Focused Strategies set for our band of proven activists
as we march (or cycle) toward 2020

Hello Marching Forward Mass Activists

Hoping you are enjoying some Summertime fun with family and friends. We have been restoring and regrouping to be ready for some special elections and then 2020.

Several of our leaders gathered together last week to finalize our strategies with the guidance of Peter Fenn, an experienced D.C. based Democratic Strategist and Summertime Westport, MA resident.

Overall MFM goals/timing are to :

  • Step out of BLUE MA as we did successfully for 2018 Mid terms

  • Target upcoming elections strategically (VA State legislature, Fall, 2019)

  • Defend and add to Congress, win Senate and Presidential races, flip State legislatures to defend against gerrymandering.

  • ME is our key State for all four targets (President, Senate, and ME02, Jared Golden, and the State legislature).

  • NJ 03 Andy Kim

  • Concentrate on Presidential Battleground State of PA in selected Districts

Short term, Fall 2019, we have narrowed our sights on Virginia as VA is one of only four states electing a legislature in 2019 and the only one that is flippable. We are connected with two activist groups in VA: NOPE Neighbors who are supporting twelve candidates ( and 31st St Swing Left ( supports six candidates. Candidates need funding early in a campaign's cycle and that timing is now. PLEASE check out candidates detailed on both sites and give to those who appeal to you. Sites have easy donation buttons and recap of campaigns and candidates. For general overview on VA status check out

Additional tactics for VA contests will be coordinated with campaigns for post Labor Day actions. Tactics will include Post carding (We are so good at this!), social media sharing/tracking and canvassing for those who want to join us in VA.

Our leader Nancy Train Smith will host a group meeting on August 29, 6-7:30 PM 17 Wadsworth Ln, South Dartmouth, when we will discuss Fall 2019 VA actions and an overview of 2020 plans for execution. In mid October we will host a launch event detailing our longer range plans with team leaders announced and sign ups ready. Know that all actions count -- from postcard writing, to fundraising, to spreading candidates messages to knocking on doors in Districts -- it takes all of this to affect political change. We know it, We have done it, and we are ready to go.

Let’s make 2016 a distant memory.

Pattie Garrahy

Ready, Set, 2020!

Hello fellow political activists


As we ready to launch events and actions building to 2020, we want to be sure that we are reaching you.  We moved from plain old email to Mailchimp software and have lost some or worse yet end up in spam folders.  PLEASE clear us so we can organize together.  We NEVER share email addresses and our communication is crisp and focused.  We’ve written instructions on how to add Marching Forward emails to your contact list. This prevents our emails from ending up in your spam folder. The directions are very simple and can be found here.


I find during these unprecedented times it is reassuring to band together with like-minded friends, neighbors, colleagues and mentors to form thoughtful and actionable political strategies to affect change.  Since January 2017, Marching Forward Mass has become a community for our collective voices and actions to make a difference.

Following midterms where we focused on four "swing districts", in addition to state and local work, we took a collective breather (we all need one!). Our targeted work was hard, FUN, enriching and successful.  Three of our four candidates swung their Congressional District blue and they are now part of the most diverse Congress in our history.  We are now regrouping to establish strategies as we gear up for 2020.


We are all bombarded by campaigns, political action group and causes. Although well intended, it is an onslaught. A reminder that Marching Forward is a group of Pragmatic Progressives from the South Coast of Massachusetts.  We number 400+ strong. Many of us are deeply engaged in actions, some are interested in attending meetings, others are active postcard/letter writers, others travel to crucial districts to register and canvass and some even donate housing for our volunteers in such districts. We choose actions that make a difference. During Mid Term Elections we saw this in increased engagement with issues such as Healthcare, Immigration, Journalism and Environment. At our core, we are political activists. Our convictions are expressed at the voting booths across our nation.  This is our power.


We are NOT a PAC and do not raise money for campaigns.  We DO gather together to determine best actions for us to undertake given our bandwidth, experiences and intentions. 

Soon we will announce our plans building up to 2020.  It's early now  yet we are planning to concentrate on key must win states winning all "houses". These states are determined based upon analysis of Senate race potential change, previous Presidential voting and gerrymandering impact.   The White House, Senate, Congress, State House and State Legislature are all essential.  This is a concentrated and deep approach where we focus efforts from voter registration (postcards, emailing), to social media and canvassing/physical presence in districts.


Please "clear us" if need be for communication.  Many of you have asked how friends can join. Just send our website link - - and ask them to complete the form and join us. We look forward to continuing our political action work together.

All my best,

Pattie Garrahy-Robertson

This IS what Democracy looks like!

MARCHING FORWARD MASS leaders, members, friends and neighbors.  WOW, what a group of activists! This is a LONG blogpost but we have lots to say and we hope you enjoy reading.  Please send thoughts and comments to

From our start in January 2017 as we returned from Marches across our nation (and world), we came together to form strategies as a positive and pragmatic path forward during the most volatile political times in many of our collective memories.  

We gathered friends and neighbors from the South Coast to decide on best practices for our nascent group.  We aligned with Indivisible Guide together with Sister Organizations in regions within the State of MA. First, we formed HUDDLE groups around key areas requiring protective actions:  Healthcare, Immigration, (Protection of) Honest Journalism, Political Actions and Environment. We huddled in subgroups and "rolled up" into our combined MFM (Marching Forward Mass) group to gain knowledge, share learnings and form actions.  Speakers included Helena DaSilva Hughes with State Senator Chris Markey (Immigration), Paul Feeney, newly announced MA State Senate Candidate and now State Senator (Foxboro) and Tad Devine (Al Gore, Bernie Sanders National Campaign Consultant) with Scott Lang, Attorney and former Mayor of New Bedford, as well as Michael ROCHA MD , who spoke with our Healthcare Huddle on moving to Healthcare for All.  We closed the year with a forum for constituents with our U.S. Congressman Bill Keating and our Journalism Huddle hosted an evening with Charles Sennett, The Ground Truth Project.

We have deepened long term friendships, made new friends and welcomed many new residents to our towns seeking like minded political activists looking to affect positive change.To enable this our website,, provides our home base for communication, outreach and database management.  450 interested citizens follow us on our Facebook page. All of this "funded" by volunteers and a donation jar passed at meetings and events*.

Early last Spring, we turned our attentions to the essential Midterm Elections, November 6, 2018.  We first attended an Indivisible Guide conference in Worcester, MA and then met with a partner IG (Indivisible Guide) team in Weston, MA who are expert at tracking data on candidates in "swing regions" of our country. We learned that Congressional seats were the most likely to benefit from our actions.  Our leaders met together to form strategies: First, we decided that we wanted to "step out of our Blue state" with attention on Congressional Campaigns in regions close enough to travel to at Canvassing time. We launched our "ADOPT A CANDIDATE" program in April and backed our first Candidate Conor Lamb, PA 17.  Our list of candidates was sent to our full membership for online voting and four additional districts (some had primaries) were selected for focus and support: NJ03, ANDY KIM (in June, Mary Boger and Terry Cryan hosted a well attended breakfast at Mary's home in June with ANDY); NJ11 MIKIE SHERRILL, led by team leaders Laurie Bullard, Nancy Train Smith (who both grew up in the district) and John Bullard; ME02, JARED GOLDEN led by Vic Mailey, Bess Coughlin and Bettina Borders; and NY01, PERRY GERSHON led by Judy Jenkins, Barbara Trecker, Susan Kehoe and Rachel Lewis.

Each team expanded to include relatives, friends and neighbors to participate in each campaign's plan of attack.  Every team began by connecting to Campaign Directors to determine how we could best help. Tactics included postcard mailing, calling, texting, sending money (of course) and canvassing in districts. We were all so grateful for the generosity of TIME, resources and donated housing from the members of each team.  Many of us have now lived together, walked muddy roads together, discovered "minivan" software, had like-minded and vastly opposing political conversations, felt safe and unsafe but mostly purposeful in our attempt to contribute to the complex work of protecting our democracy, piece by piece. Working together with focus, purpose, passion and AN END DATE has been hard work and rewarding.  Mostly we agree that it has been spirited FUN.

The 2018 Midterm Election gave Democrats control of the House AND gains in Governorships and State Legislatures, too.  Democrats gained enough seats to deprive Republicans of super majorities in Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania and set a record for the number of single-party-controlled legislatures. Only Minnesota will be divided. The last time U.S. had only one divided legislature was in 1914. With final ballots counted, Democrats have achieved a total takeover of congressionals seats in the one-time Republican bastion of Orange County known as “Regan Country”).

Women have never held more than 84 of the 435 seats in the House. 100 Women, who are overwhelmingly Democrats, have been officially declared winners (net gain +4%) and it's not just numbers but a diverse group of women:  

  • MA and CT are the first to have African American Congresswomen;

  • Texas elected its first two Latina women;

  • Two Muslim women and two Native American Women will be part of our new Congress;

  • Two of the youngest women, both 29, were elected to Congress.

Our Adopted Candidates results:  

  • Perry Gershon, NY01: Our group, lead by Judy Jenkins, Barbara Trecker, Susan Kehoe and Rachel Lewis,  found campaign directors to be most responsive and eager for our engagement. Leaders led many of us with strong actions and thousands of postcards written for Perry.  The campaign was a very difficult race from the beginning as voters liked status quo in this very red, wealthy district believed to be enjoying tax breaks both corporate and individual. Further complicating this campaign was a population low in year round “millennials.”  Trump-like incumbent remains.

  • MIKIE SHERRILL, NJ11: Mikie is a strong candidate seeking a seat vacant due to retirement. Our group, led by Laurie Bullard, Nancy Train Smith (who both grew up in region) and John Bullard, found the Campaign well-staffed (both paid and volunteer), organized, and welcoming with progressive training from canvassing 101 on up.  John and Laurie spent time with Mikie’s father at a post-election party and Laurie received an email from Mikie post-election. Canvassers spent several (often rainy) weekends in the region.

  • ANDY KIM, NJ03: After accepting a very narrow win and a challenge of results, Andy was declared the winner a week following election. The campaign was very responsive and eager for “boots on the ground.”  Andy was well known to many of us as we were introduced and devotees after meeting him in our hometown in June. A band of activists led by Terry Cryan and Mary Boger rented a place in the NJ region together (dorm room anyone?) and knocked on hundreds of doors over a four day stay just prior to Election Day.  

  • JARED GOLDEN, ME02: After a nail biting challenge to “ranked choice voting” law, Jared Golden has been declared the winner in this very tight race.   Leaders Vic Mailey, Bess Coughlin and Bettina Borders spent seven weeks in this huge district with three contingencies. It is the largest Congressional District East of the Mississippi (28,000 Square Miles) and the 24th largest district overall.  Generous friends donated housing in multiple locations and several teams participated in sections and blocks of time. Rick Schnure hosted groups for canvassing in Mexico, Rumford and Bethel, Maine and Betsy Powell canvassed together with her sister through their childhood neighborhoods and surrounds. When I witnessed the campaign outpost being set up in Machias by Bettina, Vic and Bess, I realized how deeply embedded they were and how the campaign was so deeply grateful for their leadership, actions, organization, compassion and fight!  Vic says “In all the areas where South Coasters worked - Hancock, Oxford and Washington Counties - Democrats outperformed their showing in 2016”.

MIKIE SHERRILL, NJ11, ANDY KIM, NJ03 and JARED GOLDEN, ME02 now represent their constituents in the 116th U.S. CONGRESS!  

I am SO honored to have served by your sides as we took strategic actions together.  

We gathered many of our leaders together two days post-election day while several of our AAC races were still pending.  We shared stories and experiences. As I walked into my kitchen to join our activists, friends and neighbors, whom I know so much better now, I nearly burst into tears as EVERY PERSON in that room (and many who couldn’t make it on that particular night) would have been active in the Midterm elections in some shape or form.  What they, and many of you have said, is it is the sense of “community” in our group that unites us and forms a collaborative to form strategies and actions with spirit. Our “regional, neighborhood group” MARCHING FORWARD MASS is like SO MANY activist organizations that sprung up after the 2016 election. We are united as Indivisible Guide groups and part of the whole.  YUP. This IS what Democracy looks like.


So now.  We are taking a break to enjoy some wins and some family, holiday time.  We continue our cause and politically related actions on a local, statewide, regional and national basis.  We are reaching out to leaders in the Democratic Party and to activist groups that we may choose to join together with in the near future as we look ahead.  We know 2020 is just around the corner and we will be back in late January/early February with a Speaker forum and thoughts about “next”. Until then as we gather in thanks please plan to join us in 2019 as we MARCH FORWARD   


*Funds are used exclusively for website software fees and incidental meeting fees.

Local Action - Where to go, What to do

Local Action

There’s lots that we can do locally in this final week before the election.
Here’s contact information for two key organizers, along with more specifics below. Canvassing, phone calling, are much needed. Also, call if you want to volunteer to drive people to the polls, etc.

Shannon Morrell - local coordinator for all Democratic candidates

Lisa Lemieux - Vice Chair of the New Bedford Democratic Committee


Huge kudos to all of our Adopt A Candidate activists for their phone calling, letter writing, and canvassing on behalf of our chosen candidates in Maine, New York, and New Jersey!

There is also much that we can do to help locally. Please consider pitching in for a few hours or a few days, right here close to home.

Shannon Morrell is the local coordinator for all the Democratic candidates. She will enthusiastically welcome all who want to help. Their focus is on Get Out The Vote canvassing and phone banking.

To volunteer, contact Shannon at 508-971-6790, or Or sign up online for a canvassing or phonebanking shift here: GOTV SHIFTS


Here’s what Shannon has to say:

“For GOTV from November 3-5 we will have canvassing shifts at 10 am, 1pm and 4pm, and phonebanking shifts at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm.

 On election day November 6th we have CANVASSING shifts at 7am (for a special silent knock/doorhanging shift), 9am, 11am, 2pm, or 4:30 pm. 

PHONEBANKING shifts will be 10am, 12pm, 3pm and 530pm. 

dear neighbor please vote.png

The link provided below allows you to sign up for whatever shifts work best. We really need the help - with canvassing as priority. All shifts are three hours long and we encourage folks to sign up for three or more. 


This work can't be done without the help of volunteers, and with how incredibly important this election is, we can't take anything for granted.”

Representative Tony Cabral is State Rep for the New Bedford area, and is running for re-election. Here’s how you can support him.

Pre-Election Day Standout Schedule:

Thursday, November 1st
4pm to 6pm
Corner of Kempton Street & Rockdale Avenue

Saturday, November 3rd
10am to 12pm
Corner of Hawthorn Street & Rockdale Avenue

Monday, November 5th
4pm to 6pm
Corner of Rivet Street & County Street

Tuesday, November 6th
7am to 8pm, 2 hour shifts
Polling Locations across district

As we move into the final week of the campaign, WE NEED YOU!
Please come to one of our standouts and volunteer to hold signs at a polling location on Election Day. We want to make sure we reached everyone in the district.

If you would like to sign-up  or have questions, please send a message to I wouldn't be able to do this without your assistance and support.

Thank you,


Posted by Katie White