Pattie Garrahy-Robertson began the meeting with Marching Forward’s Mission and Purpose as follows:
- To provide a place to move forward in a focused, collaborative, technology based manner following resistance marches.
- Goal is to facilitate virtual and real time actions focused on magnifying our voices and resources to: (links to organizations along with available video clips on Marching Forward’s resource site* (marchingforwardmass.com)
- Members of Congress (MOCs) through alignment with Indivisible Guide (www.indivisibleguide.com). Linked with video clip on site.
- Influence mid-term elections in November, 2018 working with Swing Left (www.swingleft.org)
- Focus on key Progressive causes to align actions both nationally, statewide and locally
- Connect with local organizations (social justice, labor, immigration) some of whom are aligned with IG for actions and bandwidth
- Pattie explained the model to be used to manage membership:
- We will utilize the Woman’s March model of forming “huddles.”
- Huddles are comprised of groups concentrating on key actions and categories (i.e. “social action,” “health care,” environment,” etc.)
Representative Christopher M. Markey, Democrat, 9th District, Bristol County, MA, was introduced by Pattie. Topics discussed:
- Mr. Markey discussed ‘pragmatic progressivism’, and in the wake of our national election in November, that Democrats need to change our strategies moving forward.
- Before concluding, Mr. Markey fielded several questions from the audience.
Helena DaSilva Hughes, Executive Director of the Immigrants’ Assistance Center (IAC) in New Bedford, was introduced by Laurie Bullard. Topics discussed:
- A brief history of US immigration policies, stemming from the Oklahoma bombings in 1996 forwards and which continue to allow deportation oflegal non-citizen residentsfor crimes committed yearsago, in some cases.
- The IAC needs a lot of financial and volunteer help. The IAC will hold a fundraiser on March 31 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Our members are encouraged to buy tickets. More info at http://www.immigrantsassistancecenter.org/upcoming-events/
Work Planning Huddles
Sue Perry detailed work planning “huddles”, which are individual teams organized as firmly or loosely as team leaders wish (in living rooms, coffee shops, online, etc.) focused on key actions, etc. The huddles are:
- Healthcare (with focus on ACA—call it TRUMP CARE and Women’s Reproductive Rights),
- Political Action (Indivisible Guide, Swing Left, Voter Engagement)
- Community Action
Signup sheets will be published online and via email next week so members can add their contact info to the huddle that suits them. In addition:
- Huddle leaders are crafting brief “mission statements” to define the focus of their huddles.
- Huddle leaders will contact those who sign up to begin setting meetings and conversations.
- Members of huddle groups are advised to add https://www.marchingforwardmass.com/ and the specific email address of the Huddle group that they are in to their contacts within their email programs to avoid messages getting caught in a spam folder.
Introduction of Marching Forward Website
Our Website, which is near completion (https://www.marchingforwardmass.com/) was shown to the audience. We express our gratitude to Katie White, Debbie Kovacs, Deborah Ehrens and designer Sarah Robertson, who worked so hard as a team to create this important resource.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, May 3, 6-7:30 PM at Southworth Library, 732 Dartmouth Street, Dartmouth, in the Elsie Haskell Auditorium. (A sound system will be in place.)
(Edited for posting by Kevin Lee)