November 16, 2021 - Voting Rights: Where Are We, What's Next, How Can We Help?
Stephen Spaulding and Herb Meisner of Common Cause discussed the status of the proposed Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voter Protection Act, the need to reform the filibuster to ensure passage of these critical laws, and how we each can help to accomplish that goal in an effort to protect voting and, ultimately, democracy. Our speakers brought great knowledge and experience:
Steve Spaulding is Senior Counsel on Public Policy and Government Affairs and Senior Advisor to CC’s President. He previously served as Senior Advisor to Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, Chair of the committee overseeing federal elections, and was Special Counsel to then FEC Chair and Commissioner Ann Ravel. He played a key role in getting pro-democracy election reforms passed in the House, and has testified in Congress, authored papers and appeared in various media to share his wisdom about democracy.
Herb Meisner, CC’s National Campaigner, recruits, organizes, and trains a national network of grassroots volunteers and community leaders to help CC meet its goals of holding power accountable and building a democracy that works for everyone. He has a research background in criminal justice and LGBTQ and survivor advocacy. He has also organized with NextGen America to mobilize young people to vote and was an organizer for Senator Warren’s presidential campaign.
October 19, 2021 - Strategies for Winning in 2022
Guest speakers shared information about tactical ways to get involved and move the needle for the 2022 Midterms, including the best timing for participating in each tactic, why state races are important for our national delegation, and how we can best help make a difference in neighboring New Hampshire where much is at stake. We heard from:
Reid McCallum, co-founder of Postcards to Swing States, whose volunteers wrote 21 million postcards to voters in 2020. Postcards to Swing States became part of Progressive Turnout Project in 2021 where Reid now directs the postcard writing program.
Lisa DeMio, Chair of the Democratic Committee for Hampstead, NH, a member of the Rockingham County Democratic Committee and Vice-Chair and founding member of the Rock Hills Coalition.
View Ried McCallum's presentation here
September 21, 2021 - Getting Big Money Out of Politics
John Bonifaz, a constitutional lawyer and co-founder of Free Speech for People, and Ayden Nichol, a fellow with American Promise, described what their groups are doing to address the issue of getting big money out of politics, including working to pass relevant Constitutional Amendments and taking other steps to end super PACs and excessive corporate influence in our elections.
View video shared by John Bonifaz here
View Ayden Nichol's presentation here
June 16 , 2021 - Protect the Vote in MA
Beth Huang of MA Voter Table and Geoff Foster of Common Cause Massachusetts discussed the redistricting process in our state, the pending state VOTES Act and other efforts to help ensure fairness in our election process right here in MA.
View the presentation here
View meeting notes here
Protect the Vote Actions
May 18, 2021 - Planning for the High Stakes of the 2022 Midterms
Guest speaker, Chuck Fraser, offered thoughtful and thought-provoking considerations and insights about how Democrats should strategize for how to keep their razor-thin control of both houses while still passing meaningful legislation. Chuck is a political blogger, retired lawyer, activist who was instrumental in passing New York City’s law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation, and an alumnus of Harvard College and Columbia Law School, as well as multiple NYC mayoral administrations. To read more of Chuck's insights, visit his PoliticsbyEcceHomo blog.
April 16, 2021 - Countering Disinformation Rose Lang-Maso of Common Cause described that group's social media monitoring program. A few internal speakers offered additional insights and other actions to take to counter disinformation, including proactive posting with Indivisible's Truth Brigade, increasing Facebook's accountability, protesting Fox News, and pressuring companies.
View the Meeting Presentation here
Click here for a list of actions to take to counter disinformation
March 16, 2021 - Legislative Updates Karen Trowbridge, leader of the Legislative Watch Team, presented about our local state legislators (Senators Tarr and DiZoglio and Reps. Mirra and Kelcourse), as well as Governor Baker and Speaker Mariano. Keith Attenborough, leader of the Democracy Reform groups, presented on voting laws, both federal and at the state level. February 16, 2021 - Strategy for 2021 Our first meeting post-election kicked off the new organizational structure and new mission for 2021. We also had a presentation on electoral strategy for the upcoming election cycle.
Meeting Archives - 2019 and 2020
This was our last meeting before the election. We heard from Christina Eckert and Amber Hewett. Robin Lawson shared information on relational organizing and Kath Mason shared the Action Calendar with info on locally-organized phone banks. Ben Bloomenthal, Biden/Harris volunteer organizer and MA Democratic State Committee member, talked about the importance of phone banking, and shared guidelines and tips on how to be most effective. Paula Joseph, co-organizer of Swing Left Maine, spoke about what's at stake in Maine and how we can help make sure Maine votes blue in the Presidential, Senate and House races. Paula also profiled Sarah Gideon, who handily won the 7/14 primary and is challenging Susan Collins. Laura Weisel of Force Multiplier spoke about this grassroots group that uses data-based analytics to identify the most strategic U.S. House and Senate races as well as high-impact states for the Electoral College. Force Multiplier raises funds and directs them to the most strategic campaigns through Act Blue. Michelle Olson, CEO of Elect535.org and a founder of Indivisible Mass Coalition and Togetherfor2020.org, showed how to create an individual game plan for effective online activism for the 2020 election. Massachusetts State House candidates Amber Hewett (First Essex representative) and Christina Eckert (Second Essex representative) shared why they're running and where they stand on key issues. Rebecca Riccio of Swing Left gave us insights to feel confident about having voter conversations, listening to voters’ concerns, and influencing their decision-making. Ted Russell (Indivisible-RISE core team member) and Debbie Hart-Klein (our liaison with Swing Left) reviewed our 2019 accomplishments and used maps and data to show where our electoral priorities will be. Reverend Rebecca Bryan, minister of the First Religious Society, Unitarian Universalist in Newburyport, shared approaches that create opportunities to come together over differences, leading to greater health, creativity, and hope. Craig S. Altemose, Executive Director Better Future Project, talked on "Building a Movement to Tackle the Climate Crisis". Better Future Project works to build powerful grassroots movements to address the climate crisis and advance a rapid and responsible transition beyond fossil fuels. Executive Director Craig Altemose discussed state-level initiatives and legislation, including actions Indivisible-RISE members can take. Jordan Thornlow, Eastern Massachusetts organizer from Planned Parenthood, shared an overview of the ROE Act, a historic bill currently under consideration by the Massachusetts legislature. The bill aims to protect and expand access to safe and legal abortion here in the Bay State. Participants learned how to support the ROE Act and advocate for safe, legal, and equitable access to abortion. In a lively Q & A format, Angus McQuilken, co-founder of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, discussed the scope of the gun violence problem in America, effective models for reducing gun violence, and what Indivisible-RISE members can do to get involved and make a difference. Amber Hewett, offshore wind energy campaign manager for the National Wildlife Federation, discussed clean energy and climate policy in Massachusetts and opportunities to support important legislation this season. The Indivisible-RISE Legislative Watch Team updated attendees on their work to follow the Massachusetts Legislative Process and elected officials from the 1st and 2nd Essex districts. A volunteer from Voter Choice Massachusetts explained Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), which allows voters to rank candidates on their ballot in order of choice. Two RCV measures have been proposed in this session. One would make it easier for cities and towns to use RCV in local elections. The other would adopt RCV for federal elections except for President. Meeting attendees held a brainstorming session on ideas for I-RISE in 2019. State Senator Diana DiZoglio discussed her legislative priorities for 2019. Representative Moulton's plans and progress were reviewed; the Legislative Watch Team was introduced. The core group laid out Indivisible-RISE's 2019 mission and approach followed by a presentation by Olivia Santoro of ACLU Massachusetts, who shared the ACLU’s 2019 agenda and told us how we can get involved locally.