Ready, Set, 2020!

Hello fellow political activists

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Please "clear us" if need be for communication.  Many of you have asked how friends can join. Just send our website link - https://www.marchingforwardmass.com/join-us - 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 strength@marchingforwardmass.com.

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, www.marchingforwardmass.com, 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.

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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 www.marchingforwardmass.com   

Pattie

*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
508-971-6790
smorrell@massdems.org

Lisa Lemieux - Vice Chair of the New Bedford Democratic Committee
774-328-0394
lisa.lemieux@1199.org

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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 smorrell@massdems.org Or sign up online for a canvassing or phonebanking shift here: GOTV SHIFTS

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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. 

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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. 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR GOTV SHIFTS!

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

ELECTION DAY STANDOUT SCHEDULE:
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 
reptonycabral@gmail.com. I wouldn't be able to do this without your assistance and support.

Thank you,

Tony

Posted by Katie White


Maine, New York, Early Voting

Early Voting in MA

You can cast your ballot early. Here’s the information for Dartmouth.

Where: Town Hall, 400 Slocum Road
When: Now through November 2
Hours: 8:30 - 4:30

Check here for information on locations and times for other towns.

Look here for information on casting and ABSENTEE ballot.


According to the Cook Political Report, all four of our candidates have a shot at winning their races. Mikie Sherrill ranks strongest, at “Likely Democratic”. Both Andy Kim and Jared Golden are in the “Toss Up” category. They rank Perry Gershon’s race as “Likely Republican”. Practically speaking, this means that all of these candidates can use whatever help, financial or otherwise, that we can offer. NOW is the time to act if you want to help one or more of these candidates.

Thank You!

Mikie Sherrill for Congress
Andy Kim for Congress
Perry Gershon for Congress
Jared Golden for Congress


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Jared Golden for Congress

Team Jared Golden in Maine

Some members of Team Golden have been in Maine almost continually since early September. Needless to say, they’ve been very involved with the Jared Golden campaign and with Maine Democratic Office, both in Ellsworth.

Do you want to help with the final crucial effort in Maine? Accommodations are available.
Contact our AAC Team Golden at: strength@marchingforwardmass.com

At the Jared Golden office in Ellsworth, Maine. From left: Bess Coughlin, Katie White, Bettina Borders, Bob Truslow, Jackie Merrill (Maine Dems coordinator in Ellsworth), Carole Ferguson

At the Jared Golden office in Ellsworth, Maine. From left: Bess Coughlin, Katie White, Bettina Borders, Bob Truslow, Jackie Merrill (Maine Dems coordinator in Ellsworth), Carole Ferguson

Here’s an update from Vic Mailey:

Vic and Bess preparing canvassing materials.

Vic and Bess preparing canvassing materials.

“Greetings, SouthCoasters!

The Jared Golden campaign steams ahead with a number of positive turns.  President Obama and the Bangor Daily News have both endorsed Jared.  B.D.N. endorsed Bruce Poliquin two years ago; but, now it says, the "district deserves a representative who better reflects its needs and values.  Jared ... would be that representative."

In addition, Roll Call, a political newspaper, has named Poliquin as the 10th most vulnerable GOP congressman--for the first time jumping into the top 10.

Throughout October, SouthCoast MFMers have had a solid impact in Hancock County and in Oxford County.  We have knocked on well over 2,000 doors and have had scores of good conversations with folks in their kitchens and on their stoops and decks.  We have made canvassing forays into Penobscot County (Bangor) and into Washington County (Cherryfield). 

Between fabulous feasts at our evening enclaves and hikes through the surrounding beauty, there's been considerable work in cars, on phones, and at writing tables.  It has been fun and exhausting.

Now, though, comes the crunch.  Another week or so of persuasive canvassing, then the major GOTV campaign for the final days.  There is room here for more worker bees!  Drivers, canvassers, gofers.

For turning ME02 Blue, every vote counts!  For turning the governor's office Blue, every vote counts!  For turning the state legislature Blue, every vote counts!”

Comparing notes after a full day of canvassing.

Comparing notes after a full day of canvassing.


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Perry Gershon for Congress

Barbara Trecker from Team Perry Gershon writes:

“Perry Gershon, Democratic challenger for the House in NY01, has just been endorsed by the New York Times. The Times noted that Gershon “supports Medicare for All and has backed the Affordable Care Act, which the Republican incumbent, Lee Zeldin, voted to gut.” Gershon is also for sensible immigration reform and backs protection for Dreamers.

Zeldin has “enthusiastically backed Mr. Trump,” the Times notes, and has also campaigned with far-right former Trump aides Sebastian Gorka and Steve Brannon.

“For his legislative good sense and opposition to Trumpian excess, Mr. Gershon is worthy of voters’ support,” the Times concludes.

Marching Forward has supported the Gershon campaign by writing 2000 post cards, and we’re all pulling for him in a very tight race.”


From the New York Times:

Like most campaigns this fall, this one has focused on what Congress can do, not what the White House has done. Perry Gershon, the Democrat, supports Medicare for All and has backed the Affordable Care Act, which the Republican incumbent, Representative Lee Zeldin, voted to gut. Mr. Gershon, who wants to discuss sensible restrictions on immigration, has backed protection for DREAMers without other stipulations, unlike Mr. Zeldin. Mr. Zeldin supports withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, which could have dire consequences for district with miles of coastline.

But the president has had a cameo part in the race. Mr. Gershon has provocatively said he was inspired to run by seeing parallels between Hitler’s rise and Mr. Trump’s rise while visiting the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Mr. Zeldin, who has enthusiastically backed Mr. Trump, kicked off his re-election campaign at an event with Sebastian Gorka, a far-right former Trump aide who has worn a pin from a Hungarian group founded by Nazis. That group has claimed Mr. Gorka as a member, although he denies it. Mr. Zeldin has also had a fundraiser with Steve Bannon, another former Trump aide, who has been connected with some of the most extreme right-wing groups in Europe and the United States.  

For his legislative good sense and opposition to Trumpian excess, Mr. Gershon is worthy of voters’ support.

Posted by Katie White


Canvassing, Videos

Interested in Canvassing for a Candidate?

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Thinking about canvassing for a Congressional candidate...but never done it before and not sure what to expect? On October 15, 7:00-8:30pm, three "veterans" will share their recent experience knocking on doors for Jared Golden in Maine: Bess Coughlin, Carole Ferguson and Pattie Garrahy. While this meeting is hosted by Team Andy Kim (NJ3), anyone and everyone who's thinking about canvassing for any candidate is encouraged to attend.

Monday, October 15
7:00pm-8:30pm

55 School Street
South Dartmouth
(Terry Cryan’s house)
There will be snacks, desserts, coffee, tea and wine. 

Questions? Email: strength@marchingforwardmass.com


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Here are three great Get Out The Vote videos. Share them all. “Don’t Vote” is a good one to send along to anyone under 35!

Michelle Obama is inspiring in this clip from Daily Action’s Facebook page.

Don’t Vote: A Knock the Vote PSA. Edgy, funny - and it’s truth may make you squirm. Let’s hope it inspires Millennials to Vote! Created by Andreas Burgess (husband of Sadia Shepard) and his team.

Save The Country. Bryan Mcpeak, a good friend of Pattie’s, created this together with his daughter, editor and collaborators. Thanks to them all for this uplifting and timely gift!! …And for those of us who are Laura Nyro fans, it’s a sweet little trip down memory lane…

No blog next week, your blog creator will be in Maine, canvassing for Jared Golden.

Posted by Katie White