Friday, December 9, 2016

Women for Deb Goldberg Event, Monday, December 12th


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Bridgewater DTC Holiday Party Tickets


Join the Bridgewater Democratic Town Committee for our annual holiday party. We will be ringing in the holiday season with a delicious Chinese food buffet dinner!

Date: December 8, 2016
Time: 7PM
Location: Bridgewater VFW 2125 (Orange Street, Bridgewater)

Please purchase your tickets online by clicking here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Join Progressive Dems of Massachusetts at Mass Alliance Event on Thursday

As we all struggle to come to grips with Trump’s election, please join us on Thursday evening at Mass Alliance’s annual Celebration of Progressive Champions. PDM is one of the two dozen progressive advocacy organizations that comprise Mass Alliance. It is a vital resource for our work, and it needs our support. And the Celebration provides a much needed time to be together with fellow progressives as we strive to look forward.

Here’s what Mass Alliance says in its message about the event:

"It's hard to think about tomorrow while we are mourning today. We all share your sadness and fear. We also share your resolve, your sense of justice, your fight against the attempt to roll back progress. We believe Massachusetts isn't just a place that voted against Donald Trump, it can be a place that provides a bold alternative to the dystopian policies that will be shepherded through a conservative Congress.
We are ready to fight for a Massachusetts that leads this country on how to protect everyone's freedom, invest in every child regardless of their school district, treat climate change with the seriousness of the moment and finally provide Health Care to everyone, not just health insurance.

Whether you need to be with friends and family, need a shoulder to cry on or people to celebrate we want you to join us"


The Annual Celebration of Progressive Champions
Thursday, November 17, 2016
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

OMNI Parker Hotel
Kennedy Room
60 School St., Boston


Refreshments will be provided
Suggested Contribution:
$50 per person

You can register for the event on the Mass Alliance website here. We hope to see many of you there on Thursday evening.

And we’ll be in touch soon about PDM’s process for planning how to address the crisis created by Trump’s election.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Post-Election Message from Elizabeth Warren

This wasn’t a pretty election. In fact, it was ugly, and we should not sugarcoat the reason why. Donald Trump ran a campaign that started with racial attacks and then rode the escalator down. He encouraged a toxic stew of hatred and fear. He attacked millions of Americans. And he regularly made statements that undermined core values of our democracy.

And he won. He won – and now Latino and Muslim-American children are worried about what will happen to their families. LGBT couples are worried that their marriages could be dissolved by a Trump-Pence Supreme Court. Women are worried that their access to desperately needed health services will disappear. Millions of people in this country are worried, deeply worried. And they are right to be worried.

Today, as President-Elect, Donald Trump has an opportunity to chart a different course: to govern for all Americans and to respect our institutions. In his victory speech, he pledged that he would be “President for all” of the American people. And when he takes the oath of office as the leader of our democracy and the leader of all Americans, I sincerely hope that he will fulfill that pledge with respect and concern for every single human being in this country, no matter who they are, no matter where they come from, no matter what they believe, no matter whom they love.

And that marks Democrats’ first job in this new era: We will stand up to bigotry. There is no compromise here. In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled Americans – on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever.

But there are many millions of people who did not vote for Donald Trump because of the bigotry and hate that fueled his campaign rallies. They voted for him despite the hate. They voted for him out of frustration and anger – and also out of hope that he would bring change.

If we have learned nothing else from the past two years of electioneering, we should hear the message loud and clear that the American people want Washington to change. It was clear in the Democratic Primaries. It was clear in the Republican Primaries. It was clear in the campaign and it was clear on Election Day. The final results may have divided us – but the entire electorate embraced deep, fundamental reform of our economic system and our political system.

Working families across this country are deeply frustrated about an economy and a government that doesn’t work for them. Exit polling on Tuesday found that 72 percent of voters believe that "the American economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful." 72 percent of ALL voters – Democrats and Republicans. The polls were also made clear that the economy was the top issue on voters’ minds. Americans are angry about a federal government that works for the rich and powerful and that leaves everyone else in the dirt.

Lobbyists and Washington insiders have spent years trying to convince themselves and each other that Americans don’t actually believe this. Now that the returns are in and the people have spoken, they’re already trying to wave their hands and dismiss these views as some sort of mass delusion. They are wrong – very wrong.

The truth is that people are right to be angry. Angry that wages have been stagnant for a generation, while basic costs like housing, health care, and child care have skyrocketed. Angry that our political system is awash in barely legalized campaign bribery. Angry that Washington eagerly protects tax breaks for billionaires while it refuses to raise the minimum wage, or help the millions of Americans struggling with student loans, or enforce the law when the millionaire CEOs who fund our political campaigns break it. Angry that Washington pushes big corporate interests in trade deals, but won’t make the investments in infrastructure to create good jobs right here in America. Angry that Washington tilts the playing field for giant corporations – giving them special privileges, letting them amass enormous economic and political power.

Angry that while Washington dithers and spins and does the backstroke in an ocean of money, while the American Dream moves further and further out of reach for too many families. Angry that working people are in debt. Angry that seniors can’t stretch a Social Security check to cover the basics.

President-Elect Trump spoke to these issues. Republican elites hated him for it. But he didn’t care. He criticized Wall Street and big money’s dominance in Washington – straight up. He supported a new Glass-Steagall. He spoke of the need to reform our trade deals so they aren’t raw deals for the American people. He said he will not cut Social Security benefits. He talked about the need to address the rising cost of college and about helping working parents struggling with the high cost of child care. He spoke of the urgency of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and putting people back to work. He spoke to the very real sense of millions of Americans that their government and their economy has abandoned them. And he promised to rebuild our economy for working people.

The deep worry that people feel over an America that does not work for them is not liberal or conservative worry. It is not Democratic or Republican worry. It is the deep worry that led even Americans with very deep reservations about Donald Trump’s temperament and fitness to vote for him anyway.

So let me be 100% clear about this. When President-Elect Trump wants to take on these issues, when his goal is to increase the economic security of middle class families, then count me in. I will put aside our differences and I will work with him to accomplish that goal. I offer to work as hard as I can and to pull as many people as I can into this effort. If Trump is ready to go on rebuilding economic security for millions of Americans, so am I and so are a lot of other people—Democrats and Republicans.

But let’s also be clear about what rebuilding our economy does not mean.

  • It does not mean handing the keys to our economy over to Wall Street so they can run it for themselves. Americans want to hold the big banks accountable. That will not happen if we gut Dodd-Frank and fire the cops responsible for watching over those banks, like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If Trump and the Republican Party try to turn loose the big banks and financial institutions so they can once again gamble with our economy and bring it all crashing down, then we will fight them every step of the way.
  • It does not mean crippling our economy and ripping working families apart by rounding up and deporting millions of our coworkers, our friends and neighbors, our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters. And if Republicans choose that path, we will fight them every single step of the way.
  • Americans want reform to Obamacare – Democrats included. We must bring down the costs of health insurance and the cost of health care. But if the Republicans want to strip away health insurance from 20 million Americans, if they want to let cancer survivors get kicked to the curb, if they want to throw 24-year-olds off their parents’ health insurance, then we will fight them every step of the way.
  • Americans want to close tax loopholes that benefit the very rich, and Donald Trump claimed to support closing the carried interest loophole and other loopholes. We need a fairer tax system, but if Republicans want to force through massive tax breaks that blow a hole in our deficit and tilt the playing field even further toward the wealthy and big corporations, then we will fight them every step of the way.

The American people – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – have been clear about what economic policies they want Washington to pursue. Two-thirds of people support raising the federal minimum wage. Three-quarters of Americans want the federal government to increase its infrastructure investments. Over 70 percent of people believe students should have a chance at a debt-free education. Nearly three-quarters support expanding Social Security. These are the kinds of policies that will help level the playing field for working families and address the frustrations felt by millions of people across the country.

The American people sent one more message as well. Economic reform requires political reform. Why has the federal government worked so long only for those at the top? The answer is money – and they want this system changed. The American people are sick of politicians wallowing in the campaign contributions and dark money. They are revolted by influence peddling by wealthy people and giant corporations. When Bernie Sanders proved his independence by running a campaign based on small dollar contributions and when Donald Trump promised to spend his own money, both were sending an important message that they could not be bought. And once again, if Donald Trump is ready to make good on his promise to get corruption out of politics, to end dark money and pay-to-play, count me in. I will work as hard as I can and to pull as many people as I can to end the influence of big money and return democracy to the people.

Donald Trump won the Presidency under a Republican flag. But Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and the Republicans in Congress – and their way of doing business – were rejected – rejected by their own primary voters, rejected during the campaign, and rejected in Tuesday’s election. Regardless of political party, working families are disgusted by a Washington that works for the rich and powerful and leaves everyone else behind.

The American people have called out loudly for economic and political reform. For years, too many Republicans and too many Democrats have refused to hear their demands.

The majority of Americans voted against Donald Trump. Democrats picked up seats in both the House and the Senate. And yet, here we are. Republicans are in control of both houses of Congress and the White House. And that makes our job clear. As the loyal opposition we will fight harder, we will fight longer and we will fight more passionately than ever for the rights of every human being in this country to be treated with respect and dignity. We will fight for economic opportunity, not just for some of our children, but for all of our children. We do not control the tools of government, but make no mistake, we know what we stand for, the sun will keep rising, and we will keep fighting – each day, every day, we will fight for the people of this country.

The time for ignoring the American people is over. It’s time for us to come together to work on America’s agenda. Democracy demands that we do so, and we are ready.


Thank you for being a part of this,



Elizabeth

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

School Committee Members Deliver Their No on Question 2 Resolutions to Governor Baker

School Committee Members Deliver Their No on Question 2 Resolutions to Governor Baker

A delegation of school committee members today delivered a stack of No on Question 2 resolutions to Governor Charlie Baker, saying the ballot question he supports would hurt the children in their schools.

“The Governor needs to hear from local elected officials to understand the negative impact Question 2 would have on our district schools and the students we serve,” said Jake Oliveira, President of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees and a member of the Ludlow School Committee. “Locally accountable school committee members understand that raising the cap would drain municipal budgets and negatively impact students in district public schools.”

Nearly 200 school committees, representing the great majority of all traditional and regional school districts in the Commonwealth, have passed No on Question 2 resolutions. In most cases, the vote was unanimous. School committees opposing Question 2 range in size from Massachusetts’ ten largest cities to Hawley, population 337.

Not a single school committee or city council has voted to support Question 2.

“The Yes campaign claims Question 2 would not hurt suburban districts, but that’s not true,” said Arlington School Committee member Paul Schlichtman, a former MASC President. “A charter school across the border in Cambridge or Somerville – both directly impacted by Question 2 – could pull students from Arlington and force us to cut valuable programs we offer students in our public schools.”

School committees representing 96% of urban public school students in Massachusetts have voted to oppose Question 2.

"Urban school committees across the state have had to pinch pennies in order to provide students with a first-rate education in an era when costs are rising much faster than our budgets,” said New Bedford School Committee member Josh Amaral. “The rapid expansion of charter schools risked by this ballot question would have grim consequences for the future of our public schools. The out-of-state distributors of 'dark money' trying to tweak education policy seek to prevail at the expense of our students and the very schools that have branded Massachusetts a national leader in education.”

“In Worcester, we have only received 36 percent of the total charter reimbursement due for the current fiscal year and five previous years, a $1 million shortfall,” said Worcester School Committee member Molly McCullough. “At a time when we are already struggling to hire additional teachers and offer other academic opportunities and programs for our students, we can’t afford to lose more money to a new or expanded charter school.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, a strong supporter of charter schools, nonetheless opposes Question 2 because it “would have a disastrous impact on students, their schools, and the cities and towns that fund them.”

The nearly 200 school committees, along with 18 city councils that have voted to oppose Question 2, represent more than 250 cities and towns, nearly three-quarters of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts. They are joined by a growing list of local and statewide organizations, including the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, the Massachusetts PTA, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals' Association, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, the NAACP New England Area Conference, Progressive Massachusetts, and Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts.

Background on Question 2
Charter schools are privately run schools that operate with taxpayer funding. Every time a new charter school opens, it takes money away from the public schools in that school district. This year, according to state data, 231 local school districts will lose a projected $451,338,729 to charter schools, even after state reimbursements.

A statewide commission recently reported that public schools in Massachusetts are already underfunded by more than $1 billion, even before Question 2. If passed, Question 2 would allow the state to approve 12 new charters schools a year, every year, forever, with no limit on how much money a single school district could lose. This would nearly triple the number of charter schools in just 10 years and take away an additional $1 billion each year from our local public schools. After 20 years, local public school districts would be losing nearly $4 billion a year to charter schools.

Local communities and their school committees have no say in the approval or operation of charter schools. The state approves charter schools even when the communities where they will be located are opposed to them. This has happened in Brockton, Gloucester and many other communities.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

No on 2 Editorial

Massachusetts early voting starts this Monday and one of the most controversial issues on the ballot is whether we should expand the number of Charter Schools.
The clear and certain answer is "No." Sold when first proposed as educational innovation labs with new teaching techniques to be tested at Charters and then introduced into traditional District schools, Charters have instead become stand-alone places where the only innovation is to get rid of students who are tough to teach. Kids who don't want to wear school uniforms, who have discipline issues, who have trouble getting to school on time or who simply don't fit their Charter School's model of teaching are often informally 'counselled out' and sent back back to their Districts. In District after District, there is no innovation to be learned from the Charter Schools' method of cherry-picking their students. http://www.craigkelley.org/…/state-data-clearly-shows-char…/
In addition to their horrific attrition rates, Charters cost the donating Districts real and significant tax dollars. Cambridge alone spends $11,000,000 of property tax revenue paying the tuitions for hundreds of students who attend Charter Schools throughout the Boston area, schools over which Cambridge taxpayers and voters have virtually no oversight. While donating districts get some initial reimbursement from the state and will save some money by having fewer students to educate, Charter School costs far outweigh their benefits.
Finally, Charter Schools do not necessarily have better educational outcomes, they are a step backwards for employment equity and they may have serious safety and teacher retention problems. Even a generally favorable review in 2013 by Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes concludes that "charter school quality is uneven across the states and across schools." Slate.com noted 2 months ago that Charter Schools bust unions "By intimidating teachers. By scaring parents. And sometimes by calling the cops." A March 2016 article in The Nation leads off with the question "Why Has Charter School Violence Spiked at Double the Rate of Public Schools?" And a 2010 paper from Vanderbilt's National Center on School Choice states that "The rate that teachers leave the profession and move between schools is significantly higher in charter schools than in traditional public schools." As the Education Justice program at the Education Law Center concluded years ago, "[I]t is clear that charter schools are no panacea for improving education in this country."
While public education is far from perfect, more Charter Schools would only make it worse, not better. But there are steps we should, and could, take now to improve our kids' education. Helping the Massachusetts Teachers Association rework traditional collective bargaining agreements to meet the realities of 21st century teaching is at the top of the list. As is expanding low cost, or free, early childhood education for our most vulnerable residents. And working to alleviate poverty and provide hope for students throughout the state. The list of what needs to be done goes on and on but nowhere on that list is "Expand Charter Schools."
In short, Charter Schools shed their students at terrifyingly high rates, provide no meaningful innovation for traditional districts, cost taxpayers real tax dollars, threaten traditional American work rules and have no clear advantage in educational outcomes. Instead they represent a sophisticated attempt to privatize public education, are not scalable to meet our state's wider educational needs and will leave our traditional Districts with fewer resources to teach their own students.
So, put a stop to this educational fraud and vote "NO on 2" starting Monday.
Craig Kelley, JD, MPA
Cambridge City Council


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Upcoming No On Question 2 Events


This summer the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee resoundingly supported a resolution to oppose Question 2 on the ballot. NO on 2 endorsers include Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Attorney General Maura Healey, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, 196 school committees, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, the NAACP, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts and hundreds of elected leaders, civil rights, community and faith-based organizations.
Will you stand with them for No On 2? Click HERE to pledge to vote NO on 2.
As Mayor Marty Walsh said in a recent Boston Globe column: "This ballot question is not a referendum on charter schools. It is a deeply misguided proposal that is fundamentally hostile to the progress of school improvement, the financial health of municipalities, and the principle of local control. I urge everyone to join me on Nov. 8 in voting ‘no’ on Question 2. Then we can get to work — together — to improve all our schools."
With Massachusetts early vote starting on Monday, October 24, I invite you to get involved in this important campaign today. Become involved now by clicking HERE to volunteer, get a bumper sticker, or a lawn sign or join us at our two upcoming events:
  • Swampscott Rally Sunday, October 23 with the AFT MA, MTA, Mass. AFL-CIO President Tolman, Auditor Bump and other guests. Click HERE to RSVP. The rally will begin at 12:15 PM in Linscott Park, 17 Monument Avenue in Swampscott. Immediately following the rally there will be an opportunity to canvass.
  • Boston Rally Tuesday, November 1 with Councilors Tito Jackson and Ayanna Pressley and other special guests. The rally will begin at 6:30 PM at Prince Hall Lodge, 24 Washington St., Dorchester (just out of Grove Hall). Click HERE to RSVP for the Dorchester event.

If you need additional information about the events or have any questions about #NoOn2 please feel free to call 617-460-7337 or email info@saveourpublicschoolsma.com.