (the Senate had done so back in January).

In each case, there are six-member committees of state senators and state representatives ("conference committees") working to come up with a final bill.

So where are they?

The short answer: We don't know.

The long answer: Conference committees are incredibly secretive processes. But the more your legislators hear from you about the need for the strongest bills possible on both fronts, the better the odds are that we will see better final products -- or any final bills at all.

Can you contact your state legislators this weekend with four key asks for each bill?

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2020 Primary Election Debrief

Tuesday's primary broke records, with more than 1.5 million people casting ballots. By contrast, fewer than 1 million people voted in the 2018 state primaries.

What accounts for the difference? A hotly contested Senate race drove turnout for sure. But a major driver was the expansion of vote-by-mail and early voting, which alerted more people to the fact that an election was even happening and made it easier for them to participate. As the next legislative session nears, it will be important to make these reforms not just a pandemic-induced one-off but a part of how we do elections in Massachusetts.

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Vote for Ed Markey and Downballot Progressives!

You may have already voted, but we're sure that even if you have, you still know people who haven't yet.

TOMORROW -- Tuesday, September 1st -- is the last day to cast your ballot for the primary.

Polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm. Find your polling location at wheredoivotema.com. (Note: Some polling locations have changed, so make sure to double check.)

If you still have your mail-in ballot, the best thing to do would be to drop your ballot off at the secure dropbox in your city/town. You need to do so by 8 pm tomorrow (the earlier, the better). You can find dropbox locations here. You cannot drop your mail-in ballot at a polling location tomorrow instead, but you can still vote in-person if you have not submitted your mail-in ballot.

Check if your mail-in ballot has been processed here. If it has not been, you can still vote in-person.

If you have any issues casting a ballot, or see clear issues like long lines or closed polling places, call the Election Protection Hotline: 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

 

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The Primary Is Just Over Half Weeks Away. Here Are Some New Endorsements.

The Massachusetts primary is just over two weeks away. We've made some endorsements already this spring and summer, and we're ready to announce a few more.

Do you have questions about voting safely this fall? Check out SafeElectionsMA.org.

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One Month Until Primary Day: Our New State Legislative Endorsements

The Massachusetts state primary is just one month away: Tuesday, September 1st. And the general election just three months and two days.

The basics for getting prepared for the next month:

But beyond just being registered, we want you to be informed. Read questionnaires from candidates running for State Legislature across the state here.

There are a lot of questionnaires, so we decided to break up our endorsements into multiple batches as in years past.

Our Elections Committee reviewed questionnaires, spoke with allies, and made recommendations for our second round of endorsements, and then our members voted.

And we're proud to endorse the following candidates, who will be progressive champions in the MA House and Senate.

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Will Any True Reform Have Taken Place?

Dear Conference Committee Members,


I am writing today as the chair of the Issues Committee and Secretary of the Board of Progressive Massachusetts, a statewide grassroots progressive advocacy

We urge you to the inclusion of the following provisions in a final bill, We would specifically note that without strengthening the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act and limiting qualified immunity, most other reforms in the bill will fail to deliver on their promise. If our legal system continues to allow police officers to violate the basic constitutional rights of Massachusetts residents, especially those who are Black or Brown, with impunity, then little if any "reform" will have taken place.
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Fight for Housing Justice & Immigration Justice

On Monday, the House voted on key housing amendments to its economic development bill.

State reps overwhelmingly ignored housing justice activists, voting AGAINST allowing municipalities to impose real estate transfer fees to combat speculation and raise money for affordable housing, AGAINST allowing municipalities to pass rent-stabilizing regulations, and AGAINST making it easier for municipalities to pass inclusionary zoning ordinances.

Some of these state reps -- embarrassingly -- voted against the text of bills they co-sponsored earlier in the session.

Was your representative one of the few who stood up for housing justice? Find out here.

The Senate will be taking up its version of an economic development bill tomorrow, so that means there is another opportunity to fight for housing justice and immigration justice.

Can you call your senators in support of the following amendments? 

 

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Fight for the Strongest Police Reform Bill

House and Senate Leadership have appointed a conference committee to reconcile their respective bills. The conference committee -- Sen. Brownsberger, Sen. Sonia Chang Diaz, Sen. Tarr, Rep. Cronin, Rep. Gonzalez, and Rep. Whelan -- will work on a consensus bill, which will have to be voted on and then sent to the Governor.

Please urge your legislators and Governor Charlie Baker to support the strongest bill possible.

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