Make Sure You Vote in the State Primary Election on Sept. 4th!
If you won't be able to vote at the polls on Sept. 4th (the day after Labor Day), absentee ballots are now available from town or city clerks. You can vote in person at the clerk's office now or if you're away, you can download an application for an absentee ballot that you can mail to your local election office here. While the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is Friday, August 31st, the Secretary of State's office recommends you apply as soon as possible to ensure that you receive your ballot in time to mail, email, or fax it back to your local elections office by 8pm on Sept. 4th. There are many contested races for congressional, state, and county offices this September. See the Spotlight section below to get more information about the candidates.
And go HERE to see more actions for this week!
Summer Activism: Help Flip Congress!
It may be the dog days of summer, but we aren't resting. Our first three Summer Activism events have been both productive and fun - we've mailed hundreds of VoteByMail forms to voters in Mikie Sherrill's district (NJ-11), phonebanked for Danny O'Connor who's running for Congress in the OH-12 special election on August 7th, and sent out postcards in support of Lauren Underwood (IL-14).
Make plans to join us for the final Summer Activism event this week!
This Thursday, August 9th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm our final session of the summer will be at Michelle Olson's home in Lexington, where we'll continue to postcard, phonebank, and text for our candidates - join us! Please bring a pen, a donation of business-size envelopes, a donation of first class stamps, your phone and earbuds, and your laptop or tablet. RSVP here.
Supporting Tom Malinowski's Congressional Campaign (NJ-07)
On July 31st, several MI members attended Force Multiplier's reception for congressional candidate Tom Malinowski, a former State Department official, human rights expert, and whistle blower on Russian meddling who is running to oust a vulnerable GOP incumbent, Leonard Lance, in the NJ-07 race. In addition to learning about Tom's impressive background, we also got to hear from Rep. Katherine Clark and Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the UN. You can read about Tom's positions on issues including Defending Democracy, Protecting our National Security, and Corruption here and use this link to donate to his campaign.
Making a Difference at the State Legislature
On August 1, Indivisible MA held its monthly phone call and Senator Jamie Eldridge provided a legislative session roundup. He was pleased to report that a lot of good legislation was passed: criminal justice reform, automatic voter registration, a modest clean energy bill, a minimum wage increase, a civics bill, and more. He said that it was the most productive session in the last 10 years and indicated that Indivisible groups contributed to that success. We're proud of the hard work done by our members over the past 18 months and look forward to working with you to help advance progressive issues in the next legislative session.
As you can see from the items below, there were also some key disappointments. The legislature failed to even hold a vote on the Safe Communities Act or pass other protections for immigrants; the benchmark study of single payer healthcare died in conference committee when the House and Senate were unable to agree on a comprehensive healthcare bill before the session ended; and we share the concerns expressed in this article that the clean energy provisions that were passed did not go far enough to protect our climate. As of press time, key legislation such as the automatic voter registration bill still needs the Governor's signature before it can become law. Over the next few months, we'll be turning our attention to working with you to elect legislators and other officials that will fight for our priorities
Lobbying at the State House: SOS Climate Disaster Vigil and Rally
Members of MI's Climate & Environment team joined other activists at the State House on July 26th to lobby for strong climate protections in the bill that was being negotiated by the conference committee appointed to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. We met with Senator Barrett's staff, held 'vigils' outside all 6 of the climate conference members' offices, and spoke with House Speaker Deleo's staff. Despite a heavy rain, we were very visible inside and outside the State House. While some modest measures were included in the final bill, we will be continuing to lobby for stronger provisions in the next legislative session.
Mourning our Legislators' Moral Failure to Protect Immigrants
After the Legislature failed to include the protections for immigrants passed by the Senate in the State Budget, several of our members participated in a vigil at the State House to highlight legislators' lack of action and moral courage. We observed a moment of silence, heard from faith leaders and immigrants, and then helped deliver letters with black ribbons to legislators to decry their lack of support. A few legislators, including Lexington Rep. Jay Kaufman, attended the event and others met with us to express their support for our efforts when we delivered letters to their offices.
SPOTLIGHT ON STATE PRIMARY RACES
There are many contested races in the MA primary election on Tuesday Sept. 4th - use the links below to find our more about the candidates who are running. The Morning Coffee Actions section also has information on how to see sample ballots for your district, check or update your voter registration before the August 15th deadline, or request an absentee ballot.
Information on all State Primary Races
The MA Secretary of State's Office has a listing of all the candidates on the primary ballot here and the Massachusetts League of Women Voters will be publishing a guide on its website soon with information on candidates' stances, endorsements, and responses to questions - you can sign up to be notified when it's available using this link.
Some voters have tuned out the gubernatorial primary races given Governor Baker's strong poll numbers, huge campaign war chest, and the impression created by his smiling photo-ops and reluctance to talk about controversial issues that "he's a nice guy" who deserves to be re-elected. However, he's also been instrumental in helping to elect extremely conservative legislators and thwarting the passage of legislation such as the Safe Communities Act. Check out this Baker Dossier to find out what actions his administration has actually taken and where he stands. Read up on a favorite issue or two and share what you've learned with progressive friends who are thinking of voting for Baker. Still trying to decide whether Jay Gonzalez or Bob Massie would be the best challenger in the race - you can listen to the two candidates debate on this Boston Herald radio show last week.
Middlesex County District Attorney and Governor's Council Races
Since most of our members live in Middlesex County, we want to shine a spotlight on the candidates running for these two offices that are often overlooked. If you missed the excellent candidates debate in Arlington last month, you can watch the video featuring the candidates for both races here.
This article highlights some of the differences between the two Middlesex District Attorney candidates - challenger Donna Patalano and incumbent Marian Ryan, while the MA ACLU "What a Difference a DA Makes" website explains why this office is important. Wonder what the Governor's Council actually does? Check out this resource from BallotPedia. Our friends at Woburn Welcomes have posted the responses to their detailed questionnaire from both Governor's Council candidates: challenger Nick Carter and incumbent Marilyn Petitto Devaney.
State Legislative Races
We're not able to provide information on all of the races for State Senate and Representative, but our friends at Progressive Massachusetts have published responses to their questionnaire from candidates in many legislative races across the state. Because many of our members live in the 15th Middlesex District (Lexington and parts of Woburn), we've highlighted information about the candidates running to replace retiring Rep. Jay Kaufman below.
All five candidates are running in the Democratic primary; there are no candidates on the Republican or other ballots. You can watch a video of all the candidates answering questions about their positions on key issues at Rep. Kaufman's Open House forum in late June or read their responses to Woburn Welcomes questionnaire here. All five candidates have websites, where you can learn more about their positions and find opportunities to meet them between now and election day; we also list links to videos interviews with four of the candidates from a program on Lexington's local cable station.
Michelle Ciccolo: Website, Interview
Matthew Cohen: Website, Interview
Joe Lahiff: Website, Interview
Mary Ann Stewart: Website, Interview
William Sweeney: Website
State primaries often have low turnout and races can be decided by just a few votes. Please take a few minutes to learn about the candidates in these important races and make plans to VOTE on Sept. 4th!
Swing Left Weekly Newsletter
Swing Left Greater Boston has begun sending out a weekly newsletter that highlights the work being done by lots of local groups, including ours, to help flip the House. See this week's issue to learn about local events, canvassing opportunities in neighboring states, and much more!